History

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The History and Heritage of Missouri Baptist University

When you stroll through our campus, it’s hard to believe that 50 years ago it was a small campus extension with a handful of students. Now, MBU is a flourishing Christian-based university with a growing enrollment, an expanding campus and a highly regarded faculty.

1957: Hannibal-LaGrange College opens an extension at Tower Grove Baptist Church in midtown St. Louis for 68 students taking courses for pastors and laymen

1960: The influence of students, Baptist leaders, pastors and laymen leads the Missouri Baptist Convention to approve the establishment of a Baptist college in St. Louis

1964: The first meeting of the Board of Trustees of Missouri Baptist College

1967: The groundbreaking of the original 81-acre site

1968: Almost 200 students begin classes

1973: The first class of 29 students graduates with Bachelor of Arts degrees

1978: The school achieves its initial accreditation from the North Central Association under the leadership of the college’s third president, Dr. Robert Sutherland

1991 – 1995: Dr. Thomas S. Field updates buildings and focuses on securing stable resources for the college

1995: Missouri Baptist University appoints Dr. R. Alton Lacey as University president, ushering in a chapter of the University marked by expansive growth.

The same year, the college doubled its housing capacity with the opening of North Hall.

1999: Spirit of Excellence Campaign raises $10 million for the Pillsbury Chapel and Dale Williams Fine Arts Center

2000: The University was approved to offer its first masters-level program, the Master of Science in Education. Today, the University offers seven graduate degree programs.

2002: Groundbreaking of Dale Williams Fine Arts Center, which prompts Dr. Lacey to famously say, “This building will stand as a reminder of those who came before, who laid the foundation of this whole enterprise, and it will point to the future with great hope and faith.”

Then Missouri Baptist College becomes Missouri Baptist University, providing a more fitting description of the institution’s increasingly important role in higher education.

2002: MBU opened its flagship building, the Pillsbury Chapel and Dale Williams Fine Arts Center. Every year, more than 100,000 visitors attend various events and performances inside the 53,000-square-foot facility.

2008: MBU began offering its first online degree program, The Master of Science in Education. Today, the University has 9 online programs and hundreds of classes.

2009: The University launched its first terminal degree program, the Doctor of Education.

2011: The University’s next chapter of residential living was unveiled with Spartan Village. Situated on the northern end of campus, the first phase of Spartan Village included the opening of The Carl and Deloris Petty Sports and Recreation Complex and modern apartment style living.

2011: Missouri Baptist University opens the Carl and Deloris Petty Sports and Recreation Complex, a state of the art, 47,000 square foot facility aimed at aiding learning and health and wellness.

2013: Phase II of Spartan Village was completed with the construction of a 4,500 square foot bookstore, an expanded and revamped dining hall and a community-focused resident living facility for more than 100 students.

2013: More than 5,200 students—the most ever—were enrolled at MBU.

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MBU News

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MBU Hosts 5th Annual MBU Freedom Run for Ronald 5k

October 21, 2014

Spartacus and Ronald McDonald have joined forces yet again. Missouri Baptist University and the Ronald McDonald House will host the fifth annual MBU Freedom Run for Ronald 5k  on November 8, 2014. This fun run/walk benefits the Ronald McDonald House, … Learn More

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Recording Artist Erin Bode Joins MBU as Artist-in-Residence

October 3, 2014

Missouri Baptist University students will have an opportunity to study under local singer Erin Bode in conjunction with the University’s new commercial voice program. Bode is well-known for her ability to introduce jazz elements to pop music and classics, creating a fresh … Learn More

Learning Centers

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Missouri Baptist University Regional Learning Centers are here to help you find your stride and accomplish your goals. A journey at any MBU campus is the start to something better.

With classes near you starting every eight weeks, you can begin almost immediately. During your first class, you will quickly realize that our faculty are at the top of their field and eager to help you succeed.

You've started the race, now finish strong.

About MBU

Missouri Baptist University is a Christ-centered university located in Saint Louis. MBU offers more than 40 undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees in education, business and religion and its new terminal degree, the Doctor of Education. In addition to its 66-acre West St. Louis County campus, MBU offers degree programs at 10 regional learning centers throughout Saint Louis, in Southern Illinois and online.
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