The University of Mobile was founded in 1961 by the Mobile Baptist Association and the Alabama Baptist State Convention to provide the south Alabama community an opportunity to obtain a Christ-focused college education. The desire was clear – in just one year, Mobile residents and church members raised $2 million to found the college. In only fifty years the University of Mobile has grown from a tiny, commuter-based local college into a respected master’s-level university. The University of Mobile has been recognized as a top 10 regional liberal arts college in the South by U.S. News & World Report, and some ranking agencies have estimated Mobile the best liberal arts institution in the state of Alabama.
The mission of the University of Mobile is clear and explicit – to use higher education to transform the world and the lives of students for Christ. This evangelistic outlook is central to Mobile’s curriculum, which combines the humanities and science core of liberal arts tradition, with the most modern professional preparation and Christian values. More than 40 majors and graduate programs are offered, and Mobile provides the amenities that have made the liberal arts education standard the foundation of American higher education and leadership: small classes, a low student: faculty ratio (13:1), and classes taught directly by expert faculty members. Since 2016, under new president Timothy L. Smith, the university has added more than a dozen academic programs and announced its first doctoral degrees, in addition to creating a state-of-the-art Center for Excellence in Healthcare Practice.
Mobile’s liberal arts core focuses on the values of the humanities: critical thought, communication, ethical leadership, and effective collaboration. These fundamentals provide the foundation for professional study in Mobile’s acclaimed schools as well, including Business, Nursing, Music, and Education. And one of the most innovative aspects of Mobile’s curriculum is Focus Fridays. All courses at the University of Mobile are held Monday through Thursday, leaving Fridays for special events, faculty mentoring, research, and other elements of education that happen outside the classroom. It’s a promising sign of Mobile’s student focus.
When it was founded, the University of Mobile was strictly a commuter college, but today three-quarters of the more than 1400 students live on campus, building a campus-based student life that is busy and dynamic. There are more than 20 official student-led organizations and clubs, including honor societies, special interest clubs, and professionalizing organizations, and more than 200 special events on campus every year. Mobile’s Baptist affiliation also keeps religious life and community service are central to student life; that means worship services, prayer, and bible study, but it also means urban ministries, church planting across the US, and international missions trips and study abroad.
The University of Mobile is also an active campus. Just a short drive from the Gulf Coast beaches, students can easily make weekend and day trips for the salt air and sea breeze, or hike and explore the university’s nearly 900 acres. The University of Mobile Rams compete in the NAIA with 15 varsity sports, a program that began with the university’s 1985 revitalization efforts. The Rams have won numerous championships over the years, including golf, soccer, tennis, and softball, and student support is active and intense.