Mission & Goals

Founded in 1901, Trevecca Nazarene University is a fully accredited, comprehensive institution of higher education located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is guided by the following principles.


Trevecca Nazarene University is a Christian community providing education for leadership and service.


Trevecca Nazarene University, founded in 1901 by J.O. McClurkan, is a private, accredited, comprehensive institution of higher learning that exists to meet the higher educational needs of the Church of the Nazarene by providing educational services to qualified individuals who desire a university education in a Christian environment and from a Christian understanding. Its academic programs are based on Christian values that promote scholarship, critical thinking, and meaningful worship for students in preparation for lives of leadership and service to the church, the community, and the world at large.

As the official university for the Church of the Nazarene in the southeastern United States, Trevecca is guided by the Articles of Faith and the Covenant of Christian Conduct of the denomination. It emphasizes the authority of the Bible, time-honored tradition, reasoned thought, and authentic experience of Christian holiness as interpreted by the Wesleyan doctrine and worldview. The university welcomes students of any religious affiliation who subscribe to its ideals and standards.

Trevecca intends that its graduates be socially-conscious, globally-aware, and actively-engaged individuals who are developing holistically in the cognitive, emotional, physical, social, and spiritual areas of being. The desire is that each student will develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They are to be persons of strong Christian character able to make ethical decisions based on biblical principles and reflective thought. Their characteristics should include competence, responsibility, compassion, and the ability to integrate Christian faith and learning in practice.

The university provides a variety of face to face and distance education nontraditional and continuing education professional programs at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels. Traditional undergraduate curricular programs focus on the liberal arts and sciences as reflected in the core curriculum and emphasize a number of professional content areas. While the primary focus of Trevecca faculty is to teach, faculty members are encouraged as reflective practitioners to conduct action research that contributes to the practical wisdom of applied knowledge and enhances the learning experience. All programs strive to prepare students for positions of leadership and service in their chosen careers by clarifying their life calling, developing their intellectual abilities, and engaging them in research, service learning, internships, and/or other opportunities that will allow them to demonstrate practical application of their knowledge and skills.

To achieve its purpose, Trevecca employs faculty, administrators, and staff who model the ideals of the university and, as mentors, seek to foster a supportive and challenging environment in which every student can realize his or her full potential in Christ. Therefore, Trevecca seeks to employ Christians who are competent, professionally qualified, and fully committed to the university’s mission and purpose.


In founding Trevecca in 1901, J. O. McClurkan exhibited an entrepreneurial spirit aimed at meeting the deepest needs of the people of Nashville. His death was front page news. He was known for his selfless service. The genius of his work was the marriage of a holy passion to serve and practical expertise. His legacy is a school founded to shape Godly servants, true saints. Today, we are challenged to build a vision for the next chapter.

As this journey begins, we must keep our eyes on why we exist: to be a Christian community providing high quality education for leadership and service. We live in a world of human need, a world that needs us to stay focused on accomplishing our mission. Centuries of education, technology, and religion have not alleviated human need. At times, they have only deepened the pain of our world. As a result, pessimism has become the ruling attitude of our day. The lack of genuinely transforming power has left us with sound bytes, veneer promises, and evaporating idols. The reason we exist is to make a difference in the world through people who participate in the Trevecca experience.

Two things are needed to make the difference–

People who have a God-given, holy passion to serve
People whose practical expertise is transforming.

The marriage of holy passion and practical expertise is a rare commodity. We believe that holy passion is the result of a transforming encounter with God. Such holiness cannot be educated into people, but is the gift of God available to all who encounter the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. Without this, service to our fellow human tends to tire or turn selfish.

At the same time, a holy passion to serve without practical expertise may harm the very person we intend to help. God has given us the capacity for great service through honing our skills to the highest level of expertise.

We are now writing the next chapter in this grand story. Ten years from now,

  • Trevecca will be a household word in the city of Nashville, known for the Christ-like character and practical expertise of its graduates.
  • The Church of the Nazarene in the southeast will be invigorated by graduates who lead our churches into the trenches of human need.
  • Students will come to Trevecca because they hear stories of life-transformation. They will stay and graduate from Trevecca because they want their life to matter here and now for God.
  • People will want to work at Trevecca because the culture is infected with spiritual depth, excellent service, highest level of trust, and intellectual rigor. People who just want a paycheck will not bother to apply.
  • Teachers will be as committed to their students as they are to their field of study and will define success as Christians prepared to serve with excellence.
  • Generous donors will see the difference Trevecca is making in the world and will fund the cause with unprecedented gifts.
  • Murfreesboro Road will be changed visibly, socially, and morally.

