About City Vision University

Our Mission is to use online education to transform lives through Jesus, Justice and Technology.

Our Vision

We are reinventing Christian higher education to make it radically affordable and relevant to the needs of those serving the poor and addicted. We spread best practices to help a movement of faith-based organizations be more effective in transforming the lives of millions of homeless, addicted and low-income individuals each year. We also dramatically expand educational access to those who were recently homeless, addicted or imprisoned, providing them with education that leads to life transformation and employment.

Our Core Values


‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ – Luke 10:27

  • Bible-centered. The foundation for all we do is our faith in Jesus, grounded in the Bible. We were initially founded to provide online education to staff at Bible-centered organizations serving the poor as well as their program participants. While this still remains a core focus, we have since expanded to also provide Christian education to students pursuing nonprofit and counseling careers. Our goal is to “be in the world, but not of it” in order to maximize relevance while avoiding the tendency toward secularization.
  • Relational Health. We prioritize emotional health and believe that Christian counseling and recovery are important aspects of spiritual formation. We are all called to be wounded healers. We prioritize the larger family and community relationships of our staff. While remote work can help our family relationships, we recognize that it creates a tendency toward shallow work relationships, so we invest effort to offset this tendency. We believe in peacemaking and proactively address conflict. We are not only a university, but also a ministry. As such, our goal is that we would minister to all members of our community: students, faculty, staff, partners and others.
  • Spiritual Integration. We avoid the dualistic separation between the secular and the sacred. We are not a church or a business, but our organizational culture is a unique blend of the spiritual culture of a church and the professional culture of a business. We ensure our academic programs provide deep faith integration reflecting Christian values and worldview.


Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. – Matthew 25:40

  • Focus on the Poor and Addicted. We primarily focus on training students and partner organizations that serve those who are poor and addicted. We use education to diffuse innovations and best practices within larger Christian movements serving under-resourced communities. While much of Christian higher education is increasingly reflecting the values of the affluent, our goal is to be culturally fluent and relevant to diverse movements serving under-resourced communities. We have a core competency in educating students for cross-cultural contexts and invest heavily in contextualizing education to the diverse students and partners we serve.
  • Radically Affordable Education. Christian higher education is becoming increasingly unaffordable for those serving the poor and addicted. Our programs are a fraction of the cost of traditional and large online Christian higher education institutions. Our goal is that each of our academic programs provide the highest return on investment among Christian higher education institutions. We prioritize frugality and efficiency to keep our education affordable. 
  • Practical Education. Our organizational design and academic programs reflect our values of practicality and practitioner experience over theory. We avoid the traditional academic disconnect from practice. Rather than taking students out of their environment to a remote campus, our online education allows students to continue working in the field while learning online. We design highly customized courses and programs so that students can learn exactly what they need to know for their work environment.
  • Student-Centered. Traditional higher education is faculty-centered and designed similar to a caste system with tenured faculty at the top. By contrast, all our systems are designed to focus on students’ needs while also balancing the needs of staff and faculty. We work extremely hard to better understand the needs and goals of our students and their organizations so we can continuously improve.

City Vision has roots and history that span rescue missions, Christian community development, the Salvation Army, evangelical ministries, Christian recovery and the Black and Hispanic church traditions. All of these traditions inform our values and core organizational DNA. Our students come from the following larger movements:

  • Rescue Missions: 29% of students
  • Christian Recovery Movement: 28%
  • Holistic missions organizations: 18%
  • Black Church: 18%
  • Hispanic/Latinx Church: 8%
  • Other CCD’s & Christian ministries serving the poor and addicted: 6%
  • Salvation Army: 4%
  • Teen Challenge: 3%

See How We Partner and our List of Partners.


See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. – Isaiah 43:19

  • Technology Leadership. We believe that technology is a gift from God. Given the importance of technology in shaping society today, technology fluency and leadership are critical skills. We have a core competency in using technology and online education in leveraged ways to transform lives. We are a global thought leader in new models of Christian higher education to increase affordability and access. Our staff work towards high fluency in technology and seek to be bilingual translators of tech concepts to non-technical audiences.
  • Disruptive Innovation. We pursue disruptive innovation for the sake of transforming lives, by making higher education accessible to all who need it. We believe that the traditional system of higher education will inevitably become increasingly unaffordable unless a new system is designed. This will make it inaccessible to the poor, the addicted, and those who seek to serve them. Therefore, we are building a new system of Christian higher education from the ground up, particularly for those serving the poor and addicted. To do that, we use the lean startup and other methods that enable us to maximize our speed of innovation. This requires that staff be willing to adapt quickly to a changing environment. We work to translate tech startup best practices and innovations into our context to transform lives.
  • Sustaining Innovation. We use the latest technologies, innovations and best practices to improve the quality and efficiency of our educational programs and organization. A significant part of how we achieve both radical affordability and quality is by scaling in size and maximizing the speed and efficiency of our operations.

