Gordon College (Massachusetts)

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Gordon College
Seal of Gordon College
Established 1889
Type Private
Religious affiliation Non-denominational Christian
Endowment $27,059,080
President D. Michael Lindsay
Provost Janel Curry
Students 2,109
Undergraduates 1,707
Postgraduates 402
Location Wenham, Massachusetts, United States
42°35′23″N 70°49′22″W / 42.589780°N 70.822880°W / 42.589780; -70.822880Coordinates: 42°35′23″N 70°49′22″W / 42.589780°N 70.822880°W / 42.589780; -70.822880
Campus Rural
Former names Gordon Bible Institute (1889-1916), Gordon Bible College (1916-1921), Gordon College of Theology and Missions (1921-1962), Gordon College and Divinity School (1962-1970), "Gordon College"
Colors Navy blue and white         
Athletics ECAC, NCAA (TCCC)
Sports Baseball, basketball, cross-country, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field (indoor and outdoor), and volleyball
Nickname Fighting Scots
Mascot Scottish Lion Rampant
Affiliations Annapolis Group, CCCU, CCC, NEASC
Website www.gordon.edu

Gordon College is a liberal arts college located in Wenham, Massachusetts, United States, north of Boston, Massachusetts. Gordon College offers 36 majors, 41 concentrations and 11 interdisciplinary and preprofessional minors with a undergraduate student enrollment of 1,700 students. Gordon College is a liberal arts college where Multi-denominational Christian faith and academic learning are integral. In 1996, Gordon College began a graduate program in education and in 2003 added a graduate program in music education.

Founded by A. J. Gordon, the school's history began as the Boston Missionary Training School in 1989 in the City of Boston. In 1948 the school was designated as a college of liberal arts. In 1955, Gordon College and Divinity School, relocated north of the city to the former Princemere estate in Wenham. In 1970, the divinity school separated from the College's growing liberal arts emphasis to establish Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, Massachusetts for professional pastoral study and theological degrees. The seperation of the divinity school, allowed for college expansion and education programs in the liberal arts tradition while remaining committed to Gordon's non-denominational Protestant Christian faith.


In 1889 Adoniram Judson Gordon founded the Boston Missionary Training Institute at the Clarendon Street ChurchBaptist church1 to train Christian missionaries for work in the Congo Free State.2 Progressive at its inception in 1889, the school admitted both white and African American women and men from the first day the school opened for teaching. Throughout its evolution women's contributions have been evident and many. It was renamed Gordon Bible College in 19161 and expanded to Newton Theological Institution facilities along The Fenway, into a facility donated by Martha Frost, in 1919. Frost, a windowed Bostonian with several properties in the city, provided a significant philanthropic gift after learning the College was providing intelligent young Christian women opportunities to attend college.3 In 1921, it was renamed to Gordon College of Theology and Missions.1

In the early 1950s, a Gordon student named James Higginbotham approached Frederick H. Prince about selling his 1,000-acre (4.0 km2) estate to the college after learning of recent property viewings by the United Nations and Harvard University. In 1955, Gordon developed into a liberal arts college with a graduate seminary and moved to its present several-hundred-acre Wenham campus.3 Gordon sold its old facilities on Evans Way to the Wentworth Institute of Technology, the Prince Memorial Chapel on the new campus (since razed) was named for Frederick Prince, and Prince's mansion was renamed Frost Hall after the Women's Philanthropist Martha Frost.

In 1958, Gordon College instituted a Core Curriculum. Gordon's faculty and administration were higher education visionaries in the 1950's creating one of the first Study Abroad models. Under the leadership of David Franz, Gordon estabished an oversees summer abroad education model called the European Seminary when there was no model to follow.

In 1962, the school changed its name again to Gordon College and Divinity School.1 In 1970, the Gordon Divinity School separated from the college and merged with the Conwell School of Theology, once part of Temple University to form the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, Massachusetts.3 In 1985, Barrington College of Rhode Island merged into Gordon College.3 Gordon College is the only non-denominational Christian liberal arts College in the New England region.

Barrington College, founded in 1900 as the Bethel Bible Training School in Spencer, Massachusetts, later relocated to Dudley, Massachusetts, and to Providence, Rhode Island. It took the name "Barrington" after the campus was moved to Barrington, Rhode Island in 1959. Barrington merged with Gordon College in 1985.

