Greek Amphitheater Sunset

About PLNU

What makes a faith-based liberal arts school unique?

As a Christian liberal arts university, PLNU is committed to shaping students’ academic, personal, and spiritual growth. Our mission isn’t simply to prepare you for a career after you graduate — though that’s part of it — but to shape you into a thoughtful, service-minded, and engaged member of your community and world. In short, we are committed to helping you become who you are fully called to be.

We believe this happens when students critically explore various fields of thought across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities — such as our General Education curriculum — with a concern for serving others and an openness to God’s grace at work in our communities, nations, and lives. 

Our faculty members are known for their excellence as teachers and scholars in their respective fields, as well as for their commitment to forming relationships with students built around mentorship and accountability to help students thrive academically, professionally, and spiritually.

At PLNU, the small student-to-teacher ratio of 14:1 really does mean you can have one-on-one relationships with professors who are just as concerned with who you are becoming as they are with how you are performing. We encourage students to move beyond a one-dimensional education and toward one that fosters vigorous and rewarding academic exploration through summer research programs, study abroad programs, graduate field experience projects, honors programs, and more.

Through faculty mentorships and a host of academic opportunities, you’ll develop the perspective, knowledge, wisdom, and experience necessary to pursue a purposeful career after you graduate.

As part of PLNU’s Honors Program, students work closely with a faculty mentor on an in-depth research project and present their findings at a conference during the spring semester.
The summer research program equips students for future research and offers the hope of publishable data by each project’s end.
PLNU students have studied abroad in 50 different countries on every continent except Antarctica in the last 15 years.
MBA students collaborate with senior management in analyzing and solving a real-life business problem.

What makes a faith-based liberal arts school unique?


Why does it matter that PLNU is a faith-based institution?

At PLNU, you will grapple with challenging questions, explore complex theories, hold diverse viewpoints in tension, and engage in civil dialogue within an academic environment grounded in the Christian faith.

However, the growth that takes place in the classroom is only part of your story at PLNU. We also emphasize the importance of engaging others in meaningful relationships and faithful service. This means many of our students reach out to their neighbors — whether they are across the street or across the world — through a commitment to Christ-led service.

From going on short-term mission programs in locations all over the world like Mexico and Uganda, to serving in homeless and tutoring ministries, to worshiping as a community in chapel, the expression of our Christian faith is foundational to PLNU and, we believe, critical for the holistic development of our students’ character and calling.

“What I came to learn and still find true among my colleagues is that they did not feel the need to integrate their faith and their intellectual lives, because the two had never been separated. I found a community that took seriously the command to love God with all of our minds. Thinking about faith seemed as natural to me as praying, as loving those in need, as worshiping together.”

Dr. Karl Martin, Ph.D., Professor of American Literature


We believe God calls all of us to participate in bringing about His Kingdom in a unique and deeply personal way.

Some are called to do this as doctors, scientists, entrepreneurs, and artists. Others are called to do this as missionaries, nurses, theologians, and engineers. Regardless of our particular vocation, God calls all of us to express His love for Him and others in the world by responding to the gifts, circumstances, relationships, and life He has given us.

How will pursuing my calling translate to a career?

At PLNU, when we talk about calling, we mean so much more than a job. What you do professionally will likely change numerous times over your lifetime. You may find yourself in a job that hasn’t even been created yet. But by pursuing a calling aligned with your and values, instead of only focusing on landing a job, you’re discovering the truest version of yourself — one that is self-actualized, confident, and aware of your strengths and shortcomings.

That way, instead of making life about finding the “right job,” you’re well versed in being true to your identity in God in all circumstances. Calling isn’t about what you do; it’s living out who God has called you to be.

Of course, understanding yourself is an important step in pursuing a career path. By taking bold steps to discover who you are called to be, you will begin uncovering your unique strengths and abilities. As you learn more about yourself in a community committed to the same kind of discovery, your career possibilities may become even broader than you originally thought.

At PLNU, we believe in pursuing calling together. Deep and meaningful relationships with your fellow students, professors, staff, and other mentors in a vital Christian community are necessary in discovering who you are called to be. You can’t do it alone. And since finding your calling isn’t a destination, being part of a community full of individuals engaged in that same endeavor will set you up to live out your calling in everything you do and every aspect of your life.

  • 92% of students who graduate do so in 4 years
  • $27,484 average yearly financial aid package graphic
  • Top 5% ranking of colleges Alumni Earnings
  • 90% of undergrad students are offered aid

Is a liberal arts school like PLNU more expensive than other schools?

Practically and financially speaking, it’s important to consider that the sticker price can be misleading. PLNU, along with most other private, liberal arts institutions, offers generous financial aid compared to other schools that may rest on their sticker price alone. There is aid available based on merit, talent, and need. There is also a much greater chance that you will graduate in four years, rather than five or six. Both factors mean you may often find you will pay about the same, or possibly less, out-of-pocket to attend a private college than a public university.

If you choose to go to college, you will invest in an education. We believe it’s a wise purchase in life. In fact, we believe it’s one of the most meaningful purchases you will make. At PLNU, we promise to invest back into you. Our calling is to invest in people — our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community — because we believe in a unique kind of higher education. We believe in a holistic, Christian education that equips you with the knowledge, wisdom, and experience to enrich your faith and live a meaningful life.

The added value students receive from a PLNU education is an even greater investment that continues to pay off within four years and far more into the future! 

  • With non-impacted classes, of the students who graduate from PLNU, more than 90% graduate in four years or less.
  • Among students who take out loans, PLNU students default at an extremely low rate of just 2.7% compared to a national average of about 9.3%, according to College Factual.
  • Students who graduate from PLNU earn a median starting salary of $46,400, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Those median yearly earnings increase to nearly $51,000 within six years of graduating, according to


PLNU has a history, mission, and set of values that make it unlike any other university. Learn more about this faith-based private institution that has been around for more than 100 years.