Arizona Christian University moving to Glendale

New campus to open in August 2019
By: 
DARRELL JACKSON, Glendale Star Staff Writer

PHOTO BY DARRELL JACKSON

Workers put up the first banner announcing that Arizona Christian University is moving to the former Thunderbird School of Global Management campus beginning in August 2019.

PHOTO BY DARRELL JACKSON

A temporary banner now shows Arizona Chrisitian Univeristy Events center on the former Thunderbird Global School of Management in Glendale.

PHOTO BY DARRELL JACKSON

All signs on the campus have been changed to show Arizona Christian University on the former Thunderbird Global School of Management in Glendale.

“This is a win, win, win for everyone involved in this deal. This is an exchange agreement where we take over this location and Arizona State University will get our old campus. We get a parcel of the same value with more acreage and the neighbors get what they want which is education on the land.” -- ACU president Len Munsil

After 11 months of discussions, Arizona Christian University has found a new home for its campus and it will be located in the heart of Glendale, as the school takes over the former Thunderbird School of Global Management campus beginning in August 2019.

“This is a win, win, win for everyone involved in this deal,” ACU president Len Munsil said. “This is an exchange agreement, where we take over this location and Arizona State University will get our old campus. We get a parcel of the same value with more acreage and the neighbors get what they want, which is education on the land.”

ACU will take over the 68-acre campus of the former Thunderbird school and bring in its current 800 students and 200 faculty in August of next year.

Munsil said ACU has been evaluating options for a new campus that would provide its students and faculty with improved academic and sports facilities and additional space for classrooms and on-campus housing.

“It is nine miles from our current campus in a tremendous community and for us (it) gives us the opportunity to grow,” Munsil said. “With our growing athletics and performing arts programs, we now have the chance to continue to grow both of them.”

He added that the present ACU campus, as well as dorms, has been at capacity for two years while the school continues to be one of the top ranked colleges in the U.S. News and World Report annual rankings.

“We have been thrilled to be recognized as a ‘Best College’ by U.S. News & World Report for two consecutive years,” Munsil said. “It has been a great indicator that we are building a national reputation for excellence.”

ACU is ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the West, and is the only ranked Arizona school in this category. The category covers colleges and universities from 15 western states, including California, Texas, Oklahoma, Washington and Oregon. Schools were ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence. Of Arizona’s 14 universities, for the second straight year ACU achieved the highest ranking in its category of any university in the state.

When ASU moved Thunderbird School of Global Management to downtown Phoenix last year, residents questioned the viability of getting another school onto the site and Munsil said this was key to the deal.

“While listening to the neighbors, we felt it would be a perfect fit for them as well as ACU,” Munsil said. “Again, this is a win for ACU, a win for ASU and a win for the neighbors.”

ACU is a private, non-profit, Christian university in Phoenix with a wide variety of majors and areas of study preparing students for successful careers, but also remains committed to its vision of transforming culture with biblical truth. All students are taught through a biblically-integrated, general education curriculum called "The Core." Spiritual development is integrated within the university experience where all campus students receive a minor in biblical studies, attend chapel twice a week, and complete spiritual formation and service hours each semester.

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