Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College
In 2013 it had an enrollment of 226.
Free Will Baptists envisioned an institution of Christian higher education in Oklahoma, even before statehood. The records of the Indian Territory Association of Free Will Baptists (1905) read: “We believe in encouraging a higher system of education among the Free Will Baptists.” The merger of the northern movement of Free Will Baptists (known also as the Randall Movement, Free Baptists, or Anti-slavery Baptists) with Northern Baptists in 1911, left a scattered remnant of churches which did not participate in the merger, and those churches lost access to the historic Free Will Baptist schools, such as, Bates College in Maine and Hillsdale College in Michigan. However, the educational void was filled when the Co-operative General Association of Free Will Baptists in the west opened Tecumseh College in Tecumseh, Oklahoma in 1917. The first president was John H. Wolfe, a graduate of Hillsdale College in Michigan. The school was destroyed by fire in 1927 and was never completely rebuilt due to the depression, dust bowl days, World War II, and the Korean Conflict.
During the decades after the fire at Tecumseh College, the churches of Oklahoma continued to keep the higher education dream alive. Numerous resolutions over the decades encourage support of and participation in the Bible Institute sponsored by the Oklahoma State Association of Free Will Baptists. A series of Bible institutes were taught in the various geographic areas by a rotation through the districts associations, but Oklahoma Free Will Baptists had a vision for an institution of higher learning
These Bible institutes eventually developed into Oklahoma Bible College (OBC). The official launch of OBC began in the basement of the First Free Will Baptist Church in Tulsa in January, 1959. In a quest to find a permanent home for the infant college, it was moved to Wagoner in the fall of 1959, then to the Northwest Free Will Baptist Church in Oklahoma City in the fall of 1961, and finally to the Capitol Hill Free Will Baptist Church of Oklahoma City in the fall of 1962.
On September 13, 1966, the college began operations on the present campus located three miles south of Moore, Oklahoma. An early president of the college, Dr. Don W. Payne (1961-1966), noted that the college began with “no library, no equipment, no facilities, no income, yet had one priceless asset: a company of committed Christians with an urgent sense of mission, persons of purpose and zeal, confident that God is all-sufficient.”
Having secured a permanent home for the college, the founding church articulated a vision of higher education which embraced the study of the liberal arts. In a symbolic gesture, the governing board renamed the institution Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College in honor of Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan, which began as a Free Will Baptist institution in 1844. (Hillsdale College in Michigan is no longer affiliated with Free Will Baptists.) While Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College continues to educate men and women to support the ministry and mission opportunities of Free Will Baptists world-wide, the enrollment of students in non-ministry degree programs has proliferated through the years.
The college is affiliated with the National Association of Free Will Baptists and is accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools.
Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College offers bachelor's degree in the following areas:
- Bachelor of Science in Business
- Bachelor of Arts in Business and Ministry
- Bachelor of Arts in Church Music
- Bachelor of Arts in Communication
- Bachelor of Arts in Educational Ministry
- Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science
- Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies
- Bachelor of Arts in Letters
- Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies
- Bachelor of Arts in Missions
- Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Ministry
- Bachelor of Arts in Piano Performance
- Bachelor of Science in Psychology
- Bachelor of Science in Teacher Education
- Bachelor of Arts in Theology
- Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance
- Bachelor of Arts in Youth Ministry
And it offer's minors in the following areas:
- Church Music
- Educational Ministry
- Exercise Science
- Pastoral Ministry
- Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)
- Theological Studies
- Youth Ministry
Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College features eight varsity sports teams which compete in the Association of Christian College Athletics (ACCA) and the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). The student-athletes are known as the Saints or the Lady Saints, for male and female competitors, respectively. The Saints and Lady Saints represent Hillsdale in the following varsity sports:
The Hillsdale Saints boast a proud tradition of success on the diamond, laying claim to five national championships since 1999 and producing four national championship runner-up appearances during the same span.
- AACA National Championships
- 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2011
- AACA National Championship runner-up
- 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008
Throughout its history, the Saints have won eight national championships and four regional championships.
- AACA National Championships
- 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1999, 2000, 2007, 2011
- NCCAA Division II Regional Championships
- 1996, 1999, 2002, 2011
- "Saints Baseball Top Stories". Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College. 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
- "Saints Basketball Top Stories". Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College. 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
- "Women's Basketball Top Stories". Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College. 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
- "Team Accomplishments". Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College. 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-18.