Founded in 1944 by Earl C Hargrove, preaching minister of Lincoln Christian Church, Lincoln Bible Institute, now Lincoln Christian University, was originally intended to prepare preachers, teachers, and other Christian workers to serve Christian Churches and Churches of Christ. With Hargrove’s original vision for a Christian Workers’ School, the school quickly became known as a training ground for all Christians—no matter their vocational goals. Store clerks and secretaries, mothers and missionaries all had something to learn: how to live out their faith consistently and considerately as leaders in both the Church and the world.
As the school grew, the founders and early administrators added a graduate school (1952) and within a few years Lincoln Bible Institute became Lincoln Christian College and Seminary. In 1972, Hargrove summed up the school’s mission, saying, “Our basic tasks are: to change lives and give them Christian values; to strive with people until their Christian service springs from their nature; and to teach every man to use his God-given talent in Christ’s ministry.” These goals resulted in viable academic degrees that not only prepare students professionally but also nurture them spiritually.
The school has continued in that tradition, developing academic offerings like the adult degree completion program (2001), the Doctor of Ministry degree (2007), and online degrees like the MA in Organizational Leadership (2009) in order to meet the needs of today’s students. In 2009, Lincoln Christian College and Seminary changed its name to Lincoln Christian University. This change reflected, among other reasons, LCU’s vision of a broad education united under the truth of Jesus Christ and the mission of His Church.
Over the years, Lincoln Christian University has continued to refine its identity without sacrificing its mission—“to nurture and equip Christians with a Biblical worldview to serve and lead in the Church and the world.” LCU holds to the foundation of its founders and the call of its tradition—that we have an active part to play as God restores the Church and the world to Himself.