Programs Overview

Caring faculty who are experts in the field mentor studentsThe Judson University Department of Architecture aspires to be a global leader in design education and Christian service. The Department of Architecture is home to undergraduate majors in Architecture and Interior Design as well as the graduate Master of Architecture degree program.

The architecture program was founded in 1997 by a group of faculty and industry leaders with great foresight, courage and faith. The professional Master of Architecture degree was initially accredited* in 2004 by the National Architecture Accrediting Board [NAAB], and it enjoys the highest term of renewed and sustained accreditation at this time. The architecture program, both undergraduate and graduate, is now widely acknowledged for its innovative approach to architectural education including a one year preceptorship [internship] and its context within an evangelical Christian institution.

Building on the strength and foundation of the architecture program, the undergraduate Interior Design major was launched in 2013. It enjoys the alliance with the architecture program as it is experiencing a concentrated period of growth and definition. Students completing the undergraduate major in Interior Design will also earn a minor in Architectural Studies.

The Department of Architecture enjoys a broad and diverse faculty, in both architectural interests and background experiences. The core faculty of full-time professors is complemented by a rich selection of adjunct faculty, from the Chicago architecture and design community, who offer specific expertise and learning content in various areas of the curriculum. Learn more about our Faculty »

Environmental stewardship is a philosophy which guides the department, and each of its programs, in its approach to education, design and a Christian worldview. One example of this philosophy is the building which houses the Department of Architecture. The Harm A. Weber Academic Center is a LEED Gold certified academic building, designed by international architect and Cambridge University professor C. Alan Short. Students complete their education within one of the greenest buildings to study architecture or interior design in the United States. Learn more »


The Judson Architecture Program aspires to be a global leader in architectural education and Christian Service.


Student CritiqueThe Architecture Program provides Judson students with a Christ-centered comprehensive, professional architecture education. Delivered by a committed faculty, the program focuses on:

  • Inspiring students to demonstrate their commitment to our natural environment, sustainability and the development of a quality built environment
  • Encouraging students in academics and community through a interdisciplinary approach that prepares leaders and tempers professionals
  • Nurturing students in the exploration of architecture and its divergent approaches, their creativity in  design, and their expressions of personal beliefs in their personal and professional activities
  • Demonstrating a strong faith-based worldview through our program, teaching, and lives
  • Continuously exploring and defining the intersection between Christianity and architecture education and service.


Light Harvesting in the Benjamin P. Browne Library of HAWAC

The faculty, staff and students of the Architecture Program support the following values that guide our individual activities and group efforts to participate in building God’s kingdom through educational preparation for the practice of architecture. Our values are driven by the truths found in the Bible and can be followed and appreciated from multiple viewpoints.

  • Biblical Standards. We value the Word of God and adhere to its teachings as they relate to both professional and ethical standards and personal relationships
  • Unified Endeavor. We value the balanced coexistence of Christian faith and intellectual life
  • Education. We value knowledge and understanding about buildings and places that can be shared and conveyed, which is the activity of our professional mission. We respond to our position within an academic setting by valuing preeminently the formation of critical minds toward the various approaches to architecture.


We will prepare students for practice by allowing them to develop and follow an approach that is consistent with the critical position they develop in their liberal study of architecture.

  • Stewardship. We value cultural diversity and will encourage its understanding in our community. We respect God’s creation and strive to make good use of the natural world. We will assist each person to achieve and rightly balance their spiritual, personal and professional goals
  • Relationships. We value human relationships and are dedicated to nurturing friendships and links with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, architecture programs, the City of Elgin, and other communities to which we belong.  We strive to create a strong community to which our faculty, staff and students will belong as a reflection of the Kingdom
  • Service. We value service to humanity as an outgrowth of our submission before the Lord and in His desire that we help one another
  • Leadership. We value leadership and opportunities to model biblical truths within our communities
  • Excellence. We value the highest quality performance in all academic and professional activities, and will strive to realize and enjoy the benefits of outstanding design in the built environment and exceptional architectural education


The Judson University architecture program has recently founded a chapter of Tau Sigma Delta Honor Society. Information about TSD can be found by accessing their blogsite.


*In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensing. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted a 6-year, 3-year, or 2-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards. Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may consist of a pre-professional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree that, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.The Judson University, Department of Architecture offers the following NAAB-Accredited degree program:

M.Arch. (pre-professional degree + 42 graduate credits)
Next accreditation visit for the program: 2021


All information regarding NAAB related documentation can be found by clicking here.

Judson University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS).

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Architecture and Interior Design

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