Arizona Christian University relocating from Phoenix to Glendale

Nov 14, 2018, 1:00 PM | Updated: 3:09 pm
(Arizona Christian University Rendering)...
(Arizona Christian University Rendering)
(Arizona Christian University Rendering)

PHOENIX – Arizona Christian University announced Wednesday it was moving from Phoenix into a Glendale campus that formerly housed an Arizona State University business college.

ACU’s new home will be at 59th Avenue and Greenway Road, which had been occupied by ASU’s Thunderbird School of Global Management.

“It’s just a phenomenal opportunity for Arizona Christian University,” Len Munsil, the school’s president, said after an announcement ceremony at the new location.

The current school year will be ACU’s last at its campus on Cactus Road near State Route 51.

Classes for the 2019-20 school year will start at the new location in August.

Munsil said the old campus could only house 210 students in its residence hall, about one third of the university’s enrollment, which hampered retention efforts.

“Here immediately we’ll be able to get 500 students on campus, maybe more,” he said of the new site.

In a land exchange, ASU is swapping about half of the Glendale location — 68 acres — for ACU’s Cactus Road campus.

ACU was founded in 1960 as Southwestern Conservative Baptist Bible College.

After several name changes, the private, nonprofit liberal arts college became Arizona Christian University in 2011.

The school competes in athletics at the NAIA level, and its degree programs include psychology, criminal justice, health care policy, nonprofit management, coaching and early childhood education.

Munsil said the new location would allow ACU to increase its offerings.

“We’re having a number of discussions with Arizona State University to do some programs together,” he said.

ASU announced in 2017 that Thunderbird would move to a new downtown Phoenix building by 2021.

In the interim, Thunderbird has leased space for classes downtown at the Arizona Center.

ASU acquired Thunderbird, which was founded in 1946, in late 2014.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

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Arizona Christian University relocating from Phoenix to Glendale