News: CCU Launches Doctor of Nursing Practice

CCU Launches Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Visionary Leadership

Colorado Christian University announces its first doctoral-level degree program, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Visionary Leadership. The University received approval for the program from its regional accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission, during the commission's January 14 meeting. The DNP will be offered through the School of Nursing and Health Professions in the College of Adult and Graduate Studies.

"The nursing programs at Colorado Christian University continue to grow exponentially, and for good reason. At CCU, we emphasize that nursing isn't just a vocation, it's a ministry and a calling," Dr. Donald W. Sweeting, president of CCU, said. "This new doctoral program will continue our tradition of educating Christ-centered, compassionate nursing leaders."

CCU's DNP is an online, practice-focused doctorate that will prepare experts in specialized advanced nursing practice. Graduates will be able to apply credible research and translate evidence-based practice into improved health outcomes. The first cohort is slated to begin classes in April 2019.

"DNP programs are growing rapidly across the country to meet the need for advanced clinicians and leaders," Dr. Kristen Mauk, director of graduate nursing programs, said. "It is considered the terminal clinical degree for practicing nurses. In contrast to the Ph.D., which emphasizes original research, the DNP prepares nurses at an advanced level to implement evidence-based practice to improve health outcomes."

Graduates will learn enhanced leadership and nursing practice skills to strengthen healthcare delivery. The online program can be completed in two years of full-time study. Doctoral candidates must have already earned a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. The DNP requires 525 hours of clinical experience beyond the MSN.

"Thirty years ago, Colorado Christian University launched its first master's degree, an M.A. in Biblical Counseling," Gary Armstrong, chairman of the Board of Trustees, said. "With today's announcement, CCU has taken another tremendous step forward in our call to become a great university, by offering our first doctoral program. This is truly a momentous day in the history of the University."

CCU has a proven track record of educating leaders in the nursing field, launching its first nursing program in 2007. The School of Nursing and Health Professions currently offers an MSN, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), and an RN to BSN. In October 2018, CCU announced an expansion of the BSN program to include traditional undergraduate students in the College of Undergraduate Studies beginning in fall 2019, effectively doubling the program's current student base.

"This is a great advancement for Colorado Christian University and our nursing programs as we seek to follow God's direction," Dr. Barbara White, dean of the School of Nursing and Health Professions, said. "We're excited to expand our educational offerings to the highest level as we strive to prepare visionary leaders for the profession who view nursing as a ministry." 

The University will begin accepting applications for the Doctor of Nursing Practice beginning February 8, 2019, with classes beginning in April 2019. Prospective student inquiries should be directed to Marcus Laws at 303-963-3304, or Additional information can be found at