Louisiana College is a private, Baptist, coeducational college of liberal arts and sciences with selected professional programs. The campus is located in the Alexandria-Pineville area of central Louisiana. Louisiana College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate, and master’s degree. Separate accreditation for specific programs has been awarded by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, Louisiana State Department of Education, Council on Social Work Education, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the Louisiana State Board of Nursing, the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy, and the National Association of Schools of Music.
The college is located on an 81-acre campus with a total of twenty-three academic and residential buildings. Most of the students at Louisiana College come from Central Louisiana, but many states and several foreign countries are represented in the current student body. The faculty and staff of Louisiana College genuinely care for the students. Their primary concern is to enhance student learning and to encourage the student’s Christian growth. The college was chartered in 1906 as a non-profit corporation with the object “to own, operate and conduct a Baptist college, to foster Christian education.” It is governed by a Board of Trustees which is chosen by the Louisiana Baptist Convention.
Louisiana College was founded in Pineville, Louisiana on October 3, 1906. It is the successor to two earlier Louisiana Baptist schools, Mt. Lebanon University and Keatchie Female College. The first, a men’s school founded in 1852 by the North Louisiana Baptist Convention, was located in the community of Mt. Lebanon. The women’s college, founded in 1857 by the Grand Cane Association of Baptist Churches, was located in the community of Keatchie. After a history beset by financial difficulties, both schools came under control of the State Baptist Convention in 1899. An Education Commission was selected by the state convention to administer the schools with the understanding that both would be succeeded by a more centrally located college as soon as a suitable campus could be selected. When Louisiana College was opened in 1906, Mt. Lebanon College was closed, followed by Keatchie a few years later. The enrollment of students in 1906 at the opening of the college was 19. Today, more than 14,000 have been graduated since the college was founded.
Louisiana College was administered by the Education Commission until 1921, when the commission was replaced by a Board of Trustees as called for in a new charter. The first administrative head of Louisiana College was W.F. Taylor, whose title was chairman of the faculty. Since its opening, Louisiana College has had eight presidents: Dr. E.O. Ware, appointed in 1908; Dr. W.C. Friley, in 1909; Dr. Claybrook Cottingham, in 1910; Dr. Edgar Godbold, in 1941; Dr. G. Earl Guinn, in 1951; Dr. Robert L. Lynn, in 1975; Dr. Rory Lee, in 1997; Dr. Joe W. Aguilllard, in 2005 and Dr. Richard B. Brewer, in 2015.
The mission of Louisiana College is to provide liberal arts, professional, and graduate programs characterized by devotion to the preeminence of the Lord Jesus, allegiance to the authority of the Holy Scriptures, dedication to academic excellence for the glory of God, and commitment to change the world for Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Liberal Arts Education
The liberal arts tradition originated in the medieval period in which university studies were comprised of grammar, rhetoric and logic to strengthen the students’ ability to reason and to articulate their views to others. It also included the study of arithmetic, music, geometry and astronomy. This program of study presently focuses on the study of history, language, science, the arts, communications and religion. Studies in the liberal arts are designed to equip students with a broad knowledge of many important fields and to develop well-rounded individuals who can adapt to face many different career challenges.
Louisiana College seeks to prepare students to excel in their careers and future endeavors by cultivating knowledge and skills central to the liberal arts tradition. Through a broadbased general education program as well as specialized study in the arts and sciences or a selected pre-professional program, students develop the skills both for a chosen profession and for life as a responsible and thoughtful member of society. Education of the total person is accomplished through all programs and activities of the college.
The Preeminence of Christ
Christians confess Jesus as Lord over all of life (Romans 10:9). In order to be truly Christian, a college must humbly submit to the authority of Jesus Christ acknowledging Him as the One in whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge abide (Colossians 2:3). Education is devoted to the pursuit of truth. Because Jesus is the embodiment of truth (John 14:6) and because He knows all truth (John 21:17), He alone is fully-qualified to reveal the truth (John 18:37). As the college’s doctrinal statement (The Baptist Faith and Message) acknowledges: “Christianity is the faith of enlightenment and intelligence. In Jesus Christ abide all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. All sound learning is, therefore, part of our Christian heritage.”
Because Jesus is Lord, Christian professors place all learning under the authority of Christ and His Word. Christian scholars present diverse concepts and approaches in the classroom and commit to represent these accurately and fairly. They are confident that when these views are thoroughly examined and critiqued that the supremacy of Christian truth will be evident.
Because Jesus is the Creator who made all things for His glory, true Christian education seeks to glorify Christ by pointing to the marvels, mysteries, and order of the world which He has made. Because the Christian professor and student pursue learning for Christ’s glory, they approach scholarship as an act of worship that expresses devotion to Christ and fulfills His command to “love God with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). True Christian education is thus a trilogy consisting of inseparable commitments to Lordship, scholarship, and worship.
The Authority of the Holy Scriptures
The Holy Bible is truth without any mixture of error. The college seeks to view all areas of knowledge from a distinctively Christian perspective and integrate Biblical truth thoroughly with each academic discipline. The college affirms that all truth is from God and recognizes that all knowledge is ultimately a product of divine revelation. Divine revelation has three facets: natural revelation, the ordered universe created by God; special revelation, the Christian Scriptures; and personal revelation, God incarnate, Jesus Christ. Properly interpreted, the testimonies of these various forms of divine revelation are never contradictory.
