Champions of Character



Champions of Character on NAIA Campuses -
Mid-Continent University Selected as a
Program Center
     The NAIA Champions of Character program is dedicated to the improvement and development of our core values in all aspects of society. Champions of Character resources aim to further instruct specific groups and individuals on how the program can work for them, as well as provide materials and information specific to their role in the athletic world.
    The Champions of Character program has established five core values that go well beyond the playing field to the daily decisions of our youth.  These character values help young people - and those associated with their development - make good choices in all aspects of their life and reflect the true spirit of competition. These core values include:
  1. Respect -- Those associated with sport show respect by treating themselves, other persons, institutions and their sport according to the highest standards of conduct. It implies civilized and gracious behavior to players, coaches, fans and parents.
  2. Responsibility -- Athletes show responsibility by making academic progress toward graduation their top priority. They solve problems rather than make excuses, and are reliable team players. Students should be accountable for their actions and decisions, and coaches and administrators should maintain high standards of competence and conduct.
  3. Integrity -- For student competitors and their coaches, integrity means keeping commitments and conducting honest behavior.  Coaches must subscribe to and practice the Coaches Code and Code of Ethics, and student-athletes must know and understand the Character Student-Athlete Pledge.
  4. Servant Leadership -- This core value refers to putting the group first and becoming responsible for personal and group roles while performing at your best. Students demonstrating servant leadership have a primary purpose of serving others while striving to become a personal and team leader. The servant-leader provides a critical service to society and the great gift of good example.
  5. Sportsmanship -- The conduct of educational sports according to the highest standards is our expectation for sportsmanship.  Administrators, coaches, students, fans, and parents are expected to act correctly even when others do not, and demonstrate fairness and equity in all contests and relationships.
     Twenty-eight NAIA member institutions, including Mid-Continent University of Mayfield, Kentucky, have been designated as Champions of Character Program Centers.  These colleges and universities are developing extensive outreach activities that reflect Champions of Character core values and also meet the needs of their local communities. The NAIA believes the Program Center concept is vital to the initiative's success, and only institutions that fully embrace the Champions of Character initiative will be approved.
    To qualify as a Program Center, institutions must have certified a campus Champions of Character instructor, involved coaches and student-athletes in educational programs, and engaged selected student-athletes and local community members in outreach initiatives to 2,500 coaches, youth participants and parents in the surrounding community annually. Program Center instructors receive training with the National Center leaders.  Training includes review of Champions of Character programming and values, as well as the development of personalized presentations to use for local community education.
     School districts, youth programs and community organizations can take advantage of speakers and presentations offered by Champions of Character Program Centers on our calendar of events.  Following is a complete list of the 28 program centers:  
  • -        Baker University
  • -        Briar Cliff University
  • -        Campbellsville University
  • -        Cardinal Stritch University
  • -        Concordia University
  • -        Cornerstone University
  • -        Eastern Oregon University
  • -        Fresno Pacific University
  • -        Georgetown College
  • -        Houghton College
  • -        Huston-Tillotson University
  • -        Iowa Wesleyan College
  • -        Jamestown College
  • -        Madonna University
  • -        University of Maine at Machias
  • -        Midway College
  • -        Ohio Dominican University
  • -        Ottawa University
  • -        College of the Ozarks
  • -        College of St. Mary
  • -        College of the Southwest
  • -        United States Military Academy at West Point Department of Physical Education
  • -        Ursuline College
  • -        Vanguard University
  • -        Warner Southern College
  • -        Xavier University of Louisiana
For further information about Champions of Character and the NAIA, please go to