- Architecture Department
- Architecture Department
- Art and Design Department
- Biblical Theological Studies Department
- Business Department
- Christian Ministries Department
- Communication Arts Department
- Computer Science Department
- Education Department
- English Department
- Exercise Sport Science Department
- History Department
- Institutional Research Board
- Music Department
- Prep Program
- Psychology Department
- Science and Mathematics Department
- Study Abroad
- Worship Arts Department
We are very grateful to a number of colleagues who have worked countless hours on the Strategic Planning Committee. Members of the committee include:
• Gillian Stewart-Wells (Chair), former Provost and Chief Academic Officer
• Jeffery Carl, Faculty
• Walter Lopez, Director of Finance and Accounting
• Chad Briggs: Director, Institutional Research & Effectiveness
• Brenda Buckley-Hughes, Faculty, Graduate Programs
• Christina Cariello, Executive Assistant to the Provost/Academics
• Kristen Egan, Vice President for Advancement & Alumni Relations
• Nikki Fennern, Executive Vice President
• Aubrey Flickema, Dean of Student Life & Leadership
• Ginny Guth, Vice President for Student Success/University Registrar
• Jim Halverson, Faculty, Traditional Undergraduate
• Rafa Heck, Athletics
• Robert Kania, Faculty, Traditional Undergraduate
• Dawn Karlovsky, Faculty, Division of Professional Studies
• Teri Stein-Merrill, Faculty, Division of Professional Studies
Thank you to Judson Alumnus Kaylie Malenius for the cover design and Graphic Designer Maya Lopez for the brochure design.
Judson’s Board of Trustees affirmed the following strategic plan on May 14, 2021, and the university has now begun creating specific Action Items for implementation. Our staff and faculty are already hard at work collaborating to achieve each of these goals and objectives over the next five years.
Judson University strives to be faithful as a higher education institution. Our purpose is to equip Judson graduates to be fully engaged men and women who use their gifts and education to benefit the world. We strive to create a culture of connection, building relationships between professors and students, and preparing students to change the world one life at a time. We are deeply committed to the spiritual development of our community, helping students to go forth and live out an ethos of service and love for the people around them. We work to provide opportunities for students to develop habits of leadership and involvement that they can take with them for the rest of their lives. We cultivate an environment in which excellence is motivated by faith.
Building this strategic plan has been a community effort, enriched by the voices and input from so many stakeholders: faculty, staff, leadership, students, alumni, trustees, and community partners. Over the coming years, we will work together to bring this strategic plan to fruition.
Judson is an evangelical Christian university that represents the Church at work in higher education, equipping students to be fully developed, responsible persons who glorify God by the quality of their personal relationships, their work, and their citizenship within the community, the nation and the world. Through a broadly based education in the liberal arts, sciences and professions, the university enables its students to acquire ideas and concepts that sharpen their insights, develop skills appropriate to their career goals, and develop the skills and commitment for lifelong learning. The Judson community experience challenges graduates to be decisive leaders and active participants in church and society, articulate proponents of Biblical Christianity, persuasive advocates for the sovereignty of God over all life, and effective ambassadors for Christ.
At Judson University, an institution founded in the Baptist tradition, we seek to offer a diverse learning experience that infuses the Christian faith, investigates significant questions of life, and integrates an individual’s sense of purpose. In today’s global society, it is imperative that students are prepared to demonstrate all the things they’ve learned from their university and professional experiences, as well as their personal lives and faith journeys. Judson students, therefore, are prepared to embrace opportunities and challenges in a variety of social and cultural contexts, both at home and around the world.
Our namesake’s quote implies the belief that one’s future is directly tied to God’s assurances. With this in mind, our Strategic Planning Committee was tasked with furthering God’s kingdom by setting an intentional course for what the Academic Life of Judson will look like in the years ahead.
From 2014-2019, Judson’s strategic planning goals were broad in nature, encompassing the following areas: Academic Life, Campus Master Plan, Enrollment and Retention, Judson Community Care and Development, Student Life, Technology.
