- Why is bringing the LCU program to your community a good idea?
Starting a local campus of Life Christian University offers many benefits. Here are a few:
- Becoming a local campus enhances the profile of your church or ministry by offering your community higher education that they may not otherwise have available to them.
- Campus Directors and instructors can continue progress toward their personal educational goals through credits earned by teaching.
- Campus Directors and instructors have an opportunity to teach and train Christian leaders, thus fulfilling another part of the Great Commission.
- Becoming a local campus allows you to be a part of an established, accredited university with a world vision. We've done all the startup work — now you can get down to the business of providing a quality education for a reasonable cost.
- LCU has established programs with supporting documentation such as syllabi, outlines, quizzes, tests and answer keys. The textbooks for all courses have been selected. All you need to provide is a qualified, anointed teacher. This ensures that your students benefit from a high-quality, established program.
- With the Main Campus providing administrative support for only a portion of the tuition received, the local campuses are able to generate additional ministry income.
- What is your accreditation and what does this mean for our students?
Please see our Accreditation page
- When should we start and how many courses should we offer in an academic year?
Because of the way the courses and programs are structured, you can start your local campus and begin a program at any time. A fall startup matches most academic school years, but many campuses have found a January startup, corresponding with the calendar year, equally effective. The Main Campus can support either schedule.
And you are not limited to teaching only 9 courses per year. By starting in January, your campus can offer 2 additional electives each calendar year and still break for the month of December. You set the campus schedule?students simply continue to accumulate credits toward their next degree level.
- How do we get started?
Simply complete the Campus Application package and make a $250 payment by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover) or a check made payable to Life Christian University. Send the Minister's Recommendation Forms to two fellow ministers, who will forward them to us. Once you are accepted, we will send you a basic start-up package that will include the following items:
- A letter of acceptance as an official campus of LCU
- An official campus wall certificate
- The Campus Director's Handbook which is updated periodically
- A list of wholesale book distributors who stock the required textbooks.
- A photocopy master of the Student Handbook & Course Catalog so you can make as many copies as necessary whenever they are needed
- Photocopy masters of all syllabi, outlines, quizzes, final tests and appropriate answer keys for all courses offered in each 1-year program
- What is included in the Campus Director's Handbook?
The Campus Director's Handbook standardizes and minimizes instructor training and student orientation and facilitates efficient communication with the Main Campus. This information includes:
- General administrative procedures
- Detailed financial information
- Photocopy masters of all the forms you will be using to communicate with the Main Campus
- Photocopy masters of the instructor handbooks
- An instructional DVD
- What should we name our local campus?
Over the years, Life Christian University has built a fine reputation and gained international recognition for excellence in higher education. To take full benefit of our name recognition, you must use "Life Christian University" in the name of your local campus. You may add the name of your city (e.g., "Life Christian University, North Atlanta Campus" or "Life Christian University, Peoria, Illinois Campus") or your church name (e.g., "Life Christian University, River of Life Campus.")
NOTE: All local campus names must be approved by LCU's Main Campus before you begin to advertise.
In a few states in the U.S., Christian churches and ministries are not allowed to offer ministry educational programs that lead to earned degrees without being licensed by the state. Most often, such schools are not allowed to use names that include the words "university" or "college." LCU considers the statutes in those states to be unconstitutional and violate what we consider to be undue governmental intrusion into religious affairs. However, we must operate according to the state laws until such time that the people of those states rise up and demand legislation to repeal these statutes. Because of these circumstances, LCU has licensed its curriculum for use by Life Christian Bible Institute. LCBI is able to offer a non-degreed Bible institute program in these states. You will be notified upon application if your state falls into this category.
- How do we advertise?
Most local campuses begin with a student body comprised of their own church members. Start advertising in your own church through your church bulletin and pulpit announcements. Also available are full-color promotional brochures and flyer which can be downloaded from the LCU Online™ for Campuses website (campus.lcus.edu) to which you will be given access upon establishment of your campus. You may also advertise in all your local and regional print media as well as on radio and television.
If you are involved in a ministerial fellowship, be sure to let the other pastors know that you are starting a Christian university. Often they will be interested in continuing their own education. Ask if they are open to letting you advertise within their congregation.
- How much time should we allow between advertising and startup?
We recommend allowing at least 2 months after receiving LCU approval and the Campus Start-Up Package. This gives students time to plan financially and time for the local campus to develop the program, advertise, recruit instructors, order books, and process student applications.
- How do we enroll students?
Have each student fill out an LCU Student Application and submit it along with:
- Proof of high school graduation or GED (if they are entering a degree program)
- The $40 application fee
- Payment-in-full for the first course
- If a student is transferring credit from previous colleges, universities or institutes of ministry, a full, original, sealed transcript from each institution will be required.
- If a student is applying for ministry life experience (MLE) credit, a completed MLE Application will be required.
The Campus Director will then:
- Complete an Application Summary Report
- Make a copy of the first page of each student's application
- Enclose a check for the total tuition and fees to be paid
- Send the above to the Main Campus on the day following the first class.
Now your students are officially enrolled.
