Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2023-2024 
    Jul 19, 2024  
Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Information

Fresno Pacific is a Christian University

Fresno Pacific University is committed to providing a learning and living environment that, consistent with its Christian beliefs, promotes safety, transparency, personal integrity, civility, mutual respect, and freedom from invidious discrimination. Fresno Pacific is a Christian university governed by the Pacific District Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, and is controlled by a Board of Trustees, the majority of whose voting members are elected by delegates of the Conference. Fresno Pacific adopts and follows the Confession of Faith of the U.S. Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. As such, Fresno Pacific is exempt under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 34 C.F.R. section 106.12, and from provisions of California Education Code 66270 to the extent that the application of Title IX and California Education Code 66270 are not consistent with our religious tenets. These exemptions may apply to, but are not limited to, requirements in the university's community standards, employment policies, housing policies, select student leadership positions, and athletic programs. Fresno Pacific University retains all rights afforded under federal law and the laws of the State of California.

A more "reader friendly" version of what it means to be a Christian University can be found on the FPU website at http://fpu.edu/faith-disclosure

Administration and Faculty

Board of Trustees


Fresno Pacific University develops students for leadership and service through excellence in Christian higher education. As an institution of the Pacific District Conference of the Mennonite Brethren Churches, the university communicates a distinctively biblical, Christ-centered vision of interdisciplinary and liberal arts based baccalaureate, graduate and continuing education to strengthen the church and improve society.


Fresno Pacific is a leading Christian university known for academic excellence, innovative programming and spiritual vitality.


Fresno Pacific University embodies Christ-centered values: Christian community, service to others, academic excellence, professional excellence, student focus, innovation and responsiveness.

University Student Learning Outcomes

The University Student Learning Outcomes (USLO) are the shared academic commitments of the university to all students who earn a degree.

Oral Communication: Students will exhibit clear, engaging and confident oral communication – in both individual and group settings – and will critically evaluate content and delivery components.

Written Communication: Students will demonstrate proficient written communication by articulating a clear focus, synthesizing arguments and using standard formats in order to inform and persuade others.

Content Knowledge: Students will demonstrate comprehension of content-specific knowledge and the ability to apply it in theoretical, personal, professional or societal contexts.

Reflection: Students will reflect on their personal and professional growth and provide evidence of how such reflection is used to manage personal and vocational improvement.

Critical Thinking: Students will apply critical thinking competencies by generating probing questions, recognizing underlying assumptions, interpreting and evaluating relevant information and applying their understandings to new situations.

Moral Reasoning: Students will identify and apply moral reasoning and ethical decision-making skills and articulate the norms and principles underlying a Christian worldview.

Service: Students will demonstrate service and reconciliation as a way of leadership.

Cultural and Global Perspective: Students will identify personal, cultural and global perspectives and will employ these perspectives to evaluate complex systems.

Quantitative Reasoning: Students will accurately compute calculations and symbolic operations and explain their use in a field of study.

Information Literacy: Students will identify information needed in order to fully understand a topic or task, explain how that information is organized, identify the best sources of information for a given enquiry, locate and critically evaluate sources and accurately and effectively share that information.


Fresno Pacific University is accredited by:
WASC Senior College and University Commission
985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100
Alameda, CA 94501
510-748-9001, wascsenior.org

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing is accredited by
The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
One DuPont Circle, NW Suite 530
Washington, DC 20036

State Authorization

State authorization is a federal requirement in the Higher Education Act that requires institutions to be authorized in the state in which online programs are offered. Fresno Pacific University works regularly with individual state authorization agencies to meet each state's requirements. Currently, Fresno Pacific University has received authorization to offer online degree programs in all but seven states: Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Wisconsin and D.C.

For the latest updates on the status of FPU's authorization in your state, contact FPU Admissions

Main Campus and Regional Campuses

Fresno Pacific University's main campus is located on 42 acres in Fresno, between the mountains of the Sierra Nevada and the beaches of the Pacific Ocean. National parks, including Yosemite, beach resorts and forests are all within a few hours' drive. The main campus is in the southeastern section of Fresno, a growing metropolitan community with a population of more than 500,000. The area presents an unusually rich mosaic of peoples and cultures. Fresno offers museums, a philharmonic orchestra, professional sports, parks and other cultural and social amenities.

