Fresno Pacific University

The information on this page was last updated 5/18/2023. If you see errors or omissions, please email: [email protected]


Fresno Pacific is a nationally recognized university nestled in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Fresno Pacific University
1717 S. Chestnut Ave
Fresno, CA 93702


Phone: (800)372-5505

Email: [email protected]

Organization details

EIN: 941021164

CEO/President: Andre Stephens, Ph.D.

Chairman: Joshua Wilson, J.D., M.A.

Board size: 24

Founder: Mennonite Brethren Church

Ruling year: 1948

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 06/30

Member of ECFA: No

Member of ECFA since:


Fresno Pacific is a vibrant Christ-centered university that is transforming California's Central Valley and global communities through exemplary service to students of all ethnicities and cultures. Innovative programs encourage academic and professional excellence, peacemaking, social justice, ethical leadership, holistic wellness, and spiritual vitality.

Mission statement

Fresno Pacific University develops students for leadership and service through excellence in Christian higher education.

Statement of faith

Fresno Pacific University is sponsored by the Pacific District Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. The school is deeply and intentionally rooted in the Anabaptist movement. As such, it is committed to Anabaptist and evangelical ideals, including the reconciling power of God's Spirit, an emphasis on voluntary discipleship, obedience to Jesus as Lord, the global mission of the church, the church as the community of the new covenant, mutual care and holistic concern for members of Christ's body and the call to address, in pastoral and prophetic fashion, the peace and justice concerns of the world.

The theological position of the university is represented in the following tenets, as expressed in the Confession of Faith of the U.S. Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. Whereas Fresno Pacific University enthusiastically embraces this theological tradition, it seeks to do so with charity and humility. In keeping with an expressed desire of its sponsoring body in the early 1980s to "broaden the base" of the institution, the university has deliberately chosen to include students, faculty, staff, administrators and board members from diverse Christian traditions, who at the same time are supportive of its distinctives and goals. This represents an attempt to embody the New Testament notion of ecumenicity, rooted in a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and marked by a fervent commitment to a particular core of beliefs and behaviors by people from greatly diverse races, ethnicities and nationalities. Accordingly, Fresno Pacific University stresses the following convictions in guiding and shaping the educational community.


We believe in the one true God, the source of all life, who reigns over all things as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and who lovingly cares for all creation. God the Father planned the redemption of humanity and sent Jesus Christ the Son to be the Savior of the world. Jesus proclaimed the reign of God, bringing good news to the poor and triumphing over sin through His obedient life, death and resurrection. God the Holy Spirit empowers believers with new life, indwells them and unites them in one body.

Revelation of God

We believe God has made Himself known to all people. Beginning with creation and culminating in Jesus Christ, God has revealed Himself in the Old and New Testaments. All Scripture is inspired by God, and is the authoritative guide for faith and practice. We interpret the Scripture in the church community as guided by the Holy Spirit.

Creation and Humanity

We believe God created the heavens and the earth, and they were good. Humans, God's crowning act, were created in the image of God. Sin has alienated humanity from the Creator and creation, but God offers redemption and reconciliation through Jesus Christ.

Sin and Evil

We believe sin is individual and corporate opposition to God's good purposes and leads to physical and spiritual death.


We believe God saves all people who put their faith in Jesus Christ. By His obedient life, sacrificial death and victorious resurrection, Christ delivers people from the tyranny of sin and death and redeems them for eternal life in the age to come. All creation eagerly awaits its liberation from bondage into the freedom of the glory of God's children.

Nature of the Church

We believe the church is the covenant community called by God through Jesus Christ to live a life of discipleship and witness as empowered by the Holy Spirit. The local church gathers regularly for worship, fellowship and accountability and to discern, develop and exercise gifts for ministry.

Mission of the Church

We believe the mission of the church is to make disciples of all nations by calling people to repent, to be baptized and to love God and neighbor by sharing the good news and doing acts of love and compassion.

Christian Baptism

We believe baptism by water is a public sign that a person has repented of sin, received forgiveness, died with Christ and been raised to new life through the power of the Holy Spirit. Baptism is also a public declaration of a believer's incorporation into the body of Christ as expressed in the local church.

Lord's Supper

We believe that in obedience to Christ, the church observes the Lord's Supper as a remembrance of His atoning death and to celebrate forgiveness, new life and the fellowship and unity of all believers.


We believe Jesus calls people who have experienced the new birth to follow Him in a costly life of service to God. The power of the Holy Spirit transforms believers from the unrighteous pattern of the present age into a life of joyful obedience with God's people.

