History of Cedarville University
Cedarville College was established on January 26, 1887, through the vision of five godly men who dreamed of a college that would provide Christian young people with an education that was offered within a spiritual framework. Affiliated with the Reformed Presbyterian Church, the College attracted many area students and built its first building, "Old Main," now called "Founders Hall," in 1895. Year after year, Cedarville attracted a record number of students and soon gained a reputation not only for its Bible teaching but also for its liberal arts program.
The turbulence of the first 50 years of the 20th century led to hard times for the College. Following WW II and one final attempt at revitalization, the trustees realized that the enrollment could not support expenses. The College would either have to find another church group to assume its operation or close its doors.
At that time the trustees of the Baptist Bible Institute of Cleveland, Ohio, were seeking a campus on which to expand. Hearing of Cedarville College, they visited the campus and were convinced that Cedarville was the site that God had chosen for their school. Upon mutual agreement by both trustee boards, ownership of the College was transferred on April 4, 1953. Cedarville College became a Baptist college of arts and sciences. James T. Jeremiah, the pastor who first suggested the Baptist Bible Institute-Cedarville College connection, was called to be the College's president.
Soon the College was alive and flourishing. By 1959, the enrollment had grown to 255. Faculty, staff, and facilities were added. Six years later the student body had nearly tripled to 763. By the end of Dr. Jeremiah's 25-year tenure as president in 1978, the College's enrollment had grown to over 1,200 students.
Paul Dixon was then called to lead Cedarville College. Through his leadership, the College has continued to flourish in every area, with nearly 3,000 students, more than 100 programs of study, and many new facilities.
In April of 2000 the Board of Trustees voted to change the designation of the institution from college to university effective September 1, 2000.
Since its founding, Cedarville has coupled a balanced liberal arts program with a conservative theological position in regard to doctrine and patterns of conduct. All classes are taught by dedicated Christian professors who integrate the knowledge of their respective fields with biblical perspectives.
In keeping with the liberal arts concept, the undergraduate curriculum centers on a basic program of general studies including biblical education, communications, global studies, humanities, physical education, science and mathematics, and the social sciences. Following this program, students choose a major field of concentrated study related to their abilities, interests, and career goals.