Arkansas Baptist College was founded as the “Minister’s Institute” in August 1884 at the Annual Convention of the State of Arkansas. It opened three months later at the Mount Zion Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. The primary objective of the institute was to raise the educational level within the Negro Ministry. The secondary objective was to aid the state in making higher education available to young Negro men and women. Most of the College’s students were trained in the ministry. Today, Religious Studies continues to be one of major disciplines of matriculation into the College.
In April 1885, the name of the College was changed to Arkansas Baptist College and the location was moved to 16th and High Street. The current address is 1600 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive.
Arkansas Baptist College is an urban Historically Black College located in the historic Little Rock Central High District. It also neighbors the Wright Avenue District and the famous Paul Lawrence Dunbar Junior High School.
The College is the only Baptist-affiliated Historically Black College west of the Mississippi and has a student population close to one thousand from all across the United States. Founded in 1884 as the Minister’s Institute, the College continues to be supported by the Consolidated Missionary Baptist State Convention.
• 1884–1887: Reverend J.P. Lawson (Principal)
• 1887–1926: Dr. Joseph A Booker
• 1926–1937: Reverend S.P. Nelson
• 1926–1937: Reverend R.C. Woods
• 1926–1937: Reverend S. R. Tillinghast
• 1937–1955: Dr. Tandy W. Coggs
• 1955–1962: Dr. Oscar Allan Rogers
• 1955–1962: Dr. Charles E. Johnson
• 1955–1962: Mr. Howard Johnson
• 1955–1962: Dr. P.L. Rowe
• 1962–1982: Dr. James C. Oliver
• 1982–1985: Dr. R.C. Davis*
• 1985–2001: Dr. W. Thomas Keaton
• 2001–2001: Mrs. Mary R. Jarrett*
• 2001–2005: Dr. Israel Dunn, Jr.
• 2005–2006: Mrs. Mary R. Jarrett*
• 2006–2016: Dr. O. Fitzgerald Hill
• 2016–2017: Dr. Joseph Jones
• 2017–2018: Dr. Howard O. Gibson*
• 2018–2020: Mrs. Regina H. Favors*
• 2020–Current: Dr. Carlos R. Clark
Arkansas Baptist College prepares students for a life of service grounded in academic scholarship, the liberal arts tradition, social responsibility, Christian Development and preparation for employment in a global community.
Arkansas Baptist College seeks to become a leader in Christian based higher education where students are lifelong learners, seeking and building the Kingdom of God, engaged within their communities, and gain employment in industries that are changing the world.
The following principles of Institutional Core Values:
• Mission Driven
• Historically Grounded
• Service Motivated
• Community Empowered
• Academically and Professionally Integrated
• Entrepreneurially Minded
• Fiscally Responsible