Columbia International University, offering a Christian-based education to students worldwide, is starting to expand at a time when other schools are shrinking due to budget reductions.CIU President William Jones says new student housing, athletic fields and additional academic buildings will help the university carry out its educational goals. “It’s part of our mission. Our vision is to grow a Christian university that continues to produce as many professional ministers as we possibly can. We have 16,000 alums serving in 130 countries around the world. We’re actually Columbia’s best-kept secret. We’re much better known overseas even than we are in the city of Columbia.”
Jones says the additional student housing will help more married and graduate students be involved in campus life. The academic buildings will provide new opportunities to add professional degrees to CIU?s 19 undergraduate theological degrees. And the athletic fields will help the university pursue membership in National Christian College Athletic Association Division Two sports such as soccer and softball.
Jones says one important element of the expansion will be producing more graduates with very specific Christian backgrounds in their chosen line of work. “Our vision also calls for doing a better job at producing what I call Christian professionals, or better yet, ‘ministry professionals’. We already have strong professional degrees including counseling and education, but we want to add further degree programs for ministry professionals.”
Jones hopes some of the classrooms and playing fields will be ready for Fall 2010.