This plan established a foundation for goal setting and a culture of strategic planning on campus. As the strategic planning process came to a close, Judson University’s President entrusted the development of a new, academically-focused strategic plan to the Provost and Chief Academic Officer. Over the summer of 2019, she assembled a core group of four individuals who reviewed past strategic plans, developed a timeline for the process, and generated a list of potential Strategic Planning Committee members. Though the plan is specifically angled toward Academic Life, it was important for committee membership to be drawn from a broad spectrum of departments in order to ensure a variety of perspectives were represented. The Committee began meeting in the summer of 2019 and, monthly, throughout the 2019 – 2020 academic year. The core group, now three, then met with small groups of committee members throughout the summer of 2020; and resumed monthly, sometimes bi-monthly, meetings in the fall of 2020. In December 2020, a Strategic Plan draft was submitted to the president for his review. Then in January 2021, it was presented to university stakeholders in order to gather their input, and ensure the document reflects the entire Judson community. The stakeholders included the following: full-time and adjunct faculty, staff, administration, students, alumni, and Board of Trustee members. Following this community-wide feedback process of engagement, the Strategic Planning Committee synthesized the feedback, making adjustments, and, in May of 2021, submitted the next draft to the Board of Trustees for their blessing to move forward in creating Action Items. In the Fall and Spring of Academic Year 21-22, faculty and staff reviewed the Themes, Goals, and Objectives to create Action Items for Objectives that centered around their departments. After receiving Action Items for Themes One and Two in December of 2021, the Strategic Planning Committee reviewed them, looking for redundancies among departments. The Committee repeated this process for Themes Three and Four once they received them from the faculty and staff in May of 2022. This method was completed in December 2022, and the full draft of the Strategic Plan was submitted to the president for his review. This process has resulted in the following Themes, Goals, Objectives, and Action Items, which will be enacted through Academic Year 2025-2026. As is often the case with Strategic Plans, a number of Action Items were completed throughout the iterative process of crafting, editing, and approving. These Action Items do not appear in this draft but are being cataloged for monitoring the successful progress of this Strategic Plan.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Romans 12:2 NSRV
Founded in the Baptist tradition, Judson University seeks to offer a diverse learning experience that infuses the Christian faith, investigates significant questions of life, integrates an individual’s sense of purpose, and develops servant leaders. Members of the Judson University Academic Community will encounter the Christian faith through critical and disciplined interaction with God’s word and God’s world. Further, members of the Judson University Academic Community will pursue academic formation by developing valuable practical and intellectual skills, connecting all areas of study in a variety of ways, and practicing the capacity to contribute to our communities. Finally, members of the Judson University Academic Community will bear witness to each other’s search for purpose. We are created in God’s image and, therefore, possess gifts and interests that may be cultivated in disciplinary study leading to meaningful work, the development of servant leaders who care about the well-being of individuals, and the flourishing of communities.
Goal One: Members of the Judson University academic community will encounter the Christian faith through critical and disciplined interaction with God’s word and God’s world. Rigorous engagement with the Christian faith and its implications for life, work, and learning equips us to become ethical and redemptive servants, leaders, and stewards.
- Objective One: Intentionally integrate faith and learning through the design of curriculum, co-curricular opportunities, and faculty development.
- Objective Two: Academics, Student Life, Student Success, and Athletics will coordinate to create an intentionally holistic student experience that will develop servant leaders
Goal Two: Members of the Judson University academic community will pursue academic formation by developing valuable practical and intellectual skills (e.g., expertise in major/field, critical and creative thinking, information literacy, integrative learning, and effective communication), connecting all areas of study in a variety of ways, utilizing diverse and inclusive practices, and practicing the capacity to contribute to our communities.
- Objective One: Incorporate diverse and inclusive practices into curriculum design and co-curricular opportunities.
- Objective Two: Develop opportunities for engaging students in the community by creating meaningful co-curricular experiences that tie into their curriculum.