Working adults learn close to home and career thanks to campuses in Visalia, Bakersfield, North Fresno and Merced. A variety of educational options—including accelerated programs, evening classes and a focus on group learning—are designed to meet their needs.

Community Environment

Students who come to Fresno Pacific University become members of a community of fellow students, faculty and staff. While they often begin as strangers, a dynamic community of learners emerges, open to introspection, dialogue and commitment.

Freedom and responsibility are preserved in the community through self-discipline and self-regulation. Most of the guidelines governing community life are reflections of traditional biblical values. Thus, members of the community are to demonstrate honesty; respect the rights, opinions and property of others; respect the laws of the state; and be wise stewards of their resources. Members of the university community are to refrain from alcohol, marijuana, or tobacco on campus or at university-sponsored events and to refrain from illegal drugs at all times.

The governance of the community is the concern not only of the board of trustees, administration and faculty, but also of students. Undergraduate students are represented on most major committees.

Integration of Faith and Learning

The university embraces the world and its peoples as the creation of God and therefore as the proper province of study and service. Through the pursuit of the knowledge of God and His creation, using the tools of theology, science and the arts, the university seeks to shape the thought, character and lifestyle of its students and prepare them for meaningful vocations, graduate school and service to the world.

The university relates Christian faith to academic disciplines and career preparation in a variety of ways. Faculty members are encouraged to connect their academic work to the faith and life of the church and to be available to students for personal conversation and counseling.

Confession of Faith

Fresno Pacific University is sponsored by the Pacific District Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. The school is deeply and intentionally rooted in the Anabaptist movement. As such, it is committed to Anabaptist and evangelical ideals, including the reconciling power of God's Spirit, an emphasis on voluntary discipleship, obedience to Jesus as Lord, the global mission of the church, the church as the community of the new covenant, mutual care and holistic concern for members of Christ's body and the call to address, in pastoral and prophetic fashion, the peace and justice concerns of the world. The theological position of the university is represented in the following tenets, as expressed in the Confession of Faith of the US Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. Whereas Fresno Pacific University enthusiastically embraces this theological tradition, it seeks to do so with charity and humility. In keeping with an expressed desire of its sponsoring body in the early 1980s to "broaden the base" of the institution, the university has deliberately chosen to include students, faculty, staff, administrators and board members from diverse Christian traditions, who at the same time are supportive of its distinctives and goals. This represents an attempt to embody the New Testament notion of ecumenicity, rooted in a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and marked by a fervent commitment to a particular core of beliefs and behaviors by people from greatly diverse races, ethnicities and nationalities. Accordingly, Fresno Pacific University stresses the following convictions in guiding and shaping the educational community.


We believe in the one true God, the source of all life, who reigns over all things as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and who lovingly cares for all creation. God the Father planned the redemption of humanity and sent Jesus Christ the Son to be the Savior of the world. Jesus proclaimed the reign of God, bringing good news to the poor and triumphing over sin through His obedient life, death, and resurrection. God the Holy Spirit empowers believers with new life, indwells them, and unites them in one body.

Revelation of God

We believe God has made Himself known to all people. Beginning with creation and culminating in Jesus Christ, God has revealed Himself in the Old and New Testaments. All Scripture is inspired by God, and is the authoritative guide for faith and practice. We interpret the Scripture in the church community as guided by the Holy Spirit.

Creation and Humanity

We believe God created the heavens and the earth, and they were good. Humans, God's crowning act, were created in the image of God. Sin has alienated humanity from the Creator and creation, but God offers redemption and reconciliation through Jesus Christ.

Sin and Evil

We believe sin is individual and corporate opposition to God's good purposes and leads to physical and spiritual death.


We believe God saves all people who put their faith in Jesus Christ. By His obedient life, sacrificial death and victorious resurrection, Christ delivers people from the tyranny of sin and death and redeems them for eternal life in the age to come. All creation eagerly awaits its liberation from bondage into the freedom of the glory of God's children.

Nature of the Church

We believe the church is the covenant community called by God through Jesus Christ to live a life of discipleship and witness as empowered by the Holy Spirit. The local church gathers regularly for worship, fellowship and accountability, and to discern, develop and exercise gifts for ministry.

Mission of the Church

We believe the mission of the church is to make disciples of all nations by calling people to repent, to be baptized, and to love God and neighbor by sharing the good news and doing acts of love and compassion.

