Abilene Christian University


Abilene Christian University is the premier university for the education of Christ-centered, global leaders, offering an exceptional education to about 4,600 students annually from nearly every state and 43 nations. This private, comprehensive university, founded in 1906 in Abilene, Texas, offers 71 baccalaureate majors in more than 125 areas of undergraduate study in addition to its graduate programs. Abilene is a friendly city of 117,000 people, located about 150 miles west of the Dallas/Fort Worth area. As an educational center for a large region, Abilene provides cultural, entertainment and support programs and services normally associated with cities twice its size.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Abilene Christian University
ACU Box 29130
Abilene, TX 79699

Website: acu.edu

Phone: 325-674-2000

Email: web@acu.edu

Organization details

EIN: 750851900

CEO/President: Dr. Phil Schubert

Chairman: April Anthony

Board size: 0

Founder: A.B. Barrett

Year founded: 1941

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 05/31

Member of ECFA: No

Member of ECFA since:


We achieve our mission by providing a supportive, welcoming, Christ-centered community in which we foster academic excellence through innovative education, real-world learning opportunities, and faculty-guided research.

Mission statement

The mission of Abilene Christian University is to educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world.

Statement of faith

Jesus Christ is the focal point of all Scripture. Because he is Lord and Savior, every dimension of our lives is affected by that belief. The example of Christ should motivate all our behaviors and decisions and be a guide in every relationship. It is through the revelation of Jesus that we know God and the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the teachings and example of Jesus as revealed in Scripture should inform everything we believe and do as an institution of Christian higher education. Our aim is a lofty one - to make the priorities of Jesus our priorities. PRINCIPLE: ACU will keep Christ at the center of the university, informing the curriculum and co-curriculum, undergirding policies and decisions, and calling everyone to be shaped by His life, death and resurrection. The Bible is God's inspired Word. "is tenet has been an invariable commitment of Churches of Christ from the beginning. The combination of the high value of reason, along with a fervent belief in Scripture's authority, created an environment in which the study of the Bible was honored and encouraged - publicly and privatelyACU will always emphasize Scripture as the inspired Word of God, through which believers may see and follow the God to whom Scripture points - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. ACU will have the teaching of the Bible as a significant component of its curriculum and will help students integrate faith and learning throughout all disciplines and university experiences, in preparation for their life and ministry through their careers. Churches of Christ have an unusual commitment to the life of the church. Congregational life is the center of Christian fellowship and practice. Each congregation is responsible for its own practices and belief, ideally overseen and shepherded by godly elders. All members are expected to engage in ministry and in worship. ACU is committed to the life of the church through nurturing worship and community, by a commitment to unity and appreciation for diverse people and viewpoints, and as a faithful partner to churches around the world. To that end, ACU will serve the body of Christ by being an authentic and distinctively Christian institution. ACU is committed to the integration of faith and learning, grounded in the liberal arts, nurtured in a context of innovation, focused on professional preparation, and undergirded by rigorous scholarship at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Out of such a context will come graduates who will make responsible and informed choices within a Christian context as they serve and lead throughout the world. ACU encourages the passionate search for all of God's truth, where every subject is open to scrutiny, where dissenting voices are respected, and where conversations on any topic may be engaged with kindness and compassion. At the heart of the search for truth are the Scriptures themselves, where each generation can and must grapple with the eternal truths within its precepts. ACU prizes Christian unity as a high value articulating the Christian commitments that emerge from its heritage, yet welcoming the diversity inherent in that unity, respecting others who hold differing opinions, extending and receiving hospitality, and engaging all people with grace and humility. All will be done under the lordship of Christ and the authority of Scripture. ACU will produce Christian leaders and servants who love God with all of their heart, soul, mind and strength, and who love their neighbors as themselves. rough teaching, example and prayer, students will be taught Christian virtues such as generosity, stewardship of all things, and concern for the marginalized of society - in the spirit of Jesus - as their lives are transformed into His likeness and fitted for eternity.

Transparency grade


To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Colleges/Universities

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating627 of 72581 of 87
Fund acquisition rating362 of 72639 of 87
Resource allocation rating635 of 72679 of 87
Asset utilization rating594 of 72583 of 87

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$34,954,271$35,502,640$49,752,844$54,798,107$50,639,810
Short-term investments$118,710,480$121,741,599$111,245,829$98,488,785$96,671,182
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$170,490,703$179,172,383$167,709,419$157,728,104$163,149,309
Long-term investments$261,191,170$250,993,034$218,541,437$197,579,264$229,072,943
Fixed assets$265,603,295$264,434,868$248,074,674$199,980,412$170,129,418
Other long-term assets$52,725,967$37,751,435$38,124,849$42,234,510$46,477,670
Total long-term assets$579,520,432$553,179,337$504,740,960$439,794,186$445,680,031
Total assets$750,011,135$732,351,720$672,450,379$597,522,290$608,829,340
Payables and accrued expenses$15,253,753$23,075,452$21,057,054$19,872,688$18,998,696
Other current liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total current liabilities$15,253,753$23,075,452$21,057,054$19,872,688$18,998,696
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$41,783,399$30,179,653$29,166,842$27,041,467$29,080,403
Total long-term liabilities$183,981,311$175,889,841$158,646,489$115,927,880$105,403,637
Total liabilities$199,235,064$198,965,293$179,703,543$135,800,568$124,402,333
Net assets20192018201720162015
Temporarily restricted$188,795,280$175,987,764$161,023,915$150,827,401$167,646,021
Permanently restricted$73,668,395$84,195,892$84,909,347$83,188,276$79,606,695
Net assets$550,776,071$533,386,427$492,746,836$461,721,722$484,427,007
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$30,017,978$22,403,358$28,352,725$30,058,512$30,002,453
Program service revenue$165,442,354$162,063,847$152,269,762$142,642,935$130,601,303
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$25,777,548$19,259,809$24,102,013$22,220,242$29,576,036
Other revenue$10,221,084$6,731,059$6,587,999$6,309,152$8,770,648
Total other revenue$201,440,986$188,054,715$182,959,774$171,172,329$168,947,987
Total revenue$231,458,964$210,458,073$211,312,499$201,230,841$198,950,440
Program services$150,293,037$147,041,552$147,370,608$136,764,645$132,969,296
Management and general$51,414,269$55,321,816$45,245,972$41,644,178$33,608,379
Total expenses$206,812,597$207,141,176$196,875,310$183,332,108$169,894,314
Change in net assets20192018201720162015
Surplus (deficit)$24,646,367$3,316,897$14,437,189$17,898,733$29,056,126
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$24,646,367$3,316,897$14,437,189$17,898,733$29,056,126