Recognition and Awards

Profile on City Vision President
Andrew Sears
City Vision University's President Andrew Sears' story was featured in Christianity Today.
Read the Story

City Vision/TechMission
Case Study
TechMission/City Vision was the subject of a nonprofit case study by three Northeastern Professors in the Journal of Case Research.
Read the Case Study

US Department of Education
Innovation Award Finalist
City Vision was a finalist in the US Department of Education's "Reimagining the Higher Education Ecosystem" competition along with
edX, Google & others.

Innovation Award Special Recognition
City Vision received a Special Recognition Award for innovative programs in higher education alongside global leaders like MIT and Purdue.
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Thought Leadership in Disruptive Innovation
City Vision University's President Andrew Sears was invited to write two articles for the Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation's blog.
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Article on City Vision Partnership
City Vision was featured in an article in Forbes about our innovative partnership with Saylor Academy.
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History of City Vision

City Vision has roots and history that span rescue missions, Christian community development, the Salvation Army, evangelical ministries, Christian recovery and the Black and Hispanic church traditions. All of these traditions inform our values and core organizational DNA. We also have a rich history of innovation from our leadership’s involvement in co-founding a MIT research group with one of the fathers of the Internet, involvement in the 90’s dot-com boom and leading disruptive innovation in higher education today.


agrmlogo City Vision is founded as the
education arm of AGRM
called Rescue College.



ccdaTechMission is founded out of a Black church ministry, PREP, and the Christian Community Development Association movement and develops a partnership network of 500+ education programs in urban ministries.



deac Rescue College is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission with a Bachelor’s degree completion program in Missions.



TechMission launches UrbanMinistry.org and ChristianVolunteering.org which grew to have 100,000+ open educational resources and became the third most visited website among Christian organizations serving the poor.



transparent tm org logo Rescue College becomes a part of the Christian nonprofit TechMission and is renamed City Vision College.



CityVision SEAL transparent v2 lg City Vision College starts
offering graduate
programs and becomes
City Vision University.​



City Vision’s leadership co-founds the Christian Higher Education Innovation Alliance with 100+ leaders with the vision of expanding Christian higher education to the poor and developing world.



City Vision launches free, non-credit Massive
Open Online Courses in Education Management
in partnership with the Christian Higher Education Innovation Alliance with over 7,000 users.


Our Partners

National Affiliate Partners (15% Scholarship)

Rescue Missions

Any student from a rescue mission or Citygate or GRMF member organization will receive a 15% discount.
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Any student affiliated with the Salvation Army will receive a 15% discount.
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Credit Partners

Students from the Urban Ministry Institute can receive up to 32 credits for prior learning and a scholarship.
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City Vision recognizes Vision International University credits and degrees and a scholarship.
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Students trained in the Genesis Process can receive 3 credits for prior learning and a scholarship.
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City Vision recognizes University of the Nations credits and degrees and provides a scholarship.
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Students taking Thirdmill courses at MyThirdmill.org can receive up to 30 credits for prior learning and a scholarship.
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Students completing Saylor Academy courses can receive credits for prior learning and a scholarship.
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Those completing CLA's Credential Christian Nonprofit Leader program can receive 6 credits with City Vision
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Students from Wheeler's Client Training Program can receive up to 30 credits for prior learning and a scholarship.
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Students completing Harvestime Institute courses can receive credits for prior learning and a scholarship.
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Goal 1: Wounded Healers: to enable those who were formerly addicted, homeless or in prison to gain life skills and employment.

Goal 2: Staff Leadership Development: to train leaders in Christian ministries to more effectively serve the poor and addicted.

Goal 3: Human Capacity: to recruit and develop faculty and staff so they can provide effective education to our students, further our mission and pursue their own calling.

Goal 4: Systems Capacity: to provide effective accounting, finance, technology and administrative support to City Vision University’s programs and services in a way that reflects our values and achieves our mission. 

Goal 5: Financial Capacity: to secure significantly increased resources and expanded enrollment enabling City Vision to add new programs, expand existing programs and further our mission.

This statement of faith comes primarily from the statement of faith of National Association of Evangelicals, with a few minor elements of CCDA’s statement of faith added to reflect our justice values:
  • We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God and through it we are called to live out justice, reconciliation and redemption. We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
  • We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful man, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential and that the church nurtures God’s people gathered as a community to carry out God’s Word.
  • We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
  • We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
  • We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

City Vision University is a “doing business as name” of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit ministry, TechMission. They are essentially the same organization with the same staff, board, finances, etc. TechMission previously had programs other than City Vision, but now it is essentially our only program. TechMission is incorporated in Massachusetts, whereas City Vision University is based out of Kansas City, Missouri.