For the first time in Southwestern Assemblies of God University’s history, the school has passed 1,800 in enrollment.

The previous record was reached in 2000 with an enrollment of 1,782. For the last six years the school has maintained a consistent enrollment between 1,650-1,700; however, this year, enrollment surged 11 percent over 2006, reaching 1,826.

“Enrollment increases are due to a number of factors,” said Eddie Davis, vice president for enrollment and retention. “Two of the most notable are the addition of two new four-story residence halls that significantly boosted the quality of campus housing and the addition of many new programs.”

The new dorms were the first to be filled to capacity.

The new programs include more than 13 new programs in the last three years alone.

New bachelor’s degree programs include bilingual education, broadcasting, criminal justice, drama, social work, sports management and theological studies.

New master’s degree programs include children and family ministry, history, divinity, middle and secondary education, principalship and school counseling.

“Credit should also be given to SAGU staff and faculty who have captured the vision of the university and continue to tell others about the great things happening at SAGU,” Davis said. “We even had a team of students who were excited about spending their summer traveling the U.S. and telling high-schoolers about SAGU.”

The boost in enrollment follows a “booming” application cycle, Davis said, noting final numbers show applications surged more than 40 percent compared to last year.

On the first day of the semester, he said, the chapel was “noticeably crowded” as the large on-campus student body filled the auditorium.

“While we often talk about the numbers, the greatest thing about the increase is the lives and worldwide impact that these students represent,” said Mark Molina, director of admissions. “Each of these students has a story and that story continues when they graduate and reach their full potential. It is satisfying to be a part of something so meaningful.”