Should we fail, the Church of the Nazarene will flounder in its mission; the city of Nashville will be less just, less peaceful, less neighborly; and a generation of students will be deprived of the most transforming experience of their life. Those who have gone before us insist that we not let McClurkan’s dream die. And we will not.

Operational Goals/Values Statement

At Trevecca Nazarene University we are committed to:

  1. Being a Christian university that serves its primary stakeholder, the southeastern region of the Church of the Nazarene, through delivering higher education rooted in the Wesleyan-holiness tradition.
  2. Serving the Middle Tennessee community and beyond by providing relevant academic programs in a thoroughly Christian atmosphere.
  3. Preparing servant-leaders through the holistic development of students.
  4. Mentoring students and developing life-long relationships with them.
  5. Offering an attractive campus and classroom environments for students and employees that are healthy, safe, and conducive to good teaching and learning.
  6. Growing enrollment while developing new programs in alignment with the mission.
  7. Providing high quality support services at all program locations, implementing best practices in program delivery, and maintaining all university resources in a responsible manner.

Institutional Educational Goals

Trevecca Nazarene University seeks to develop a graduate who:

  1. Has a character capable of leadership and service shaped by the habits and practices of the Christian tradition.
  2. Has developed the capacity for disciplined reflection on the faith through the ministry of the Church and exposure to the parameters of the Christian faith, especially as it is engendered in the Wesleyan-holiness tradition.
  3. Understands the literary, artistic, mathematical, and scientific contributions along with the persons, events, and ideas, which have given shape to civilization.
  4. Has developed an appreciation for the diversity of insight and perspective evident in the global community.
  5. Can write, speak, and use appropriate technologies in order to learn and communicate at a level consistent with an academic community.
  6. Has the critical thinking skills and commitment to learning which will foster a lifetime of intellectual growth.
  7. Sees life in its cognitive and affective; personal and relational; intellectual and spiritual; emotional, physiological, and physical dimensions in a way that engenders wholeness.
  8. Has developed essential skills through practicums, internships, and other educational experiences in the larger community, which will enable him/her to become a productive influence in society.
  9. Demonstrates competence in at least one academic discipline commensurate with the professional and degree standards.

The student learning outcomes listed in each academic area are derived from or are in harmony with these institutional goals.

Strategic Initiatives

INITIATIVE 1: Telling the Trevecca Story

Trevecca Nazarene University will intentionally identify its distinctiveness and deliver clear messages to all of its constituencies. Creative methods will be implemented to expand the awareness of the Trevecca story internally and externally and to embrace its location as an asset for fulfilling our mission.

  1. Review and update integrated marketing plan identifying all of the Trevecca Nazarene University audiences and the consistent, clear, and unified messages we are compelled to send to them.
  2. Maintain an organizational and funding structure that will support the initiatives identified in the integrated marketing plan.
  3. Embrace the City of Nashville and Middle Tennessee as a location that will draw students because of its place as a center of history, culture, business, and religion and that will provide students and graduates with significant opportunities to practice, serve, and witness in its neighborhoods, organizations and businesses.
  4. Document the outcomes and stories of faith, achievement and service from students, faculty and alumni at Trevecca Nazarene University so they can be shared in the marketing initiatives for all audiences.

INITIATIVE 2: Embracing the Opportunities for Growth

Trevecca Nazarene University will embrace opportunities for growth in enrollments and financial resources that will enable the mission of the university to thrive. In order to develop leaders who have a servant’s heart, we will focus on the enhancement of academic, student, and spiritual life through strengthening current programs and establishing new ones.

  1. Develop spiritual life programs that will actively engage our students and establish Trevecca Nazarene University as a center for spiritual development for the Church of the Nazarene in the southeast region.
  2. Research, identify, and support academic, athletic, and extra-curricular pipelines that demonstrate opportunity for growth.
  3. Maintain steady growth toward a student enrollment of 3,000 by Fall 2015, including 1200 traditional undergraduates, 900 of whom are residential; 450 non-traditional undergraduates; 1350 graduate students; and a minority student enrollment representing 19% of the total population.
  4. Grow the financial strength of the university through the annual fund, total giving, alumni giving rate, Trevecca Society members, and new planned gifts with targeted goals based on a 3-5 year rolling average plus 5%.
  5. Maintain the financial strength of the university by annually 1) operating in the black and 2) achieving a composite financial index of greater than 4, less than 5.
  6. Fund capital improvements through an ambitious donor-focused, project-driven approach to fundraising.

INITIATIVE 3: Creating a Campus for the Next Generation

Trevecca Nazarene University will create a campus which will motivate students to participate in all aspects of the campus learning community by the completion of capital projects and renovations that correlate with program growth and through the beautification of existing buildings and landscapes. Intentional gathering spaces will be developed to encourage on-campus relationship development, mentoring and collaboration among and between students, faculty, and staff.

  1. Build a Fine Arts Center where students can experience the gifts of God through creative performance and can prepare to use their gifts in service to the peoples of the world.
  2. Renovate the Greathouse Science Building as a state-of-the-art learning and research facility where students can learn about and be prepared to address the critical health and science issues facing us today and in the future.
  3. Renovate the McClurkan Building for general classroom use.
  4. Build a Field House where students can learn and experience health and holistic living.
  5. Refine and implement the existing University Facilities Master Plan, including a plan for the future utilization of historic campus buildings.
  6. Identify and develop new indoor and outdoor gathering spaces on campus for students and faculty.
  7. Focus on campus safety through improved campus lighting, security cameras, street privatization, and the emergency action plan.

INITIATIVE 4: Organizing for Student Success

Trevecca Nazarene University will sustain a culture of student success in a supportive Christian environment. Each student will be an active participant in the educational, social, and religious life of the community. Students and instructors will engage in holistic, enriching, learner-centered experiences in and outside the classroom. Centralized systems and customer-friendly processes and policies will ensure smooth transactions for students allowing them time to maximize the potential of their success.

  1. Expand the services of the student success center (Center for Leadership, Calling, and Service) in order to more effectively assist students through their college experience, help them develop skills for learning, and guide them in clarifying their calling and vocation, thus enabling them to discern and do God’s will for their life.
  2. Create efficient, customer-friendly systems to serve our students.
  3. Design and implement a student-oriented environment that enhances campus life; to study expanded hours for building availability, food service, and to offer more food options on the campus.
  4. Enhance the student-faculty connection through a variety of social, academic, and spiritual activities.
  5. Energize the social life on the campus through events and recreational opportunities.
  6. Increase retention of undergraduate students over the next five years by 10%.
  7. To increase the traditional graduation rate to 60% for the next five cohort groups.

INITIATIVE 5: Advancing the Quality of the Academic Programs

Trevecca Nazarene University will offer and deliver an exceptional experience to students in each of its academic programs, preparing them for effective servant leadership through high quality standards and instructors, a challenging teaching and learning environment, a climate of collaboration, a culture of adaptability, and a focus on ongoing evaluation and improvement. The university’s academic programs will be distinctive to its mission, financially feasible, and able to attract and retain outstanding faculty, administrators, and students. Graduates will be recognized for their successes.

  1. Provide all students with a rigorous and engaged learning experience.
  2. Maintain a university academic organizational structure and administrative functions that provides efficient, effective, and coordinated support to all academic curricular programs.
  3. Strategically collaborate with other institutions on mutually beneficial partnerships for the delivery of academic programs.
  4. Strengthen the quality of the faculty by promoting and supporting professional development activities that enhance thoughtfulness about the teaching and learning enterprise, scholarly pursuit, and individual faculty enrichment.
  5. Provide significant opportunities for students to engage in service learning, internships, and other experiences that will allow them to demonstrate practical application of their knowledge and skills.
  6. Maintain an academic and spiritual environment that engages individuals and the community in a thoughtful exchange of ideas on challenging issues facing the church.
  7. Offer flexible and alternative academic programming through traditional and innovative delivery systems consistent with the mission of the university, its educational goals, the demands of the market, and current technological forms of communication.
  8. Enhance the academic perception of Trevecca through a marketing emphasis that highlights the university’s academic programs and the successes of its students and graduates, as measured by such indicators as job placements, graduate school rates, licensure exams, and professional honors.
  9. Periodically review all academic programs to ensure offering only those that seek to fulfill the distinct mission of the institution, are most relevant for its primary stakeholders, meet the needs of the marketplace and the goals of the strategic plan, and make the most effective use of institutional resources.
  10. Increase opportunities for undergraduates to participate in research.