Rochester Christian University


Rochester University announces name change to Rochester Christian University

Rochester University in Rochester Hills, Michigan, will change its name to Rochester Christian University in 2024, which will allow the institution to better highlight its Christian heritage and identity, President Brian Stogner said.

In summer 2023, Rochester University was informed that the University of Rochester in New York filed a lawsuit against RU for trademark infringement. From the beginning, both institutions expressed a desire to resolve the case without going through expensive and time-consuming litigation, Stogner said

“We reached an amicable resolution with the University of Rochester concerning this matter,” Stogner said. “During the discussions involved in coming to this decision, it became clear that this change not only brings a resolution to the University of Rochester’s concerns, but also provides our institution with a wonderful opportunity to clarify and communicate our mission, values and purpose.”

Founded in 1959 as North Central Christian College, the institution changed its name to Michigan Christian College in 1978. Then in 1997, it became Rochester College, though it remained a Christian institution. “We realize that our status as a Christian institution is not widely known or well understood. Thus, we will be publicly expressing this identity by putting the name ‘Christian’ back into our name,” he said.

Stogner said he also wants to clarify what Christian means to this community. “In today’s world, significant challenges can result from calling yourself ‘Christian’ because some have used that word to exclude rather than to include. But not at Rochester Christian University. Following the example of Jesus, we are committed to loving and valuing every human as a bearer of the image of God. We are dedicated to standing with the oppressed and marginalized, contending for justice, and doing all in our power to create a welcoming, loving, and peaceful space for all of God’s children. ALL are welcome here.”

Rochester Christian University will remain committed to the following:

  • Unity: RCU promotes a unified Christian identity that goes beyond denominational lines. We are rooted in the Churches of Christ, but we are open to those of all faiths.
  • Open Table: As Jesus showed us, everyone is welcome and belongs at the Table of the Lord. RCU invites, embraces and welcomes all of God’s diverse children.
  • Paradoxical Fellowship: RCU strives to create a community where the first are last and the last are first, promoting countercultural and world-transforming gospel values.

“For over 60 years, this institution has strived to provide an outstanding Christ-centered education to our students,” Stogner said. “We have always been at our best when we have worked together, trusted in God’s providence, and stayed committed to our shared vision, faith and principles. We are excited to move forward as we reaffirm our foundation in faith.”


Rochester University in Rochester Hills, Michigan, is an accredited liberal arts educational institution that prepares students for professional and personal success as they serve in God’s world. Founded in 1959, the university offers 29 bachelor’s degree majors and three master’s degrees.


Lora Hutson

To watch Dr. Stogner’s chapel announcement visit,