On July 23, 1946, the Georgia Baptist Convention held ceremonies at Cleveland, Georgia, to mark the establishment of a new two-year liberal arts college named for Truett and McConnell. Truett-McConnell College, operating in temporary quarters on or near the town square in Cleveland, first opened its doors to students in September 1947, when it enrolled a class of 55 students. The school was first accredited in 1966 to issue two year degrees. In December 2002, the institution was approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to offer four-year degrees.
In fall 2003, a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a concentration in church music, which was followed by the December 2005 approval for a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Education with a concentration in early childhood education. Truett-McConnell College now offers 24 Bachelor degrees in the fields of Business, Christian Studies, English, Education, History, Humanities, and Music. The most recent degree to be approved by SACS is the Bachelor of Arts in World Missions. In spring 2010, Truett-McConnell College received approval from SACS to offer online degrees in Business and Christian Studies.
Enrollment declined from 2033 in 2000 to 468 in 2008 (due to the closure of its satellite campuses); then the trend was reversed. In fall of 2010, the school saw its largest enrollment of 751 students, increasing its enrollment by 62% since 2008. In Fall of 2010, Truett-McConnell College announced a new building project, the largest building project in 40 years. It included additions to the Miller Building, a new dorm that would sleep 173 students, as well as an addition to the current dining hall. Ground breaking began late 2010 and construction started in early 2011.
Truett-McConnell teams are known as the Bears; the college is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and competes in the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross country, golf, soccer and wrestling; while women's sports include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, and volleyball.