Pacific Union College: Striving for Academic Excellence


Pacific Union College (PUC) has significantly impacted the world since 1882 by educating and graduating over 27,000 alumni in its beautiful Napa Valley location. Over the past five years, PUC has experienced significant progress and now looks toward executing ambitious plans for the college’s future. These are articulated through a new brand statement that speaks to the values and aspirations that the college holds for its students, as well as its wider campus community: Learn with Purpose. Rise in Faith. Serve with Love.

Students learn with purpose through academic excellence that prepares them for careers of calling, and by association with networks of past and present learners for mentorship and success. They rise in faith by experiencing opportunities PUC provides to build and grow a Christ-centered life characterized by the desire for active faith and discipleship. They serve with love by serving God and humanity, utilizing the values they have adopted in the community of care and compassion modeled by the faculty and staff at PUC.

PUC is increasing its focus on providing efficient career paths or acceptance to prestigious graduate programs. Several new degrees at the school emphasize this, as well as being timely for students seeking meaningful ways to serve communities near and far, including global health, data science, paramedic programs, and conservation technology. The college is excited about the recent enrollment growth of 4% it experienced in fall 2020, the first increase in six years, and a particular achievement given the nationwide average of a nearly equivalent decrease in college enrollments due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other contributing factors.

In 2021, PUC released a detailed Vision for the Future that will expand the school’s reach, make higher education accessible to more students of varying backgrounds, and ensure PUC’s future as a leader in the Christian college marketplace. PUC’s Vision includes four areas of focus: career-focused academic offerings, nurture of the Angwin campus, increasing education centers throughout the Pacific Union, and developing an outstanding online curriculum to make financially viable programs and degrees available for all appropriate markets.

PUC has many reasons to be proud. US News & World Report ranked PUC as #1 in Campus Ethnic Diversity (West), #4 Best Value Schools, #10 in Regional Colleges West, #7 in Best Colleges for Veterans, and #14 in Top Performers on Social Mobility (2020 Best Colleges report). EdSmart has ranked PUC as the #10 Best Christian College in California, and #2 in the nation for associate degree schools that provide the best return on investment after graduation (

Its largest academic programs are nursing, biology, business administration, communication, and visual arts, while its most unique programs include aviation, emergency services, photography, film, and health communication. The visual arts program is the only Seventh-day Adventist college program with accreditation from the National Association for Schools of Art & Design (NASAD.) PUC is one of only 66 NAIA Institutions to achieve gold level Champions of Character Five-Star status, among 249 member schools.
Ralph Trecartin is the president of Pacific Union College.