Establishment of Grace
Affiliated with the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, Grace Theological Seminary was founded first, in 1937, and the college was established eleven years later in 1948. Coming from the Brethren tradition, the founders were shaped by a heritage that drew distinctive features from a variety of historic traditions. Influential among this group was Alva J. McClain, the institution’s first president. As McClain, along with those around him, established the seminary and then the college, he sought to create an environment that was informed in meaningful ways by the eclectic heritage of the Brethren tradition while fashioning institutions that would thrive within American evangelicalism, which was, in the 1930s and 1940s, an increasingly robust and influential movement. This evangelical identity was enhanced by the location of the seminary and college, in Winona Lake, Indiana, a resort community that had become a center for Progressive Era social and political activity and, by the 1920s, a well-known location for evangelical Bible Conferences.
A Deep Experience of Community
Throughout the ensuing decades, the enrollment of Grace Theological Seminary and Grace College has grown exponentially and numerous buildings have been added to the 180-acre campus. Informed by our diverse heritage while committed to the values that unite us, we look to the future, offering quality undergraduate and graduate degree programs through six schools that constitute Grace College and Theological Seminary: the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Behavioral Sciences, the School of Business, the School of Education, the School of Ministry Studies, and the School of Adult and Community Education.
Spiritual Development & Academic Excellence
Our story is one that recognizes that spiritual development and academic excellence go hand in hand. For both undergraduates and graduate students, the Grace faculty and staff, the design and content of the Grace curriculum, and the entire Grace community contribute to an atmosphere where spiritual growth and scholarly inquiry are mutually enhancing.