King University

Last updated
King University
Ecclesiae et Litteris
Motto in English
For the Church and For Learning
Type Private
Religious affiliation
Endowment $37 million [1]
President Alexander W. Whitaker IV
Students2,920 (2015-16 Academic Year)
Location, ,
United States

36°35′13″N82°09′32″W / 36.587°N 82.159°W / 36.587; -82.159 Coordinates: 36°35′13″N82°09′32″W / 36.587°N 82.159°W / 36.587; -82.159
Campus135 wooded acres (0.55 km2 (0.21 sq mi))
Colors Blue and Red
Nickname The Tornado
Affiliations NCAA Division II, Conference Carolinas
MascotTwister the Lion

King University (formerly King College) is a private Presbyterian university in Bristol, Tennessee. Founded in 1867, King is independently governed with covenant affiliations to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC).



In April 1866, the Holston Presbytery assembled at the old Pleasant Grove Church in Bristol, Tenn., to establish a Christian college. The College was built on 25 acres (100,000 m2) of land in Bristol that had been donated by Reverend James King, in whose honor it is named. [2] The first classes were offered in August 1867. [3]

When the college outgrew its small campus, King's grandson Isaac Anderson donated land on a hillside east of Bristol and in 1917 the college moved to its present location. [3]

In January 2013, King College announced that it would change its name to King University. [4] The name change reflects the master's-level, comprehensive benchmark that King has reached in recent years. Becoming a university was the natural unfolding of King's strategic plan, unveiled in 1998, to create an even broader mix of programs based on a university model. On June 1, 2013, King College officially became King University.

In December 2013, King University was granted a Level V designation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), after a two-year application and review process. As a result, King University began its first doctoral program, a Doctorate of Nursing Practice, in Fall 2014. [5]


The King University campus is located on 135 acres (55 ha) approximately 1.7 miles (2.7 km) from downtown Bristol, Tennessee. All main buildings on campus are brick and of Georgian-style architecture. [3] King University also has three additional Tennessee campuses located in Kingsport and Knoxville. There are 10 additional instructional locations across Southwest Virginia and Tennessee. [6]

View of the King University campus from a nearby road King College.jpg
View of the King University campus from a nearby road
The new Student Center at King University King College, by Christopher Powers.jpg
The new Student Center at King University

Accreditation and memberships

King University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) [7]

King is a member of numerous associations, including the Appalachian College Association (ACA), the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA) and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). [8]


King University offers more than 80 undergraduate majors, minors and pre-professional programs. Several professional studies programs are offered for working professionals and most programs are available in face-to-face and online formats. King also offers four graduate programs: Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Master of Education (MEd), and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).


King University is organized into six schools:



King employs more than 80 full-time faculty members and has a student:faculty ratio of 13:1. [11]


The Core Curriculum of King University underwent its last major revision by the faculty during Spring, 2009. The Core is composed of a Common Experience, four semester hours of courses that all tradition undergraduates must take at the college, and General Education, thirty-eight hours of courses that span the traditional liberal arts. [12]

Experience DC

As part of the University's First Year Experience Program, each year the entire freshman class travels to Washington, D.C. for an experiential learning trip known as Experience DC. During the trip, students visit offices of legislators, national museums, international organizations, art galleries and various public venues. Participants are challenged to explore their views on the arts, religion, varying cultures and issues facing humankind. The trip also helps students examine career options. [13]

Student life

Student government

The Student Government Association is the formal representative entity for the student body, consisting of elected executive officers (President and Vice President) and a Senate representing each class (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior). The SGA serves as the voice of the students to the board of trustees, administration, faculty, and staff. The SGA also charters, funds, and oversees other student organizations.

Student organizations

Academic organizations include: STEA-KE (Education), History & Political Science Society, Psy Chi Honors Society, Forensic Science Club, Marketing Club, Finance Club, ENACTUS (formerly SIFE), and a collegiate chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery.

Performing arts-related organizations include: Collegium Musicum (Chamber Choir), Symphonic Choir, Men's Ensemble (All the King's Men), Women's Ensemble (Queen's of King), Jazz/Gospel Choir, Symphonic Band, 250 Jazz (Combo Jazz Ensemble - plays at basketball games occasionally), Chapel Band, and The King University Players (K.U.P.)

General interest organizations include: Alpha Phi Omega, the Newman Club, a collegiate chapter of the International Justice Mission, the International Student Organization, College Republicans, College Democrats, TISL, and a computer/video gaming club.

Student Ministry Teams include: The Refreshment Company (a music-based ministry), The Dawn Treaders (a theatrical ministry), and Corps for Christ (a dance ministry).

Student publications

Students have the opportunity to work in journalism and publishing. The Kayseean is the student newspaper. The school's yearbook is The Tornado.

Student activities

The Student Life Activities Committee at King (SLACK) is a student group responsible for organizing and executing student activities, under the direction of the Director of Student Life. Events in the past have included: concerts, dances, movies, outdoor adventures (canoeing, caving, ropes courses), overnight trips, International Fair, Oktoberfest, a late night exam breakfast, an end-of-the-year luau, Safe Spring Break promotion, and bingo nights.

