Statue of W. A. Criswell at Criswell College
|Criswell Bible Institute; Criswell Center for Biblical Studies|
|Affiliation||Southern Baptists of Texas Convention|
|President||Dr. Barry K. Creamer|
|Colors||Navy, Gray, Yellow|
Criswell College is a Christian liberal arts college and divinity school in Old East Dallas, Texas. Criswell College's stated mission is to provide ministerial and professional higher education for men and women preparing to serve as Christian leaders throughout society, while maintaining an institutional commitment to biblical inerrancy.
Classes began on January 12, 1971, after being founded in 1970 as the Criswell Bible Institute. The school would later be known as the Criswell Center for Biblical Studies before assuming its current name in 1985. The college is named after its founder, W. A. Criswell, long-time pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas. Dr. James Bryant was the founding Dean.
Texas oilman, conservative activist, and First Baptist Church of Dallas member H.L. Hunt provided much of the financial support establishing Criswell College.
The college has been affiliated with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention since 2001 (SBTC provides some financial assistance and has representation on Criswell's board, but the college is independently owned and operated). The college offers Diplomas, Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts and Master of Divinity degrees.
As a conservative Southern Baptist institution of higher learning, Criswell College holds to the Baptist Faith & Message (2000 edition), with some additional passages reflecting the teachings of Dr. Criswell which are still held by the College.
In 2013, the Board of Trustees approved plans for an expansion of the undergraduate curriculum and relocation. The expanded curriculum now includes undergraduate majors such as Philosophy, Politics & Economics (PPE), Education, and Psychology.
In 1985, Criswell was first accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The school is fully accredited through SACSCOC with a renewal date of 2020.
Former president Jerry Johnson resigned from the school in 2008 citing "philosophical differences with the chancellor and trustee leadership about the future of Criswell College." In a related development in 2010, the school officially separated from First Baptist Church of Dallas. Johnson returned as president later that year before leaving in 2013 to become President and CEO of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB).