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NAIA Approves New Members at 74th Annual National Convention

April 14, 2015

CHARLOTTE -- The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Council of Presidents is pleased to announce the approval of six institutions for membership in the NAIA, three as active members and three as associate members, effective August 1, 2015. The announcement occured at the 74th annual NAIA National Convention at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C.

The three new active members are Governors State University (Ill.), Multnomah University (Ore.) and Ohio Christian University. The new associate members are Benedictine University at Mesa (Ariz.), Providence Christian College (Calif.) and Sierra Nevada College, which will all be evaluated for active membership at the end of the 2015-16 academic year.

The NAIA Membership Committee reviewed each institution’s application and determined which institutions would move to the next stage of the process. Those institutions then participated in a campus visit by a Membership Evaluation Team. The recommendations of each campus visit were supported by the Membership Committee, which then were presented to the Council of Presidents for final approval.

“We are very excited to welcome these six institutions into the NAIA and strive to be an integral part of their growth,” Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO said. “Our association offers a different approach that places student-athletes at the center of all decision-making and focuses on character at the core of sports. These Institutions recognize the value NAIA brings and desire to be a part of this great organization.

“These six institutions will be involved with the newly-formed Athletic Director’s Association (ADA) Mentoring Program where they will be paired up with NAIA veteran athletic directors,” Carr continued to say. “We are encouraged by this model and hope the sharing of information will be a terrific resource for these new members.”

The NAIA is in the fourth year of its new membership process, where institutions are only able to apply for NAIA membership on an annual basis. Membership applications must be received in the NAIA office by Oct.1 each year to receive consideration for the following year. Institutions applying to the NAIA must meet membership criteria that include financial stability, sports sponsorship, accreditation and a commitment to character-driven athletics. The Membership Committee also reviews enrollment numbers, graduation percentages, retention rates and overall athletics budgets.