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.


A.B. Barret and Charles Roberson were on their way to a gospel meeting when Barret first said to Roberson, "Let's build a school in West Texas." That was in 1903. In 1905, Barret, a teacher at Southwestern Christian College in Denton, struck an agreement with Col. J.W. Childers, a leader in the Abilene church, to buy land from him at a reduced price on the condition that the school would be named in his honor. The Childers Classical Institute, offering 11 primary and secondary grades, opened its doors in Fall 1906 with 25 students enrolled for classes. Childers' first years were difficult for everyone, with cold classrooms, crowded living conditions and a water shortage. The school was led by four presidents during those early years: Barret, H.C. Darden, R.L. Whiteside and James F. Cox (who served another term as president from 1931-40). A lower student population through World War II was followed by unprecedented enrollment increases after the war. Housing posed the biggest challenge. Barracks from nearby Camp Barkeley, deactivated by the U.S. Army in Spring 1946, were moved to the ACU Hill to house students and provide additional classroom and office space. The college was officially accredited Dec. 6, 1951, by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.In 1956, sophomore sprinter Bobby Morrow won three gold medals in track and field for the U.S. at the Olympic games in Melbourne, Australia. He received the Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete and was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year. He also put ACU on the map as a track-and-field powerhouse. ACC officially became ACU on Feb. 22, 1976, by a unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees. A committee chaired by trustee Jack Pope, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, recommended the change. ACU's endowment grew from $18 million to $56 million in the 10-year presidency of Dr. William J. Teague, a former assistant to Morris and corporate executive who returned to ACU to succeed Stevens as president in 1981. The decade of the 1980s produced $78 million in gifts to the university, and Judge Ely Boulevard was moved east to accommodate construction of new buildings for the College of Business Administration and College of Biblical Studies. In 2008, more than 900 entering freshmen received an Apple iPhone or iPod touch as part of the university's groundbreaking mobile-learning initiative. The students used the devices in and out of class to explore new ways of connecting learning to technology. ACU's football team, led by head coach Chris Thomsen, won the Lone Star Conference championship in 2008 for the first time since 1973. Running back Bernard Scott won the Harlon Hill Trophy, the Division II version of the Heisman Trophy. Dr. Royce Money retired in 2010 after 19 years of leading the university. Dr. Phil Schubert was inaugurated as the 11th president of Abilene Christian. The 57,000-square-foot Hunter Welcome Center, named in honor of Dr. Bob Hunter and his wife, Shirley, was dedicated Feb. 21, 2009. In 2011, the 113,000-square-foot Royce and Pam Money Student Recreation and Wellness Center opened, providing fitness and leisure equipment, facilities and instruction to students, faculty and staff. Brown Library was reimagined in 2006 when the Learning Commons was created on the main floor, and again in 2011 when the 8,800-square-foot AT&T Learning Studio opened as a place where media, mobility and the future of the academic library could be studied while helping students and faculty use the latest technology and tools.In 2012, ACU became one of only a few institutions worldwide to be named an Apple Distinguished School, a recognition by Apple as an exemplary learning environment for innovation, leadership and educational excellence. That designation was renewed in 2013 and 2014. The university opened ACU at CitySquare, a learning center on North Akard Street in downtown Dallas, in 2012, partnering with the poverty-fighting enterprise formerly known as Central Dallas Ministries. In 2013, ACU athletics moved from NCAA Division II to NCAA Division I, joining the Southland Conference - a respected league ACU helped found in 1963. Also in 2013, the first students enrolled in ACU's new School of Nursing and the former Burford Music Center became the Phillips Education Building. A $75 million Vision in Action initiative began in February 2014 to raise funds for three new science buildings and two stadiums. In April 2015, historic Elmer Gray Stadium was razed and a new Gray Stadium for track and field and soccer opened on the west side of campus. Bennett Gymnasium, one of the original structures at ACU when it moved to its hilltop campus in 1929, was renovated and opened in 2015 as laboratory space for the Department of Engineering and Physics. ACU graduate Kent Brantly, M.D., in one of his first public speaking engagements since becoming the first American to be treated for Ebola on U.S. soil, spoke in Moody Coliseum on Oct. 10, 2014, joined by his wife, Amber. He was later profiled as one of "The Ebola Fighters" who appeared on the cover of Time magazine as 2014 Person of the Year. On Oct. 30, 2015, the women's cross country team won ACU's first Southland Conference championship since moving to NCAA Division I.

Program accomplishments

Of May 2018 graduates, 95 percent were employed or enrolled in graduate or professional school within six months. Specific programs saw even higher employment success at 100 percent, such as teacher education, marketing and chemistry. ACU graduates who apply to medical, dental and veterinary schools have been accepted at twice the national average for the past 10 years. ACU's Study Abroad programs take students to places such as Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. Nearly 25 percent of graduating seniors have studied abroad.