Vanguard University of Southern California

The information in this column was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 10/18/2021. To update the information in this column, please email:


Vanguard University is a private, Christian university of liberal arts and professional studies equipping students for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered leadership and service. A strong commitment to cultural diversity, racial reconciliation, and gender equality is a consequence of Vanguard being deeply grounded in the faith tradition that brought the University into existence. Moreover, these core values continue to define the institutional vision that pulls the Vanguard community forward toward its mission and educational targets and goals. Within this Christian context of inclusiveness, the University aims to provide a quality educational experience by cultivating the Spirit-empowered life in Christian experience and service; promoting academic excellence that integrates faith and life; and providing professor-mentors in a dynamic community environment.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Vanguard University of Southern California
55 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626-9601


Phone: 714-556-3610


Organization details

EIN: 956002998

CEO/President: Michael J. Beals

Chairman: John C. Martin

Board size: 27

Founder: Harold K. Needham, D.W. Kerr, W.C. Pierce

Ruling year: 1971

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 06/30

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 2021


Vanguard University will become a nationally recognized leader in Christian higher education by cultivating academic excellence, character development and global perspective as seeds of greatness in the life of every student.

Mission statement

Vanguard University exists to pursue knowledge, cultivate character, deepen faith, and equip each student for a life of leadership and service.

Statement of faith

As a Christian comprehensive university of liberal arts and sciences, informed by its evangelical persuasion and Pentecostal heritage, Vanguard University affirms the following confession of faith. We believe:

The Bible to be the inspired and only infallible and authoritative Word of God.

That there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

In the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in his virgin birth, in his sinless life, in his miracles, in his vicarious and atoning death, in his bodily resurrection, in his ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in his personal, future return to this earth in power and glory to rule over the nations.

That the only means of being cleansed from sin is through repentance and faith in the precious blood of Christ.

That regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential for personal salvation.

That the redemptive work of Christ on the cross provides healing of the human body in answer to believing prayer.

That the baptism in the Holy Spirit, according to Acts 2:4, is given to believers who ask for it.

In the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a holy life.

In the resurrection of both the saved and the lost, the one to everlasting life and the other to everlasting damnation.

Donor confidence score

Show donor confidence score details

Transparency grade


To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Colleges/Universities

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating363 of 102237 of 117
Fund acquisition rating414 of 102449 of 117
Resource allocation rating821 of 102491 of 117
Asset utilization rating89 of 10227 of 117

Financial ratios

Funding ratiosSector median20202019201820172016
Return on fundraising efforts Return on fundraising efforts =
Fundraising expense /
Total contributions
Fundraising cost ratio Fundraising cost ratio =
Fundraising expense /
Total revenue
Contributions reliance Contributions reliance =
Total contributions /
Total revenue
Fundraising expense ratio Fundraising expense ratio =
Fundraising expense /
Total expenses
Other revenue reliance Other revenue reliance =
Total other revenue /
Total revenue
Operating ratiosSector median20202019201820172016
Program expense ratio Program expense ratio =
Program services /
Total expenses
Spending ratio Spending ratio =
Total expenses /
Total revenue
Program output ratio Program output ratio =
Program services /
Total revenue
Savings ratio Savings ratio =
Surplus (deficit) /
Total revenue
Reserve accumulation rate Reserve accumulation rate =
Surplus (deficit) /
Net assets
General and admin ratio General and admin ratio =
Management and general expense /
Total expenses
Investing ratiosSector median20202019201820172016
Total asset turnover Total asset turnover =
Total expenses /
Total assets
Degree of long-term investment Degree of long-term investment =
Total assets /
Total current assets
Current asset turnover Current asset turnover =
Total expenses /
Total current assets
Liquidity ratiosSector median20202019201820172016
Current ratio Current ratio =
Total current assets /
Total current liabilities
Current liabilities ratio Current liabilities ratio =
Total current liabilities /
Total current assets
Liquid reserve level Liquid reserve level =
(Total current assets -
Total current liabilities) /
(Total expenses / 12)
Solvency ratiosSector median20202019201820172016
Liabilities ratio Liabilities ratio =
Total liabilities /
Total assets
Debt ratio Debt ratio =
Debt /
Total assets
Reserve coverage ratio Reserve coverage ratio =
Net assets /
Total expenses


Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$4,050,630$4,383,297$5,089,501$3,361,914$3,244,739
Short-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$10,211,126$5,691,485$5,930,072$5,211,308$3,643,508
Long-term investments$5,116,739$154,133$5,583,390$3,371,464$4,467,422
Fixed assets$64,368,569$47,975,319$36,712,539$35,135,166$36,681,345
Other long-term assets$7,331,336$2,534,727$3,055,291$5,473,200$3,616,975
Total long-term assets$76,816,644$50,664,179$45,351,220$43,979,830$44,765,742
Total assets$87,027,770$56,355,664$51,281,292$49,191,138$48,409,250
Payables and accrued expenses$5,040,698$6,482,780$3,591,731$2,939,572$3,035,749
Other current liabilities$3,065,828$2,896,602$3,581,485$2,703,712$2,724,737
Total current liabilities$8,106,526$9,379,382$7,173,216$5,643,284$5,760,486
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$7,250,866$2,266,138$2,252,984$2,326,726$2,532,729
Total long-term liabilities$45,258,597$16,046,811$15,625,025$18,773,448$21,563,443
Total liabilities$53,365,123$25,426,193$22,798,241$24,416,732$27,323,929
Net assets20202019201820172016
Without donor restrictions$30,570,275$23,100,348$21,344,516$20,639,702$17,096,610
With donor restrictions$3,092,372$7,829,123$7,138,535$4,134,704$3,988,711
Net assets$33,662,647$30,929,471$28,483,051$24,774,406$21,085,321
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$6,886,808$3,693,506$6,735,059$5,821,255$2,070,680
Program service revenue$72,750,482$69,785,831$64,597,569$62,033,528$60,060,242
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$73,336$180,210$206,148$123,015$98,945
Other revenue($102,253)($44,731)($15,786)$78,537($83,606)
Total other revenue$72,721,565$69,921,310$64,787,931$62,235,080$60,075,581
Total revenue$79,608,373$73,614,816$71,522,990$68,056,335$62,146,261
Program services$59,945,306$54,106,934$49,862,514$47,010,821$43,985,823
Management and general$16,298,071$16,182,529$16,523,998$16,655,919$15,907,968
Total expenses$77,015,187$70,993,665$67,260,518$64,340,078$60,452,696
Change in net assets20202019201820172016
Surplus (deficit)$2,593,186$2,621,151$4,262,472$3,716,257$1,693,565
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$2,593,186$2,621,151$4,262,472$3,716,257$1,693,565


Beals MichaelBoard Member; Ceo/President$366,416
Menjares PeteVP Corp/Chief Academic Officer$202,858
Moser JeremyVP Finance/CFO$199,815
Johnson KimberlyVP Enrollment Management$175,565
Espinosa ReginaldDean of Strategy and Innovation$173,554
Wickman MaryAssociate Dean of Nursing$160,698
Wilson MichaelDean of Universisty$137,843
Wilson JuliaNursing Faculty$130,748
O'Quinn DorethaChief Academic Officer (thru 08/18)$123,566

Compensation data as of: 6/30/2020

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 10/18/2021. To update the information below, please email:


During the summer of 1920, Harold K. Needham, D. W. Kerr, and W. C. Peirce opened a school to prepare Christian workers for the various ministries of the church. The new institute, Southern California Bible School, moved from Los Angeles to Pasadena in 1927. In 1939 it was chartered by the State of California as a college eligible to grant degrees, and it became Southern California Bible College-the first four-year institution of the Assemblies of God. In 1943 the college received recognition by the government for the training of military chaplains. It moved to the present campus in 1950. The name was changed to Southern California College nine years later when majors in the liberal arts were added to the curriculum.

Regional accreditation and membership in the Western Association of Schools and Colleges were granted in 1964. In 1967 the college received recognition and approval of its teaching credential program from the California State Board of Education. In June 1983 the Graduate Studies Program received approval from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. A Degree Completion Program was started in 1994 for adult learners. On July 1, 1999 university status was achieved when Southern California College registered with the Secretary of State's Office as Vanguard University of Southern California and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as several certificate programs.

In addition to its founding president, Harold K. Needham, Vanguard University of Southern California has had the able leadership of eight presidents: Daniel W. Kerr, Irvine J. Harrison, John B. Scott, O. Cope Budge, Emil A. Balliet, Wayne E. Kraiss, Murray W. Dempster and Carol Taylor. Vanguard inaugurated its tenth president, Dr. Michael J. Beals, on February 7, 2014.

For a century, Vanguard University has been a leader in educational innovation within its denomination, preparing students for all types of ministry. As a Christian university, Vanguard is constantly seeking to expand its influence and service through education that provides excellence without compromise for the glory of Jesus Christ.

Program accomplishments

Ranked one of the top 10 colleges in the west by The U.S. News & World Report since 2010, The Princeton Review also named Vanguard University a 2014 "Best in the West" College. Additionally, Vanguard is named in the 2012-13 Christian Colleges of Distinction and made the Forbes list of best universities.

Vanguard University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).