Cairn University

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Cairn University
Philadelphia Biblical University logo.png
Motto Walk a different path.
Established 1913
Type Private, Nonprofit
Religious affiliation Nondenominational Christian
Chancellor W. Sherrill Babb
President Todd J. Williams
Academic staff 135[1]
Students 1227[1]
Undergraduates 847
Postgraduates 265
Location Langhorne Manor, Pennsylvania, United States
Campus Langhorne Manor, on the outskirts of Philadelphia
Colors Crimson, Black, & White
Mascot Highlanders
Affiliations Association for Biblical Higher Education
Website www.cairn.edu

Cairn University, formerly called Philadelphia Biblical University, is an institution of higher learning located in Langhorne, Pennsylvania founded in 1913. The University has five schools (Divinity, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Business and Leadership, Education, Music) and two academic Departments (Social Work and Christian Counseling).[2] All students take a minimum of 30 semester hours of Bible. Graduate programs at Cairn lead to Master of Science degrees, Master of Arts degree, a Master of Business Administration degree, a Master of Divinity degree, or a Master of Theology degree.

Cairn's stated mission is to "educate students to serve Christ in the church, society, and the world as biblically minded, well-educated, and professionally competent men and women of character."[3]

History[edit]

Origins (1913-1951)[edit]

On July 8, 1913, W. W. Rugh founded the "Bible Institute of Philadelphia" as an extension of the National Bible Institute of New York.[4] After teaching public school in his earlier days, Rugh spent several years walking a circuit to teach Bible classes throughout eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. This led him to establish an institution where the Scriptures could be taught on a daily basis.

Around the same time, C. I. Scofield and William L. Pettingill, leading Bible teachers of their day, were holding a large conference in the Philadelphia area. Encouraged by numerous requests to establish a permanent school to continue teaching, the two men co-founded[5] "Philadelphia School of the Bible" on October 1, 1914. Scofield, known internationally for his Bible teaching and his work on the Scofield Reference Bible, became the first president of PSOB and Pettingill was the first dean.

On October 8, 1921, Rugh's school became independent of the New York school and changed its name to Bible Institute of Pennsylvania (BIOPA).

Both BIOPA and PSOB focused on training lay people in the Scriptures for service in the church and their communities. No degrees were conferred.

The Merger & Accreditation (1951-1979)[edit]

In 1951, the two schools merged to become "Philadelphia Bible Institute" (PBI), located at the YWCA Building at 1800 Arch St. At the time of the merger, William A. Mierop from BIOPA was appointed president and Clarence E. Mason, Jr. from PSOB, academic dean. PBI offered a three-year Bible diploma. By 1958, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania granted the institute approval to offer a four-year program leading to the Bachelor of Science in Bible degree, and then changed its name to Philadelphia College of Bible. In 1967, the school received regional accreditation from the Middle States Association, becoming one of the first Bible colleges accredited by MSA.

During the 1970s, PCB continued to develop its academic offerings and was authorized to grant two additional degrees, the Bachelor of Music and the Bachelor of Social Work.

Students were required to take 55 credit hours of Bible, doctrine, and "Bible college distinctives" courses.[6][7]

Since the merger, the school has had five presidents: William A. Mierop, 1951 to 1956; Charles C. Ryrie, 1958 to 1962; Douglas B. MacCorkle, 1963 to 1977; and W. Sherrill Babb, 1979 to 2007. Todd J. Williams became the University's fifth president January 1, 2008.

Relocation & Expansion (1979-2012)[edit]

W. Sherrill Babb's appointment as president coincided with a relocation from Center City, Philadelphia to a new campus in Langhorne Manor. Under his leadership, in 2000, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania granted the college approval to become a university and the institution changed its name to Philadelphia Biblical University. During Dr. Babb's presidency, the number of degrees offered increased from three to eleven; six Graduate programs were implemented; four extension campuses established; and student enrollment, faculty, and facility space more than doubled.

Cairn University's Music Building (left) and Biblical Learning Center (right).

In 2007, a new core curriculum was introduced. It included changes to the educational approach of the institution, focusing more on biblical integration throughout all subjects than previous curriculum structures had.[8] In the new core curriculum, students earned 36 credits of specified Bible and theology requirements in combination with a comprehensive arts and sciences and professional curriculum.[9]

On January 1, 2008, former President W. Sherrill Babb became the University's first chancellor and former Provost Dr. Todd J. Williams was elevated as the University's fifth president.

Under the leadership of Dr. Williams, the University has continued to expand its academic offerings. A Master of Business Administration degree was approved by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 2010 and professional minors in Education, Music, Social Work, and Business were added in 2011. There has also been significant growth in co-curricular programs like the Arts Initiative, which is focused on strengthening the University's involvement with the fine arts, and the Center for University Studies.

