Heritage Christian University

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Heritage Christian University
HCU logo 2016 linear text green.png
Former names
International Bible College
Southeastern Institute (College) of the Bible
Type Private bible college
Established 1968
Affiliation Church of Christ
President Dr. Wilburn "Kirk" Brothers
Vice-president Dr. Bill Bagents, Pat Moon, Philip Goad
Location Florence, Alabama, United States
Affiliations ABHE
Website www.hcu.edu

Heritage Christian University is a private bible college in Florence, Alabama. It is affiliated with churches of Christ. The university is governed by a Board of Directors, all of whom must be active members of the churches of Christ.


Heritage Christian University offers a 128-hour undergraduate program leading to a bachelor's degree in Biblical Studies. All students major in Bible and may choose a minor in Biblical History, Biblical Languages, Counseling, Family Life (Youth) Ministry, New Testament, or Old Testament. HCU also offers an Associate of Arts program. This 65-hour program of study results in the A.A. in Biblical Studies.

Heritage Christian University offers three master's degrees. The Master of Arts (M.A.) prepares students for serious biblical study in Greek and/or Hebrew. The Master of Ministry (M.Min.) trains students for more effective ministry. The Master of Divinity, the first professional degree in the field of ministry, prepares minister's for comprehensive service for churches. In particular, in cooperation with the Ezell Institute for Biblical Research, students completing the MDiv degree will be equipped to work in churches with limited resources. All three degrees aim to prepare workers for more effective service in the kingdom of God.

The MA and the MMin are both 36 hour programs, while the Master of Divinity is 75 hours with a required Spiritual Formation program to be completed. Instead of a thesis, MMin students participate in a practicum "that specifically addresses the needs of a Christian community."[1] On June 27, 2011, Heritage Christian University announced that the school had been approved to offer the Master of Divinity degree.[2]

Heritage Christian University is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education. The ABHE is a member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and is recognized as a national institutional accrediting agency for Bible colleges and universities.

The Alabama State Department of Education licenses Heritage Christian University as a private university.

The U.S. Office of Education Register lists the university, making Heritage Christian University students eligible for grants and federal loans.

The Alabama State Approving Agency recognizes Heritage Christian University for educational benefits to veterans.

Heritage Christian University meets the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services's requirements for eligibility to enroll foreign students.


The Overton Memorial Library services the undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty and staff. The library was dedicated in November 1986 in honor of Basil and Margie Overton and in memory of their son Timothy, who died in 1974. Library holdings exceed 130,000 physical volumes and 140,000 digital items.[3]

In October 2005, the McMeans Family Reading Area was created in honor of William Delona and Othella Tuten McMeans. The Heritage Marriage and Family Resource Center was created within OML in April 2006 through a grant from the Alabama Marriage and Family Project. In June 2008, the Bagents Family Resource Center was created, honoring the Bagents Family.

The library hosts the Charles Coil Colloquium each spring semester. The lecture, in memory of HCU's founding president Charles Coil, is "designed to enrich the intellectual climate of Heritage Christian University, its constituency, and the great academic community."[4] Dr. Frederick William Danker, Professor Emeritus of New Testament, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, spoke at the inaugural lecture in 2010. Dr. Richard Bauckham, a Senior Scholar at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, spoke at the second Coil Lecture. In 2013, Dr. Thomas Long was the third Coil Colloquium speaker. The Fourth Annual Charles Coil Colloquium took place Friday, April 4, 2014, and featured guest Dr. Ralph Klein was the speaker.

Learning formats[edit]

Graduate and undergraduate classes are offered both on campus and online. This option in learning permits students to fulfill other commitments while pursuing a ministry degree.


One dormitory building owned by the university provides living space for up to thirty-two students. Each apartment is complete with living room, bedrooms, bath, and kitchen.

Two buildings located on campus contain both one- and two-bedroom apartments that are available to qualifying students.

Campus facilities[edit]

The Bible Building was constructed in 1977. This 27,000-square-foot (2,500 m2) academic building contains administrative and faculty offices, classrooms, and auditorium, and a cafeteria.

The Alexander Activities Building, erected in 1978, has a gymnasium for students. The Overton Memorial Library, faculty offices, and a recording studio are also housed here.

The Dr. John Kerr Student Center provides a kitchen, recreation room, television room, and laundry for students living on campus.

Spiritual formation[edit]

Spiritual formation plays an important role on the campus of Heritage Christian University.

Chapel is held from 11:00 to 11:30 am Tuesday through Thursday.

Each student is required to participate in two hours of a Christian service project each week. Students may select from fourteen different ministries including preaching, chaplaincy, Bible class teaching, and youth ministry.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Graduate Catalog. Heritage Christian University. 2010. p. 28. 
  2. ^ "Heritage Approved to Offer MDiv Degree". Heritage Approved to Offer MDiv Degree. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "Honor to Whom Honor". Heritage Christian University Blog. Retrieved 8 June 2011. 
  4. ^ "Charles Coil Lectures". Coil Lectures. Heritage Christian University. Archived from the original on 2011-09-29. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°51′38″N 87°39′46″W / 34.86054°N 87.66272°W / 34.86054; -87.66272