Criswell College

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Criswell College
W. A. Criswell by Blair Buswell 1993 Criswell College Dallas Texas.jpg
Statue of W. A. Criswell at Criswell College
Former names
Criswell Bible Institute; Criswell Center for Biblical Studies
Established 1970
Type Private
Affiliation Southern Baptists of Texas Convention
President Dr. Barry K. Creamer
Location Dallas, Texas, USA
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Campus Urban/Suburban
Colors Navy, Gray, Yellow

Criswell College is a Christian liberal arts college and divinity school in Old East Dallas, Texas. Criswell College's stated mission is to provide ministerial and professional higher education for men and women preparing to serve as Christian leaders throughout society, while maintaining an institutional commitment to biblical inerrancy.[1]


Classes began on January 12, 1971, after being founded in 1970 as the Criswell Bible Institute. The school would later be known as the Criswell Center for Biblical Studies before assuming its current name in 1985.[2] The college is named after its founder, W. A. Criswell, long-time dispensationalist[3] pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas. Dr. James Bryant was the founding Dean.

Texas oilman, conservative activist, and First Baptist Church of Dallas member H.L. Hunt provided much of the financial support establishing Criswell College.

The college has been affiliated with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention since 2001.[4] The college offers Diplomas, Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and Master of Divinity degrees.


Past presidents include Criswell, H. Leo Eddleman, Paige Patterson, Richard Melick, C. Richard Wells, and Jerry A. Johnson. Barry Creamer is the seventh and current president.[5]


In 2013, the Board of Trustees approved plans for an expansion of the undergraduate curriculum and relocation.[6] The expanded curriculum now includes undergraduate majors such as Philosophy, Politics & Economics (PPE), Education, and Psychology.[7] Relocation plans were eventually redirected toward renovation of the current campus.[8]


In 1985, Criswell was first accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).[9]

In June 2007, the college was placed on probation for one year.[10]

In December 2010, the college was denied reaffirmation and given a warning for one year to make improvements in areas including in educational programs, effectiveness, administration, and general education competencies.[11]

The school is currently fully accredited through SACSCOC with a renewal date of 2020.


Former president Jerry Johnson resigned from the school in 2008 citing "philosophical differences with the chancellor and trustee leadership about the future of Criswell College."[12] In 2010, the school officially separated from First Baptist Church of Dallas despite a 2008 resolution forbidding selling of the school for at least five years,[13] and Johnson returned in 2010[14] before leaving in 2013 to become President and CEO of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB).[15]

Notable alumni


  1. About | Criswell College
  2. History | Criswell College
  3. W. A. Criswell. "THE RISING OF ISRAEL".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Criswell College affiliates with Southern Baptists of Texas Convention". Baptist Press. June 8, 2001. Retrieved 2016-01-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. President | Criswell College
  6. "Criswell College plans to build new campus, expand curriculum". Dallas Morning News. November 11. 2013. Retrieved 2016-01-13. Check date values in: |date= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Undergraduate Degrees | Criswell College
  8. "Criswell College plans major renovation to Dallas campus". Southern Baptist TEXAN. April 6, 2015. Retrieved 2016-01-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Criswell College". Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Accrediting association reprimands Criswell College due to finances". Associated Baptist Press. July 5, 2007. Retrieved 2012-01-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  11. "Questions Regarding Status of Criswell College" (PDF). Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. December 10, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-01-05. Retrieved 2012-01-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Criswell president Jerry Johnson resigns". Baptist Press. August 6, 2008. Retrieved 2011-09-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Criswell College officially separates". Baptist Press. August 3, 2010. Retrieved 2016-01-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "EDUCATION DIGEST: Johnson elected Criswell president; Wright at Union; Campbellsville; Calif. Baptist; Baptist College of Fla.; NOBTS". Baptist Press. November 10, 2010. Retrieved 2011-09-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Dr. Jerry A. Johnson Selected as President & CEO of the National Religious Broadcasters". National Religious Broadcasters. October 1, 2013. Retrieved 2016-01-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links