In June 1960, a new institution of higher learning was officially founded, under the leadership of pastors from the Sun Valley Conservative Baptist Association in Phoenix, Arizona. They called it Southwestern Conservative Baptist Bible College. Today, reflecting the growth of the college and the expansion of its mission, we know it simply as Arizona Christian University.
Over the 50 years that have passed, the world as we know it has changed so dramatically that even the most imaginative minds of that time would have been stretched to conceive of the changes to come. Virtually every area of human existence – politics, education, science, technology, medicine, how we relate to one another, even how we worship – all have been re-thought, re-shaped, and re-invented.
Miss Ida Clouse, a devout Christian, courageous missionary, and registered nurse from the Midwest wanted to make a difference for the cause of Christ. On September 29, 1917, under the Homestead Act, Miss Ida settled 160 barren acres in what was Cactus, Arizona. In the years to follow, Clouse Ranch became a favorite spot for Christian conferences for people all over the southwest. It was not unusual for teenage girls visiting from the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (now known as Biola University) to throw out their bedrolls and sleep under the awnings of Miss Ida's front porch.
In 1959, thirteen years after Miss Ida's death, 35 acres of her land was donated to the Arizona Baptist Convention to create a Bible College. Under the leadership of pastors from the Sun Valley Conservative Baptist Association a proposal was presented and subsequently adopted. In June 1960, Southwestern Conservative Baptist Bible College was officially founded.