Lionel University believes that the health and fitness of our society can be significantly improved by our students’ success as health, sports and fitness professionals. Our efforts to stem the tide of poor health and physical decline are multiplied exponentially as our graduates and members disseminate the institution’s principles and methods to their clients, peers and associates. Our mission is to inspire each and every student to positively impact the quality of life of each individual with whom they come in contact.

As a distance education institution and industry leader, Lionel University is unconditionally committed to providing the highest quality distance education programs available, advancing our industry as a whole, and developing greater access to career opportunities for those who share our vision of Creating a Stronger, Healthier World™.

Stackable Programs

Lionel Fast Facts

35 Years in Business
621 Active Students
13 Average Class Size
94% Student Satisfaction
90% Would Recommend Lionel to a Friend

A Groundbreaking History in Exercise Science

In 1988, the most powerful team of fitness experts ever assembled joined together under the leadership of Sal Arria, DC, MSS, and Frederick Hatfield, PhD, MSS, to allow personal training students the ability to acquire knowledge through distance education. Drawn from the elite ranks of research, coaching, sports medicine, and sports and fitness science, these innovators drew a line in the sand to turn the tide toward a more fit and healthy world and transform the fitness of the planet.

Since that initial gathering in 1988, the institution has catapulted to the forefront of the fitness community through its student-centered approach and firm understanding of personal training and exercise science as true healthcare. Formerly the ISSA College of Exercise Science, the institution was the first mover in the personal training education space in the ‘80s, one of the first institutions to offer online study in the ‘90s, the first in the fitness industry to earn accreditation from an accrediting body that is recognized by the US Department of Education, and the first to develop degree programs specifically for personal training.

Human Potential
Human Potential
Humans have an enormous capacity to enhance the world by optimizing the self, a community, a team, or a process. When we invest in the potential of self, staff, and students, we impact the world for the better.
Commitment To Product Quality And Educational Integrity
Commitment to Product Quality and Educational Integrity
We provide high-quality education and design programs that change the way students encounter the world.
Transformation Into Our Best Selves
Transformation into Our Best Selves
We prioritize growing into the best version of our individual and collective selves. We are adaptable to new ways of learning, thinking, and behaving in order to reach our full potential.
Commitment To Quality Work
Commitment to Quality Work
Transformation is not an easy task. It requires focus and dedication. Commitment to quality work from students, faculty, and staff enables us to reach life-changing heights.
Equity And Inclusion
Equity and Inclusion
We foster a community where people with different social identities are encouraged to lead and succeed in different self-determined, authentic ways. Each person comes from a different starting point, and we provide the support and resources for every individual to thrive.
Impact Through Teamwork
Impact Through Teamwork
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Our ability to create the greatest impact lies in a coordinated effort to go far together.
Stewardship Of Resources
Stewardship of Resources
From the Earth to our own energy, time, and talent, we strive for the careful and thoughtful use of resources.
Courageous Attitudes
Courageous Attitudes
We view challenges as opportunities to evaluate, improve, and innovate in order to spur organizational and student success.


Dr. Sal Arria

Founder and CEO

Dr. Alex Hoffmann


President’s Advisory Committee

JoAnn Bauer

Josh Bryant

Michol Dalcort

James Gu

Tedd Keating

Megan Meisner

Angie Miller

Michael Spiegel

Erik E. Wilkins