Associates in Elementary Education – Early Childhood


The Elementary Education program at Arizona Christian University trains you in the art and science of teaching children. Three key attributes of the program prepare you for a successful career in education. First, the program emphasizes the integration of education principles across the teaching profession. You will learn that teaching is not compartmentalized, but is a rich combination of research-based theories and hands-on practical experience. Second, the program emphasizes practicality. Through the lens of extensive experience, ACU faculty provide you with timely and valuable glimpses into today’s classrooms. The final and most valuable attribute is the emphasis on mentoring. Because of the intentional small class sizes at ACU, you will be able to develop strong mentoring relationships with your instructors. This mentoring begins in the classroom, and continues through student teaching, and beyond graduation.

Why Early Childhood Education at ACU?

In addition to a faculty to student ratio of 17:1 and a rigorous and biblically-integrated curriculum, ACU’s Early Childhood program offers several unique advantages:

  • ACU’s education graduates are in great demand locally and abroad – 100% of May 2018 graduates secured a teaching position prior to graduation.
  • Faculty in the department have an average of 20 years experience in the field, meaning you are taught by leaders in education who have extensive classroom experience.
  • Small class sizes create a safe, comfortable setting to practice your teaching and hone your skills.
  • God’s Word and His Truths are foundational in all coursework at ACU.
  • All graduates in the certified program also graduate with full ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) certification, which provides opportunities to teach internationally.

What will I study?

The Early Childhood program provides a biblical liberal arts foundation with an innovative approach to general studies that reclaims a Christian conception of the Liberal Arts, preparing students to be influential thinkers. Career-related focus areas will include:

  • Educational Psychology
  • Curriculum and Instruction 
  • Human Development
  • Teaching Methods – research based methods teaching Math, Reading, Language Arts, Science, and
  • Social Studies
  • Special Education Methods
  • Children’s Literature
  • Classroom Management
  • Methods for teaching English
  • Language Learners


Career Paths

Graduates who meet the requirements of the Elementary Education Program are prepared to:

  • Teach grades K-8 (or Birth – 8th grade for those who add the Early Childhood Emphasis) at a charter, private, or public school in their content area
  • Teach in Christian schools in the United States and all over the world because of their ACSI Certification
  • Obtain master’s degrees in leadership, curriculum and instruction, administration, special education, or in their content area
  • Work with children in various church, parachurch, and nonprofit organizations


Shelly Roden School of Education

Arizona Christian University
Building 2000
1 W. Firestorm Way
Glendale, AZ 85306

(602) 489-5300

[email protected]

Associates Degree Courses

Core requirements accumulate to 30 credits, 15 credits of Biblical and Theological Studies and 8 credits of science courses.

CourseCourse NameCredits
Associates of Arts General Education CORE (24 credits)
COM 100Public Speaking3
ENG 101English Composition I3
ENG 102English Composition II3
HUM 201Humanities I (to Birth of Christ)3
HUM 202Humanities II (0 to 1500)3
LIA 101C3: Community, Covenant, Commitments3
LIA 102Biblical Worldview and Culture3
MAT 105Liberal Arts Math3
Associate of Arts General Biblical and Theological Studies (9 credits)
BIB 100Introduction to the Bible and Biblical Interpretation3
BIB 221The Relational God3
BIB 222Image Bearers3
Associates of Arts Foreign Language (8 credits)
___ ___Foreign Language Elective4
___ ___Foreign Language Elective4
Associates of Arts Early Childhood (11 credits)
ECE 260Early Literacy1
ECE 261Human Development for Young Child1
ECE 262Learning Environments for the Young Child1
ECE 264Early Childhood Capstone1
ECE 265Early Childhood Fieldwork I1
ECE 266Early Childhood Fieldwork II1
ECE 267Early Childhood Fieldwork III1
ECE 268Early Childhood Fieldwork IV1
EDU 317Curriculum and Instruction3
General Electives (12 credits)
___ ___Elective3
___ ___Elective3
___ ___Elective3
___ ___Elective3


At Arizona Christian, we structure our programs to effectively prepare students to transform culture in their workplace. Our checksheets are annual guides that support students along the path toward graduation.

Associates Degree


Our professors are experts in their respective fields and passionate about the subjects they teach; they challenge, and stretch their students to reach their goals. Students are encouraged to think critically and analyze what they learn in the classroom thoroughly. These are some of the professors you will work closely with:

Linnea Lyding

Associate Professor
Assistant Dean Shelly Roden School of Education

[email protected]

Dr. Linnea Lyding comes to ACU with over 18 years of elementary and junior high teaching experience in both special and general education classrooms. In addition to being a Reading Specialist, Dr. Lyding holds degrees in Early Childhood, Elementary, and Special Education as well as a doctorate in Leadership and Innovation in Teaching. She understands the challenge of reaching all students, which is why she completed her doctoral work exploring how brain research shows the connection between movement and learning. Now, as an Associate Professor, she enjoys sharing her experience and passions with the pre-service teachers in her program and well as in workshops for classroom teachers, preschool teachers, and college faculty.

Amy Nichols


[email protected]

Mrs. Nichols comes to us from the public school setting.  She taught in the public school system for 15 years before joining our faculty.  She earned her Masters of Education in 2013 from Arizona State University specializing in Curriculum and Instruction and Gifted Education.  Mrs. Nichols earned her B.A. in secondary education and English from Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL.

Related Programs

B.S. in Elementary Education

Shelly Roden School of Education

Minor in Elementary Education

Shelly Roden School of Education

Minor In Early Childhood Education

Shelly Roden School of Education