Trinity Christian College was founded in 1959 by a group of Chicago businessmen who were concerned that the metropolitan Chicago area lacked a private, Christian liberal arts college in the Reformed faith, as higher education in the region was dominated by Catholic institutions. Buying a former golf course and refitting the clubhouse into the first academic building, Trinity Christian College began as a junior college. In less than ten years Trinity had grown to a four-year college, and today Trinity Christian College is a highly respected college centered on the liberal arts and professional education, and ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top regional Midwestern colleges.
Academic ProgramsTrinity’s curriculum remains grounded in the traditional liberal arts; in its early days, classical humanities like literature, philosophy, and history were emphasized, as well as religion (due to Trinity’s Christian affiliation). Today, Trinity’s core has expanded, but the curriculum still holds biblical, Christian faith and values central in every course and program, which now number more than 70 majors. Faculty are expected to integrate Christian belief into their teaching, with holistic, unified intellectual and spiritual development recognized as the goal of Christian higher education. An 11:1 student:faculty ratio makes it possible for faculty members to act as spiritual models and guides in direct relationship with students, the ideal of Christian liberal arts education.
Trinity offers only three graduate programs, but since founding their Adult Studies program in 1998, bachelor and bachelor-completion programs for nontraditional students have become an important part of Trinity’s profile. Students work through an accelerated bachelor’s program in a cohort format, building a sense of communal effort, support, and accountability through the entire process. Weekly evening classes help students work around their current schedules, and Trinity has begun building on the success of the Adult Studies program to enter the online education market. Accelerated degrees can be finished in as little as a year or 18 months, in some cases.
Student LifeTrinity Christian College, as a small, liberal arts college, is largely made up of traditional-aged students, most of whom live on campus. Trinity’s Reformed heritage puts Christian unity ahead of race, background, and other characteristics. As such, Trinity has a deep commitment to diversity and over a quarter of students come from minority groups. Trinity demonstrates a strong support for students, with 96% of graduates reporting job placement within a year, 92% of them in their desired careers.
As an explicitly Christian institution, faith and ministry is extremely important to student life at Trinity. Twice-weekly chapel, weekly student-only worship services, and numerous prayer and bible study groups are organized by Campus Ministry and by student organizations. The student body – numbering around 1400 – comes from a variety of faith backgrounds, but all are encouraged to take part in the ecumenical, non-denominational religious activities to build community. Service opportunities on campus and in the community abound, and many Trinity students take on unofficial and personal service responsibilities as well.