Excellence for the Glory of God

Houghton University aspires to be a leading Christ-centered liberal arts and sciences university, providing an academically challenging educational experience through an orthodox Christian worldview. Deeply rooted in the Wesleyan theological tradition, we will equip graduates to transform the world through courageous Christian service, scholarship and leadership.

Review Priorities & Objectives

Core Values

Christ-Centered Excellence

Matthew 16:24-25
Colossians 3:23
2 Timothy 2:15

Selfless Service

Matthew 20:26-28

Biblical Authority

2 Timothy 3:14-17

Loving Relationships

Mark 12:30
John 3:16
John 13:34-35
Philippians 2:3-4

From the President

President Wayne D. Lewis Jr.

Since 1883, Houghton University has provided an intentionally Christ-centered living and learning community for students. Founded initially to serve the boys and girls of Allegany County and Western New York, the university’s reach and impact now include our local Western New York Community but also stretches around the globe. Whether in business, healthcare, the arts, computer science or ministry, Houghton graduates continue to have transformative impact on their communities and the world.

Over the last year, the university community has worked together to develop a set of strategic priorities aimed at strengthening Houghton for today and tomorrow. Most notably from that work, Houghton’s mission is unchanged. Houghton will continue to provide a Christ-centered, academically challenging education in the liberal arts and sciences to students from diverse traditions and economic backgrounds, equipping them to lead and labor as scholar servants in a changing world.

While there has not been a shift in who we are and what we do, there has been some refinement and enhancement to our aspirations, priorities and strategy. For example, the language of the university’s vision, as a clear statement of who we aspire to become over the next five years has been revised. Each of the strategic priorities and objectives included in this document contributes to the achievement of that vision.

Also notable, Houghton has adopted four university core values. These will be familiar to the Houghton community as they reflect who we are and who we desire to be at the deepest level and are manifested in every aspect of the university’s work, from the classroom to the laboratory to the mission field. At our core, we are compelled to pursue Christ-centered excellence in all that we do. Our pursuit of excellence is not for our own notoriety or benefit but for the glory of God. We believe the Bible “uniquely and infallibly reveals God’s plan for His people and how to live out that plan, individually and corporately.” As such, the Bible is authoritative for our beliefs, behavior, policy and decision making. As modeled by our savior, we believe we are called to serve God and serve our brothers and sisters. Also, we cherish relationships. We would cease to be Houghton without the loving relationships that make us so special and so unique.

Houghton’s calling and mission have never been more important. The world needs Houghton. Together, let us fearlessly and relentlessly pursue excellence for the glory of God.

Wayne D. Lewis Jr.

Pursuing Christ-centered excellence through…

Christian Community

Offering an intentionally Christ-centered, highly relational learning environment that provides opportunities for ongoing Christian formation

  • Implement a university framework for Christian formation and disciple-making
  • Provide resources and a program of professional development to equip new and continuing employees to effectively and meaningfully integrate their Christian faith and their work


Offer a Christ-centered education in the liberal arts and sciences that is distinctive for its cultivation of scholar-servants equipped to lead and serve in a rapidly changing world

  • Increase opportunities for applied learning in service of others through activities such as research, internships, community service and global experience
  • Develop additional resources to support the integration of faith and learning for faculty and students
  • Further support and enhance academic advising resources available for faculty and students
  • Refine majors and policies to allow undergraduate students greater opportunities for elective studies and intellectual exploration
  • Further refine and develop attractive graduate programs strongly aligned with institutional mission, market demand and opportunity for enrollment growth
Gillette Hall during the summer at Houghton University.

Capital Investment

Modernize the residential campus through strategic capital investment to enhance the living and learning experience with specific focus on student residence renewal

  • Complete one major student residence renewal project that will enrich student life and significantly improve accessibility, safety, security and privacy
  • Complete two non-residence renewal capital projects to improve campus accessibility, safety, security and aesthetics
Houghton online student working on a laptop.

Digital Transformation

Optimize and modernize the digital infrastructure of the university

  • Establish a Data Governance Committee with a clear vision and goals for:
    • forming and enforcing data governance policies
    • setting up procedures and process for data access and usage
    • defining data standards and monitoring and auditing
    • data usage and collaboration across departments
  • Migrate to a new Enterprise Resource Planning software to streamline processes, increase data visibility, improve data quality and increase overall productivity
  • Modernize the human resources information system
  • Invest in the retention and attraction of highly qualified information technology and data security personnel


Substantially grow the enrollment of the university, including undergraduate programs, graduate programs and programs for high school students

  • Increase strategic investment in university and program-specific marketing
  • Continue emphasis on and commitment to access and affordability for students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds
  • Increase strategic recruitment of U.S. students of color and international students
  • Expand and nurture partnerships with Christian high schools
  • Expand curricular and cocurricular opportunities for high school students to engage with the university
  • Review and revise policies as needed to make Houghton an increasingly transfer-friendly destination for students with college credit
  • Strengthen, enhance and strategically market academic program areas of distinction (i.e. honors, equestrian, pre-health, pre-law, music)
  • Strategically expand athletics offerings for female and male student athletes
Houghton professor Katrina Koehler teaching at the blackboard.


Attract, invest in and retain mission-aligned Christian employees appropriate for meeting the spiritual, academic and community needs and aspirations of the university

  • Implement a revised framework for recruiting and selecting mission-aligned employees
  • Ensure recruitment for open positions includes efforts to recruit men and women from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds
  • Substantially enhance employees’ salary and benefits package
  • Enhance opportunities for employee recognition and awards (e.g., employee awards, distinguished professors or endowed chairs, opportunities for promotion)
  • Expand opportunities and resources to support employees’ professional development
Two Houghton students playing water polo.

Student Experience

Cultivate a learning environment where diverse learners can thrive spiritually, mentally, academically and physically and engage deeply in their passions and vocation

  • Enhance Student Life-sponsored events and activities to increase student participation and engagement in campus life
  • Continue growth and development of Campus Groups with an emphasis on equipping students for lifetime wellness, spiritual formation and disciple-making
  • Increase the level of competitiveness in intercollegiate athletics
  • Develop and implement a cocurricular transcript for residential undergraduate students to document and monitor participation in campus wellness experiences


Houghton University provides an academically challenging Christ-centered education in the liberal arts and sciences to students from diverse traditions and economic backgrounds and equips them to lead and labor as scholar-servants in a changing world.