Every Christian endeavor should be characterized by excellence. Believers recognize that Christ created them for His glory. Their lives, both personal and academic, are to be devoted to the pursuit of His glory. When the Scriptures bring the truth of Jesus’ authority and preeminence to practical application, they command, “Whatever you do, in word or indeed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him… .Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men” (Colossians 3:17,23). Christian educators fully commit their minds and their hearts to their work with an awareness that they are both empowered and guided by Christ who enables them to exceed their own personal limitations (Ephesians 3:20; 1 Corinthians 1:24-25; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
In all of its programs, Louisiana College is committed to academic excellence in the context of Christian community. The college recruits highly qualified faculty who value effective teaching and learning, who are engaged in scholarly and creative activity, and who are committed to their own professional development and academically rigorous instruction. With its small classes, individualized instruction, empathetic advising, and personal attention, the college provides students with a quality educational experience.
Changing the World for Christ
Louisiana College is both a partner and servant of the Christian church which supports it. The college shares the church’s mission of changing the world by propagating the gospel of Jesus Christ. The college may aid the church in the fulfillment of its mission by preparing outstanding Christian leaders for a variety of professions. Because Christian scholars pursue serious scholarship for the glory of Christ and are empowered by the Holy Spirit, Christian education should be characterized by a standard of academic excellence that exceeds that of its secular peers. Consequently, graduates from Christian institutions should be prepared for outstanding performance and achievement in their chosen occupations. The College affirms the Christian ideal that all believers in every discipline engage in Christian ministry by exhibiting Christian character and proclaiming the message of Jesus Christ. When professional expertise is coupled with Christian character that exhibits righteousness, truth, and brotherly love, Christian professionals will significantly impact their world.
This commitment to distinctively Christian education is part of a rich tradition that has characterized Louisiana College’s one hundred year history. The third stanza of the college alma mater clearly states the mission of the institution: “Christian knowledge e’er bestowing until eternity.”
The official seal of Louisiana College that adorns many of the objects associated with our school bears three words, Deo, Veritati, Patriae, superimposed on an open Bible. The open Bible signifies that the Holy Scriptures are our source of knowledge for the ultimate truths in life. The Latin words describe our school as dedicated to God, to truth, and to country. The commitment to God is stated first. It both precedes and supersedes all other commitments. This does not imply that our founders did not value truth. They merely recognized that God is the source of all truth. The founders knew that it is only through commitment to and worship of the God of all truth that the ultimate truths of life are disclosed and discovered.
The official Louisiana College hymn urges professors to inform their students of the truths revealed by God, “Teach us the truths that come from God’s own mind.” This institution remains steadfastly committed to fulfilling that charge.
Beliefs and Values
The foundation for the college’s mission and policies is a shared set of beliefs and values that reflect its Louisiana Baptist heritage. The college’s doctrinal statement, which provides the guiding principles for maintaining the college’s Christian identity, is the Baptist Faith and Message. Through our doctrinal statement, we “identify and affirm certain definite doctrines that Baptists believe, cherish, and with which we have been and are now closely identified. Our living faith is established upon eternal truths. Thus this generation of Southern Baptists is in historic succession of intent and purpose as it endeavors to state for its time and theological climate those articles of the Christian faith that are most surely held among us. It is the purpose of this doctrinal statement of faith and message to set forth certain teachings which we believe” (The Baptist Faith and Message). The college recruits faculty and staff who are committed followers of Christ, who participate actively in a local church, and who are aware of and will teach or perform professionally in harmony with the doctrinal statement. The college also expects and supports the pursuit of the highest level of Christian values in the lives of faculty, staff, administration, trustees, and students.
Louisiana College seeks to create a community of learning and free inquiry. However, the college recognizes that Christian education maintains a proper balance between academic freedom and academic responsibility. The academic freedom of a Christian professor is limited by the preeminence of Jesus Christ, the authoritative nature of the Holy Scriptures, and the mission of the institution.
The partnership between Louisiana College and the Baptist churches, associations, and convention within the state constitutes one of the major strengths of the college. Louisiana College deeply values its relationship with Louisiana Baptists, whose generosity allows the college to offer quality liberal arts education at an affordable cost to its students. In recognition of these substantial resources, the college seeks to prepare students who are entering various vocations to assume leadership roles in churches and in denominational life. Because Louisiana College honors its Baptist heritage and acknowledges its great debt to Louisiana Baptist churches for the generous gifts that enable the college to operate, the college only employs faculty who teach courses in the Christian Studies Division who are committed Southern Baptists who document through their annual contracts their personal affirmation of an agreement with The Baptist Faith and Message. They also affirm biblical inerrancy as defined by the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.
The College affirms the value of diversity within the Christian community and attracts students from a variety of denominations. The presence of dedicated Christian faculty and staff members from other Christian denominations affirms the faith of these students from other traditions and provides spiritual mentorship for them. Students without a Christian faith commitment are welcome in this community of learning and are treated with respect.