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Ohio Valley University

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Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above
Carnegie Classification
Baccalaureate Colleges: Diverse Fields
Religious Affiliation
Churches of Christ

A small, Churches of Christ-affiliated liberal arts university, Ohio Valley University was founded in 1958 by a group of alumni from Harding University (a Churches of Christ institution in Arkansas). Their intention was to start a similar college in rural West Virginia, with a foundation raising money for the institution, and in 1960 39 students and two professors opened the Ohio Valley College in a former church building. The college achieved regional accreditation in 1978, and grew into a full university by 2005. Today, Ohio Valley University ranks among U.S. News & World Report’s top 50 regional Southern colleges, and has developed a national reputation as a best value among Christian institutions.

Academic Programs

As a faithful Churches of Christ institution, Ohio Valley University’s mission is designed to prepare young people for leadership and service to God, the church, and humanity. To achieve this goal, OVU integrates Christian teaching and faith into every aspect of their curriculum, from the traditional liberal arts core – emphasizing scholarship, intellectual rigor, and experiential learning – to every one of the university’s two dozen undergraduate majors, 11 pre-professional tracks, and many minors and certificates. Every student is required to take one bible class per semester, and daily chapel enhances and underscores the campus community’s commitments to God and one another.

With Ohio Valley’s mission to create Christian leaders throughout the world, in every profession and career, the university offers a wide selection of majors and pre-professional programs. Teacher education is particularly important, with both elementary and secondary degrees in many specializations. Other in-demand degrees include accounting and forensic accounting, criminal justice, environmental & sustainability studies, and wellness. Pre-professional programs include pre-law, pre-med, pre-chiropractic, and many more. Ohio Valley’s graduates have a 91% job or graduate school placement rating, and high placement in professional programs, demonstrating the university’s commitment to excellence.

Student Life

Student life at Ohio Valley University is, of course, shaped by Christian faith. With a small student body of just over 500, Ohio Valley creates a tight-knit family atmosphere in which students attend daily chapel, bible studies, devotionals, and local churches, building community and belief. Community service is a crucial part of life at Ohio Valley, and the university, as well as individual students and faculty members, has won numerous awards for their service and engagement throughout the Ohio River Valley and rural West Virginia.

Ohio Valley has no traditional fraternities and sororities, but the student body is organized into four social clubs – Delta, Kappa, Sigma, and Theta. These groups engage in friendly competition and rivalries, from earning the most community service points to performing in the student variety show Expressions. These clubs are built around OVU’s values and work to instill faith, responsibility, and support in the student population. The clubs compete in intramural sports, while the Ohio Valley Fighting Scots compete in 16 NCAA Division II sports as part of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.