Warner Pacific University announced the launch of its new strategic plan, “A Vision With Purpose: The Strategic Plan for Warner Pacific University,” which will guide WPU’s efforts over the next five years. The plan was unanimously approved by the University’s Board of Trustees during their Spring Board Meeting.

 With “A Vision With Purpose,” WPU will undertake 12 key objectives designed to support three key areas of mission fulfillment: (1) “WPU Today” – Serving students with quality, missional academic experience that leads to success; (2) “WPU Tomorrow” – Advancing enrollment growth, campus improvement, resource development and reputational strength; (3) “WPU Always” – Engaging internal staff and faculty, and our external stakeholders, to bring forward their best skills and work collaboratively in support of our uncommon mission. Together, all three of these areas are in service to our most important aspiration of all: “To express the love of Jesus Christ through excellent care and service to our learning community and to our world.”

 The plan was crafted over the course of a full academic year, culminating recently in May, and involved many meetings with faculty and staff at all levels of the university engaging in deep analysis and collaboration to chart WPU’s highest priorities over the next few years. Special thanks to Jennifer Boehmer, Chief of Staff and SVP of Advancement & Strategic Communications, for chairing the effort, Chair Mike Moreland for presiding as Board of Trustees representative, President Brian Johnson for commissioning the work, and to the full Strategic Planning Committee whose names and positions are detailed in full within the document.

 Below is an excerpt of the plan’s introduction. You can view the full plan by visiting here.

 Thank you for your prayers over these goals, that God may continue to guide Warner Pacific University to serve our community and world in ever-stronger ways!

 “A Vision With Purpose” Introduction

The first glimmer of a vision for Warner Pacific University began nearly a century ago – and there is no question that much has changed since then. Planted by the Church of God Ministries Movement of Anderson, Indiana, WPU began as Pacific Bible College in Spokane, Washington in the year 1937, providing two female students with degrees as the totality of its first graduating class. In 1940, the college moved to its present location in the urban heart of Portland, Oregon. In 1957 it changed its name to Warner Pacific College, and in 2018, became Warner Pacific University to better reflect a depth of Christ-centered programs that launch students into career paths ranging from education to nursing to business to social work to ministry and more. Warner Pacific also became the first university in Oregon to be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a Minority Serving Institution.

 Today, from our vantage in 2024, Warner Pacific continues to serve an evolving paradigm. Our array of degrees has blossomed to more master’s level programing, online modalities and adult degree completion options, and graduates hold careers in hospitals, classrooms, and offices, in addition to churches. We welcomed our 8th president, Dr. Brian L. Johnson, who represents our first African American leader as well as an experienced university past-president and noted scholar of 17th Century American Literature. We weathered the COVID-19 pandemic and emerged to become a critical convener of community groups, from supporting educational groups, to accommodating business and nonprofit organizations, to regularly hosting six congregations on the weekends who do not have church homes. Most astoundingly of all, we find ourselves in the position of being named the most ethnically diverse institution in the State of Oregon, with more than 65% of our students identifying as People of Color. Moreover, we are honored to be the only Christian college in the Pacific Northwest to hold designations as both a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), and as an Asian American, Native American, Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI). We are also recognized as serving more than three times the percentage of Black / African American students as are residents of the City of Portland.

 Yet however far forward the Lord leads us in our walk of service, an important clarity of purpose links our past to our present: Christ-centeredness is the enduring heart of what it means to truly deliver quality higher education that uplifts ALL people, and to care for the calling as much as the credential. Our outward expressions may have evolved over the years, but reflective of our Northwest roots, the Lord has consistently led Warner Pacific toward the role of “Pioneer” regardless of the terrain.

 This strategic plan has been deeply and prayerfully considered, understanding that currently WPU faces unprecedented challenges as much as an abundant opportunities. In many ways, we are at a crossroads. We craft this vision forward acknowledging enrollment sustainability as central to our success, and that serving a robust study body is ever-dependent on providing responsive, quality instruction that best serves our community. The road ahead is not easy…but we trust that the Lord will continue to guide us in how best to use this beautiful, verdant hillside of Mt. Tabor as a source for connecting students to the love of Christ, and to the ability to discover their calling no matter where they first began.

 We are calling this “A Vision With Purpose” for two reasons: first, the “With Purpose” phrase reflects our new brand, and the encapsulating intent behind our “WP” logo. Second, just as we work to provide students with avenues to build lives with purpose, so too do we endeavor to hold ourselves to a vision of accountability – to continue building a university with purpose.

 Clearly, resourcing the vision outlined in this plan will challenge us. Our current ways of operating will need to shift, and our aspirations will require new levels of support from our civic and sacred communities. We therefore ask for your prayers over this plan, and that God may lead all of us to use our gifts in service to all who seek quality, Christ-centered higher education at Warner Pacific University.