2019 will be a landmark year for Life Pacific as the institution will transition from college to university status. Although the school has undergone quite a few changes since it was first established as a learning institution in 1923, the change from college to university is bigger than an upgrade in status - it is a dream 96 years in the making that will allow future ministers even greater opportunity to gain the training needed to take the gospel into all the world like never before.
The transition to university status was a sound decision as the college has been working tirelessly to expand academic programs and degree offerings in an effort to better equip and serve students for what God has called them to. In fact, while 8/10 graduates report being involved in Christian service even 10 years after graduation, it is estimated that only 20% of our graduates have gone on to vocational ministry as a career while the other 80% have pursued careers in fields such as education, media, business, and law enforcement. “System-wide innovations, expanding programs, and a biblical university structure will allow Life Pacific University to remain relevant to the changing needs of current and future students while maintaining strict adherence to our mission and values,” said Jim J. Adams, current president of Life Pacific.
Further cementing our status as a university will be the addition of two schools within the university to house our ever-growing degree programs. For example, programs such as the B.A. in Transformational Ministry and M.A. in Theological Studies will fall into the College of Theology and Ministry, whereas other programs such as the B.A. in Communication and M.A. in Strategic Leadership will be housed under the College of Arts and Sciences. These schools will provide a new element of support and accountability as each academic division will be under the direction of an experienced dean who will then report directly to the university provost.
"...you expand the offerings you have so that people can engage in ministry, but they’re being prepared to do ministry in the various fields that God calls them to be."
One overarching concern about the transition is whether or not these changes will cause the school to stray from its original mission to develop biblical scholars. In reference to this concern, Mario Barahona, Senior Pastor at Angelus Temple Hispanic and Life Pacific Board Member, says, “Churches need pastors, they need theologians - absolutely, we do. But by the way, we also need counselors, we need people who know media, executive pastors who are trained in business administration. By us becoming a university and not only having the theological perspectives, but having multiple perspectives, we’ll be able to help much more.” He also goes on to comment that Life Pacific will be “True to our values, true to our mission, but yet in a bigger, expansive circle.”
In essence, Life Pacific is evolving into a biblical university. According to Dr. Michael Salmeier, the former chief academic officer who played a significant role in helping the school reach this milestone, becoming a biblical university is the “...idea that you expand the offerings you have so that people can engage in ministry, but they’re being prepared to do ministry in the various fields that God calls them to be.”
Although many changes are on the horizon, one thing is certain: we will continue to uphold the mission to train and release Spirit-filled, biblically grounded ministers who will excel in whatever field God has called them to serve. No matter what the future may hold, we are now and will continue to be a Christ-centered institution focused on serving Him and others with excellence.