University Snapshot

Main Campus

Welcome to Grand Canyon University (GCU), Arizona's premier private Christian university. For more than 65 years, our Phoenix campus has been the gateway to success for countless scholars and industry leaders. Our commitment to our Christian worldview is carried out in a loving way that provides greater unity across the university, and our foundational documents help articulate those beliefs and who we are as a community. With acres of scenic grounds and outstanding facilities, we invite the next generation of students and working professionals to enjoy the complete university experience.

GCU's Mission and Vision


Grand Canyon University is a premier Christian University, educating people to lead and serve.


Grand Canyon University prepares learners to become global citizens, critical thinkers, effective communicators and responsible leaders by providing an academically challenging, values-based curriculum from the context of our Christian heritage.

Mission Explanation

Since Grand Canyon University's (GCU) founding in 1949, the University has been a faith-based institution. It is the University's position that academic quality and integrity are the primary purposes of the University as evidenced in the Mission Statement:

"Grand Canyon University prepares learners to become global citizens, critical thinkers, effective communicators, and responsible leaders by providing an academically challenging, values-based curriculum from the context of our Christian heritage."

The manifestation of the Mission throughout the institution is much deeper, so the following Mission Explanation articulates the University's purpose, values, plans, and institutional priorities featuring students at the center. These explanations demonstrate GCU's Mission application to academics, co-curricular, and community. Each competency has been expounded upon to provide a consistent understanding of the extent of these competencies:

Global Citizen: 
One who learns with empathy, avoiding ethnocentrism and embracing the reality that people are different with different perspectives on history, religion, value-systems, and many other aspects of life and living. Global citizenship means that by understanding others one can understand more about oneself.

  • Academic: Becoming global citizens entails emphasizing the value and dignity of others as well as the need to bear personal responsibility for the welfare of the larger global society in which we live. Students develop their awareness through examination of the many facets of global society, working to relate to, understand, and communicate with cultures that are different from their own. Selected artifacts in General Education and the program major demonstrate students' competency in global citizenship.
  • Co-curricular: The formation of global citizens begins with a campus-wide commitment to live out faith within the context of a community marked by mutual respect and concern for one another. Students learn to work together to serve the needs of the less fortunate in the surrounding community and around the world. GCU students, faculty, and staff participate in global missions to developing countries, welcome and support international students in the campus and online communities, and engage sister communities around the world when appropriate.
  • Community: The University is committed to modelling the responsible citizenship it expects of its student body and alumni. As a university, this calling shapes the ways we think and act within academic disciplines and within both diverse local and foreign communities. GCU's role in a multicultural society is demonstrated through discipline-specific efforts in impoverished nations, such as nursing missions, as well as the University's local efforts to positively impact the community, such as tutoring individual students and thus improving the rating of public elementary and high schools in the surrounding neighborhood.

Critical Thinker: 
One who works to master clarity and logic in thought by asking questions and pursuing knowledge to avoid delusion and blind acceptance of ideas, to reduce vulnerability, and to work to find solutions rather than dwell on problems.

  • Academic: GCU's basic strategy for developing students' critical thinking skills centers on the concept of a worldview, which refers to the complex network of assumptions that shape thought and practice. Befitting the degree level, students demonstrate their ability to think critically through analytic reasoning, critical evaluation in the curriculum, and/or synthesizing current or creating new research to promote a culture of scholarship.
  • Co-curricular: The University is committed to the pursuit of understanding and affirms that genuine knowledge may be derived from a wide variety of sources, including human reason and introspection, scientific investigation, and divine revelation. The University community engages in critical thinking through governance opportunities aimed at dealing with current challenges and planning for the future, participating in scholarly events meant to challenge the community's current ideas, and analyzing data for continuous improvement in student learning, operational efficiencies, student engagement, and student affairs.
  • Community: GCU participates in thinking critically about the role higher education institutions have in the world with regards to their effect on individual students, families' welfare, the knowledge collective, and the economy. GCU engages with regulators, the Mayor, Governor, and Arizona Legislature on higher education issues and strives to advocate for student access, choice in degrees based on traditional academia as well as current/future market conditions, and the importance of all institutional types. To support these efforts, GCU offers opportunities in which the public can engage in events that evoke critical thinking around the community and academic discourse like lecture series, competitions, and town halls. Through these venues, the University goes outside its virtual walls to create a constant exchange of information with scholarly peers, external communities, and the public.

