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Randall University, formerly Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College, is a Christian liberal arts college in Moore, Oklahoma, offering several associate's and bachelor's degree programs and a master's degree program in ministry. It is one of several higher learning institutions associated with the Free Will Baptists.
In 2015 it had an enrollment of 365.
Free Will Baptists envisioned an institution of Christian higher education in Oklahoma, even before statehood. The records of the Indian Territory Association of Free Will Baptists (1905) read: “We believe in encouraging a higher system of education among the Free Will Baptists.” The merger of the northern movement of Free Will Baptists (known also as the Randall Movement, Free Baptists, or Anti-slavery Baptists) with the Northern Baptist Convention in 1911 left a scattered remnant of churches which did not participate in the merger, and those churches lost access to the historic Free Will Baptist schools, such as, Bates College in Maine and Hillsdale College in Michigan. However, the educational void was filled when the Co-operative General Association of Free Will Baptists in the west opened Tecumseh College in Tecumseh, Oklahoma in 1917. The first president was John H. Wolfe, a graduate of Hillsdale College in Michigan. The school was destroyed by fire in 1927 and was never completely rebuilt due to the depression, dust bowl days, World War II, and the Korean Conflict.
During the decades after the fire at Tecumseh College, the churches of Oklahoma continued to keep the higher education dream alive. Numerous resolutions over the decades encourage support of and participation in the Bible Institute sponsored by the Oklahoma State Association of Free Will Baptists. A series of Bible institutes were taught in the various geographic areas by a rotation through the districts associations, but Oklahoma Free Will Baptists had a vision for an institution of higher learning.
These Bible institutes eventually developed into Oklahoma Bible College (OBC). The official launch of OBC began in the basement of the First Free Will Baptist Church in Tulsa in January, 1959. In a quest to find a permanent home for the infant college, it was moved to Wagoner in the fall of 1959, then to the Northwest Free Will Baptist Church in Oklahoma City in the fall of 1961, and finally to the Capitol Hill Free Will Baptist Church of Oklahoma City in the fall of 1962.
On September 13, 1966, the college began operations on the present campus located three miles south of Moore, Oklahoma. An early president of the college, Don W. Payne (1961-1966), noted that the college began with “no library, no equipment, no facilities, no income, yet had one priceless asset: a company of committed Christians with an urgent sense of mission, persons of purpose and zeal, confident that God is all-sufficient.”
Having secured a permanent home for the college, the founding church articulated a vision of higher education which embraced the study of the liberal arts. In a symbolic gesture, the governing board renamed the institution Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College in honor of Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan, which began as a Free Will Baptist institution in 1844. (Hillsdale College in Michigan is no longer affiliated with Free Will Baptists.) While Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College continues to educate men and women to support the ministry and mission opportunities of Free Will Baptists world-wide, the enrollment of students in non-ministry degree programs has proliferated through the years.
Randall Graduate School began operations in 2004 with Stephen M. Ashby as its founding Dean. The School is named in honor of Benjamin Randall, American Revolutionary War veteran and early Free Will Baptist leader in New England. Randall Graduate School offers a Master of Arts in Ministry and a Master in Public Administration (MPA).
Oklahoma Teacher Certification In 2013 the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation approved Hillsdale to offer both Elementary Education and Secondary Education programs for Oklahoma Teacher Certification.
In order to eliminate admissions conflicts, internet confusion, and legal concerns with Hillsdale College (Michigan) Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College (Oklahoma), the Board of Trustees proposed a new to the Oklahoma State Association of Free Will Baptists in October of 2015 and by unanimous vote the body approved the name Randall University, effective July 1, 2016.
The University is currently organized into 3 undergraduate schools (Arts & Sciences, Christian Ministry, and Education), plus the Randall School of Professional and Graduate Studies (includes online program). This structure gives students the opportunity to earn 11 baccalaureate degrees in more than 20 concentrations, plus two masters degrees: the Master of Arts in Ministry and the Masters in Public Administration. The Oklahoma Department of Education accredits Randall University for elementary and secondary education degrees leading to teacher certification.
The college is affiliated with the National Association of Free Will Baptists and is accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools.
Randall University offers bachelor's degree in the following areas:
- Bachelor of Science in Business
- Bachelor of Arts in Business and Ministry
- Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion and Exercise Science
- Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Studies
- Bachelor of Arts in Multidisciplinary Studies
- Bachelor of Arts in Letters
- Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies
- Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Ministry
- Bachelor of Science in Psychology
- Bachelor of Science in Teacher Education
- Bachelor of Arts in Theology
- Bachelor of Arts in Worship and Music Leadership
- Bachelor of Arts in Youth Ministry
And it offer's minors in the following areas:
- Church Music
- Educational Ministry
- Exercise Science
- Pastoral Ministry
- Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)
- Theological Studies
- Youth Ministry
Randall University features eight varsity sports teams which compete in the Association of Christian College Athletics (ACCA) and the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). The student-athletes are known as the Saints or the Lady Saints, for male and female competitors, respectively. The Saints and Lady Saints represent Hillsdale in the following varsity sports:
The Randall University Saints boast a proud tradition of success on the diamond, laying claim to five national championships since 1999 and producing four national championship runner-up appearances during the same span.
- ACCA National Championships
- 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2011
- ACCA National Championship runner-up
- 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008
Throughout its history, the Saints have won eight national championships and four regional championships.
- ACCA National Championships
- 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1999, 2000, 2007, 2011
- NCCAA Division II Regional Championships
- 1996, 1999, 2002, 2011
- and E. Wade, N. Draper (2009). Akin, D. James, ed. Oklahoma State Association of Free Will Baptists: The First 100 Years 1908-2008. Oklahoma State Association of Free Will Baptists, Historical Commission. Nashville: Randall House Publications,. pp. 107–115.
- Oklahoma Bible College Newsletter. Vol. 3, No. 1, Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Bible College, 1965.
- "TRACS Members". www.tracs.org. Retrieved May 28, 2016.
- "Saints Baseball Top Stories". Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College. 2012. Archived from the original on October 18, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
- "Saints Basketball Top Stories". Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College. 2012. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
- "Women's Basketball Top Stories". Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College. 2012. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. Retrieved 2012-10-18.[better source needed]
- "Team Accomplishments". Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College. 2012. Archived from the original on October 18, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-18.[better source needed]