Vanguard University of Southern California

The information on this page was last updated 4/28/2023. If you see errors or omissions, please email: [email protected]


At VU, we've come up with the perfect mix: unbeatable academic training, a caring community where lifelong friendships are born and a beautiful campus located about four miles from Southern California beaches. We are a Hispanic-serving institution where 98% of our enrolled students receive financial aid. With outstanding faculty and small class sizes - 20 students on average - every diploma is backed by personalized instruction and a strong spiritual foundation that puts Christ at the center of it all. Our distinguished list of alumni include leading scientists, best-selling authors, network television and film studio producers, Broadway entertainers, top political analysts and world-changing ministers. We go beyond scholarship, beyond the classroom, and beyond the expected-equipping you to lead the story God has for you.

Contact information

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


Phone: 714-556-3610

Email: [email protected]

Organization details

EIN: 956002998

CEO/President: Michael J. Beals

Chairman: John C. Martin

Board size: 23

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


Vision: Vanguard University will be the premier source of Christian Higher Education in California.

Mission statement

The mission of Vanguard University is to pursue knowledge, cultivate character, deepen faith, and equip each student for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered 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.

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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Colleges/Universities

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating247 of 111026 of 129
Fund acquisition rating213 of 111132 of 129
Resource allocation rating796 of 111195 of 129
Asset utilization rating121 of 111011 of 129

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$11,039,386$3,234,259$4,050,630$4,383,297$5,089,501
Short-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$20,876,951$4,687,702$10,211,126$5,691,485$5,930,072
Long-term investments$2,372,048$5,155,789$5,116,739$154,133$5,583,390
Fixed assets$70,623,161$70,297,551$64,368,569$47,975,319$36,712,539
Other long-term assets$6,012,134$1,612,277$7,331,336$2,534,727$3,055,291
Total long-term assets$79,007,343$77,065,617$76,816,644$50,664,179$45,351,220
Total assets$99,884,294$81,753,319$87,027,770$56,355,664$51,281,292
Payables and accrued expenses$4,075,697$3,945,745$5,040,698$6,482,780$3,591,731
Other current liabilities$3,186,189$3,699,355$3,065,828$2,896,602$3,581,485
Total current liabilities$7,261,886$7,645,100$8,106,526$9,379,382$7,173,216
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$1,444,703$1,638,111$7,250,866$2,266,138$2,252,984
Total long-term liabilities$41,546,793$38,530,413$45,258,597$16,046,811$15,625,025
Total liabilities$48,808,679$46,175,513$53,365,123$25,426,193$22,798,241
Net assets20222021202020192018
Without donor restrictions$38,519,083$31,877,580$30,570,275$23,100,348$21,344,516
With donor restrictions$12,556,532$3,700,226$3,092,372$7,829,123$7,138,535
Net assets$51,075,615$35,577,806$33,662,647$30,929,471$28,483,051
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$18,506,647$11,627,384$6,886,808$3,693,506$6,735,059
Program service revenue$81,707,339$71,583,661$72,750,482$69,785,831$64,597,569
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income($290,034)$136,896$73,336$180,210$206,148
Other revenue$285,368$3,360($102,253)($44,731)($15,786)
Total other revenue$81,702,673$71,723,917$72,721,565$69,921,310$64,787,931
Total revenue$100,209,320$83,351,301$79,608,373$73,614,816$71,522,990
Program services$70,408,061$65,823,347$59,945,306$54,106,934$49,862,514
Management and general$18,096,789$14,840,101$16,298,071$16,182,529$16,523,998
Total expenses$89,215,821$81,423,004$77,015,187$70,993,665$67,260,518
Change in net assets20222021202020192018
Surplus (deficit)$10,993,499$1,928,297$2,593,186$2,621,151$4,262,472
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$10,993,499$1,928,297$2,593,186$2,621,151$4,262,472


Beals MichaelBoard Member; Ceo/President$384,872
Espinosa ReginaldDean of Strategy and Innovation$195,512
Johnson KimberlyVP Enrollment Management$184,894
Moser JeremyVP Finance/CFO$184,758
Wilson MichaelDean of University$167,004
Wilson JuliaAssociate Professor of Nursing$157,890
Avans DianaProfessor of Kinesiology$140,610
Menjares Pete VP CorpChief Academic Officer Thru 5/11/21)$120,735

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 4/28/2023. To update the information below, please email: [email protected]


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

98% of students receive financial aid

16:1 student-to-faculty ratio

60% of students live on campus

125 intramural sports teams and campus clubs

233 palm trees on campus

329 days of sunshine per year in California