Individual student files must be sent to the Main Campus after all required documentation is obtained and the file is ready for formal review and approval. These procedures are explained in more detail in the Campus Director's Handbook.
- How many courses must we offer in an academic year?
Local campuses must commit to offer at least 9 courses per academic year, one at a time.
Rather than have students carry a course load of 5 different subjects through the whole semester, they will simply take one subject at a time. This method accomplishes two things:
- Each student gets to concentrate on one subject at a time.
- Students may enroll at the beginning of any new course, not just at the beginning of the semester. In this way, you may increase student enrollment throughout the year.
- What are the course requirements?
Each 3-credit-hour course meets for 3 clock-hours once per week. Over a period of 4 weeks, the required 12 clock-hours of class time is accumulated. You should allow for at least two 10-minute breaks during each 3-hour class session.
Most campuses meet at night to accommodate student work schedules, however some campuses have also added day classes.
- What program of study should we offer first?
All students should be enrolled in an initial 30-credit-hour program called Program #1. This program of classes is designed to solidly establish each student in certain foundational Bible truths. If you had an individual student for only a single year, you would want the assurance that he or she received a foundation on which they could build a solid Christian life.
Program #1 for all majors consists of the required courses in the list accessible using the button below:
LCU provides syllabi, outlines, quizzes, final tests and appropriate answer keys for all these courses.
- What is a ministry practicum?
A ministry practicum is simply volunteer ministry in any area of church work during the 9-month duration of the program. Students are required to give an average of 2 hours per week (or a minimum 72 hours) of volunteer or professional service to their local church or an acceptable substitute within the student's major.
A Ministry Practicum Activity Log form must be completed by the student and signed by their supervisor. The ministry practicum will count for 3 credit-hours of the program.
Pastors in your community will especially like the fact that members of their churches who become students on your campus will actually become more involved and faithful to their local church or outreach ministry. This program also helps to dispel the notion that you would use your university educational program to proselytize their members into your church.
- What else is required of the student for each course?
In addition to the class time, undergraduate students are required to read approximately 250-300 pages of written, published material from their texts. Graduate students must read approximately 500-600 pages of written, published material.
Undergraduate students are required to write a minimum of 4 formal papers (6 pages, typewritten, double-spaced) each year past Program 1. In lieu of papers for other courses, quizzes and exams will be required as indicated on the syllabus.
Graduate students must write a 6-page formal paper for each class. (If a paper is required for undergraduates on the course syllabus, then a 12-page paper is required for graduate students.)
The important issue is to accurately assess student learning.
- How often is student achievement recognized?
Life Christian University awards a diploma or a degree at the completion of each 30 credit-hours of undergraduate course work. Students transferring college credit or ministry life experience credit to LCU will enter the program at the level commensurate with their cumulative totals.
Audit students who attend all class sessions and complete all reading assignments will be awarded a Certificate of Attendance upon the completion of each annual program. (Audit students are not required to take exams or write papers.)
- How may I continue my education while running a local campus?
By simply teaching courses, you and your staff may continually accumulate credit for continuing education. The study and preparation in teaching undergraduate courses is commensurate to graduate-level course work and will meet the course requirements, even through the doctoral level.
In addition to teaching classes that satisfy your course work requirements, a dissertation (150 pages, typewritten, double-spaced) must be submitted for each doctoral degree. Under certain circumstances, books that have been written by doctoral candidates can qualify as dissertations.
NOTE: Dissertation subject and approach must be pre-approved by the Main Campus.
- What support is provided by the Main Campus?
Main Campus provides each extension campus with:
- A Campus Director's Handbook (with periodic updates)
- Course syllabi, outline, quizzes, tests and appropriate answer keys for all programs
- An academic assessment of each student upon receipt of the student's file and transcripts
- The opportunity for your faculty, staff, and students to purchase computer equipment and software from Apple® and other educational vendors at educational prices. These computers and software are not contractually limited to classroom or school administration use, but can be used throughout your ministry as needed without limitation.
- A listing in the Campus Locator page here on the LCU web site that will contain a link to your church website.
Main Campus also:
- Maintains a master file on each student
- Sends one official transcript and a degree/diploma certificate to each student at the completion of each degree program
- Releases official student transcripts to other educational institutions (upon written request of the student)
- Orders on your behalf graduation caps, gowns, and hoods for your graduation ceremony (optional: paid for by your collecting gown fees from students).
- Upon request, provides a speaker for your graduation exercise (expenses paid by the extension campus)
- What are the administrative duties of a Campus Director?
The Campus Director is responsible for:
- Recruiting students
- Collecting applications and all associated paperwork
- Collecting fees and tuition
- Remitting funds to the Main Campus on a timely basis
- Sending originals of all student forms to the Main Campus
- Recruiting instructors
- Ordering all textbooks
- Ensuring that all class sessions are recorded and copies made available to students who were absent during that session
- Maintaining master copies of all class recordings for possible random check from Main Campus or our accrediting commission
- Completing and sending attendance and final grade reports to the Main Campus
- Certifying graduation information with the Main Campus
- Checking their LCU email account regularly to ensure prompt communication with the Main Campus
- Who would be a qualified instructor?
