About Anchor

A fresh approach to faith-driven education

Anchor Christian University is a nonprofit institution with a unique local/global integrated frontline learning model, training Christian leaders for immediate impact in their calling.   Learn where you love!  The University provides a focused curriculum designed to prepare students for their God-designed path and awards associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees.

Our Why

Anchor Christian University aims to amplify the disciple-making mission of the local church worldwide through faith-infused biblical training and education.

Our Vision

To take biblical higher education to the front lines of ministry and leadership using a distance education model to produce graduates who are biblically grounded, faith-driven, relevantly experienced, and highly competent Kingdom citizens.


We are here, not to replace what the church is doing, but partner with local churches and other front-line ministries to help them accomplish their mission.

Local Church Worldwide

The local church is the means through which God will accomplish his mission in the world. It is the front line for equipping the saints for the work of the ministry (Eph. 4:12), a core element of making disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19-20).


Our hope is ANCHORED in Jesus, our forerunner (Heb. 6:19-20). We have confidence in His sufficiency (Heb. 11:1). We seek to please God, believing both that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him (Heb. 11:6). We live and learn from this place of faith.


We believe the Bible is the inspired and inerrant Word of God. Therefore, it is absolutely true and the final authority for what we believe and how we live our lives. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

Our History

Anchor Christian University was launched as an institution in 2016.  Its foundation is set in several decades of local church and parachurch discipleship ministry and leadership development, reaching back almost 50 years.

In 2016, the educational delivery component of Pilgrimage was strategically separated into a new organization (Eleven:6), with a primary goal to launch Anchor Christian University, while serving the academic delivery relationship for the Bible college (now university) and other school and consulting partners. 

ACU was approved by the Florida Department of Education as a degree-granting institution in July 2016 and launched with its first cohort of students in Fall 2016.

Since inception, the university has developed strategic transfer agreements with several regionally-accredited partner schools, grown a network of frontline ministry partners, developed new undergraduate and graduate programs and began delivering all-Spanish language courses and programs throughout Latin America via our partnership with Servant Leaders.

Student serving in Honduras. LEARN where you LOVE.

In 1991, Pilgrimage transitioned with Dennis Wilhite to a Bible college in PA, when he transitioned from pastor to professor.  Pilgrimage began developing college courses, then programs, that blended its discipleship skillset training with academic structures and outcomes to meet the school's accreditation requirements while keeping discipleship and ministry skill development in the driver's seat, delivering courses on behalf of the Bible college for students serving in ministries across the globe.

In 2003, the leadership of Pilgrimage was transitioned to Ben Wilhite.  Over the next several years, Pilgrimage refined and formalized its proprietary integrated academic delivery approach into the Learning Blueprint model that now frames an active learning approach used for all ACU courses today.

Early 70s Algonquin Group

In 1972, a young youth pastor named Dennis Wilhite took a group of high school boys on a canoe trip to Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada, which began a journey of discovering and honing core skills for using active learning environments to build discipleship relationships that help people engage truth and grow in Christ.  In 1984, he started an organization called Pilgrimage and its Wilderness Institute for Leadership Development to help other ministry leaders acquire and grow in that skillset using the wilderness as a platform.

State Authorization

Anchor Christian University grants degrees under the authority of the Florida State Board of Independent Colleges and Universities in compliance with Section 1005.06(1)(f), Florida Statutes.

While ACU strives to build articulation agreements and strategic partnerships with other post-secondary degree-granting institutions, there is no guarantee academic credit will transfer to degree programs elsewhere, outside of existing agreements.

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