History & Heritage

Our Heritage

AdventHealth University has a rich tradition associated with the pioneering healthcare (1866) and education (1872) reform movements started by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The church now operates one of the largest worldwide networks of healthcare and education facilities in the world.

The healthcare system extends the healing ministry of Christ to patients at 173 hospitals, 126 nursing homes, and 294 clinics around the world. The University campus is located next to Florida Hospital – one of the largest medical facilities on earth – and for several years running the #1 rated hospital in Florida (U.S. News & World Report).

The education system extends the teaching ministry of Christ to students at 7,579 schools serving over 1.8 million students. AHU is one of 114 Adventist colleges and universities operating throughout the world. This educational system represents the largest operated by any Protestant Christian denomination.

Our History

The history of the University’s Orlando campus extends back over a century. Nursing education began at Florida Hospital in 1913. Over the years, the hospital added programs in Radiography (1962), Practical Nursing (1964), and Sonography (1988).

In 1992, those four programs were combined to form a new school, Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences. The school became a baccalaureate-granting institution in 1998 with the addition of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

In order to reach distant students across the nation, AHU in 2001 became an early adopter of online education. The University offers online baccalaureate programs in Radiologic Sciences, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Nursing, and graduate degrees in Healthcare Administration.

In 2008, AHU began its first graduate programs offering a master’s degree in Nurse Anesthesia. Other degrees followed: a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy in 2011; a master’s degree in Healthcare Administration in 2013; a master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies in 2015; and the first doctoral degree in Physical Therapy in 2016.

AdventHealth University, partnering with the Adventist Health System, has become an institution of excellence and innovation. Currently, the University is doing pioneering work on the delivery of mission through a variety of educational modalities. Our vision is for AHU graduates to extend the healing ministry of Christ.

The University continues to advance the work of that small church born in the middle of the nineteenth century by bringing transformation, innovation, and good news to the lives of its students and patients. Building on its rich educational heritage, AdventHealth University continues to grow as an institution committed to developing skilled professionals who live the healing values of Christ.