Our 56 member institutions represent 56 distinct ways of interpreting their historical relationships to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Most were founded by representatives of the Church, such as pastors, missionaries, or local congregations. In their early years, many were governed--completely or in part--by a council of the Church, such as a Synod or Presbytery.
Today, all of our schools operate independently, offering a diverse range of college experiences. Dr. John Kuykendall, president emeritus of Davidson College, notes that this diversity reflects the "genius" of the Presbyterian approach to education because each institution is "free to seek its own way" and discover distinct ways to associate faith and learning.
And that's where the APCU comes in. We are an independent, not-for-profit association dedicated to helping each of our member institutions "seek its own way". To accomplish this, the APCU:
APCU member institutions are eligible to participate in APCU-sponsored programs that include an insurance and risk management program, an international student exchange with institutions in Northern Ireland, a tuition exchange for children of faculty and staff members, and a group purchasing through the PC(USA).
The APCU is governed by a board of directors consisting of presidents from 12 member institutions and the president of the Presbyterian College Chaplains Association (PCCA). The Executive Committee of the Board includes the current Board Chair, the Treasurer, the Chair-elect, and the Executive Director of the association. Board members serve three-year terms.
The APCU is a nonprofit corporation incorporated in Kentucky and operated exclusively for religious, charitable and educational purposes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Financiing is supported largely through annual dues paid by member institutions and through gifts to the Presbyterian Colleges Fund, which is maintained by the Presbyterian Foundation. Additional funding comes from APCU strategic partners (vendors), foundations, and special solicitations in support of specific APCU projects.
Convenant with the Presbyterian Church (USA)
The APCU maintains a renewable covenant relationship with the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) of the Presbyterian Church (USA). This covenant describes how the APCU and the PMA will support each other to further the mission of APCU-member institutions and the church’s historical commitment to higher education.