SCU Honored by NAIA as 5-Star School

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has added Southwestern Christian University to the organization’s "Champions of Character" Five-Star Institution list, according to information sent to university president Dr. Reggies Wenyika and athletic director Mark Arthur.

The Champions of Character and its scorecard was created to convert the NAIA's vision and strategy into measurable goals to monitor progress toward advancing character-driven intercollegiate athletics. Points are earned in five key areas: character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition and character promotion. Institutions earned points based upon exceptional student-athlete grade point averages and by obtaining zero ejections during competition throughout the course of the academic year

“The Champions of Character program continues to grow and impact people throughout the nation as a result of the passion and commitment of NAIA members such as Southwestern Christian University,” said Kristen Gillette, NAIA Director of Champions of Character. “We trust that SCU will continue to spread the Champions of Character message over the coming year.”

The NAIA Champions of Character program is designed to create an environment in which every NAIA student-athlete, coach, official and spectator is committed to the true spirit of competition through the five basic tenets:  

Integrity: The internal traits that develop, guide and ensure positive behavior  

Respect: The simple act of treating others the way you would want to be treated  

Responsibility: The social force that guides an individual to work first for the good of the team.  

Sportsmanship: The belief in following the rules, spirit and good-natured etiquette of athletic competition.  

Servant leadership: Dedication to the greater good, for the benefit of all.

The program’s history traces back to 1999 when then NAIA President Steve Baker and the Council of Presidents hired Dr. Jim Poteet to serve as a consultant with the main task of developing a character driven program. Poteet was later hired by SCU and remains today as a professor of Sport Studies, Associate Athletic Director and Director of Athletic Development.

Poteet researched and developed a program with the five basic principles that were later adopted as the NAIA student-athlete model. Poteet was later joined by NAIA staffer Rob Miller who worked together to help put the program in place and elect the first NAIA National Character Committee.

“The level of importance placed on the Champions of Character initiative started back with Jim Poteet, one of its founders.” Wenyika said. “His commitment to developing the program and now the importance stressed by Athletic Director Mark Arthur and the SCU Coaches shows how the program has always been engrained into our university’s fabric. It’s great to be honored.”