Mission & Vision

Mission Statement

Point Loma Nazarene University exists to provide higher education in a vital Christian community where minds are engaged and challenged, character is modeled and formed, and service is an expression of faith. Being of Wesleyan heritage, we strive to be a learning community where grace is foundational, truth is pursued, and holiness is a way of life. 

Mission Context

The university, established in 1902 by the Church of the Nazarene, offers quality liberal arts and professional programs on its main campus in San Diego and select graduate and professional programs throughout the denomination’s southwest educational region. 

Vision Statement

Point Loma Nazarene University will be a nationally prominent Christian university and a leading Wesleyan voice in higher education and the church – known for excellence in academic preparation, wholeness in personal development, and faithfulness to mission.

The university will be recognized for:

  • Spiritual vitality centered on the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
  • A robust scholarly community that promotes excellence in teaching, research, and service.
  • A collegial community characterized by civility and respect, where all members are valued and encouraged to fulfill their potential.
  • A distinctive undergraduate curriculum and co-curricular experience that offer a model in higher education.
  • Exceptional undergraduate programs preparing students for success in graduate school and their professions.
  • Select graduate programs of quality and professional relevance.
  • Participation and influence in professional and academic organizations at the national level.
  • Superior student retention and graduation rates.
  • A thoughtful articulation and consistent embodiment of a Wesleyan approach to faithful living.
  • Effective efforts in the development of pastoral and lay leadership in collaboration with the church.
  • An exemplary model of student engagement for service to community and church.
  • A source of expertise, resource, and involvement for the university’s surrounding communities.

Core Values

  • Excellence in teaching and learning – Teaching and learning constitute the central and defining activities of Point Loma Nazarene University. Faculty believe that effective teaching includes maintaining a vital relationship with one’s discipline, establishing a positive connection to students, and building bridges among the students as a community of learning with the academic material.
  • An intentionally Christian community – We want students to be participants in a community of learning who intentionally think and behave as Christians in all of their endeavors. Through many curricular and co-curricular activities, PLNU builds a community where women and men are challenged to explore ways to align their hearts and minds to that of Christ.
  • Faithfulness to our Nazarene heritage and a Wesleyan theological perspective – While working cooperatively with the whole church of Jesus Christ, we are committed to maintaining and celebrating our denominational ties with the Church of the Nazarene and embracing the distinctives of that tradition.
  • The development of students as whole persons – A complete education prepares women and men to live full lives that integrate the pursuit of knowledge with beliefs, values, and actions. Holistic learning prepares students to make a positive difference in the world.
  • A global perspective and experience – Our students should be equipped to become “world citizens.” The University provides academic coursework, international study, field research, and ministry experiences that aid students in becoming conversant with the complexities of life in the global community.
  • Ethnic and cultural diversity – We recruit women and men from a variety of cultural, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds as students, faculty, and staff. A willingness to hear and learn from many diverse voices is foundational to a Christian liberal arts education and prepares our students to become truly educated people, equipped to live in a diverse society and world. We therefore actively pursue ideas, practices, and relationships that honor diversity and encourage engagement with others different from one’s self in order to grow in community with and be reconciled to one another.
  • The stewardship of resources – We are caretakers of all that has been entrusted to the University (people, facilities, money, and knowledge). We are to use these resources in a way that reflects the purposes of God and protects the goodness of God’s creation.
  • Service as an expression of faith – We are stewards, not owners, of our time, talent, and selves. Part of our call as Christians is to serve the world, working to better the condition of humankind both locally and globally.

Strategic Priorities

PLNU's Strategic Priorities identifies the strategic priorities necessary to expand PLNU's capacity to provide the kind of education that will prepare our students to impact the world for good.