Is VIU accredited?

Yes. VIU is fully accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and CHEA (Council for Higher Education Association).

Is VIU affiliated with a church or denomination?

No. We are an independent Christian non-profit educational institution founded by Drs. Norman Geisler (Chancellor) and Joseph Holden (President). VIU emphasizes the instruction of the essentials of the Christian Faith and defends the Christian worldview from a classical/evidential apologetic perspective.

Is tuition affordable?

Yes. VIU offers one of the most affordable tuition rates in the country. Apply for our ministry or need-based scholarships, and qualified applicants may utilize the flexible Pay-As-You-Goprogram to avoid student debt.

Can I complete my degree from home?

Yes. Students may complete their entire degree through our VIU Distance Learning program without relocating to southern California or attending campus courses. However, our doctoral programs have some residency requirements.

Can I transfer previously earned coursework?

Yes. You may transfer in from another institution up to 50% of the VIU program, BA applicants may transfer in up to 90 units. Simply send your official academic transcript for evaluation of transfer credit.

What if I don’t want a degree, but would like to take courses?

No problem. VIU is open to everyone. You can either complete the entire program for academic credit and receive a Certificate of Completion, or take individual courses for personal enrichment. Those taking courses as certificate credit or for personal enrichment do not need to hold any previously earned degrees.

Can I begin my VIU degree program before I graduated from my current school?

Yes. If you would like to start your VIU degree program prior to graduating from your current school, you can be admitted as a ‘certificate’ student and begin courses. Once you complete your current degree we will convert all VIU certificate credit to degree credit.

How can I start taking courses?

The first step is to complete the online Application for Admission located at  After you are admitted to VIU as a student, then you can enroll in your courses anytime. Schedule an appointment with an admissions counselor today!

What are Module courses and when can I register?

Most classes are offered in a traditional semester schedule however VIU offers some of their classes in an intensive one-week modular format. A Module class meets for only one week, Monday through Friday from 6:00pm to 10:00pm on campus, and on Saturday meets from 9:30am to 4:30pm. After this one-week in-class portion is complete, you then have 14 additional weeks to complete all exams and assignments at your own pace. You can register for a course at any time either through our website or calling VIU, though we do prefer your register at least one week prior to the class start date.

Is there a required order for taking classes?

No, but there are three exceptions. First, biblical language courses must be taken in order. For example, Biblical Greek I must be completed prior to enrolling for Biblical Greek II. Second, RW499 Research Methods and Technology Skills is required as your first university course so you can be familiarized with how to do theological research.

How do I register for my on-campus, distance education, and online courses?

To register for an on-campus course, current students register through the VIU online student database, POPULI, or contact the Registrar. Personal Enrichment courses may be registered through the VIU website. For a list of current course offerings go to the “VIU Courses” sub-menu under “Academics” menu.

Can I take a combination of on-campus and external courses? 

Yes, all students may take a combination of distance and residential courses. However, students residing within 50 miles of the Main campus are limited in the amount of distance courses that can be taken. See the VIU Academic Catalog for more details.

Can I transfer prior learning into VIU?

Yes, all prior learning may be evaluated for transfer through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) for $75 per course evaluated. Additional block testing may be required to complete the transfer of prior learning. See Academic Catalog for more details.

Where do I get my textbooks?

Though each on-campus student is responsible for obtaining and purchasing their own textbooks (not from VIU), most distance education students may purchase their books through their local Christian bookstore or through other online retailers such as:

How long do I have to complete a degree?

The timeframes differ for each degree program. Each of these timeframes are covered in the VIU Catalog under Timeframe for Degree/Certificate Completion.

How many courses should I enroll in at a time?

This is up to the students. Full-time enrollment is 12 units per semester for undergraduates, 9 units for graduate and postgraduate students. Some students accelerate their program by taking more courses depending on their schedule.

Where can I find guidance on writing research papers?

All thesis and research papers must be written in the latest edition of Turabian style/format (MA/PhD in Archaeology students have option of SBL style). For assistance with this style format you can read the latest edition of Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations and/or download the “VIU Turabian Helper” located under the “Information” menu, then select “Forms” to access the link. In addition, the RW499 Research Methods and Technology Skills course will familiarize you to research, use various technological research tools, and familiarize you on how to write a research paper. If you still have questions, you may contact your Academic Student Advisor-Counselor.

What’s available in our Library for research? 

The searchable VIU physical library offers over 20,000 physical books (with agreements with other schools) that you can check out and nearly 100,000+ electronic sources (i.e. full-text books and journals, DVDs, MP3s, Video lectures, etc) and research databases  (e.g. EBSCO Host, ProQuest, BAS Archives, etc) onThe William E. Nix Electronic Library (TWENEL). TWENEL can be accessed from the VIU library web page with a user name and password. In addition, electronic research tools (e.g. Logos software) and computer workstations are available to students.

Is there an affordable way to purchase Bible software? 

Yes, Logos Bible Software has arranged for VIU students to receive a discount on all Logos software and additions. These may be purchased from Logos via by mentioning our school name.

Who can I talk to for help? 

Though the entire VIU administration and faculty can assist you in whatever your need may be, your Academic Student Advisor/Counselor would be the most appropriate person to contact.