About Spring Arbor University

Since 1873, Spring Arbor University has helped students pursue wisdom by offering an education grounded in the Christian faith. What began as a small elementary and secondary school in the late 1800s has evolved into a top-tier, liberal arts, Christian university with more than 4,000 enrolled students. Offering more than 70 undergraduate majors and programs, nine degree completion programs, two associate programs, and 12 graduate programs. With programs presented on campus, online and on site at 17 locations throughout Michigan and in Ohio, the University continues to meet the growing needs of its students.

The Concept | Values | Verse of the Year | Statement of Faith | History

The Concept

The Spring Arbor University mission is known as “The Concept.” It serves as both a mission and creed for all of those who are associated with Spring Arbor University.

Spring Arbor University is a community of learners distinguished by our lifelong involvement in the study and application of the liberal arts, total commitment to Jesus Christ as the perspective for learning, and critical participation in the contemporary world.


  • We, at Spring Arbor University, are committed to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and affirm the importance of learning grounded in God’s Creation and in His uniquely authoritative revelation through Scripture.
  • We, at Spring Arbor University, are committed to a liberal arts education involving the pursuit of all truth as God’s truth, the development of Christian character, and the living integration of faith and learning.
  • We, at Spring Arbor University, are committed to the value and potential of every human being as created in God’s image and thus accountable to Him and responsible for effective, redemptive participation in society and culture.

Verse of the Year

The Verse of the Year for the 2014-15 academic year is Luke 10:27-28:

He answered, “‘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.'”

Statement of Faith

As an institution affiliated with the Free Methodist Church, Spring Arbor University affirms the Articles of Religion contained in the church’s Book of Discipline. The University acknowledges that the specific doctrinal confession to which it adheres does not define orthodoxy for the whole body of Christ, nor is it comprehensive of every Christian truth. Spring Arbor University embraces all who faithfully adhere to the essentials of biblical Christianity as fellow believers and co-laborers in Christ’s cause.

The essentials of Christianity are contained in the Statement of Faith. The faculty members in the Department of Religion must further affirm the Articles of Religion of the Free Methodist Church. Learn more about Spring Arbor University’s Statement of Faith.


Over 140 years ago, Edward Payson (E.P.) Hart and Martha (Mattie) Bishop Hart left the comforts of their Illinois home where E.P. was serving as a pastor to fulfill an important purpose. Eventually, that purpose helped them found today’s Spring Arbor University. The Harts and everyone associated with Spring Arbor since then have shared a commonality that has focused on purpose as they work to glorify Christ in the hearts of many youth who might discover their own purpose and become stewards of their faith. For a detailed look at SAU’s history, visit the Spring Arbor University historical timeline.