Effective Communicator:
One who works toward perfecting his or her professional communication skills, is cognizant of how communication impacts others intellectually and emotionally, and is challenged to understand and ethically employ traditional and innovative modalities.

  • Academic: Communication depends substantially on clarity of thought and the ability to present ideas logically and coherently. But effective communication requires a capacity to interact with others in a way that accounts for the complexities of human nature and interpersonal relationships. GCU urges students to emulate this basic strategy when engaging others' ideas and understandings. Students demonstrate their ability to effectively communicate through writing effectiveness and writing mechanics across the students' chosen program. Students use technology to demonstrate competence in mediated communication, connect globally to present an "e-self" that is sensitive to audience and context, and analyze and interpret visual rhetoric.
  • Co-curricular: GCU regards humility to be a crucial virtue and the appropriate starting point for effective communication. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to engage one another in accordance with the wisdom of the New Testament which teaches that one should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry (James 1:19). GCU provides internal community members the opportunity to participate in the governance of the University and for their respective viewpoints to be heard; ensures there are multiple channels through which the University apprises its internal constituencies of academic and operational policies, processes, and updates; and provides support through venues and resources for academic discourse.
  • Community: As a university, we strive to communicate the essence of the institution today and the vision of its future. GCU is committed to respectful dialogue and charitable engagement in all matters including engagement in conversation with the larger academic community by sharing ideas and best practices; to transparent communication of current status, student learning outcomes, and goal achievement of the University; and to ongoing discourse about the important role the University plays in the local and national economy as well as in the public and common good.

Responsible Leader: 
One who is grounded in the reality of the world, accepts the consequences of choice, and strives unselfishly to help others meet their highest potential.

  • Academic: The University embraces the traditional Christian conviction that education relates to the whole person and should assist individuals in finding and living with purpose. Consequently, GCU strives to produce graduates who are committed to living and leading in ways that bear a transformative influence on the families, organizations, businesses, and communities in which they are members.
  • Co-curricular: GCU prepares students with the knowledge, skills, and virtues necessary for service as servant leaders within their respective vocations and within the larger society. Through responsible leadership, faculty, students, and staff support each other academically, spiritually, emotionally, physically, and financially through opportunities to lead and learn in mentorship programs, living and learning communities, ministry, and health and wellness programs.
  • Community: In order to model responsible leadership to its students, as an institution GCU has distinguished itself in the ways it wisely manages, distributes, and employs the many resources God has provided. This can be seen in University efforts to hold tuition to affordable levels so the larger society can access higher education, to create well-paying jobs not only for students but for those in the expanded community, to care for community resources that contribute to public good, to provide opportunities for the free exchange of ideas, and to give charitably from the heart.

The Mission must be seen from the context of the Christian Heritage: 

  • Academic: The University educates students from a distinctively Christian perspective and prepares them for careers marked by kindness, service, and integrity. Students show their understanding and expression of Christian Worldview through the General Education curriculum and student learning artifacts throughout the major.
  • Co-curricular: As an institution, GCU values every student and employee entrusted to its care. As a missional campus, GCU welcomes students from all walks of life to seek truth and to find their purpose in an environment shaped by Christian love and compassion. Students have rich co-curricular discussion with other students, faculty, and staff through scheduled campus ministries, services, spiritual life opportunities, and life groups; or through informal mentorships and peer relationships.
  • Community: The University endeavors to create an environment characterized by love for neighbors and concern for the world we live in. The internal GCU community demonstrates this commitment through local and global outreach such as student-run ministries, GCU sponsored ministries, college missions, and co-curricular opportunities.