Academic associations

Gordon has been accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. (NEASC) since 1961.4 The music program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and the social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Its teacher education program is recognized by the Department of Education of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts under the Interstate Service Compact.5 Gordon is a member of the Annapolis Group and the Christian College Consortium. It is also a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).


Jenks Library

Gordon College offers the BA, BM, BS, MAT, MEd, and MMEd degrees.5 It offers undergraduate degrees from 38 majors, 42 concentrations and 15 interdisciplinary and preprofessional minors.6 Gordon offers both a graduate degree in education and music. The Graduate Education program offers M.A.T., M.Ed., and C.A.G.S degrees. The Graduate Music program offers a M.M.Ed.degree, Licensure-only options, and workshops.7

Student life

There were a total of 2,109 student enrolled at Gordon College in 2013, of whom 1,707 were undergraduates.8

Student body and demographics

Frost Hall

A product of its Baptist heritage, Gordon now is a Christian multidenominational college. Students are required to sign the school's Statement of Faith,9 though the religious conclusions and commitments among students and faculty remain diverse. Students must also sign a Life and Conduct Statement agreeing to the standards of behavior that Gordon values. Gordon College prohibits alcohol, tobacco, and narcotic or hallucinogenic drugs on-campus10 and continues to uphold a dorm visitation policy that allows for male-female visitation only during particular hours.11 Chapel services are held on Mondays and Wednesdays, and an academic convocation takes place on Fridays; attendance of chapel, convocation or other events (lectures, debates, presentations, films, exhibitions, etc.) is required to graduate. All full-time students must obtain 30 "Christian Life and Worship Credits" per semester. This policy is strictly enforced. Students who do not meet the requirement for one semester will be placed on academic probation, and a second semester of non-compliance will result in suspension from the college.12

In the fall of 2009, the College’s undergraduate enrollment of 1,583 was drawn from 39 states and 26 foreign countries. Approximately 14.3 percent of enrollment — including international students — were of Asian, African American, Hispanic, Native American, or other non-Caucasian descent.


Gordon College has a student association, student ministries, intramural sports, and a Campus Events Council. There are student-led community service and outreach organizations, ranging from drama troupes to Big Brothers Big Sisters and Habitat for Humanity.


Gordon College's varsity sports compete in the NCAA Division III, primarily in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (TCCC) and the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). The Gordon College teams, known athletically as the Fighting Scots, sponsor baseball, basketball, cross-country, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, and track & field (indoor and outdoor).

Many other outreach programs are led by Gordon College, based in other sites, such as Lynn, MA, where the school has several partners for community development. Several student-led groups organize spring break, winter break and summer break community service trips and mission trips to different sites around the country and the globe.

Fighting Scots Basketball

Head coach Tod Murphy has led the Fighting Scots to 5 Commonwealth Coast Conference appearances in his 5 years of coaching at Gordon College.13 One of these five years he led the team to an NCAA conference appearance.14


A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel
in Wenham, Massachusetts


August 24, 2007, Gordon College dedicated their 450 acre campus property in the name of benefactors Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler following an unrestricted endowment promise of $60 million from their estate. In 2007 the current endowment at Gordon was $33 Million. As a $60 million dollar beneficiary of their estate, the Fowler gift (once received) is projected to triple that current endowment for Gordon College. The Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler Campus at Gordon College is minutes away from picturesque beaches of Massachusetts's Northshore and 25 miles North of Boston. The campus is situated on 450 acres (180 ha) of woods, is in Wenham, MA.

The Gordon College Bennett Center is a 78,000 square feet (7,200 m2) athletics and recreational sports facility. The Bennett Center is a gift to the Gordon community from the George and Helen Bennett family. The $8 million center was completed in October 1996 and in 1997 won the Athletics Business Magazine Top Ten New Facilities Award for its design and usability.

The Ken Olsen Science Center, named for the founder of Digital Equipment Corporation and long-time Gordon College Board member, Ken Olsen, is the College’s most ambitious building endeavor to date: an 80,000 square feet (7,400 m2) science and technology center at the heart of the campus.

Gordon IN

The semester-long "IN" programs developed by the Global Education Office are intended to be more than “trips” that allow students to treat the host culture as something to be “sampled” or “consumed.”

