AHU's History & Beliefs
AdventHealth University and AHU Online can trace their beliefs and history back to the healthcare and education reform movements begun by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the 1800s. In 1866, the church opened its first hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan, and began publishing “The Health Reformer.” In 1872, the church opened its first college in Battle Creek.
Today, the church operates Adventist Health System, one of the largest networks of education and healthcare facilities in the world.
The Adventist educational system extends the healing ministry of Christ to 1.8 million students at 7,579 schools worldwide. AHU is one of 114 Adventist universities and colleges operating around the world. The Adventist educational system is one of the largest operated by a Protestant Christian denomination.
AHU and AHU Online's History
AHU has been educating healthcare professionals for more than 100 years. In 1913, the seeds for what would later grow into AHU were planted when Florida Hospital started a nursing education program. Decades later, the hospital added programs in Radiography (1962), Practical Nursing (1964), and Sonography (1988).
In 1992, the Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences was born when the four programs were combined. In 1998, the school added a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, turning it into a baccalaureate-granting institution.
AHU began offering graduate degree programs in 2008. The first degree offered was a master’s in Nurse Anesthesia. In 2011, the University added a master’s program in Occupational Therapy. In 2013, the school added a master’s degree program in Healthcare Administration. A master’s degree program in Physician Assistant Studies followed in 2015. In 2016, AHU began offering its first doctoral degree, in Physical Therapy. In 2018, a doctoral degree of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) was added.
AHU was one of the earliest adopters of online education, in 2001, when AHU Online was established. The school began offering online baccalaureate programs in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Nursing, and Radiologic Sciences. AHU Online also offers master’s degrees in Nursing and Healthcare Administration and certificate programs in advanced imaging.
We continue to advance the work started by that small church in the 19th century, bringing transformation, innovation, and good news to the lives of our students and patients. AHU Online has a rich educational heritage. Building on that heritage, we will continue to grow as an institution committed to developing skilled healthcare professionals who live the healing values of Christ.