Pursuing Calling Together Since 1902

PLNU is a Christian liberal arts institution established by Phineas Bresee, primary founder of the Church of the Nazarene. Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), PLNU is an NCAA DII school with 11 athletics teams to cheer on and a Christ-centered community committed to whole-person education and helping students fully become who they’re called to be.

  • Top 3 Surf Colleges Ranking
  • Top 10 West Ranking by Christian Universities Online 2017
  • Top 20 Among all universities in regional universities west for 2019
  • Top 3 Best Christian College in California infographic

Our Mission

PLNU 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.

University Profile

In addition to more than 60 undergraduate areas of study, PLNU offers graduate, doctoral, and undergraduate degree completion programs, serving over 4,600 students across several campuses throughout San Diego County and Bakersfield, California.



  • Fall 2023 enrollment: 3,210 (2,732 traditional, 478 non-traditional)
  • 66% female; 34% male
  • 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • 66% of incoming freshmen graduate within four years
  • Average incoming freshman HS GPA: 3.90
  • 92% of students receive financial assistance
  • 86% of freshmen return for their sophomore year
  • 67% of students live on campus
  • 40% of traditional undergrad students are racially diverse
  • 74% of incoming freshmen graduate within six years


  • Fall 2023 enrollment: 1,336
  • 71% female; 29% men
  • 55% of graduate students are racially diverse
  • 72% of students receive financial assistance

For more statistical information, please visit Institutional Research.

A Meaningful Christian Community

Students come from all over the U.S. — and the world — to form a shared university community.

Learn More About the PLNU Community

Thoughtful and Engaged Academics

PLNU students have studied and worked in over 50 different countries and on every continent.

More About Academic Quality

Intentional Career Development

Since 2005, 26 student films/TV programs have won 27 awards and appeared at 52 film festivals.

Read More About Career Support
Located just minutes from the heart of downtown San Diego, there's plenty to explore at PLNU!
Balboa Park in the spring leaves you with a sense of wonder.
Winter weather in San Diego still allows students to enjoy downtown adventures.
The "finest city" looks good in any light, but there is something special about that sunset glow.



About San Diego

PLNU is located in the safe San Diego neighborhood of Point Loma. San Diego is the eighth largest city in America and the second largest in California. It is culturally rich and full of all sorts of intrigue.

Did you know there are more than 30 museums in San Diego? Many of those are located within Balboa Park, the nation’s largest “urban cultural” park. The city is also home to the world-famous San Diego Zoo, the Padres, some of the best beaches in the world, and an airport adjacent to a thriving downtown (which is a mere four miles from PLNU’s campus).

San Diego is an exciting, growing economic hub. It’s home to a highly educated population, full of many individuals pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors.

A few key industries:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Biotechnology
  • Cyber Security
  • Economic Development
  • Emerging Technologies
  • International Trade
  • Life Sciences
  • Manufacturing
  • National Defense and Military
  • Research
  • Sports and Outdoor Lifestyle
  • Tourism 

Reasons to Love San Diego

  • 10 Coolest Cities in America (Forbes)
  • Top 10 College Cities & Towns in America (American Institute for Economic Research)
  • One of the Best Places to Launch a Startup (Forbes)
  • No. 1 City to Escape Winter (Livability.com)
  • Top 10 of America’s Thriving Cities (The Daily Beast)
  • One of the Happiest Cities in the U.S. (Gallup)
  • Top 10 Best Weather Cities (Farmer’s Almanac)