Gordon IN Aix is a semester-long program offered both Fall and Spring (as numbers warrant), with a year-long option for advanced students of French. The program provides an immersion experience in French language and culture in the heart of southern France, with a particular thematic focus on the challenges facing the contemporary Christian church in a largely post-Christian Europe. Gordon IN Aix continues its longstanding collaboration with the Institut d'études de français pour étudiants étrangers (a sector of the University of Aix-Marseille), and enjoys close association with the John Calvin Seminary—one of only two seminaries in the tradition of French Protestantism.

The Gordon IN Orvieto semester program aims to foster students an attitude of responsive looking and listening for signs of new life in the traditions inhabited by artists, poets, saints, and mystics of the past, especially those of pre-modern Europe in Italy.

Gordon IN Romania uses the pioneering work of New Horizons Foundation in community development and adventure education for youth in post-communist Romania as an applied setting for themes in the social sciences. Students explore the powerful role of experiential education in rebuilding a vision for the common good in the context of post-communist society.

Gordon IN Lynn (GIL) is a partnership between Gordon College and the neighboring city Lynn. Through relationships with various community organizations in Lynn, students can engage, learn and serve in a diverse, urban community.

Salzburg Institute

The Salzburg Institute explores Christian thought and culture and promotes critical engagement with some of the most significant intersections of religion, European culture, thought, and the arts. Through interdisciplinary symposia, music performances, art exhibits, workshops, the Institute’s yearbook, and the summer school in Salzburg, Austria, the Salzburg Institute examines how the study of artistic and cultural expressions and their intersections with Christian intellectual thought relate to contemporary issues.

Notable alumni

  • Edwin David Aponte, is a cultural historian, author, Presbyterian minister, and currently Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of the Faculty, and Professor of Christianity & Culture at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana. His research and writing focuses on Latino/a religion and cultures, African American religions, as well as race, ethnicity, and religion.
  • Comedian Pete Holmes attended Gordon College, where he was a member of the campus comedy group, The Sweaty-Toothed Madmen.
  • Christian Smith, American sociologist, currently the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society and the Center for Social Research at the University of Notre Dame. Smith’s research focuses primarily on religion in modernity, adolescents and emerging adults, sociological theory, philosophy of science, the science of generosity, American evangelicalism, and culture.[1] Smith is well known for his contributions to the sociology of religion, particularly his research into adolescent spirituality, as well as for his contributions to sociological theory and his advocacy of critical realism.[2][3]
  • Kenneth Lee Pike, American linguist and anthropologist.
  • Christian Smith (sociologist), American Sociologist
  • Scott Williamson, Vice President, Public Affairs and Communications, Coca-Cola
  • John-Manuel Andriote, American journalist. He has written about health, medicine, politics and culture for the Washington Post and other newspapers and magazines.[1] He has specialized in reporting on HIV and AIDS beginning in 1986.
  • Roy A. Clouser, Professor Emeritus of the College of New Jersey. He has served as professor of philosophy and religion at the College since 1968.
  • James Davison Hunter, American sociologist who is currently the LaBrosse-Levinson Distinguished Professor of Religion, Culture, and Social Theory at the University of Virginia.
  • Meredith G. Kline, (December 15, 1922 – April 14, 2007) was an American theologian and Old Testament scholar. He also had degrees in Assyriology and Egyptology.
  • George Eldon Ladd, (July 31, 1911 – 1982[1]) was a Baptist minister and professor of New Testament exegesis and theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, known in Christian eschatology for his promotion of inaugurated eschatology and "futuristic post-tribulationism."
  • Kenneth Lee Pike, (June 9, 1912 – December 31, 2000) was an American linguist and anthropologist. He was the originator of the theory of tagmemics and coiner of the terms "emic" and "etic".
  • Ralph Richardson (chancellor), (born August 2, 1940 in Moncton, New Brunswick) is the former chancellor of Atlantic Baptist University (now Crandall University) in Canada.[1][2]
  • Gary D. Schmidt, American children's writer of nonfiction books and young adult novels, including two Newbery Honor books and one Printz Honor award. A Newbery Honor and a Printz Honor was awarded to the book Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy and a Newbery Honor was awarded to The Wednesday Wars.
  • Alexa Woodward, Alexa Woodward is an American indie/folk singer and songwriter.
  • Doug Worgul, novelist, attended from 1971-72.

Notable faculty


External links

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