Pillsbury Baptist Bible College

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Camp Pillsbury logo
Pillsbury College Prep and Camp
Old Main (top) and Kelly Hall (bottom) at Pillsbury College Prep and Camp
Former name

Pillsbury Academy 1886-1957

Pillsbury Baptist Bible College 1957 -2008
Motto Changing the world one student at a time
Type Summer camp / boarding school
Active June, 2014–Present
Dean Meghan Sawicki
Director Vonda White
Location Owatonna, Minnesota, United States
44°4′57″N 93°13′6″W / 44.08250°N 93.21833°W / 44.08250; -93.21833Coordinates: 44°4′57″N 93°13′6″W / 44.08250°N 93.21833°W / 44.08250; -93.21833
Campus Small town
Website Camp Pillsbury http://camppillsbury.com Pillsbury College and Prep http://pillsburyprep.com CHOICE Technical Academy http://www.choiceta.org/
Logo of Pillsbury Collage Prep.jpg
Pillsbury Academy Campus Historic District
Pillsbury Baptist Bible College is located in Minnesota
Pillsbury Baptist Bible College
Pillsbury Baptist Bible College is located in the US
Pillsbury Baptist Bible College
Location Roughly Academy, Grove, and Main Sts.
Coordinates 44°4′56″N 93°13′10″W / 44.08222°N 93.21944°W / 44.08222; -93.21944
Area 8.75 acres (3.54 ha)
Built 1889–1914
Architect J. Anderson (Old Main), Warren Dunnell (Music Hall)
Architectural style Romanesque Revival, Neoclassical
NRHP Reference # 86003680[1]
Added to NRHP January 22, 1987
C.H.O.I.C.E. Technical Academy
C.H.O.I.C.E. Technical Academy logo.png
315 South Grove Ave
Owatonna, Minnesota
School type Public Charter School
Established 2015
Opened September 8, 2015
School district public school district number 4217
Grades 7-12
Campuses Pillsbury College Prep and Camp Campus

Pillsbury College Prep and Camp is a year-round boarding school and summer camp in Owatonna, Minnesota, United States.

Pillsbury College and Prep is a boarding school that provides life skills and opportunities for students to excel both academically and in areas of personal interest. Students can stay year round, attend the traditional school year, then attend Camp Pillsbury for the summer or partial summer, or stay for the traditional school year and go home for summers.[2]

Camp Pillsbury is a summer camp, which offers multiple session options for sleep-away camp beginning June 14 to August 24 with a variety of activities, and opportunities in its end-of-sessions showcases, exhibits, presentations and visiting day for parents.[3]

C.H.O.I.C.E. Technical Academy is also located on the Pillsbury campus, and is a tuition-free public charter school, established in 2015; it serves students grades 7-12. The school offers a personalized, hands-on learning program rooted in democratic principles and works to meet student's needs by engaging student passions and interests.[4]

The campus was previously home to the Pillsbury Military Academy, Pillsbury Academy, Minnesota Academy, and Pillsbury Baptist Bible College. In 1987 a historic district comprising five campus buildings was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Pillsbury Academy Campus Historic District.[1] It was nominated for having local significance in architecture, education, and religion as the only Baptist school among Minnesota's 19th-century private institutions of higher education, its fine architecture, and its association with benefactors Mark H. Dunnell and George A. Pillsbury.[5]


The campus was first opened as the Minnesota Academy on September 10, 1877, by the Minnesota Baptist State Convention as a college-preparatory school. The name was changed to the Pillsbury Academy in 1886 in honor of one of its chief donors, George A. Pillsbury of the First Baptist Church in Minneapolis, and one-time mayor of the city. In 1920 it was renamed the Pillsbury Military Academy. In 1957, after a dispute resulted in a change in Baptist Convention control from American Baptist to fundamentalist Minnesota Baptist, the Academy was abruptly closed and reconstituted as a 4-year biblical arts college, Pillsbury Baptist Bible College.[6][unreliable source?]

