Abilene Christian University began as Childers’ Classical Institute in 1906, founded by A.B. Barret and located on five acres of land on North First Street in Abilene, Texas. The school enrolled 25 students and offered only primary and secondary classes during the first year.
Eight years later, however, accredited college classes were offered and the institution became known as Abilene Christian College. In 1929, ACC moved to a new 25-acre campus north of the city of Abilene.
Enrollment surged following World War II and in 1951, the college received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. By 1955, the student body had passed the 2,000 mark. ACC officially became ACU in 1976 and in 1977 enrolled more than 4,000 students.
ACU celebrated its Centennial year in 2005-06 and currently enrolls about 4,600 students, including 3,800 undergraduate students and 800 graduate students, generally from 47 states and territories and 43 nations. More than 245 full-time faculty members, 96 percent of whom hold terminal degrees in their fields, are committed to engaging students in authentic spiritual and intellectual growth. The university now includes the Graduate School; the Graduate School of Theology; the School of Information Technology and Computing; the School of Social Work; the School of Nursing, and the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Biblical Studies, Business Administration, Education and Human Services, and Honors. It is affiliated with the Churches of Christ and is one of the largest private universities in the Southwest.