The FPU Idea

(excerpted from FPU Catalog):

The Fresno Pacific Idea reflects the university's interpretation of what it means to be a community of learners committed to a distinctive vision of Christian higher education. The Idea serves as a center for
reflection and action and as a guide for forming a vision of the future. Rooted in the past and continuously
re-shaped by the present, the Idea provides a foundation for the university's understanding of itself and of
the mission to which it is called.

In pursuing this mission, the university affirms the significance of knowledge, which is a
foundation for wisdom and virtue. As a Christian liberal arts community, Fresno Pacific University is an
integral part of the mission of the church. From this Christian and liberal arts center, the university seeks
to engage members of its community in a collaborative search for knowledge and experience which lead
toward a perceptive and creative relationship with God, humanity and the natural world. On this
foundation, the university seeks to build and to extend the Kingdom of God by enabling persons to serve
church and society.

The Fresno Pacific Idea articulates the university's primary identity, its vision of community and its
relation to the larger world. The parts of the Idea are not mutually exclusive, but complementary.
Together, they form an organic whole.

Fresno Pacific University seeks to be a collegium centered upon Christ and His church. It is committed to the ideals of God's Kingdom and to the perspective of the liberal arts in which integration of faith, learning and action is a primary goal.
With others in the Anabaptist-Mennonite and believers' church tradition, the university
encourages voluntary acknowledgment of the sovereignty of God, of the triumph of God's Kingdom, of the
presence of God's Spirit in the life of the church and of the Lordship of Christ in all of life.
As an extension of the educational mission of the Mennonite Brethren Church, the university
affirms the authority of the Bible over all matters of faith and life; the church as a community of redeemed
people; a life of discipleship leading to holiness, witness and service; the call to serve Jesus by
ministering to human need and alleviating suffering; the practice of reconciliation and love in settings of
violence, oppression and injustice; and the development of spiritual maturity through disciplines such as
prayer, study and meditation.
All authentic knowledge and experience are unified under God. All aspects of reality are
understood to be parts of a larger whole. There is no contradiction then between the truth of revelation, of
scholarly investigation and of action. The university encourages members of the Fresno Pacific University
community toward a reflective and critical perspective on the nature of humanity and its relation to the
world. Thus, the liberal arts enlarge the foundation for lifelong learning and for advanced study in a
discipline or profession. The university affirms that wisdom grows out of commitment to Christian faith and
the integrative perspective of the liberal arts. Both are essential to developing a holistic view of God, self
and the world.
Since education is understood to be a lifelong process, university programs include a variety of
academic and professional baccalaureate, graduate and non-degree programs. Each program builds on
the integrative foundation of the liberal arts, encouraging thoughtful reflection on those beliefs and values
that contribute to personal and societal wholeness. The intersection of Christian belief, the liberal arts and
an ethic of service provides an educational perspective that leads to an examined understanding of God,
self and the world that unites theory with practice.

Fresno Pacific University recognizes the importance of the interpersonal dimension of the learning
process. The university believes that community grows out of common commitments and that learning is
the result of interaction between persons, ideas and experiences. Thus, the university seeks to provide
settings in which individuals can achieve such interaction within a community committed to learning and
service. It believes that as individuals become more responsible with and accountable to one another,
they are better able to understand themselves and to make thoughtful commitments to God, the church
and the world.
The university seeks to accept each member of the community as unique, with purpose and
value. Ethnic and religious identity is affirmed as a basis for respectful pluralism. While acknowledging
individual differences, the university also holds to the believers' church expression of community as a
body that transcends individualism and those cultural, national and ethnic boundaries which separate and
Believing that the Gospel transcends the limitations of all cultures and ideologies and that
inclusiveness enriches community, Fresno Pacific University welcomes those of different cultural,
national, ethnic and religious backgrounds to participate in its educational experience. The university
invites those from other church traditions, both as faculty and students, to enter into dialogue and faithful
practice with those in the Anabaptist-Mennonite and believers' church tradition in following Christ and in
sharing the university's mission. In keeping with its voluntaristic church tradition, the university affirms the
community formed as individuals relate to God and does not discriminate against students who cannot
freely and honestly make such a commitment. The university encourages persons to serve across
cultures and throughout the world as compassionate disciples of Christ and as constructive members of
The university believes that knowledge and understanding are formed in community; that learning
takes place through dialogue and discourse between people who have different experiences and
perspectives and that such wisdom begins with humility. These understandings join teachers and
students as partners in a mutual search for truth and wholeness.
The university's belief in community expresses itself in patterns of leadership and governance
that are servant oriented and participatory and which lead toward consensual decision making.
The university seeks to carry out its educational mission through faculty, students, staff and board
members who participate in church and society, share a mutual respect for educational goals and
community standards and are committed to enhancing the quality of the educational experience for all its

Fresno Pacific University believes that to be prophetic is to serve the church and society by engaging in dialogue with and critique of contemporary culture and practice. The university encourages informed reflection on personal, institutional and societal values which contribute to developing a vision for
wholeness, justice and reconciliation. It offers leadership to the church and the world by enabling persons
to extend perceptive, creative and skillful responses to current issues; to illuminate darkness with light
and dispel ignorance with wisdom and understanding. It seeks to bring an integrative, Christian ethic and
perspective to present day thought and experience and to a common search for the better way.
Fresno Pacific University understands learning to be a journey; a journey of exploration, reflection
and transformation; a journey toward deepened meaning and faith growing out of creative encounter with
Christ and the world. The university believes that such learning may be nurtured through many different
modalities and in many different settings and that it should be encouraged to continue throughout life.
Thus, the university values imaginative, experimental and innovative ways of engaging students and
faculty in the process of learning even as it seeks to remain faithful to its core values and identity.
Fresno Pacific University is a deliberate and continuing attempt to realize the vision expressed in
the Fresno Pacific Idea. The Idea gives the university reason for existence, courage for growth and
stimulus for adventure.