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Abilene Christian University

School Overview

    • Founded:
    • 1906
    • Size:
    • Small (<5000 students)
    • Type:
    • Private non-profit
    • Category:
    • Universities, colleges
      Religiously affliated
    • Specialization:
    • N/A
    • Climate:
    • Temperate
    • Location:
    • 1600 Campus Court, Abilene, Texas, United States, 79699
    • Phone:
    • +13256742000
    • Email Address:
    • N/A
    • Setting:
    • Urban

The History of Abilene Christian University

Abilene Christian University (ACU) is a private, non-profit university in Abilene, Texas, affiliated with Churches of Christ. ACU was founded in 1906, as Childers Classical Institute. It grew from an idea held by A.B. Barret and Charles Roberson to form a school in West Texas. The Churches of Christ in Abilene agreed to back the project. J.W. Childers sold Barret land and a large house west of the town and lowered the price with the stipulation that the school would be named in his honor. Childers Classical Institute opened in the fall of 1906, with 25 students. It initially included a lower school starting in the seventh grade.

Academic Highlights

Abilene Christian University (ACU) is the best at providing exceptional academics in a Christ-centered community. It includes the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Biblical Studies, Business Administration, Education and Human Services, Graduate and Professional Studies, and Honors; the Graduate School of Theology; and the schools of Information Technology and Computing, Nursing, and Social Work. ACU is affiliated with the Churches of Christ and is one of the largest private universities in the Southwest.

Life in Abilene Christian University

Besides academic life, Abilene Christian University known as ACU Wildcats had received NCAA permission to compete in Division I FCS and was under consideration for reattachment to the Southland Conference. 

School Ranking

Abilene Christian University's ranking in the 2020 edition of Best Colleges is Regional Universities West, #12.


You will need very good grades in high school to get into Abilene Christian University. The average high school GPA of the admitted freshman class at Abilene Christian University was 3.58 on the 4.0 scale indicating that primarily B+ students are accepted and ultimately attend.

Notable Alumni

  • April Anthony, CEO of Homecare Homebase and Encompass Home Health & Hospice chair of the ACU Board of Trustees
  • Gordon Bethune, former CEO of Continental Airlines
  • Bill Blakeley, former basketball coach at the interscholastic, intercollegiate, and professional levels; ACU Sports Hall of Fame
  • Jeffrey S. Boyd, Justice of the Texas Supreme Court
  • Kent Brantly; doctor with the medical mission group Samaritan's Purse; while treating Ebola patients in Liberia, he contracted the virus
  • James Browne, Olympic long jumper from Antigua
  • Nelson Coates, Emmy-nominated film production designer; first alumnus to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
  • Randall "Tex" Cobb, professional boxer, actor
  • Chris Christian, record producer, recording artist, songwriter
  • Charles Coody, professional golfer, winner of the 1971 Masters Tournament
  • Bonnie Curtis, film producer
  • Jody Dean, news anchor of KTVT-TV, Dallas, Texas
  • Holly Dunn, country music artist, painter
  • Ronnie Dunn, singer and songwriter; one half of Brooks & Dunn
  • Grant Feasel, former center in the NFL for the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks; ACU Sports Hall of Fame 
  • Greg Feasel, former offensive tackle in the NFL for the Green Bay Packers and San Diego Chargers; Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer for the Colorado Rockies; ACU Sports Hall of Fame 
  • Tracey M. Ferguson, editor of Jet and Ebony 
  • Don Finto, pastor and author in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Edward Fudge, theologian
  • Taylor Gabriel, professional football player for the Chicago Bears
  • Jim Gash, eighth president of Pepperdine University
  • Janice Hahn, member of the United States House of Representatives; former Los Angeles City Councilwoman
  • James Hill, professional football player for the Seattle Seahawks
  • Micah P. Hinson, singer and songwriter
  • V. E. Howard, Church of Christ clergyman who started the radio International Gospel Hour, based originally in Texarkana, Texas
  • Robert Dean Hunter, vice-president emeritus of ACU; member of the Texas House of Representatives, District 71, (1986–2007)
  • Ove Johansson, Swedish-born American football fieldgoal record setter, father of Annika Johansson
  • Daniel Johnston, singer and songwriter – attended ACU in his first year of college
  • Robert Kelley, 11th president of the University of North Dakota
  • H. Jeff Kimble, William L. Valentine Professor and Professor of Physics at the California Institute of Technology
  • Johnny Knox, former professional football player for NFL team Chicago Bears
  • John Layfield, professional wrestler
  • David Leeson (1978), co-winner of 2004 Pulitzer Prize (previously nominated in 1986, 1990, and 1995) and winner of the Edward R. Murrow and National Headliner Awards
  • Clint Longley, former NFL quarterback with the Dallas Cowboys and San Diego Chargers

Acceptance Rate

Abilene Christian University is 58.1% acceptance rate.

Other Campuses
    • 16633 Dallas Parkway, Suite 800, Addison, Texas, United States



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