These critical attributes have been determined to be essential to student success throughout their educational journey and after graduation; they are measured annually through GCU's Mission-Critical assessment, as well as programmatic and Co-curricular assessment initiatives. At GCU, we attend to the scriptural imperative: "If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth." (Numbers 30:2 ESV)


Take a Virtual Tour of GCU Campus

Be sure to take a virtual tour of the GCU campus from the comfort of your own home. You can take a GCU LIVE Tour that is led by a personal tour guide, or virtually visit campus via 360-degree views. This tour will take you throughout the campus showing you the highlights of what makes GCU one of the nicest college campuses in the country.

GCU Campus Virtual Tour


Button to play video: The College Tour  - GCU - Full Episode

Watch GCU’s episode of The College Tour for an in-depth peek into life at GCU.

Get More Information

Loading Form

University Growth

GCU is growing rapidly with plans for continued expansion. Since 2009, we have invested millions into the university to improve the quality of academic offerings and student experiences. This infrastructure includes new classrooms, laboratories, libraries, student support centers, residence halls and recreational facilities. In fall 2016, we welcomed a record number of students to our Phoenix campus and we plan to expand our student population and campus facilities going forward.

Our university also continues to accommodate our growing online and evening student communities. We have tens of thousands of online students attending class from across the globe. In turn, we are constantly refining our digital platforms to deliver GCU's outstanding campus experience to virtual settings. We are also building additional campus locations to help full-time and evening students attend class closer to home.

"New" is infused throughout GCU's growing campus. In fall 2016, we finished construction on a 173,447-square-feet, state-of-the-art engineering building, designed to accommodate our growing number of students studying in STEM majors. We also opened three new on-campus apartment buildings for upperclassmen. As part of our initiative to add 10 new sports facilities to campus in the next two years, we unveiled the brand new, 6,000-seat GCU Stadium in fall 2016, home to our NCAA Division I soccer teams. In 2017, we also proudly unveiled the Jerry Colangelo Museum, honoring the accomplishments of sports icon Jerry Colangelo with photos and mementos.

GCU has also expanded outside of campus to include new properties. The GCU Hotel is located close to campus and offers affordable room rates and renovated accommodations - the perfect place for families to stay when visiting their student. Canyon 49 Grill, located in the hotel, offers the perfect local hangout, with delicious food, family-friendly atmosphere and plenty of Lope spirit and hospitality. Explore the GCU Hotel by visiting; click on Dining to browse Canyon 49 Grill's menus. The Grand Canyon Beverage Company, also located in the hotel and on campus, offers gourmet beverages, including coffee, tea and specialty drinks. Find out more by visiting

This is the college experience I dreamed about. I'm in the program helping me work towards my dream career, and I am surrounded by people who are caring and very open within a Christian campus. I would recommend Grand Canyon University to my friends because of the quality of the programs, scholarships and how family oriented this University is.

Justin Atkins B.A. in Christian Studies with an Emphasis in Pastoral Studies

Student Experience at GCU

At GCU, you'll find everything you need to enjoy a full college experience, from NCAA Division I athletics to suite-style residence halls, popular dining options, fun events and clubs and organizations. Traditional, online and evening students are equally valued members of our community and receive full access to GCU's campus resources and events. Explore our campus by taking a free tour or signing up for Discover GCU.

View Campus Events

Grand Canyon Education, Inc. Partnership

Grand Canyon University has selected Grand Canyon Education, Inc. as a partner to support the university’s students, faculty and staff. This partnership furthers the mission of the institution by providing opportunities to increase efficiencies by utilizing resources strategically that further the teaching and assessment of student learning, as well as the overall student experience. Grand Canyon University Board of Trustees selected this partnership based on the aligned goals of both organizations, as well as the integrity and ethics of both organizations. For feedback regarding this partnership, please contact