- Objective Three: Ensure that external standards for excellence are met (special accreditation, conformity to professional society standards, etc.) and that programs prepare students to pursue employment and post-graduate study in their chosen field.
- Objective Four: Academic programs and the general education program will coordinate to intentionally integrate learning across academic disciplines.
Goal Three: Members of the Judson University academic community will bear witness to each other’s search for purpose.
- Objective One: Create opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to help realize or find their purpose, personally, professionally, and spiritually.
“And I have filled him with divine spirit, with ability, intelligence, and knowledge in every kind of craft, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, in every kind of craft.”
Exodus 31:3-5 NSRV
Judson strives to enact a proactive approach to developing curriculum, allocating resources to academic areas, and supporting its educational mission with faculty, support staff, and technology. As the interests of incoming students become more diverse and the demand for customization increases, departments will collaborate to develop a range of academically viable paths for students to complete programs, combine interests to create tailored majors, and develop broad skills sets. The mission fit of academic programs, alignment with University goals, and responsiveness to emerging trends impacting higher education will be assessed routinely and thoroughly in order to ensure Judson offers programs with strong, measurable outcomes into the future. Generational trends, technology, and an increased demand for access, accountability, and affordability are significant drivers that will be considered.
Goal One: Strengthen and sustain programs that successfully contribute to the mission and accomplish the educational goals of the institution.
- Objective One: Develop a structure for program prioritization.
- Objective Two: Develop processes and/or criteria that tie budgeting to program prioritization; including equipment, human resources, library resources, physical infrastructure, and technology that will enable Judson University to operate more efficiently.
- Objective Three: Develop a Department for Teaching and Learning to support classroom instruction, curriculum development, professional development, and technical training for faculty and instructional staff.
- Objective Four: Invest in the Student Success Center in order to expand tutoring, life-skill training, and technical training services.
- Objective Five: Develop criteria to initiate the hiring of staff and student workers, and processes to carry out hiring consistently, equitably, and efficiently.
- Objective Six: Develop criteria to determine fair and competitive compensation for all faculty and academic support staff that considers experience, duties required, disciplinary specialty, and capacity for student recruitment.
- Objective Seven: Ensure better access to internal databases, technology, and equipment by developing systems and processes for inventorying, procuring, and deploying technology resources.
Goal Two: Programs will seek opportunities to collaborate, coordinate, or combine to increase the quality and efficiency of academic offerings.
- Objective One: Foster collaboration among academic departments to ensure Judson offers programs that accomplish our educational goals, are fiscally responsible, consider external factors (e.g., job market, enrollment trends, technological, social, cultural changes), avoid curricular redundancies, and address current and prospective student interests.
- Objective Two: Open new avenues enabling students to combine traditional, hybrid, accelerated, and online course models to complete programs and customize elective options.
Goal Three: Judson will regularly assess, adapt, and revise curriculum to remain current with the institutional mission, educational goals, and external factors (job market, enrollment trends, technological, social, cultural changes, accrediting agencies).
- Objective One: Develop tools to measure and ensure the readiness of graduates as they enter post-college careers, and augment the support services we offer them (e.g., mentoring, career services, etc.).
- Objective Two: Ensure curriculum, teaching models, and methodologies are current.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1 NSRV
Universities that successfully adapt to the changing needs of students and the world are those that will thrive in the years to come. In order to stabilize and grow overall enrollment in this environment, Judson University will seek opportunities to expand its array of graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs, as well as high school prep partnerships, while maintaining a firm commitment to serving an ever-changing demographic of students. Their success is central to the University’s vision of Shaping Lives that Shape the World. Therefore, Judson will explore options through the lens of holistic student development and effectually prepare graduates to work on a global stage.
Goal One: Departments will engage systems and processes to identify new and potential program needs to make Judson University a destination for lifelong learning and the development of servant leaders.
- Objective One: Utilize program prioritization, university assessment, external partners’ data, and skills mapping assessments to identify potential niche markets for program expansion opportunities.
- Objective Two: Update and streamline the program and course proposal processes for graduate and undergraduate courses.