Marriage, Singleness and Family

We believe that singleness and marriage are honored by God and should be blessed by the church. God instituted marriage as a lifelong covenant between a man and a woman for the purpose of companionship, encouragement, sexual intimacy and procreation. Children are a gift from God and should be nurtured by parents in the ways of God.

Society and State

We believe that God instituted the state to promote justice and to maintain law and order. Christians' primary allegiance is to Christ's Kingdom. Believers are called to witness against injustice, exercise social responsibility and obey all laws that do not conflict with the Word of God.

Love, Peacemaking and Reconciliation

We believe that God in Christ reconciles people to Himself and to one another, making peace through the cross. As peacemakers we alleviate suffering, reduce strife, promote justice, and work to end violence and war, that others may see a demonstration of Christ's love. As in other Peace Churches many of us choose not to participate in the military, but rather in alternative forms of service.

The Sanctity of Human Life

We believe that God is creator and giver of life, and highly values each person. Procedures designed to take human life are wrong. We oppose all attitudes that devalue human life, especially the defenseless lives of the unborn, disabled, poor, aging and dying.


We believe the universe and everything in it belong to God the Creator and that we have been entrusted by God to manage its resources. All God's gifts, including money, time, abilities and influence, are to be received with thanksgiving, used responsibly and shared generously.

The Lord's Day, Work and Rest

We believe God's act of creation provides the model for work and rest. In work, we use our abilities to glorify God and serve others. In rest, we express thanks for God's provision and trust in God's sustaining grace. In worship, we gather to commemorate the resurrection through worship, instruction, fellowship and service.

Christianity and Other Faiths

We believe God's atoning work in Jesus is the only means of reconciling people with God. God has not left any without a witness to the Creator's goodness and power. Christians treat people of other faiths with respect, but urgently proclaim Christ as the only way of salvation.

Christ's Final Triumph

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will return triumphantly at the end of this age to destroy all evil powers, condemn all who have rejected Christ to eternal punishment and unite believers with Christ to reign forever with God in glory.

The official Confession of the University is the Confession of Faith of the US Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches.

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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Colleges/Universities

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating348 of 110434 of 129
Fund acquisition rating404 of 110546 of 129
Resource allocation rating832 of 110599 of 129
Asset utilization rating78 of 11048 of 129

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$4,755,406$4,041,074$3,222,182$3,076,265$5,251,764
Short-term investments$15,809,102$19,221,826$14,228,538$9,157,374$7,222,079
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$21,677,057$29,801,723$20,727,110$14,722,713$16,102,137
Long-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$39,435,604$30,308,016$28,660,390$28,575,872$30,131,398
Other long-term assets$269,823$283,338$324,652$635,153$829,708
Total long-term assets$39,705,427$30,591,354$28,985,042$29,211,025$30,961,106
Total assets$61,382,484$60,393,077$49,712,152$43,933,738$47,063,243
Payables and accrued expenses$5,940,337$4,341,305$5,935,199$5,066,673$5,017,000
Other current liabilities$5,402,410$5,251,857$505,968$636,062$333,150
Total current liabilities$11,342,747$9,593,162$6,441,167$5,702,735$5,350,150
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$0$6,897$312,928$309,896$74,799
Total long-term liabilities$300,693$3,640,271$4,232,999$6,030,164$5,363,376
Total liabilities$11,643,440$13,233,433$10,674,166$11,732,899$10,713,526
Net assets20222021202020192018
Without donor restrictions$22,319,166$22,476,084$18,416,188$16,326,374$27,872,296
With donor restrictions$27,419,878$24,683,560$20,621,798$15,874,465$8,477,421
Net assets$49,739,044$47,159,644$39,037,986$32,200,839$36,349,717
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$22,604,907$8,770,650$9,276,006$3,496,910$4,139,248
Program service revenue$67,924,125$73,488,293$78,979,958$80,269,474$80,907,132
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$1,514,895$1,549,928$201,136$62,126$327,654
Other revenue$755($55,544)$0($14,510)$16,625
Total other revenue$69,439,775$74,982,677$79,181,094$80,317,090$81,251,411
Total revenue$92,044,682$83,753,327$88,457,100$83,814,000$85,390,659
Program services$67,670,959$61,403,634$66,801,504$58,191,896$59,982,715
Management and general$18,214,212$13,379,575$13,292,549$20,109,646$13,808,046
Total expenses$87,479,226$76,416,072$81,659,606$79,486,750$74,879,327
Change in net assets20222021202020192018
Surplus (deficit)$4,565,456$7,337,255$6,797,494$4,327,250$10,511,332
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$4,565,456$7,337,255$6,797,494$4,327,250$10,511,332


