Black Presbyterian Colleges

There are numerous Presbyterian-affiliated colleges and universities located across the US as well as a plethora of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Here, a summary of the key details associated with Black Presbyterian colleges is provided.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HCBUs) were established in the US prior to 1964. A couple of accredited HCBUs have an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church and have therefore propagated Presbyterian academic environments in which their students can learn. The two institutions discussed here are located in the traditional Southern states. Here, the key information about these two HCBUs is laid out simply in a table followed by short descriptions of each institution.

School comparison

The following table provides an outline of the key details associated with the two Black Presbyterian colleges/universities, including location and tuition information.

School Name Institution Type Location In-State Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)*
Johnson C. Smith University 4-year, private not-for-profit Charlotte, North Carolina $18,236 per year
Stillman College 4-year, private not-for-profit Tuscaloosa, Alabama $11,092 per year

Source: *National Center of Education Statistics

Description of Schools

The Presbyterian Church (USA)-affiliated HCBUs introduced above provide a range of higher education programs across the arts, humanities, and sciences. In this section, further details about each individual institution are described, including statistics about their student bodies and information about accreditation.

Johnson C. Smith University

Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) is a private liberal arts university and was first recognized as a four-year college in 1924. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and the Council on Social Work Education. JCSU's diverse student body as of Fall 2018 is 1565 (63% women), and 61% of students are in-state. There are 87 full-time faculty members and the student-to-faculty ratio is 13 to 1.

Twenty-three degree programs (22 undergraduate, 1 graduate) are offered by the university. These programs are offered in a wide range of subject areas, such as the traditional sciences, social work, economics, criminology, music, and the visual and performing arts. The graduate program is offered in social work.

Greek life is well represented with 11 fraternities and sororities on campus, and 61% of students live in university accommodation. Additionally, there are 60 student organizations and 15 NCAA Division II teams.

Stillman College

Stillman College started out as the Tuscaloosa Institute in 1876 after its founding was authorized by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1875. The current campus has grown to over 100 acres on the west side of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Accreditation is provided by SACSCOC, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.

The student body at Stillman presently numbers 677 and the student-to-faculty ratio is 16 to 1. These students are engaged in a range of bachelor's degree programs (72 in total), including biology, history, theology, mathematics, and the visual and performing arts. Additionally, in acknowledgement of the college's Presbyterian spiritual heritage, all students at the college take 12 hours of religious education which count towards the overall general education requirement. The retention rate for students starting in Fall 2016 and returning in 2017 was 52% for full-time students, and the overall graduation rate for students starting in Fall 2011 was 28%.


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