GCU Athletics & GCU Club Sports

GCU is home to 21 NCAA Division I athletics teams, including basketball, soccer, baseball, softball, track and field, golf, volleyball and more. Our mission is to develop good Christian role models who embody the highest standards of excellence in all aspects of their lives, from the classroom to the court. In addition to our Division I teams, we offer other athletics programs, including intramural sports as well as dance and cheer. Follow our teams and learn more about our Division I athletics programs by visiting

GCU also proudly offers a variety club sports teams for men and women, including ice hockey, lacrosse, rugby, tennis, soccer, golf and more. Our club sports teams offer a competitive alternative to our Division I athletics teams while still competing at the national level. Learn more about club sports by visiting

Message from Our President

Grand Canyon University is committed to excellence - striving to help students become global citizens, critical thinkers, effective communicators and responsible leaders. By elevating higher education and making a private education affordable, we create new opportunities to make quality education accessible and contribute to the future.

At GCU, we think about the future every day. Ours is an atmosphere of constant transformation and innovation. We offer more than 200 academic programs across nine colleges and next-generation online learning platforms. Our visionaries collaborate with industry leaders to develop programs in high-demand fields such as STEM, business, education and healthcare. Unique degree specializations also provide opportunities to help students gain a competitive advantage in tomorrow's workforce. To further uphold our excellence, our executive leadership and faculty members are academic professionals committed to helping you get the most from your education.

As GCU's programs expand, our thriving campus continues to grow rapidly. We expect our campus population to grow to 25,000 students within the next five years and have invested approximately $1 billion in campus and academic infrastructure, such as top-ranked residence halls and resort-style swimming pools, a new high-tech engineering building and labs, GCU Stadium, Brazell Field at GCU Ballpark and more. Our successful Division I and club athletics are also a major draw for students, alumni and members of the greater Phoenix metro area.

Within all of our offerings, our faith remains our cornerstone. GCU's Christian worldview is integrated into all we do, both in the classroom and beyond. We invite students to grow spiritually through our worship services and take part in local and global outreach opportunities. We promote an open dialogue on faith to challenge students to adopt principles of service, morality, compassion and generosity. Academic integrity is also at the heart of our values. We help our students develop practices that support and embrace integrity as a personal, lifelong commitment.

Throughout your experience with GCU, I encourage you to ask insightful questions, explore ideas and produce original work that demonstrates your level of competence and understanding. Make a lasting commitment to professional ethics and achieving honest, well-deserved success. Apply our principles wherever life takes you and add to the value of your GCU degree.

Wishing you the best in your academic endeavors,

Brian Mueller
Grand Canyon University

Our Leadership
Our executive leadership and faculty members are academic professionals committed to helping you get the most from your education.

Loading item


The Lope spirit stretches beyond Phoenix. Discover our other campus locations.

View Locations

GCU Campus Map

GCU's main campus is located in the heart of Phoenix. 

View Campus Map

Christian Worldview

Loading item


Graduates of GCU will be able to express aspects of the Christian worldview, which affect human value and dignity, ethical decision-making, academic disciplines and vocation.

"For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." (1 Timothy 2:5)

Global Citizens

Loading item


Global citizens learn with empathy, avoid ethnocentrism and embrace the reality that people are different. They appreciate a range of perspectives on history, religion, value systems and many other aspects of life. Global citizenship means that by understanding others, we learn to understand ourselves.

"The same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him." (Romans 10:12b)

Effective Communicators

Loading item


Effective communicators excel in language proficiency, understand how the written word impacts others intellectually and emotionally, and are challenged to employ new venues and modes of communication.

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord." (Psalm 19:14)

Responsible Leaders

Loading item


Responsible leaders are grounded in the reality of the world, accept the consequences of choice and strive unselfishly to help others meet their highest potential through servant leadership.

"Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant." (Matthew 20:26)

Critical Thinkers

Loading item


Critical thinkers work to master clarity and logic in thought. They ask questions and pursue knowledge to avoid the blind acceptance of ideas, searching for solutions rather than dwelling on problems.

"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)

Scroll back to top