The History of NGU

On October 14, 1891, at the fourth annual meeting of the North Greenville Baptist Association, a momentous decision was made. A committee of nine men was appointed to determine the best location for establishing a high school in the northern region of Greenville County. The recommendation to create the committee came in response to a suggestion made at an earlier associational meeting by John Ballenger of the Tigerville community. He asked that the association consider the possibility of providing educational opportunities for mountain area students as there were only three high schools in the entire county at that time.


The work of the committee led to the establishment of what is now North Greenville University. Benjamin F. Neves offered ten acres of beautiful rolling land midway between Glassy Mountain to the north and Paris Mountain to the south. By 1892 the first building was completed and ready for occupancy, and North Greenville High School began with the arrival of the first students on January 16, 1893.


The State of South Carolina chartered the institution as North Greenville High School in 1904. The next year the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention assumed control of the school as part of its Mountain Mission School System, a relationship that lasted 25 years. In 1929, the North Greenville Baptist Association again accepted responsibility for the school which had been renamed “North Greenville Baptist Academy” in 1915.


In 1934, the charter was amended to create a junior college in addition to a high school. Fifteen years later, the growing institution was transferred from the founding association to the direct control of the General Board of the South Carolina Baptist Convention. In 1957, North Greenville College was accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as a two year liberal arts college, and the high school courses were discontinued. Previously, an amendment to the charter in 1950 changed the name to “North Greenville Junior College,” and the word “Junior” was deleted from the title of the college in 1972.


In 1991, the college reaffirmed its basic commitment to quality education, applying to the
Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to offer baccalaureate degrees in Christian Studies and church music. The school was given candidacy status the following summer, with its initial cohort of upperclassmen enrolling in the fall semester of 1992. Level II accreditation was granted in June 1994. In 1997, the college’s Teacher Education Program received approval from the South Carolina Department of Education.


In 2006, the university began offering the Master of Christian Ministry and the Master of Business Administration. In the course of the school’s existence, enrollment has continued to grow, the academic program has been strengthened, and campus facilities have been improved. Throughout this period of development, the fundamental purpose for which North Greenville was founded has remained constant: to provide a quality educational experience in the context of genuine Christian commitment.