U.S. News and World Report has identified Biola University as one of America’s top 10 “up and coming” national universities — an honor given to some of the nation’s most promising and innovative schools — in its latest annual college rankings, released Sept. 9. Biola also received its highest-ever ranking in the “Best National Universities” category, where it continues to be ranked in the top tier.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by our peers once again on the ‘up and coming’ list of national universities,” Biola President Barry H. Corey said. “To be included in such distinguished company speaks highly of the diligence and commitment of our faculty and staff to fulfilling our mission and vision with excellence.”

As one of 14 total “up and coming” national universities, Biola was identified by peer schools’ presidents, provosts and academic deans as one of the universities “making the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty, student life, campus or facilities,” according to U.S. News.

Biola is the only Christian national university to appear on the “up and coming” list, which also includes such institutions as the University of Southern California, Clemson University and Tulane University. It is the fourth time in five years Biola has been named to the list, which appeared for the first time in 2008 to identify schools that have recently made striking improvements or innovations.

Biola has launched several innovative initiatives in recent years, including Open Biola, online programs such as IRIS, and new academic centers such as the Biola University Center for Christian Thought and the Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts. A vision for further innovation is found in the University Plan, which lays out seven aspirations for the university’s future.

The U.S. News rankings, released each fall, are considered the most notable of the annual published college rankings. For more than 20 years, Biola has been included on U.S. News’ list of national universities, which consists of 280 institutions that “offer a wide range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s and doctoral degrees,” according to U.S. News. This year, Biola is the highest-ranked national university in the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) at No. 161 overall, and one of two CCCU schools in the first tier.

In addition to the U.S. News rankings, Biola earned high marks on several other annual lists. In August, the Princeton Review named Biola a “Best in the West” university for the second year in a row. In July, Forbes recognized Biola as one of “America’s Top Colleges.”

 Meanwhile, the college guide website Niche ranked Biola fourth overall on its national ranking of safest campuses, 13th overall for “best dorms,” and third overall for “friendliest students.”