Arizona Christian University celebrated 104 graduates this past Saturday, May 14 at Bethany Bible Church in Phoenix, AZ, awarding bachelor’s degrees in Behavioral Health, Family Studies, Biblical Studies, Christian Ministries, Biology, Business Administration, Communication, Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Music and for the first time, Psychology. More than 1,600 people were in attendance. The program of the ceremony involved many Class of 2016 graduates, including Martha Irvine singing the National Anthem, ACU Veterans leading the Pledge of Allegiance, Invocation by Becky Capps, a reading from the New Testament by Desiree Jackson, “How Great Thou Art” lead by Matt Lombardi, and Benediction by Timothy Bailes.

Bishop Alexis Thomas, Senior Pastor of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church and 1999 alumnus, delivered a compelling and lively commencement address. He gave the following three graduation expectations to graduates as they waited to walk across the stage and receive their degrees: “Don’t expect everybody to know how special you are – you have to know it. Remind yourself of who you are. … Expect people to consider you to be a little weird. We as Christians are not a sub-culture, we are counterculture. Every now and then, those who don’t believe what we believe will think we’re a little strange. Stand on what you’ve been taught. … Expect your learning to never end. Keep learning every day.”

After awarding the students their diplomas, ACU President Len Munsil delivered the “charge” to the graduates. He encouraged the crowd that the hope of Christians is not in rulers or possessions, but in Jesus Christ, who has overcome the world, and whose Kingdom is not of this world. He reminded them that God is the foundation of all things and that the Class of 2016 from Arizona Christian University is prepared and equipped to be agents of change in our culture, ready and willing to serve and to lead. He ended by commending them for changing ACU’s community and reputation with their amazing and inspiring stories of perseverance, transformation and redemption. Outstanding graduates were also honored in an awards ceremony the Friday evening before Commencement, as faculty, staff, students, family, and friends attended the event held on ACU’s campus.

If you weren’t able to join us, please click here to watch ACU’s 54th Commencement Ceremony.

Click here to view and purchase photos from the Commencement Ceremony.


Graduate Recognition Outstanding Student Award Winners:

Behavior Health: Selah McAvoy

Behavior Health DCP: Rachel Steele

Biblical Studies: Jacob Conrad

Biology: Brianna Lopez

Business Administration: McKenna Arensen

Business Administration DCP: Tamara Yanke

Christian Ministries: Zachary Crane

Christian Ministries DCP: Becky Capps

Christian Service: Keila Llanes and Timothy Bailes

Communication: Phillippi (PJ) Sparks

Elementary Education: Nicholas Martin

Family Studies: Eric Lindahl

Music: Matt Lombardi

Political Science: Stephanie Lloyd

Psychology: Christopher Bates

Secondary Education: Alyssa Belle Turner

Servant Leader Scholars: Selah Beck, McKenna Arensen, Alyssa Belle Turner, Rachel Redding

Outstanding Scholar Athlete: Breana DuHamel and Miguel Navar

Outstanding Scholar Musician: Keila Llanes

Sigma Lambda (Salt and Light) Award: McKenna Arensen, Elizabeth Sparks, Jacob Wilson