- Objective Three: Develop a university-wide financial process for new program implementation that includes specific, required criteria that must be met or addressed prior to program launch.
- Objective Four: Promote and reward creative, dynamic, and engaging teaching practices and curriculum development.
Goal Two: Judson will engage both internal and external stakeholders to generate a collaborative environment for building programs, majors, certificates, and high school programs, as well as providing opportunities for internships, practicums, and preceptorships.
- Objective One: Create internal and external advisory boards, councils, etc., to support the health and growth of academic and co-curricular programs, and provide opportunities for internships, practicum, and preceptorships.
- Objective Two: Survey students, alumni and corporate sponsors to identify opportunities to expand internships, practicum, and preceptorships.
- Objective Three: Identify and assess opportunities for new partnerships and/or mergers with other institutions, both locally and internationally.
Goal Three: Judson will respond to the educational needs of the professional community. This will involve evaluating the potential for alternative learning methodologies, hybrid programs, and other curricular innovations in order to meet the needs and expectations of a rapidly changing world.
- Objective One: Use academic program prioritization, university assessment, external partners’ data, and skills mapping assessments to identify face-to-face courses that may be reformatted into an online/hybrid model.
- Objective Two: Pursue new partnerships with institutions that currently offer online courses.
- Objective Three: Ensure new courses and programs take advantage of Judson’s digital learning environment.
- Objective Four: Provide professional training opportunities that will enable faculty to appropriately use technology as a pedagogical tool for cultivating innovative approaches to teaching and learning.
“Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!”
Psalm 117: 1-2 NSRV
Diversity at Judson University is a concept, held in the Baptist tradition, which embraces the uniqueness found in each person that God has created. One’s uniqueness comes from a mix of influences such as ethnicity, sex, national origin, religion, physical ability, age, geography, and intellect. This mixture brings a richness of perspectives, talents, and ideas. It is an intentional and active commitment to honor personal uniqueness based on God’s valuation of people. Social justice, equal rights, reconciliation, forgiveness and redemption are important components to the quality of diversity. Judson University administration, faculty, and staff are committed to ensuring that the campus community – both within and outside of the classroom walls – creates a diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning environment for the students, faculty and staff who represent the Kingdom of God. With this in mind, we affirm that diversity was created by God, that diversity is visible throughout God’s creation, that diversity is modeled by God in creation, and that diversity celebrates human differences.
Goal One: Facilitate recruitment of underrepresented populations of faculty and staff.
- Objective One: The President’s Cabinet will determine gaps in underrepresented populations of faculty and staff (using data from AY 2022-23), compare this data to the projected student demographics for AY 2025, and develop a strategy to more closely align faculty and staff, with student demographics.
- Objective Two: Conduct faculty and staff searches, based on need determined from data analysis initiatives, conducted in a way as to maximize the number of applicants from underrepresented populations (e.g., reaching out to HBCUs [Historically Black Colleges and Universities] and HSIs [Hispanic Serving Institutions]).
Goal Two: Reinforce professional development through measurable initiatives that facilitate faculty and staff commitment and retention.
- Objective One: Provide faculty (including adjunct) and staff (including student employee) development to ensure equitable and inclusive hiring and retention practices.
- Objective Two: Use the Faculty and Staff Evaluation processes to assess how faculty and staff are supporting initiatives that are diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
- Objective Three: Implement a robust and inclusive mentor program with senior faculty and staff who are prepared to lead conversations that support new faculty and staff of color.
Goal Three: Create a Fluent/Culturally Relevant Curricular Environment
- Objective One: Use best-practice strategies to ensure underrepresented student populations are set up for academic success.
- Objective Two: Provide curriculum development workshops to determine best practices within given disciplines at least once a term.
- Objective Three: Document regularly how faculty and staff have created a culturally enriched academic environment.
Goal Four: Create an accessible system to respond to negative practices related to cultural diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Objective One: Identify best practices for creating a nurturing environment for all Judson community members.
- Objective Two: Create accessible and safe spaces to share one’s voice and listen to the voices of others.