Nebraska Christian College Merges with Hope International University

FULLERTON, CA :: Hope International University (HIU) announces the finalization of its historic merger with Nebraska Christian College (NC) in Papillion, Nebraska. In early 2015, HIU signed a memorandum of understanding with NC in order to explore the possibility of a partnership between the two longstanding institutions of Christian higher education.  That exploration culminated in the milestone decision to merge.

The sister schools share an affiliation with the Christian Church’s Restoration Movement and have a rich combined heritage of more than 160 years. The merger builds on the strengths of both institutions, elevates their joint profile, and makes good business sense, as both campuses will increase their capacity more efficiently than two institutions could individually.

“We will integrate the best of both HIU and NC, in pursuit of our shared mission to prepare those who will serve Christ in our churches and communities, and around the globe,” said HIU President, Dr. John L. Derry, who has long envisioned the benefits of similar institutions joining forces in order to multiply opportunities for future alumni. “Trends and changes in higher education make partnerships like this a wise move, because they offer long-term strategic and financial sustainability.”

The addition of the NC campus in the Midwest region of the United States, located near Omaha, extends HIU’s reach beyond the western United States and broadens NC’s academic programming. University administrators see a huge potential for growth and are eager to see the results over the next several years. They also believe alumni from both institutions will be pleased, as each campuses will maintain unique identities within the overall structure.

Additionally, this merger:

  • Gives regional accreditation to NC’s academic programs
  • Expands the breadth of degrees offered in the Midwest region by adding HIU’s undergraduate, graduate, and online programs
  • Provides strategic and long-term financial sustainability
  • Preserves and honors the rich heritage of Nebraska Christian College
  • Strengthens the Christian higher education presence in both regions
  • Facilitates the best stewardship of Kingdom resources

“This decision reflects the type of innovative response that will enable Christian higher education to continue impacting the world for Christ," said Toby Yurek, Chair of the HIU Board of Trustees. "This is an amazing opportunity to partner together as we navigate the ever-changing landscape of higher education."

HIU has been a leader in online education for nearly 20 years, and administrators are certain this merger will open broad opportunities in the Midwest, especially for students who are attracted to the ministry focus of the Nebraska campus, but who feel called to serve in other capacities and professions. NC has traditionally focused on pastoral ministry and has developed a stellar reputation in the Midwest for preparing pastors through its Institute for Church Leadership, which includes on-campus learning and church residency components.  HIU prepares globally-focused servant leaders, offering a broad range of academic programs via its five Colleges.

The campuses will utilize an integrated campus management system, share online learning and classroom technologies, and have access to extensive library resources and research databases.  Additionally, the unified institution will now share recent accolades and recognitions, including U.S. News and World Report’s Top 20 West Regional Colleges ranking and being named one of the 50 Best Christian Colleges in the U.S. by Christian Universities Online.

President Derry and other HIU senior staff members will work closely with Nebraska staff who will continue to manage daily academic, financial, advancement, student affairs and enrollment functions for the Omaha campus.  HIU’s Board of Trustees now includes two former members of the NC Board.

Overview of the Two Campuses

Nebraska Christian College was established in 1945 as an institution of Christian higher education that seeks to bring glory to God by calling people to know Christ, preparing disciples with skills for ministry, and sending them out to make Christ known. NC’s Institute for Church Leadership was formed for the purpose of developing leaders and networking students with ministry practitioners.

Founded in 1928, Hope International University's mission is to empower students through Christian higher education to serve the Church and impact the world for Christ. HIU is regionally accredited and offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees, certificate programs, and credential programs to more than 2,000 students world-wide through its five colleges:  College of Arts & Sciences, College of Business & Management, College of Education, College of Psychology & Counseling, and Pacific Christian College of Ministry & Biblical Studies.  As a private Christian university, Hope is committed to the integration of faith, service and learning. This dedication is reflected in the University’s mission statement, core values and statement of belief, the guiding lights for every activity, class and relationship on campus.

Key Administrators

John Derry, Ed.D., President
Paul Alexander, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs
Frank Scotti, Vice President for Business & Finance
Teresa Smith, Vice President for Enrollment Management
Michael Mulryan, Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Mark Comeaux, Ed.D., Vice President for Student Affairs
Tony Clark, Associate Vice President for Business & Operations, NC Campus
Mark Krause, Ph.D., Academic Dean, NC Campus