Citizens of central Kentucky long realized the need for Christian education. In 1900 the members of the Russell Creek Baptist Association, in a meeting at Salem Baptist Church, Campbellsville, Kentucky, appointed a committee to raise funds for building a school. Work progressed steadily, and in 1907 a building was completed and opened for class work as the Russell Creek Academy. The academy grew and expanded. Improvements were made in the curriculum, new departments were added, and the faculty was enlarged. The institution of Russell Creek Academy became Campbellsville College in 1924. In 1933, Campbellsville was among the first to be admitted to the newly organized Kentucky Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. In 1949, the College was accredited by the Southern Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges as a junior college.
In October 1957, at the meeting of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky at Harlan, Kentucky, the Board of Trustees of Campbellsville College was authorized to execute its proposal of expanding Campbellsville College into a four-year institution. In December 1963, the College received membership in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) as an accredited liberal arts senior college.
In December 1994, the Commission on Colleges, acting on the recommendation of the Committee on Criteria and Reports for Institutions at Levels II-VI, approved Campbellsville College for Accreditation at Level III, the offering of the Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction. In 2017, Campbellsville University received Level V approval to offer the Doctor of Philosophy in Management (Ph.D.).
In April 1996, the Board of Trustees changed the status of the institution to that of Campbellsville University. It is now organized into one college and six schools. The Campbellsville University Louisville Education Center provides primarily non-traditional students the opportunity to complete their degrees in several areas of study in the metro area of the country’s 16th largest city. There are also regionals center in Harrodsburg, Somerset, Hodgenville and Liberty, with instructional sites in Elizabethtown, Owensboro and Summersville, all in Kentucky, and a full component of online programs.
As it entered the 21ST century, the University continued its growth in student enrollment, academic programs and facilities. In the spring of 2017, enrollment surpassed 5,000 students for the first time. This growth has been attainable due to expanding online programs and the addition of the regional centers and instructional sites. Campbellsville University has created and is offering more than 100 academic programs of study. In 2017, the university was approved for a level change to a Level 5 Institution and was granted permission to begin offering the first Ph.D. program in the university’s history. Campbellsville University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates, associate, baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the status of Campbellsville University.
Campbellsville University’s Virginia Ponser Flanagan Technology Training Center (CUTTC) is offering a new variety of certificates in a program known as CU Expand. The new programs can be completed in as little as six months, if not sooner, and 20 certificates are being offered. The university also offers a vast offering of certificate programs including ones in Cosmetology, Barbering, Welding and Allied Health.
To keep pace with rising enrollment, the university has completed expansions to the men and women’s residential villages. The Alumni and Friends Park serves as a main entrance to campus at the corner of North Columbia and Broadway.
The University has 611 full-time faculty and staff. There are over 50 major buildings, including the Hawkins Athletic Complex, the E. Bruce Heilman Student Complex and the Virginia Ponser Flanagan Technology Training Center. The Clock/Carillon Tower provides symbolism and sound to the campus community. WLCU 88.7 FM, the University’s first broadcast radio station, signed on the air in 2011.
Enrollment at Campbellsville University is anticipated to average over 10,000 for the foreseeable future where faculty, administration, and staff encourage students to strive for excellence in all areas of life and to seek an integration of Christian faith in living, leading, and learning.