On September 23, 1924, Cincinnati Christian University (then Cincinnati Bible Seminary) came into existence through the merging of two institutions that had begun just one year previously. McGarvey Bible College in Louisville, Kentucky, and Cincinnati Bible Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio, were similar in purpose and belief.
The Cincinnati Bible Seminary came into being to meet the pressing leadership needs of the Restoration Movement fellowship at that time. The founding principle and the ultimate purpose of the school were to provide church leaders who were well-grounded in the word of God and held its authority in high view.
During the first sixteen years of the school’s existence, the campus consisted of two large residences and a rented church building that served as a chapel and public session meeting place. These were located in the Price Hill area of Cincinnati, not far from the present campus.
In 1939, twenty-seven acres with five buildings were purchased, and the campus moved to its present hilltop location at 2700 Glenway Avenue. The former campus buildings were retained for use as women’s residence halls. In 1941, a Presbyterian church building, previously rented by the college for chapel services, was purchased. That building continued to be used until 1983. Eventually, new construction on the Glenway campus provided housing for men and women, a cafeteria, and additional space for classrooms and offices. By 1953, all functions except chapel services were consolidated on the Glenway campus. In 1968, the Edwin G. Crouch Memorial Building was erected to house the library and the graduate school. Some adjoining properties were added to the campus, and in 1983, the multipurpose building, Presidents Hall, was dedicated.
Dedication was held September 2004 for the new Worship and Ministry Center housing classrooms, offices, commuter study area, student recreational area, coffee house, and a formal worship center with extensive stage facilities.
In 1987, the corporate name of the institution was changed to Cincinnati Bible College & Seminary. The undergraduate division was designated as Cincinnati Bible College, and the graduate division as Cincinnati Bible Seminary. In 2004, with the addition of the College for Adult Learning, the corporate name became Cincinnati Christian University.
For over 90 years, Cincinnati Christian University has sought to train Christian men and women to understand the Scriptures and minister in the name of Jesus in the church and the world. With over 10,000 alumni, CCU has trained a high percentage of the ministers, missionaries and parachurch leaders among the Christian churches and churches of Christ as well as hundreds of volunteer Christian leaders. The scope of their ministry is genuinely worldwide: at last count, CCU had alumni serving in seventy-one countries around the globe.
Today CCU’s mission is simply to provide a Christ-centered, liberal arts education taught with a Christian worldview in students’ chosen fields of study.