Christian Baptism

We believe baptism by water is a public sign that a person has repented of sin, received forgiveness, died with Christ and has been raised to new life through the power of the Holy Spirit. Baptism is also a public declaration of a believer's incorporation into the body of Christ as expressed in the local church.

Lord's Supper

We believe that in obedience to Christ, the church observes the Lord's Supper as a remembrance of His atoning death and to celebrate forgiveness, new life, and the fellowship and unity of all believers.


We believe Jesus calls people who have experienced the new birth to follow Him in a costly life of service to God. The power of the Holy Spirit transforms believers from the unrighteous pattern of the present age into a life of joyful obedience with God's people.

Marriage, Singleness and Family

We believe that singleness and marriage are honored by God and should be blessed by the church. God instituted marriage as a lifelong covenant between a man and a woman for the purpose of companionship, encouragement, sexual intimacy, and procreation. Children are a gift from God and should be nurtured by parents in the ways of God.

Society and State

We believe that God instituted the state to promote justice and to maintain law and order. Christians' primary allegiance is to Christ's kingdom. Believers are called to witness against injustice, exercise social responsibility, and obey all laws that do not conflict with the Word of God.

Love, Peacemaking and Reconciliation

We believe that God in Christ reconciles people to Himself and to one another, making peace through the cross. As peacemakers we alleviate suffering, reduce strife, promote justice, and work to end violence and war, that others may see a demonstration of Christ's love. As in other Peace Churches, many of us choose not to participate in the military, but rather in alternative forms of service.

The Sanctity of Human Life

We believe that God is creator and giver of life, and highly values each person. Procedures designed to take human life are wrong. We oppose all attitudes, which devalue human life, especially the defenseless lives of the unborn, disabled, poor, aging and dying.


We believe the universe and everything in it belong to God the Creator and that we have been entrusted by God to manage its resources. All God's gifts, including money, time, abilities and influence, are to be received with thanksgiving, used responsibly, and shared generously.

The Lord's Day, Work and Rest

We believe God's act of creation provides the model for work and rest. In work, we use our abilities to glorify God and serve others. In rest, we express thanks for God's provision and trust in God's sustaining grace. In worship, we gather to commemorate the resurrection through worship, instruction, fellowship, and service.

Christianity and Other Faiths

We believe God's atoning work in Jesus is the only means of reconciling people with God. God has not left any without a witness to the Creator's goodness and power. Christians treat people of other faiths with respect, but urgently proclaim Christ as the only way of salvation.

Christ's Final Triumph

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will return triumphantly at the end of this age to destroy all evil powers, condemn all who have rejected Christ to eternal punishment, and unite believers with Christ to reign forever with God in glory.

The official Confession of the University is the Detailed Version of the Confession of Faith of the US Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, which can be found at: http://www.usmb.org/menus/Confession-of-Faith-Detailed-Version.html

The Fresno Pacific Idea

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 that leads 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 people 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 is a Christian University

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 is a Community of Learners

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 alienate.

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 society.

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 members.

Fresno Pacific University is Prophetic

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.

Statements Of Compliance

University Catalog Student Responsibility

Students are responsible for becoming familiar with the information presented in this catalog and subsequent catalogs, and for knowing and observing all policies, procedures, requirements and deadlines related to their participation in the university community.

This responsibility includes, but is not limited to, academic requirements and general rules listed in this catalog. Regulations will not be waived or exceptions granted based on a student's lack of knowledge regarding Fresno Pacific University's policies or procedures. Additional policies and procedures can be found in the student handbooks and in published school/center policies.

Policies may change in subsequent catalogs. Degree and program requirements will not change unless students interrupt their studies or exceed the time limitations noted elsewhere in the catalog.

Information Subject to Change without Notice

The course offerings, fees, policies and all other subjects covered in this publication may be changed without notice. Users of this publication should contact Fresno Pacific University representatives to learn the current status of matters covered herein. Fresno Pacific University assumes no responsibility for any damages that may be claimed to have resulted from such changes.

Limits of Liability

The university assumes no liability, and hereby expressly negates the same, for failure to provide or delay in providing educational or related services or facilities, or for any other failure or delay in performance arising out of or due to causes beyond the reasonable control of the university, which causes include, without limitation, power failure, fire, strikes by university employees or others, damage by the elements and acts of public authorities. The university will, however, exert reasonable efforts, when in its judgment it is appropriate to do so, to provide comparable or substantially equivalent services, facilities or performance; but its inability or failure to do so shall not subject it to liability.

