Founded in 1882, Pacific Union College is a Seventh-day Adventist Christian college with a strong liberal arts tradition. Located in the heart of California’s Napa Valley, the college offers a fully accredited four-year program and emphasizes academic excellence, authentic spiritual experience, and service to local and worldwide communities.
PUC's Mission Statement
Pacific Union College is a Seventh-day Adventist learning community offering an excellent Christ-centered education that prepares its students for productive lives of useful human service and uncompromising personal integrity.
- The college has been recognized as a National Liberal Arts College by U.S. News & World Report since 2009. Previously, PUC was ranked in the top tier of the Western Regional Colleges category for 17 consecutive years.
- PUC has been maintained uninterrupted accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) since 1951. In 2011, WSCUC renewed PUC’s full accreditation through spring 2018. The college is also accredited by the Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist Schools, Colleges, and Universities.
- The college employs over 90 full-time professors and offers over 70 degrees and programs, including associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
- A 13:1 student-to-teacher ratio provides an excellent level of academic support and mentoring.
- PUC seniors score well above the national average in Major Field Tests (MFTs), with 95th percentile rankings or above for the departments of mathematics and psychology in 2015.
- PUC has a long tradition of high acceptance rates to medical and dental schools and graduate programs. Alumni have attended Loma Linda University, UC Davis School of Law, UCLA, Yale, and other prestigious institutions.
- Faculty includes Fulbright Scholars and National Science Foundation grant winners.
Faith and Service
- Dozens of daily Bible studies, prayer groups, and worship opportunities take place across campus.
- Students participate in over 20 community outreach programs to serve local neighbors and those in need around the world.
- The on-campus PUC Church fills up multiple times during the week as the campus family gathers together to worship.
- Faith and learning are integrated into the classroom, where Christian professors nurture students on their academic and spiritual journeys.
- PUC has sent over 1,300 student missionaries to serve in countries including Chile, the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Kenya, the Marshall Islands, and South Korea.
- School breaks are ideal times to serve for students who engage in long-term projects in Nicaragua, Fiji, Brazil, and Arizona.
- PUC is the Napa Valley’s only four-year college. The destination campus is located 70 miles north of San Francisco and 60 miles east of the Pacific Ocean.
- The campus was recognized as the most beautiful college in the nation by Newsweek magazine.
- The college maintains over 30 miles of hiking and biking trails.
- The Albion Retreat and Learning Center, PUC’s campus on the Mendocino Coast, serves as a home base for classes and retreats.
- PUC’s Northern California location provides easy access to recreation and entertainment in the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento Valley, Lake Tahoe, and beyond.
The PUC story begins with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which has long had a strong commitment to education. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, the church established schools and colleges near major population centers across North America. In 1874 the church founded its first college in Battle Creek, Michigan. A few years later, the rapidly growing California church began looking for a good location for a school in Northern California. Fifteen miles north of Santa Rosa, in the vineyards of Healdsburg, they found ideal property and purchased an imposing, fully furnished brick structure just off Healdsburg's main street. Healdsburg Academy opened there on April 11, 1882, with two teachers and twenty-six students. In 1899, to reflect the expanding curriculum, the school's name was changed to Healdsburg College. In 1906 it became Pacific Union College. In 1909, the church purchased the Angwin Resort in the mountains above St. Helena. They bought the land and its buildings for $60,000, and PUC was dedicated at its present Angwin site on September 29, 1909. The resort's hotel, bowling alleys, and cottages became dormitories, classrooms, and faculty homes. Students and faculty worked together building other structures, often using lumber harvested from the College property. Over time, the campus saw the changes and adventures of a growing country. Changes in facilities and programs reflected shifts in culture and development, including the coming and going of a dairy, a chicken farm, and such courses as blacksmithing and home economics. In time, the college added physical education majors, aviation and film & television programs, and other contemporary fields of study. The school has always had a strong education, religion, and science programs, with particular focus and success in the pre-medical courses. PUC was the first school to meet the denominational Board of Regents' standards for college accreditation, in 1932. In 1933 PUC was accredited by the Northwest Association of Secondary and Higher Schools, another first for Adventist colleges. Accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges came in 1951. One of PUC's major contributions to the Adventist system was the introduction of graduate work in 1934 with the establishment of a very successful summer program called the Advanced Bible School. After the 1936 session, the school was transferred to Washington, D.C., and became the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary. Today the college's beautiful natural setting and California style continue to welcome hundreds of students each year, offering a community of true learning and spiritual authenticity.
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