Ecclesia College

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Ecclesia College
Royals of Ecclesia College
Type Private
Established 1975
President Oren Paris III
Students 178 FTE (Fall 2013)
Location Springdale, Arkansas, USA
36°12′51″N 94°14′12″W / 36.21409°N 94.23677°W / 36.21409; -94.23677Coordinates: 36°12′51″N 94°14′12″W / 36.21409°N 94.23677°W / 36.21409; -94.23677
Campus Rural
Mascot Royals

Ecclesia College is a four-year Christian, federally recognized work college in Springdale, Arkansas in the United States, accredited through the Association for Biblical Higher Education. The College was founded in 1975 by Oren Paris II, previous College Chancellor, and the father of noted recording artist, Twila Paris. Ecclesia is a Greek word, meaning "called-out ones." It was used in ancient Greece to describe those who had been called out from general society to come aside and discuss the affairs of state. It is the Greek word that is translated "church" or "assembly."


  • Jun 1975, Oren and Inez Paris, accompanied by their children and Oren's parents, veterans of the ministry, established Ecclesia Inc.
  • 1976, the school enjoyed a strong and autonomous relationship with Youth With A Mission, "an international movement of Christians dedicated to serving Jesus throughout the world."
  • 1996, Ecclesia College applied for membership in the Association for Biblical Higher Education.
  • Mar 1997, Ecclesia’s Board of Governance inaugurated Oren Paris III as the new president.
  • Jul 2003, Ecclesia’s Board of Governance named Oren Paris II as Chancellor
  • Mar 2004, the board confirmed the president’s installation of Administrative Council members: the Academic Dean, the Assistant Dean, and four Director positions over Business and Finance, Student Services, Communications and Advancement.
  • 2005, Ecclesia received accreditation and offers degrees both on campus and online.
  • Jul 2009, Ecclesia College became a member of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU).
  • Jun 2012, Founder and Chancellor, Oren Paris II, went to be with the Lord. His wife of 56 years, Inez Paris, was installed as Chancellor the following July.
  • Jun 2015, marked Ecclesia’s 40th anniversary.

Mission Statement[edit]

As an institution of higher learning, Ecclesia College mentors effective leaders to strengthen the foundations of society through the life and values of Christ.


On campus[edit]

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Sport Management
  • Bachelor of Communication Ministries
  • Bachelor of Christian Counseling
  • Bachelor of Christian Leadership
  • Bachelor of Music Ministries
  • Bachelor of Biblical Studies
  • Bachelor of Political Science
  • Associate of General Studies
  • Associate of Biblical Studies
  • Associate of Science


  • Master of Christian Leadership
  • Bachelor of Christian Leadership
  • Bachelor of Biblical Studies
  • Associate of Biblical Studies



Ecclesia College receives institutional accreditation for higher education with the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). The college has been accredited with ABHE since 2005. ABHE is recognized by the U. S. Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Ecclesia is also accredited by the Arkansas Course Transfer System (ACTS) which allows a student to transfer their transferable hours from Ecclesia to any college and/or University in the state of Arkansas.

Bribery Scandal[edit]

On January 4, 2017, Arkansas legislator Micah Neal pleaded guilty to conspiring to direct $600,00 in state government funds to Ecclesia College and another non-profit in exchange for $38,000 in bribes.[1] The plea agreement also singles out the president of the college (Oren Paris III) as being directly involved with the conspiracy.[2]

On March 2, 2017, former State Senator, Jon Woods, was indicted on 13 charges by a grand jury in connection to the kickback and bribery scheme.

Woods is facing 11 counts of honest services wire fraud, one count of money laundering and one count of honest services mail fraud.

The indictment outlined the scheme to steer General Improvement Fund money from the state legislature to projects supported through funding distributed by the Northwest Arkansas Development District.

The indictment also named the president of Ecclesia College in Springdale, Oren Paris III, who is facing nine counts of honest services wire fraud and one count of honest services mail fraud after receiving funding from GIF monies. The college is not listed in the indictment.

An Alma man, Randell G. Shelton Jr., is also listed in the indictment as part of an unnamed consulting company that was used to pay and conceal the kickbacks that Woods and Neal were allegedly receiving.

Both Shelton and Paris also pleaded not guilty during arraignment hearings on Tuesday. [1]


External links[edit]