Summit University

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Summit University
Summit University Logo
Type Private Bible college
Established 1932
President Jim Lytle
Students 1,220
Location Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Campus Suburban
Colors Blue, White, Silver, Orange                    
Nickname Defenders
Affiliations Baptist

Summit University of Pennsylvania, formerly known as Baptist Bible College & Seminary, is a higher education institution located in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, just outside the city of Scranton.[1][2][3][4][5][6] It was historically affiliated with the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches.

On April 20, 2015 Baptist Bible College & Seminary was renamed Summit University of Pennsylvania. Although the name has changed, the institution's mission, doctrine, and dedication to providing students with a quality biblical education remains the same.[7]

A full range of academic degrees are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels. These include a high-school dual enrollment option, one-year Bible certificate, as well as associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Programs are offered on-campus and through online distance learning.[8]

Annual enrollment is more than 1,100. About 43% of undergraduates are drawn from Pennsylvania. Roughly 56% are from 29 other states, with about 1% from outside the United States.

The college employs 36 full-time faculty members (22 hold doctorates), as well as part-time and adjunct faculty. Additionally, nine full-time faculty members, all of whom hold doctorates, serve in the Seminary.


The school was founded in 1932 in Johnson City, New York.

For its first 36 years, the college used the facilities of First Baptist Church in Johnson City. Additional buildings were purchased or built to accommodate the growing student body.

A steady growth of enrollment by the 1960s prompted school leaders to search for a new location. In 1968, a site in Clarks Summit was found with the help of Gov. William Scranton.

Baptist Bible Seminary began classes in 1972. Graduate studies began in 1989.[citation needed]

On April 20, 2015 Baptist Bible College & Seminary was renamed Summit University of Pennsylvania.[9]


Summit University is located on a 141-acre suburban campus. The site includes 17 major buildings, athletic facilities, and a 4.5-acre lake. Major facilities on campus include:

Jackson Hall - The main classroom and administrative building, this four-story building is the largest on campus. Jackson Hall is home to the Murphy Memorial Library.

Buckingham Hall - Occupied by the Music Department, this building contains classrooms, practice rooms, and offices.

Phelps Student Center - This building contains the Huckaby Gymnasium, an athletic training room, locker rooms, a cafeteria, game room, student lounges and health services.

Nordling Hall - Home to the Maintenance Department, this three-story building also houses video communications, Seminary student housing, health services, storage, and the Foundations Christian Counseling Center.

Residence Halls - On-campus housing for undergraduate students is provided in six women’s and five men’s residence halls. Housing is also available for married students and seminary students.

Recreation Center - A 60,000 sq ft. multi-purpose building; this Recreation center houses 3 basketball courts, a stage (for Chapel during the school year), brand new weight room and additional cardio/workout room (over $100,000 in new equipment for faculty/staff and students), offices, student study/hang out areas, classrooms, locker room(s) including showers/changing areas, and an indoor climbing wall. This project began in the Spring of 2009, and opened during the Summer of 2013.


Summit University of Pennsylvania is accredited by The Commissions on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and The Association of Biblical Higher Education. All degrees have been approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[citation needed]

Education graduates meet Pennsylvania Department of Education requirements for certification, enabling them to teach in public and private schools. Currently, Pennsylvania has certification reciprocity with numerous states that accept Pennsylvania state certification as fulfillment for their requirements.

Undergraduate students can choose a major from nearly 40 programs of study. Undergraduate students dual-major in Bible and a chosen area of concentration. Students earn a bachelor's degree in their concentration area, such as a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science. They may also choose to earn a Bachelor of Science in Bible.

Graduate students can choose from three degrees: Master of Arts with eight concentrations, Master of Education with four concentrations, and Master of Science in Counseling.

Baptist Bible Seminary grants six different degrees: Master of Ministry, Master of Divinity, Master of Theology, Master of Arts degree in Biblical Apologetics, Doctor of Ministry, and Doctor of Philosophy.

Online distance learning is available for high school dual enroll, undergraduate, graduate, and seminary students.

Surrounding area[edit]

The Clarks Summit campus is located about 10 miles from Scranton, the largest city in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the county seat of Lackawanna County.

Baptist Bible Seminary[edit]

Seminary classes began in 1972 under the name Baptist Bible School of Theology. In 1987, the name was changed to Baptist Bible Seminary.

The Seminary gained a dedicated building, separated from the main college campus, in 1990. The Stowell Seminary Building houses classrooms, administrative and faculty offices, a chapel, and student lounge areas.

Baptist Bible Seminary offers students a blend of academic content and hands-on applications. Six advanced degrees are available in several flexible formats

Student Community[edit]

Dorm Life - The unique design of the 11 residence halls on campus promotes community among students.[10] Rather than a traditional dormitory style layout, the halls contain suites made up of three student rooms and one bathroom. Rooms are set up for two students each.

Events - Socials and campus events enhance the community environment on campus. Hosted mainly by student groups, socials occur throughout the year.

Other annual events include the Golf Classic (held in May), LYFE Women's Conference (held in May & June), Men's Conference (held in May), Teen Leadership Camp (held in July and August) and other camps and special events for junior-high and high-school students.[11]

Defender Basketball and Soccer camps are offered for high-school student athletes.[12]

Big Blue Basketball and Soccer camps are offered for elementary and middle school student athletes.[13]

The Music Department hosts multiple concerts and performances.[14]

The Theatre Department performs two major theatrical events each year.[15]

Chapel - Chapel is held Monday through Friday. All students and faculty meet for prayer, worship, spiritual instruction, and challenge. Daily chapel services feature faculty members, pastors, missionaries, students, and other special speakers.


The Summit University Defenders field teams in several sports.

Men’s teams include soccer, basketball, golf, cross-country, tennis, and baseball.

Women’s teams include basketball, cross-country, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball.

Summit University is affiliated with both the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III, National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Division II, and the Colonial States Athletic Conference.

Athletic history includes 75 NCCAA Division II East Regional Championships in seven sports and 23 NCCAA Division II National Championships in six sports. Defender teams have appeared in three NCAA Division III national tournaments.

Notable alumni[edit]

Name Known for Relationship to Summit University of Pennsylvania
James M. Grier, Th.D. Distinguished Professor of Philosophical Theology, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary Graduate
Dr. Friedie Loescher V.P. for Student Development, Dean of Students, Interim President, Faculty Graduate, Faculty, Administrator
Robert Sumner Noted Author of nearly 40 Books, Longtime Editor of The Biblical Evangelist, Pastor Graduate
Dr. A. Charles Ware President, Crossroads Bible College[16] Graduate


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°29′42″N 75°41′06″W / 41.495°N 75.685°W / 41.495; -75.685