Arlington Baptist College
|Fundamental Baptist Bible Institute, Bible Baptist Seminary|
|Affiliation||World Baptist Fellowship|
|Location||Arlington, Texas, United States|
|Colors||Blue & White|
Arlington Baptist University is a private, four-year Bible university in Arlington, Texas. It is the official education institution of the World Baptist Fellowship which offers both undergraduate and graduate level degree programs.
The college was founded by J. Frank Norris in 1939 as Fundamental Baptist Bible Institute. The university started with sixteen students and held classes at the First Baptist Church of Fort Worth. The college's first graduates became pastors or missionaries through the World Fundamental Baptist Fellowship (as World Baptist Fellowship was then known).
In 1945, the university was renamed the Bible Baptist Seminary. Norris stepped down as the college's president, and George Beauchamp Vick became the new president. Shortly thereafter, Norris worried that Vick had been given too much power, so Norris regained control over the school and removed Vick as president. Vick's removal angered many pastors who had reportedly grown tired of Norris' ways and who began to pull away from him, the college, and the World Baptist Fellowship. By 1950 these pastors had established the Baptist Bible Fellowship International and Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, with George Vick as president.
After Norris died in 1952, the college no longer met at his church, and therefore moved to temporary facilities in downtown Fort Worth.
In 1980, Wayne Martin was appointed president, who led the college to full accreditation. Martin was succeeded in 1992 by Dr. Wendell Hiers (as interim President) until the appointment of David Bryant in 1993. The current president of the college, D.L. Moody, was appointed in 2009.
The university has been accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education since 1981. The college is also approved by the Texas State Board for Educator Certification and by the Texas Veterans Commission as an approved institution to receive veteran's educational benefits.
The university participates as a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association, Southwest Region, Division II, and is a member of the Association of Christian College Athletics. The college fields intercollegiate teams, known as the Patriots, in the following sports: baseball (men's), basketball (men's and women's), volleyball (women's), cross-country (men's and women's), and golf (men's and women's).
Arlington Baptist University is the educational institution for the World Baptist Fellowship, which maintains its headquarters on the campus. An 8-foot bronze sculpture of J. Frank Norris (sculpted by Pompeo Coppini), founder of both the university and the Fellowship, is displayed on the campus.
The campus is the site of the former Top O' Hill Terrace casino, which has been recognized with a Texas state historical marker. Historic features from the casino still present on the campus include a sandstone guardhouse, an iron gate, an open-air tea garden, and escape tunnels; the public is allowed to tour the facilities by appointment during normal business hours.
On June 1, 2017, they formally changed their name from Arlington Baptist College to Arlington Baptist University. They commemorate the event on August 21 to coincide with the beginning of their fall semester. During this special ceremony, ABU celebrated the grand opening of its new recreation room and broke ground for the remodeling of its student union building. In conjunction with the name change the bachelor’s and master’s programs were divided into ‘schools’ rather than divisions.
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