All we do centers on training Christians who serve the poor and the addicted. We exist to help multiply the effectiveness of a movement of Christians serving these groups, not to be another Christian university. We are unique because most of our students would not have been served if we did not exist. We are a ministry that runs a school, not a school that happens to be a nonprofit.
We are a global thought leader in disruptive innovation, presenting at gatherings of educational leaders around the world. We are pioneering a new model of higher education that could increase access to Christian higher education by tenfold or more, especially to the poor and the developing world.
Most degrees equipping Christians serve the poor now are only affordable to the upper middle class & the wealthy. This is only getting worse and will significantly affect the leadership pipeline for Christians serving the poor if this is not addressed. Our model enables our tuition to be about half of other Christian colleges.
We are doing this because we see the global opportunity for Christian higher education is great, yet many Christian schools are struggling to survive. While traditional schools are locked into a model that is unsustainable, City Vision and its partners have the freedom to innovate with the affordability that can reach the nations.
City Vision has roots and history that span rescue missions, Christian community development, the Salvation Army, evangelical ministries, Christian recovery and the Black 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. City Vision University today represents a merger of Rescue College, once a program of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, and the parachurch ministry, TechMission (as described below).
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.
City Vision was initially founded to provide online Christian education to staff at evangelical 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. See our Statement of Faith.
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.
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.
We promote Justice through radically affordable, practical education focused on addressing the needs of the poor, addicted and underserved.
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.
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.
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.
We use Technology in our cost-effective, disruptive innovation, lean startup approach to online education. We are pioneering a new model that could dramatically increase access to Christian higher education to those serving the poor and the poor themselves.
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.
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.
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.
City Vision University today represents a merger of Rescue College (once a program of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions) and TechMission. City Vision University legally 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.
Goal 1: Christian Social Service Education: to provide affordable, practical education enabling Christian leaders to transform the lives of the poor, addicted and underserved with continuous innovation.
Goal 2: Radically Affordable and Free Education: to use disruptive innovation to provide free educational content and radically affordable programs to diffuse innovation and best practices for Christians serving the poor and increase our global presence.
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: System 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.