Aviation, BS


The Aviation department at San Diego Christian (SDC) prepares men and women to serve the Lord as professional aviators in missionary, military, commercial, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and in aviation management. Through seamless integration of faith, academics and flight training, you can complete your certificates and ratings in an accelerated program allowing you the opportunity to begin your professional aviation career while completing your degree requirements.

Our flight school is less than a mile from campus, has its own academic classrooms on site, and was just chosen as the only flight school in the nation by Boeing as a pilot production school for them. As you read more about our programs, I hope you will take the opportunity to visit campus—we would love the opportunity to get to know you better.


There has never been a better time in history to begin a career in professional aviation. We offer training in Private, Instrument, Commercial, Certified Flight Instructor (CFI); CFI Instrument (CFII); Multi-Engine Instructor (MEI).

SDC has a letter of agreement (LOA) with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorizing our graduates with 60 approved aviation units to apply for their Restricted Airline Transport Pilot (ATP-R) certificate with only 1000 flight hours rather than 1500 flight hours for non-aviation university graduates.

SDC also has multiple agreements and partnerships leading directly to careers including:

Unmanned aerial systems (UAS): We partner with leading corporations including INSITU, Textron, Action Drone, Unmanned Safety Institute (USI), and General Atomics in our UAS program.

Commercial partners: Some of our commercial partners include Envoy, ExpressJet, Horizon, GoJet, Piedmont, and Mesa airlines. SDC is the only Boeing pilot school in nation.

Military friendly: We have students in Air Force ROTC, USMC guaranteed pilot program, and augmenting the US Coast Guard. In addition, we are fully VA GI Bill® offering training in Private, Instrument, Commercial, CFI, CFII, and MEI with a yellow ribbon addition to help pay for costs for our veterans and San Diego BAH rates. (link to military page)

SDC is a VA GI Bill® aviation approved College in Southern California with private through instructor flight training covering Restricted Airline Transport Program (R-ATP) to allow our students to go to airlines at 1,000 hours, AFROTC, USMC Pilot Program, European Aviation Safety Association (EASA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) training.

Internships: Multiple internships available to students giving both experience and academic credit.

Missionary partners: We team with Missionary Aviation Fellowship (MAF), JAARS, and UIM just to mention a few.

Missionary Loan program: This program provides funds to those called to missionary aviation to help defray costs through donations given to the program to distribute.

Student community and involvement: Alpha Eta Rho (AER), Sigma Delta Chi chapter is a professional co-ed fraternity available at SDC. Our National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) Hawks Flight Team has competed at the national championship level eight years in a row.

Program Details

SDC aviation department meets all Restricted Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) requirements in our Part 141 program allowing our graduates to fly for commercial airlines at the reduced 1,000 hours verses 1,500 hours.

Aviation degree will require a minimum of 124 credit hours:

  • 62 – General Education credit hours
  • 47 -Credit hours in the Aviation Program
  • 15 -General Elective credit hours

Aviation management degree is also offered.

Required program specific courses and credits for aviation majors.

Students pursuing a degree in aviation from SDC can choose from the following concentrations:

  • Aviation Management
  • Commercial Pilot (single engine and multi-engine)
  • Military Pilot
  • Missionary Pilot
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operator and/or Sensor Operator

More information on the Hawks Flight Team Facebook page


Marselus, John, Director of Aviation
Department Chair, Aviation

  • B.S., U.S. Air Force Academy
  • M.A., Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary
  • M.A., Air War College, Maxwell AFB
  • M.Div., Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary
  • D.Min., Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary

Colonel Marselus began service to his country graduating with military honors from the United States Air Force Academy in 1985.  He is a command fighter pilot with over 1200 hours in the A-10 and 1800 hours in the F-15E flying combat missions in both fighter aircraft.  He has received multiple awards for both flying and academics including the John C. Fey Award at the United States Air Force Academy, Distinguished Graduate at Squadron Officers School and the Canadian Forces College, Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism, Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association Award for the outstanding strategy paper on “Joint Employment of Air Power in Support of National Military Strategy,” and the Anthony C. Shine Fighter Pilot Award for the entire USAF.

Alumni Success

SDC has graduates that are making an impact in all disciplines of aviation. We are proud of all their accomplishments and the following stories are merely a small representation of the breadth and depth of their impact.

“SDC is the place where my dreams started to come true. I deeply wanted to be a pilot and at SDC I received the training I needed, and now I’m flying! To major in aviation, you have to be dedicated and diligent. It takes work and sometimes it’s stressful, but it’s always fun. SDC has the best flight instructors and ground courses. You won’t find a better aviation education.” – Josh

Lt. Dominic Anxo, USMC Pilot Training

I wanted to say thank you again for helping me get to this point, words cannot describe how grateful I am. I will graduate USMC: The Basic School (TBS) in September and then I will head straight to Pensacola to start pilot training!

Alumni Success Stories



Our Hawks served at 16 different locations in Santee and San Diego county during our spring IMPACT day of serving, March 28. At SDC, we are passionate about developing programs...

Student-Athlete Earns 2018 Valedictorian

The academic division is proud to announce that Aileena Moreno has earned the honor of representing the graduating class of 2018 as the Valedictorian. She has the highest GPA of...

SDC Team to Travel to Cusco, Peru

This summer, SDC's Volunteers Around the World chapter will be partnering with local physicians and indigenous missionaries in Cusco, Peru, providing resources, support, and...

Jazmine Bradley Named NAIA Scholar-Athlete

Congratulations to SDC Women's Basketball player Jazmine Bradley who was named a 2017-18 NAIA Division 1 Scholar-Athlete! In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach...

Future Missionaries Visit the Second-Largest Missionary Aviation Organization in the World

  During Spring Break this week, four SDC Aviation Missionary students had the opportunity to travel to Arizona to tour JAARS, the second-largest missionary aviation organization...

College For A Weekend

On February 15-17 our Admissions Office hosted 26 prospective students and their families for its second College for a Weekend event of the year. Students stayed in our resident...

GSAC Champions of Character

Two of our very own Hawks were recognized at a Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) Awards Banquet last night, Sunday, February 25. Maritza Martinez from Women's Softball and...

SDC Professor Helps Implement Unmanned Aircraft Systems Pilots Code

Recently, SDC's Director of Aviation, Dr. John Marselus, helped implement the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Pilots Code (UASPC) in an effort to address safety concerns arising from...


SDC is proud to announce the upcoming graduation of the first class of the Master of Science in Leadership (MSL). These students have worked diligently for two years, and we are...

MLK Day – a day “on”

"Life's most persostent and urgent question is: what are you willing to do for others?" - Martin Luther King, Jr Monday, January 15 is a day off for SDC in recognition of the...


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