Pillsbury Baptist Bible College was an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist college in operation 1957–2008.[7] Pillsbury described itself as a "biblical arts college." It offered a four-year program leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Arts in Bible and Bachelor of Science in Bible, as well as several associate degrees and a Bible certificate program.

The older structures on campus were placed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 22, 1987, as the Pillsbury Academy Campus Historic District. The five contributing properties are Old Main (built 1889), Music Hall (1892), Jefts Hall (1910–11), Lindsay Hall (1913–14), and a heating plant (1893).

Pillsbury Hall, built in 1978

In February 2005, Pillsbury received accreditation by the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE).[8] Pillsbury also had membership in the American Association of Christian Colleges and Seminaries.[9]

Enrollment at the school had dropped from a high of about 800 in the 1970s to 142 in its final semester.[7]

Pillsbury announced in October 2008 that it would permanently close at the end of the year and that its campus would be sold.[7][10] The college closed on December 31, 2008.[7] Pillsbury's transcripts are now held by Maranatha Baptist University in perpetuity.

In April 2014, after sitting vacant for 6 years, the campus was purchased and revamped as a summer camp and boarding school called Pillsbury College Prep and Camp or Camp Pillsbury which opened in June 2014.[11] In addition to the camp programs that will be offered, a technical charter school operated by the Technical Academies of Minnesota is housed on campus.[12]

September 8, 2015 A tuition-free public Charter School, known as, C.H.O.I.C.E. Technical Academy opened for grades 7-12 on the Pillsbury campus[4]

On June 2016, C.H.O.I.C.E. Technical Academy celebrated its first graduating students, Hannah Schimek, Diane Hansen and Tyler White[13]


Athletic teams were called the Comets. The school had football, baseball, wrestling, cross country, soccer, and basketball for men and volleyball, cross country, softball, cheerleading, and basketball for women. Pillsbury Baptist Bible college was a NCAA division III institution. It was a member of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference until 1988. They were the men's golf champions of their conference in 1995.

Camp programs[edit]

Camp Pillsbury offers Circus, Math, Music, Theatre, Dance, Visual/Fine Arts, Technology/Digital Arts & Multimedia, Team Sports, Individual Sports, Magic, Water Sports, Extreme Sports, Horseback Riding, Orchestra, Band, Vocal Ensembles, Cheer, Gymnastics, Mountain Biking, Chess, Creative Writing, Role Playing Games, Archery, Fitness, Weights, Yoga, and Zumba[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "Pillsbury Prep | Boarding School, After School Care, Summer Camp". pillsburyprep.com. Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  3. ^ "Pillsbury Sleep Away Overnight Summer Camp for Kids". Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  4. ^ a b "Home". CHOICE Technical Academy. Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  5. ^ Roberts, Norene A. (1986-02-23). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory—Nomination Form: Pillsbury Academy Campus Historic District" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2015-05-23. 
  6. ^ http://www.pillsburyacademy.com/history.html
  7. ^ a b c d "Pillsbury Baptist Bible College closes". Owatonna People's Press. January 11, 2009. Archived from the original on January 13, 2009. Retrieved 2011-04-14. 
  8. ^ "Pillsbury Achieves Accreditation" (PDF). Pillsbury Baptist Bible College. Summer 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-09-07. Retrieved 2007-02-24. 
  9. ^ American Association of Christian Colleges and Seminaries
  10. ^ Pillsbury College website, accessed October 22, 2008
  11. ^ "Camp Pillsbury hosts grand opening in Owatonna". Owatonna People's Press. June 16, 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-02. 
  12. ^ "Technical Academies of Minnesota set for 2015 opening". Owatonna People's Press. June 30, 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-02. 
  13. ^ wmorris@owatonna.com, WILLIAM MORRIS. "CHOICE charter school honors first three graduates". Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  14. ^ "Camp Pillsbury Summer Camp in Minnesota". camppillsbury.com. Retrieved 2016-06-30. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Pillsbury College Prep and Camp at Wikimedia Commons