Instructors must have a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree in a ministerial or theological discipline (transfer credits for liberal arts programs are awarded at 50%). In the case of certain Bible institute graduates (for example: Rhema Bible Training Center), you may teach for course credit for the final year of your Bachelor's Degree.
- What are some instructor duties?
The instructor's responsibility is to:
- Read the entire course text and listen to CDs or DVDs from the Main Campus before teaching each course
- Verify that course materials (syllabus, outline, tests and quizzes) are current and ready to hand out to students
- Teach all classes
- Grade all tests, quizzes, and research papers
- Take attendance and record grades
- Assist in making audio recordings of all classes
- Can a campus start without qualified instructors?
Using our DVD courses, local campuses may now be opened in churches which lack academically qualified faculty by offering the courses taught at the Main Campus and recorded on DVD. Potential instructors attend classes with the students while working on their own degrees. As soon as they meet LCU's academic requirements, they may begin teaching the courses "live."
- How do we order books?
The Main Campus provides a list of wholesale book distributors who stock the required textbooks. Each local campus orders books directly from the appropriate distributor. Most qualified churches have already established accounts with some distributors, but if you have not, it is quite simple to open most accounts.
- How much does each student have to pay?
How much a student pays depends his or her level of study.
For audit students, undergraduates and graduate students, the annual cost includes tuition, basic textbooks, and graduation fees. For doctoral students, the annual cost includes tuition for 5 courses and the dissertation phase. Graduation fees and course texts are included, but texts required for research for the dissertation or dissertation bindery fees are not included.
Audit students receive no college credit and pay a reduced tuition. If an audit student desires to convert their coursework to receive college credit, they must pay the tuition difference, then take and pass all tests and/or submit the required research paper(s) for each such course.
The tuition costs for each level of study as displayed in the lists associated with the buttons below represent scenarios where no advanced placement credits have been awarded due to studies at prior institutions or ministry life experience (MLE).
- Do the students have to pay the annual fee all at once?
No. Students pay tuition in 9 equal monthly installments (for audit students and undergraduates) or 11 monthly installments (for graduate students) before the start of each new course. This is a type of interest-free student loan offered as a service by Life Christian University.
- How are the tuition and other fees distributed between local campuses and Main Campus?
Many educational programs operate on a 50%–50% division of the tuition proceeds. Life Christian University has determined to tithe to all its local campuses and operates on a 60%–40% division of tuition with the local campuses retaining the larger portion. All other miscellaneous fees (application, change-of-grade, etc.) cover the costs of administration and are paid 100% to the LCU Main Campus. For a detailed breakdown, please see the "Financials" section of this publication.
- How do we collect and disburse funds?
Each month, students must make their tuition payment to the local campus prior to the start of each course. The per student share due to the Main Campus must be submitted within 7 days of the start of each new course. Forms will be provided for this reporting. This process is explained in more detail in the Campus Director's Handbook.
Like any other ministry or church, we budget and have expenses. We are dependent on prompt payment and expect our campus directors to practice excellence in meeting this obligation.
- What if a student cannot pay for a particular course?
Students must pre-pay each course before attending classes. If a student cannot pre-pay, they are not disqualified from continuing their education, though they might not complete the number of courses required to graduate in the next graduation exercise. There is no provision for partial payment.
If the student is allowed to attend classes without paying, the normal per-student tuition payment must still be made to LCU by the local campus. This process is explained in more detail in the Campus Director's Handbook.
- What about offering tuition discounts and scholarships?
Discounts offered by local campuses will be allowed at their discretion, but all discounts are deducted from the local campus' proceeds. Discounts are customarily offered only to full-time ministers or husbands and wives attending together.
A local campus desiring to scholarship the tuition for one or more of its students may do so for any amount of money up to the total amount of the local campus' proceeds at the Campus Director's discretion. Any campus desiring to grant a full scholarship may certainly do so, but would still be required to pay the normal per-student disbursement due the Main Campus.
- How do we handle a graduation ceremony?
Your graduation ceremony is a wonderful time to recognize the hard work and sacrifices of your students. It is also your best advertisement! How to plan and conduct your graduation ceremony is explained in great detail in the Campus Director's Handbook.
- May we participate in the graduation ceremony at the Main Campus?
Yes. We invite you to attend the annual Main Campus graduation ceremony. This is especially meaningful if you are to receive a degree yourself for your own continuing education.
- What qualifications must be met to start a local campus with LCU?
In order to operate as a local campus of Life Christian University, you are required to meet the following standards:
- If in the U.S., you must be a 501(c)3 tax exempt church.
- Your church must have adequate space to house the university classes
- Your Campus Director must be certified by Life Christian University
- All faculty must be qualified by Life Christian University (unless you are using our DVD program)
- Either the Host Pastor or Campus Director must be able to be contacted by phone during Life Christian University's hours of operation
- Your Campus Director must have access to the Internet
- What government requirements must be met to start a local campus of a degree granting university?
These vary from state to state. You will be contacted by Main Campus with information of any limitations in your state.