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About ARCU

The Association of Reformed Colleges and Universities (ARCU) is an association of institutions committed to embodying a biblical Reformed vision of comprehensive higher education. Its purpose is 1) to advance the common interests and vision of these institutions within the landscape of both North American and global higher education, 2) to facilitate cooperation on educational projects of common interest, 3) to provide a venue for mutual encouragement among leaders of these institutions, and 4) to deepen an understanding on member campuses of the principles that undergird a Reformed philosophy of higher education.

Educational Creed

In a world of diverse religious traditions and influences on life there is a need for a Reformed understanding of God's kingdom for learning. To that end the following educational creed will be the confessional basis for ARCU.

1. In harmony with the ecumenical creeds and the historic Reformed confessions, we affirm:

God has manifested himself in creation, in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, and in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.

Holy Scripture, God's own word, is of infallible divine authority, without error in all its teaching. It is to be believed in all that it affirms, obeyed in all that it requires, and embraced in all that it promises.

2. The origin, meaning, and purpose of creation, including humanity, consist of covenantal dependence upon the Creator, rootedness in Jesus Christ, and life through the Holy Spirit.

3. Because human life is religion, the calling of humanity always to acknowledge its Creator entails that life, including academic pursuits, unfolds itself since Adam's fall either obediently as service in Christ to the God of the Scriptures or disobediently as bondage to the idols of the sinful human heart.

4. In making possible true knowledge and in giving rise to a knowing activity of the human heart enlightened through the Word and by the Spirit, the Christian religion plays a decisive role in the understanding of everyday experience and theoretical pursuits.

5. Christian scholarship, in obedient response to the God-given cultural mandate, may explore all created reality and should promote an integrative understanding and faithful ordering of everyday life in the human community.

6. Although, through God's grace, scholarship which rejects God's Word as the ordering principle of life provides valuable insights into the structure of created reality, nevertheless, faithful Christian scholarship calls for reformation of all knowledge and instruction by letting Scripture direct thought and by bringing it into obedience to Jesus Christ.

7. Academic freedom, made possible by voluntary submission of the entire Christian academic community to the Word of God, must be protected against internal constraints as well as from external domination of non-academic institutions.



The name of the organization shall be the Association of Reformed Colleges and Universities.


The purpose of the organization is to cooperate and consult together on matters of mutual concern and interest in the work of Reformed Christian higher education.


Membership is open to colleges, universities, and graduate schools that stand in the Reformed tradition, who are interested in promoting the objectives of the organization, and whose governing boards have endorsed the Educational Creed of ARCU.


Each member institution shall be entitled to three representatives, one of whom shall normally be its president. At the annual meeting these representatives shall appoint a rotating executive committee by designating the institutional host of the next Symposium. Those so appointed shall serve terms of three years and will not be eligible for re-appointment until their institution again hosts the Symposium. This committee shall consist of the institutional representatives of the past, current and future Symposium host campuses, together with the executive director. The chair will be a member institution president. Normally, the chair will be the president of the immediate past Symposium host institution, the vice-chair the president of the current Symposium host institution and the president of the upcoming host institution a member at large. These officers will serve from the end of the business meeting at which they are appointed until the end of the next business meeting.(for a more detailed discussion of the Executive Committee see the document, Executive Committee, approved by ARCU April 22, 2002, and updated by the amendments in the ARCU Minutes of Feb 26, 2010 and Nov 6, 2010)


The organization shall be convened at least once annually for a business meeting, usually in conjunction either with a larger conference which it plans and sponsors or at celebratory events at particular campuses (e.g. anniversaries of school foundings, presidential inaugurations). If a meeting is in conjunction with a conference, it will normally involve faculty from the participating institutions and may also include sessions for the presidents, chief academic officers or other administrators.


Each institution shall have one vote. Decisions of the organization will be made by majority vote, normally of those member institutions represented at the meetings.





For information about ARCU or the Lectureship, please contact Carl E. Zylstra, Executive Director zylstra@reformedcolleges.org

320 West Devitt Drive
Sioux Falls, SD 57108

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