Manna U History
Manna University’s roots began with Manna Christian College, formed by Jerry Daley in 1978 to train future pastors and church leaders. Manna Christian College operated on the campus of Manna Church and the curriculum was integrated biblical studies, theology, and practical ministry. The practical ministry aspect was fulfilled through ministry efforts at Manna Church.
Manna Christian College later became Grace Leadership Institute, which sought to train church leaders for Grace Churches International in the areas of Leadership, Worship, Ministry, and Family Life. Grace Leadership Institute was located on the campus of Grace Church of Chapel Hill, with the mission to provide practical and academic education and training to adults in a formal, traditional environment. This education was designed not to replace, but to complement the discipleship efforts of the local church.
Grace College of Divinity was formed in the fall of 2000 as the next logical process in the growth of this initiative, offering structured college curricula taught by faculty with years of ministry experience. As the college expanded to offer Undergraduate, Graduate, and Doctoral degrees, the transition from college to university was a natural one. In 2020 the Board of Directors made the decision to pursue a relaunch of the college as Manna University.
Our programs have received national recognition for academic outcomes and excellence in online learning. The name Manna University recalls our past and our identity as an institution dedicated to advancing the Kingdom of God, all the while propelling us forward into a new phase of growth and effectiveness in equipping the next generation of Christian leaders.
Our Tenets of Faith
The Bible is the inspired Word of God, the written record of His supernatural revelation of Himself to man, absolute in its authority, complete in its revelation, final in its content, and without any errors in its teachings.
God is One God Who reveals Himself in three Persons-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Son of man. He was born of a virgin and is Himself God. We affirm the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, His sinless life, His miracles, His vicarious death as the only sacrifice for the sin of the world, His bodily resurrection from the dead, His ascension to the right hand of God as our intercessor, and His future return in glory. We affirm the finality of Christ’s work for the redemption of mankind and the present freedom of access to the Father.
The Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead in the same body that was laid to rest in the tomb. The bodies of all believers who die will be raised from the dead, and they will receive an incorruptible body like unto His glorious body (I Cor. 15:53; Phil. 3:21). All other men shall be raised unto “the resurrection of judgment” (Jn. 5:28, 29).
Jesus Christ will come again to earth a second time personally (Acts 1:11; I Thess. 4:16), bodily (Acts 1:11; Col. 2:90), and visibly.
All men in their natural state are lost, alienated from God, spiritually dead: “All have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Salvation is only by grace, a free gift of God; Spiritual rebirth is the only means of salvation and eternal life through faith in the Lord Jesus, who died for our sins according to the Scriptures. Those who are regenerated are born of the Spirit, become children of God and are made new creatures in Christ (II Cor. 5:17).
The Scriptures declare the deity and personality of the Holy Spirit as well as His present work in the church. We affirm that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is an endowment of power for all believers.
Christians, born of the Spirit, are to live the new life in the present power of the Spirit. “If we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also walk” (Gal. 5:16-25; Col. 2:6). The Christian’s responsibility and his normal attitude of life is to yield himself to God (Rom. 6:13), trusting God to keep him. Christian “living” includes Christian service, the winning of souls around us, and the preaching of the Gospel in the uttermost parts of the earth. We affirm the sufficiency of Scripture to govern the conscience of believers.
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Manna University as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to Manna University members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Manna University in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality (Matt 5:16; Phil 2:14-16; 1 Thess 5:22).
As a member institution, Manna U affirms ABHE’s Religious Freedom & Human Sexuality Position Statement.
Accreditation & Affiliations
Manna University is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education, one of the four national faith-related accrediting organizations recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the United States Department of Education.
Manna U is recognized by the Association of Christian Schools International. Teachers can take our Biblical and Theological Studies courses for credit for their ACSI certification. Manna U is approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA), a voluntary agreement among its member states and U.S. territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of post-secondary distance-education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by post-secondary institutions based in another state.
by Frank Brazell Sade' Wilson, the child of Army parents, didn’t grow up in any one city, but she did grow up in one place— the Church. She started to take her relationship with God seriously at the age of 15, and after a conversation with a woman while at church,...
by Frank Brazell Recently, we sat down with alumna Mackenzie Gear (Christian Leadership, ’18) to discuss her experiences as a student, and how it has prepared her to be the Director of Student Ministries for one of the largest and fastest growing churches in the...
Vonnie faithfully attended church most of her life, but was unsure about going back to college after a long break from school. Manna U's helpful staff and student body encouraged her to take the next step. What made you decide to take classes at Manna U? One day as I...