Joseph JonesUniversity President$325,848
Stephen VarvisFaculty$196,886
Deborah CopelandProvost$186,024
Robert LippertVP Finance & Bus. Affairs$180,357
Don GriffithVP Advancement$166,123
Linda HoffFaculty$153,755
Andrew HerrickDirector of Academic Development$150,580
Jonathan EndicottVP Enrollment$145,449

Compensation data as of: 6/30/2022

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 5/18/2023. To update the information below, please email: [email protected]


From its beginnings in Russia in 1860, the Mennonite Brethren Church has considered education important. Within only a few decades of their arrival in the United States, Mennonite Brethren established Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas, in 1908. As Mennonite Brethren migrated to other parts of western North America in the following years, they took with them this interest in education. In 1941 the Pacific District Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches formed a "Permanent School Committee" to consider the establishment of a post-secondary school. In 1944 Pacific Bible Institute opened in a large residence on Van Ness Avenue in Fresno with twenty-eight students. Soon outgrowing its original campus, the school moved in 1946 to a former YWCA building in downtown Fresno. The student body reached a peak of 178 students in 1948-1949.

By the 1950s enrollment at PBI was declining. In response, the school developed a broader junior college curriculum in 1956 and moved to a new campus on Chestnut Avenue in southeast Fresno in 1959. The following year the Bible institute's name was changed to Pacific College. In 1963, a four-year liberal arts program with biblical studies at its core was added. In 1965, Pacific College earned full accreditation as a four-year liberal arts institution.

During this time of transition, President Arthur Wiebe encouraged the faculty to rethink and clarify institutional mission and identity. The outcome of the process was the formation of the "Pacific College Idea," a statement of vision adopted in 1966 that shaped the development of the college through subsequent decades. Today, the "Fresno Pacific Idea" still forms the core of the university's identity.

In the 1970s Pacific College moved beyond its undergraduate curriculum. In 1975 the college was accredited to offer master's degrees. At about the same time, it developed a program to offer in-service training to teachers in central California. Originally called the In-Service Education Program, it is now the Office of Continuing Education. In 1976 the college changed its name to Fresno Pacific College.

By the early 1980s, facing the need to increase its enrollment and financial base, the college formulated a plan to extend its mission beyond its original denominational boundaries. This plan, called "Broadening the Base," included expanding campus facilities, enlarging the curriculum, developing new strategies for public relations and fund development, and making a more deliberate effort to relate to churches beyond the Mennonite Brethren Conference.

In an acknowledgment of its increasing complexity, the college changed its name to Fresno Pacific University in 1997. The "new" university consisted of three schools: Fresno Pacific College, Fresno Pacific Graduate School, and Fresno Pacific School of Professional Studies. In 2005, the university was restructured to include four schools: the School of Business; the School of Education; the School of Humanities, Religion and Social Sciences; and the School of Natural Sciences.

By 2005 Fresno Pacific University had established regional campuses in Bakersfield, North Fresno and Visalia. The Merced Campus was added in 2012. These campuses offered courses mostly for adult students pursuing graduate degrees or enrolled in the university's new degree completion program.

Since the mid-1950s, the college and university had worked closely with the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary. The two campuses were adjacent to each other, and the schools jointly owned and operated Hiebert Library. In 2010 the seminary formally became a part of Fresno Pacific University.

The seminary, now known as Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary, originated in a mandate from the 1948 convention of North American Mennonite Brethren Churches, and was established and opened by the U.S. Mennonite Brethren Churches in September 1955. In 1975, Canadian Mennonite Brethren became partners and joint owners of the seminary.

It was founded as a response to different theological currents and sociological changes in the church and larger culture. In the words of former president J.B. Toews, "The seminary was born in 1955 because of the vision of the church for trained leadership that could lead wisely, theologically, and above all, biblically in a society that was rushing madly after the gods of learning and mammon." Mennonite Brethren leaders saw a need for a leadership training consistent with an anabaptist-evangelical perspective. They recognized the strategic role of church leadership in shaping the identity, unity and direction of a people facing rapid cultural and theological change. The need for godly and discerning Christian leaders is even greater today than it was when the seminary was founded.

The commitment to be a community of learners guided by the principles of the Kingdom of God, which seeks to use education as a means to serve God and others around the world, has remained the enduring, stable core throughout this history of growth and change. The scope of education has broadened from the original Bible institute curriculum, but only to bring Christian faith to bear on larger arenas of life and to prepare for broader involvement in the life of the church and contemporary society.

Program accomplishments

5 + 1 Locations in California's Central Valley + Online

81% Professors with doctorates

HSI Hispanic-serving institution

100+ Areas of study

16 Athletic teams

98% of FPU students receive financial assistance

TOP University Honors

13:1 Student to faculty