In October 2011, as part of an effort to reduce the time and costs required for undergraduates to finish their studies, the Board of Trustees voted to allow students the option to pursue a B.S. in Bible degree, a professional degree (B.S. in Business Administration, B.S. in Education, Bachelor of Social Work, Bachelor of Music), or both Bible and professional degrees concurrently. Prior to this decision, all undergraduate students were required to earn a B.S. in Bible. Students who wanted to earn a second professional degree in an area other than Bible or ministry had to earn over 150 credit hours, which often took four and a half or five years to complete. The October 2011 Board decision also reduced the minimum of 36 credits in Bible and Theology in the core curriculum to 30 credits.[10]

Name Change & Continued Growth (2012-present)[edit]

On Wednesday April 18, 2012, Dr. Williams announced to the student body during chapel that he and the Board of Trustees were considering changing the name of the school to Cairn University. The name, it was explained, adopts the concept of memorials and trail markers, "Bearing witness [to God's faithfulness] and pointing the way." The announcement and the proposed new name garnered mixed responses from alumni, students, faculty, and the public. [11][12] By June 8, 2012, the university had filed official document(s) with the Department of Education of the State of Pennsylvania to change its name to Cairn University.[13] The request was approved one month later, and on July 16, 2012, the school went public as "Cairn University".[14]

The University continues to develop new programs and partnerships. Cairn recently launched five new Bachelor of Arts degree programs in English, History, Music, Liberal Arts, and Psychology in fall 2012, and a Master of Arts degree in Religion in January 2013.

The institution will celebrate its Centennial, beginning May 2013 through May 2014.

Athletics[edit]

Cairn's basketball team (black jerseys) playing at Geneva College

Cairn University student-athletes compete in twelve sports as the Highlanders. Formerly the "Crimson Eagles," students, faculty, and staff voted to change the mascot in conjunction with 2012 university name change.

The athletic program is affiliated with the Colonial States Athletic Conference, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Christian College Athletic Association.[15] Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer and volleyball; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball.

Students also participate in intramural sports such as flag football, indoor soccer, basketball, and ultimate frisbee.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

  • J. Dwight Pentecost - Taught at Philadelphia College of Bible from 1948-55. Currently at Dallas Theological Seminary. He has written a number of volumes including Things to Come and The Words and Works of Christ.
  • Charles Caldwell Ryrie - Taught at Philadelphia College of Bible and served as President. A prolific author whose works include Dispensationalism, and Basic Theology.
  • Nancy Pearcey - Was the professor of worldview studies at Cairn before leaving to teach at Rivendell Sanctuary.
  • Steve Levicoff - Noted writer on adult higher education and distance learning, and former director of the Institute on Religion and Law.

Accreditation[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "More Information - Cairn University". Retrieved 30 October 2011. 
  2. ^ "Academics - Cairn University". Cairn.edu. 2012-04-03. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  3. ^ "The Mission Matters - Cairn University". Cairn.edu. 2012-04-03. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  4. ^ "AncientPath.net, WW Rugh". Ancientpath.net. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  5. ^ Merv Gold at Higher Praise Christian Center higherpraise.org@shaw.ca (1950-09-15). "Higher Praise Greatest Preachers (William Pettingill)". Higherpraise.com. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  6. ^ Janet E. Furness: Education for the Social Work Profession: Innovation in Three Evangelical Institutions between 1960 and 1985, Doctor of Education dissertation, Rutgers University (2009), p. 211.
  7. ^ Philadelphia College of Bible Course Catalog (1975).
  8. ^ Todd J. Williams: “Making Them Ready,” PBU Today, Fall 2007.
  9. ^ "2007 Course Catalog - Curriculum Philosophy". Cairn.edu. Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  10. ^ "Centered on Christ and His Word | Cairn". Magazine.cairn.edu. 2011-10-20. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  11. ^ "Philadelphia Biblical University: To leave the name of the school as Philadelphia Biblical University.". Retrieved 14 June 2012. 
  12. ^ Mackey, David. "Is Philadelphia Biblical University Dancing with Satan?". Retrieved 14 June 2012. 
  13. ^ "PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 12-1052". Pabulletin.com. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  14. ^ "Our Name - Cairn University". Cairn.edu. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  15. ^ "Cairn University Highlanders Athletics". Pbucrimsoneagles.com. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  16. ^ http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2010/03/27/21489#comment-65546

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°09′59″N 74°54′32″W / 40.1665°N 74.9089°W / 40.1665; -74.9089