Missouri Baptist University
Missouri Baptist University is a coeducational university located in St. Louis and has an enrollment of 1010 undergraduates and 722 graduate students.
MBU is a premier Christian university in Saint Louis, offering graduate and undergraduate studies in over thirty specialized fields and nine degrees. MBU's education and fine arts programs are nationally known in addition to business, religion, administration of justice, and more.MBU is currently one of the fastest growing higher education institutions in Missouri with an enrollment of over 4,200 students at four locations in the greater Saint Louis area — West County, Lincoln County, Jefferson County, and Franklin County.
Over the last decade, MBU successfully completed a strategic plan to raise $10 million for capital improvements and endowment for the University. In August 2002, the Missouri Baptist College was officially renamed Missouri Baptist University, marking the growth and improvement of the institution over the years. Around the same time, MBU opened a new 1000-seat fine arts facility, which has hosted numerous international music and performance arts events, as well as becoming renown for its acoustic environment. This fall a new student center/coffeehouse will open and the University is currently campaigning toward a sports and recreation complex
History and Heritage
In 1957, a growing need for an evangelical Christian institution in the St. Louis area prompted the opening of a campus extension of Hannibal-LaGrange College at Tower Grove Baptist Church. Sixty-eight students were enrolled that inaugural year.
Now, approaching a half-century later, the fruits of that decision are plainly visible on the 53-acre campus of Missouri Baptist University and beyond.
Classes for the extension center, also known as St. Louis Baptist College, met in the activities building of Tower Grove Baptist Church. In 1964, Missouri Baptist College was chartered as an evangelical Christian, four-year liberal arts college. Under the auspices of Hannibal-LaGrange College and the direction of its president, Dr. L.A. Foster, Bible courses were offered for pastors and laymen. During the second term, several liberal arts courses were requested and provided. Student influence, along with organizational work of St. Louis Baptist leaders, pastors and laymen, influenced MBU’s charter. The first meeting of the Board of Trustees for Missouri Baptist College was held in January 1964. Dr. Frank Kellogg served as the first chairman of the Board of Trustees and later as the second president.
In July of 1964, leaders acquired the site of MBU’s main campus, prime metropolitan acreage near Interstate 270 and Highway 40 in West Saint Louis County. In September of 1968, 186 students began classes, more than tripling the institution’s size in just over a decade. In may 1973, Missouri Baptist College graduated its first class of twenty-nine students, each earning a Bachelor of Arts degree.
In 1980, Missouri Baptist College began a new chapter of its life with the completion of the Pillsbury-Huff Residence Halls, converting from a commuter campus to a residential institution. In the fall of 1986, MBC began offering courses in both Jefferson and Franklin counties to better serve the needs of both traditional and non-traditional students.
In April 2000, the College was approved to offer the Master of Science in Education, a move that proved to be the beginning of a highly successful and extensive graduate program. Today the MBU graduate program includes a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and an expanded offering of its initial graduate program, the Master of Science in Education.
In the spring of 2002, the campus celebrated the completion of the new Spirit of Excellence campaign with the dedication of the new $10 million Pillsbury Chapel and Dale Williams Fine Arts Center. The state-of-the-art building, encompassing more than 58,000 sq. feet, has proved highly useful, acting as a host to numerous musical, religious, business, educational and community events during its brief time of existence. The Spirit of Excellence campaign also led to the renovation of the Thomas and Virginia Field Academic Hall, a much larger cafeteria and bookstore, a new student lounge, an improved computer lab and numerous offices and classrooms. Also in 2002, Missouri Baptist College became Missouri Baptist University, a name hat more accurately positions MBU as a Christian institution of high quality and broad impact in both undergraduate and graduate degree levels. In the fall of 2005, MBU’s enrollment reached an all-time high of 4,460 students. At its thirty-fourth commencement exercises, MBU conferred 579 degrees, yet another MBU record.
Today, MBU offers undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate studies in over thirty specialized fields and nine degrees. As evident in the rapid changes, Missouri Baptist University continues to thrive as the St. Louis area’s only accredited evangelical Christian, liberal arts institution.