Non-Discrimination and Title IX Compliance

The university maintains an Unlawful Harassment, Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy referred to in this section as ("Policy").

In keeping with its long-standing tradition and policies, and with applicable state and federal law, Fresno Pacific University does not discriminate in the operation of or access to the University's programs on the basis of the following protected classes: race; color, national origin (including possessing a driver's license issued under Vehicle Code § 12801.9), or ancestry; age; physical or mental disability, perceived disability or perceived potential disability; sex, gender, pregnancy or perceived pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or medical conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding; medical condition; citizenship; military and veteran status; genetic characteristics; political affiliation; or any other classifications protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws and ordinances.   

Fresno Pacific University is governed by the Pacific District Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. The University is deeply and intentionally rooted in the Anabaptist Christian tradition. The University has developed a Statement of Faith consistent with the denomination (also referred to as a Confession of Faith) and the Fresno Pacific Idea documents which reflect the University's interpretation of what it means to be a community of learners committed to a distinctive vision of Christian higher education. The theological position of the University is represented in its Statement of Faith, as expressed in the Confession of Faith of the U.S. Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches.  As a Christian university, FPU administers the Policy in alignment with the University's Statement of Faith, the FPU Idea and applicable exemptions for religious institutions afforded by state and federal law. Nothing in the Policy is intended to limit or otherwise conflict with the University's exercise of rights as a religious institution and/or under applicable religious exemptions. 

The intent of the Policy is to provide for the University to act consistently with its legal obligations under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 ("Title IX"), Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 ("USERRA"), the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title I and Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") of 1990 and as amended by ADA Amendments Act of 2008, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 ("IRCA"), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and other applicable federal and state anti-discrimination laws. FPU recognizes that the law in these areas may change. To the extent this Policy conflicts with applicable federal or state law, FPU will act in compliance with law. 

The Policy, in full, can be found here.

Fresno Pacific University's Title IX Coordinator is the designated agent of the University with primary responsibility for coordinating University's Title IX compliance efforts. The Title IX Coordinator's responsibilities are critical to the development, implementation, and monitoring of meaningful efforts to comply with Title IX legislation, regulation, and case law. In broad terms, the Title IX Coordinator oversees monitoring of University Policy in relation to Title IX law developments; implementation of grievance procedures, including notification, investigation and disposition of complaints; provision of educational materials and training for the campus community; conducting and/or coordinating investigations of complaints received pursuant to Title IX; ensuring a fair and neutral process for all parties; and monitoring all other aspects of the University's Title IX compliance.

The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the University's Policy, to receive complaints from members of the university community, and to monitor the institution's compliance with state and federal non-discrimination laws and regulations:

Pam Schock

Title IX Coordinator
1717 S. Chestnut Avenue Fresno, CA 93702

Steinert Campus Center, Room 135
Telephone: 559-453-7115

Solomon Amendment

The university has a long-standing policy of pacifism in its affiliation with the Pacific District Conference of Mennonite Brethren churches and thus is not required to comply with the Solomon Amendment.

Equality in Athletics

A report is available to students, potential students and the public, upon request, which includes information regarding the number of males and females enrolled and the male and female athletic participation rates, expenditures and benefits.

Security and Fire Safety Report

Each year a report that contains three years of campus crime and fire statistics and campus security policy statements is published on the university website. A 60-day crime log and a fire log are open to the public and available from the campus safety department.

Drug-Free Policy

The unlawful manufacture, possession, use or distribution of alcohol and illegal drugs by students or employees on university property or at university activities is prohibited. Rules are spelled out in faculty, staff and student handbooks.

Voter Registration

The university encourages all students and employees to register to vote. Voter registration links are given on the university website and California registration forms are available in the Registrar's Office, the Student Life Office and at each regional center.

Privacy and Access to Records

Fresno Pacific University complies with FERPA, as amended, and its implementing regulations issued, which provide students with safeguards for the accuracy, completeness and privacy of educational records. Annual notice is given to students summarizing their rights under this law. Copies of Fresno Pacific University's Statement of Policies and Procedures under the FERPA are available on the Registrar's Office website at www.fresno.edu/registrar. Under federal policy, students have the right to view the documents in their file; the university does not provide or allow the making of copies of these documents.