Point Loma Nazarene University
Point Loma Nazarene University is a Christian liberal arts college. Its main campus is located on the Point Loma oceanfront in San Diego, California, United States. It was founded in 1902 as a Bible college by the Church of the Nazarene.
The college was founded by several female laypersons in the Church of the Nazarene with the assistance of Phineas F. Bresee, co-founder of the Nazarene Church in Los Angeles. The "initiators," in the words of historian Timothy L. Smith, convinced "a reluctant Bresee to support the venture." The institution envisioned was "a simple Bible college" to train ministerial and lay leadership for the newly established Nazarene denomination; however, a Bible college did not fit Bresee"s notion of a real Christian school, and he "promised little or no assistance." The women went ahead with their plan, with money raised from their husbands, and Pacific Bible College opened in 1902 under Principal Mary Hill.In 1906, Bresee"s interest in the college was piqued with a large donation from Jackson Deets. Bresee now saw the possibility for a real liberal arts college in the newly renamed Deets Pacific Bible College. Bresee and Deets were soon planning Nazarene University together: academy, liberal arts college, and bible school. It became one of the first three "official" educational institutions affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene in 1908, and was named Deets Pacific Bible College in 1909. In 1910, it was renamed Nazarene University and, against the wishes of Jackson Deets and the advice of Nazarene General Superintendent John W. Goodwin, the college moved to the Hugus Ranch property in Pasadena, California.It was renamed again to Pasadena University following a theological dispute and near bankruptcy in 1917. In 1924, the name was changed again, this time to Pasadena College. The school received accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges in 1949. The college preparatory program was ended in the 1950s. In 1973, the college was relocated to the former California Western University campus on Point Loma in San Diego, after a rejected plan to move the school to Santa Ana. The Pasadena campus was later purchased by the U.S. Center for World Mission. After the move to San Diego, the college existed for ten years as "Point Loma College: An Institution of the Church of the Nazarene" until the name was changed to Point Loma Nazarene College (PLNC) in 1983. In 1998, the name was changed again, to Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU).
Point Loma Nazarene University exists to provide higher education in a vital Christian community where minds are engaged and challenged, character is modeled and formed, and service becomes an expression of faith. Being of Wesleyan heritage, we aspire to be a learning community where grace is foundational, truth is pursued, and holiness is a way of life.
Notable alumni include Edward J. Blakely, educator and researcher on urban and suburban issues, James Dobson, prominent evangelical psychologist, Greg Laswell, musician and producer, and Mildred Bangs Wynkoop, noted Nazarene theologian. The school has produced four college presidents. Two were presidents of the Eastern Nazarene College: Fred J. Shields and Floyd W. Nease, 1919-1923 and 1924-1930, respectively. One, Orval J. Nease, was president of his alma mater from 1928 to 1933. The fourth, David Alexander, has been president of Northwest Nazarene since 2008. Hoku, singer and daughter of the late Don Ho studied business at PLNU briefly, but left during her first semester. William De Los Santos, Author, Poet, Screenwriter and Motion-Picture Director (enrolled as William Hilbert). Micah Albert, award winning photojournalist who has covered issues in Africa and the Middle East. Notable faculty members include Frank G. Carver, Wesleyan Center Scholar in Residence, Darrel R. Falk, author of Coming to Peace with Science and director of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute outreach program, Michael Lodahl, another noted Nazarene theologian, and Bob Goff, adjunct business law professor, founder of Restore International, and author of the New York Times Best-Selling Book Love Does. Another notable former faculty member is Olive Winchester.