Welch College

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Welch College
Welch College Color - Stacked-01.jpg
Former name
Free Will Baptist Bible College
MottoO Send out Thy Light and Thy Truth
AffiliationNational Association of Free Will Baptists
Religious affiliation
Free Will Baptist
Academic affiliation
EndowmentUS$2.2 million (2016)[1]
PresidentDr. J. Matthew Pinson
ProvostDr. Matthew McAffee[2]
Undergraduates431 (2019)[3]
Location, ,
United States

36°22′04″N 86°32′57″W / 36.367753°N 86.549267°W / 36.367753; -86.549267Coordinates: 36°22′04″N 86°32′57″W / 36.367753°N 86.549267°W / 36.367753; -86.549267
Colors             Blue, white & gold
Sporting affiliations

Welch College, formerly the Free Will Baptist Bible College,[4] is a private Free Will Baptist, 4-year Christian college in Gallatin, Tennessee[5]. Founded in 1942, it is one of several higher learning institutions associated with the National Association of Free Will Baptists. Welch College serves 431 students as of 2019 from nearly two dozen states and several foreign countries [3] and offers 40 majors with its top programs including theological studies, premed/nursing, business, teacher education and music.[6]


The National Association of Free Will Baptists in general session in Nashville, Tennessee, called for the creation of Free Will Baptist Bible College and its doors opened in 1942 as a two-year institution. Dr. Linton C. Johnson was its first President. Eight students composed the original student body. The college added a third year of study in 1949, a fourth year in 1950 and awarded its first Bachelor's degrees to five students in 1951.

In August 2008 the college purchased a 66-acre (270,000 m2) tract in Gallatin, Tennessee, to become the site of a larger campus. The college sold its West End Avenue campus and as of March 2017 is completing the new campus on the Gallatin site.[7]

In July 2012 at the National Association of Free Will Baptists in Memphis, the denomination voted to change the name of the college to Welch College.[8]


Administration building at the old Welch College campus

The college offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Music Education degree programs. Two- and three-year associate degree programs are also offered as well as a Master of Arts in Theology.[9]


The athletic teams of Welch College are called the "Flames" and compete in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). Currently there are five varsity teams.

Men's sports[edit]

  • Basketball
  • Golf
  • Cross Country
  • Soccer (Fall 2018)[10]

Women's sports[edit]

  • Basketball
  • Volleyball
  • Golf
  • Cross Country
  • Soccer (Fall 2018)[10]


In August 2019, Welch College suspended a transgender student, attributing the action to a conflict in student policy.[11] The student had undergone a double mastectomy as part of his transition process days prior to the suspension.[12][13]


  1. ^ "Welch College". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  2. ^ "Welch College Rises in U.S. News & World Report's Top College Rankings" (Press release). Welch College. September 18, 2017. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Welch College Annual Report". Welch College. December 4, 2017. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  4. ^ "Free Will Baptist changes name to Welch College". Nashville Post. July 23, 2012. Archived from the original on November 29, 2017.
  5. ^ "Welch College | Cappex.com". www.cappex.com. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  6. ^ "Education: Welch College".
  7. ^ Todd, Jen (March 15, 2017). "Welch College students home at new campus". The Tennessean.
  8. ^ "Free Will Baptist Bible College Changes Name". Welch College. July 18, 2012. Archived from the original on April 8, 2015. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  9. ^ "Certificates and Degrees Offered". Welch College. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Welch College Adds Men's and Women's Soccer". Welch College. December 1, 2017. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  11. ^ "Statement from Welch College President Matt Pinson". Welch College. August 9, 2019. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  12. ^ Strapagiel, Lauren (August 9, 2019). "This Transgender Man Was Kicked Out Of His College After Getting Top Surgery". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  13. ^ Aviles, Gwen (August 9, 2019). "Transgender student suspended from Christian college after top surgery". NBC News. Retrieved August 9, 2019.

External links[edit]