The Association for College and University Religious Affairs (ACURA) is a national collegium of chaplains, deans of religious life, and directors and coordinators of religious affairs. ACURA is an ecumenical and interfaith group of women and men who serve as religious life administrators and currently includes twenty seven institutions of higher education. The group began in 1959 as the Midwest Association for the Coordination of University Religious Affairs at a meeting of eleven large, mostly public institutions and had as its chief concern the role of religion in higher education. Today the group comprises a variety of other types of institutions, including small liberal arts colleges, private research universities, and church related schools. Its focus on the role of religion in higher education remains central to the purposes of the organization. In addition it seeks to address the professional concerns of its members, most of whom are responsible for encouraging and supporting a mission that is ecumenical and inclusive of all faiths. All areas of higher education in which religious or spiritual perspectives might enrich and enliven conversations and strengthen the quality of life in community are of interest to ACURA.
The group meets annually, rotating the hosting on a regional basis. The two and one-half day consultation is organized by the hosting member in consultation with the elected leadership of the group. One of the strengths of the group is the variety of religious programming, intellectual resources and cultural opportunities that might be found on any of the campuses. As a result each conference draws on the strengths and distinctions of the host school. The participation of faculty and senior administrators in the annual consultation is an additional enhancement of the gatherings. Typically ACURA meets during the last week in October.