(Press Release) Fresno Pacific University has been accepted into full membership of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA), beginning this fall.
FPU, which is about to begin year two of the three-year NCAA Division II candidacy period, now has an additional postseason destination during the transition period. The Sunbirds are already full members of the NCAA Division II Pacific West Conference.
A national Christian organization featuring teams from all levels of the NCAA and the NAIA, the NCCAA is quickly turning into one of the most competitive national tournament destinations in the country. Serving more than 100 Christ-centered collegiate institutions throughout the United States and offering 22 national championship events, the association's mission is to use athletic competition as an integral component of education, evangelism and encouragement.
FPU, which is not eligible for NCAA Division II postseason play until 2014, could very well retain affiliation with both associations beyond the transition period. Members of the NCCAA from 1976-1988, FPU is looking forward to re-aligning itself with an organization that is both committed to the Christian faith and quickly expanding its national brand and reputation.
“We are very pleased to become a part of the NCCAA again after all these years,” said FPU Director of Athletics Dennis Janzen. “In addition to providing FPU with a high-quality national postseason championship opportunity while in the NCAA membership transition, our relationship with the NCCAA also renews numerous competitive relationships with affiliated members from across the NCAA Division II, III, and the NAIA. We look forward to an exciting future in the NCCAA.”
FPU will be joining the NCCAA Division I as a member of the West Region that includes four teams from its current conference, the PacWest, and four from its former conference, the GSAC. The 12-team region will include Arizona Christian University, Azusa Pacific University (Calif.), Bethesda Christian University (Calif.), California Baptist University, Corban University (Ore.), Hope International University (Calif.), Fresno Pacific University (Calif.), The Master's College (Calif.), Point Loma Nazarene University (Calif.), San Diego Christian College (Calif.), Simpson University (Calif.) and Trinity Lutheran College (Wash.).
The Sunbirds will have the opportunity to compete for championships in the following sports: baseball, men's & women's basketball, men's & women's cross country, men's & women's track & field, men's & women's soccer, men's & women's tennis, and women's volleyball. Championships in additional sports may be added as membership grows.
"The NCCAA is excited to welcome Fresno Pacific University into its membership,” said NCCAA Executive Director Dan Wood. “As members of the NCCAA from 1976-88, FPU brings an outstanding intercollegiate athletics program led by Christ-centered professionals. We look forward to serving the Great Commission of Christ alongside FPU and their student-athletes, coaches and administrators."
Headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, the NCCAA strives to promote the gospel of Jesus Christ through its 22 National Championships and eight National Invitationals. Many of the NCCAA championship events are organized in an Olympic-style festival, giving student-athletes a unique championship experience. This season, the fall championships for women's volleyball, men's soccer and women's soccer will take place simultaneously in Kissimmee, Florida, at the end of November.