A program of intramural sports, called SLACK Sports, is offered to students. Typical sports include: indoor soccer, flag football, volleyball, dodgeball, bowling, and ultimate frisbee. In addition, intramural video game tournaments, Texas Hold'em poker tournaments, chess tournaments, and board game nights are also held throughout the year.

Residence halls

King's campus offers separate men's and women's residence halls. High-speed internet and cable television are available in the residence halls.


Men's intercollegiate teams compete in baseball, basketball, cross-country, cycling, golf, soccer, track and field, swimming/diving, tennis, volleyball, and wrestling.

Women's intercollegiate teams compete in acrobatics/tumbling, basketball, cheerleading/dance, cross-country, cycling, golf, soccer, softball, swimming/diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and wrestling.

The university is a member of NCAA-Division II and Conference Carolinas. [14]

The university was, at one time a member of the NCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association) and was previously a member of the Appalachian Athletic Conference of the NAIA.

University nickname

The university nickname, the Tornado, was adopted in 1922 following a 206-0 football win over North Carolina rival Lenoir College (now Lenoir-Rhyne). [15] The local newspaper covering the event wrote the headline "King College's Victory Was 'Tornado' Of Week's Games" and began referring to the football team as the "Tornado". [16] This is a record score which stands in the annals of collegiate football as one of the highest ever won on the gridiron. [17]

University mascot

Twister, a lion, was unveiled as the University's new mascot on September 2, 2011. Twister is a fearless lion that represents the determination and courage reflected in King's adventure as a NCAA Division II institution. Equipped with his King colors of navy blue and scarlet red, Twister dons the number 11 on his back while rallying those in Tornado Athletics and the King University community. [18]

Spiritual life

Students have many opportunities to explore Christian beliefs and spiritual traditions. Opportunities abound with chapel, the King Institute for Faith and Culture, Christian ministry groups, and service projects. Each year, student teams also travel nationally and internationally for a range of mission and study abroad trips.

All traditional King students are required to obtain fourteen chapel, convocation, or community service credit hours per semester.


Chapel is held every Wednesday at 9:15 a.m. and led by the Chaplain. [19]

The King University Institute for Faith and Culture

Inaugurated in 2008 and dedicated to the work and example of Frederick Buechner, the Buechner Institute at King University explored the relationship between faith and culture. In 2015, after the death of Dr. Dale Brown, founding director, and at the request of the Buechner Literary Assets, LLC, the Buechner Institute became the King Institute for Faith and Culture. [20] The King Institute for Faith and Culture is a continuation of conversations between faith, art, and culture started by the Buechner Institute.

The King Institute for Faith and Culture sponsors on-campus convocations (generally on Mondays at 9:15 a.m.) as well as evening lectures either on campus or in community venues, that feature speakers from a variety of backgrounds to examine the ways in which faith informs art and public life and cultivate conversation about what faith has to do with books, politics, social discourse, music, visual arts, and more.

Notable alumni

Related Research Articles

Iona College (New York) Private Catholic college in New Rochelle, NY, US

Iona College is a private Catholic college in New Rochelle, New York. It was founded in 1940 by the Congregation of Christian Brothers and occupies a campus of 45 acres (0.18 km2).

Bethel University is a Christian university in McKenzie, Tennessee with satellite campuses located in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, Jackson, Paris, and Clarksville.. It is accredited to bestow degrees up to the master's level.

Drury University

Drury University, formerly Drury College and originally Springfield College, is a private liberal arts college in Springfield, Missouri. The university enrolls about 1,600 undergraduates, 450 graduate students in six master's programs, and 3,160 students in the College of Continuing Professional Studies.

Middle Tennessee State University public university located in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, United States

Middle Tennessee State University is a public university in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Founded in 1911 as a normal school, the university consists of eight undergraduate colleges as well as a college of graduate studies, together offering more than 80 majors/degree programs through more than 35 departments. MTSU is most prominently known for its Recording Industry, Aerospace, Music and Concrete Industry Management programs. The university has partnered in research endeavors with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the United States Army, and the United States Marine Corps. In 2009, Middle Tennessee State University was ranked among the nation's top 100 public universities by Forbes magazine.

East Tennessee State University university

East Tennessee State University (ETSU) is a public university in Johnson City, Tennessee. Although it is part of the State University and Community College System of Tennessee, the university is governed by an institutional Board of Trustees. As of May 2017, it is the fourth largest university in the state and has off-campus centers in nearby Kingsport and Elizabethton.

Union University private Christian university in Jackson, Tennessee

Union University is a private evangelical Christian university in Jackson, Tennessee, with additional campuses in Germantown and Hendersonville. The university is affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention and relates to the Southern Baptist Convention. It is a union of several different schools: West Tennessee College, formerly known as Jackson Male Academy; Union University of Murfreesboro; Southwestern Baptist University; and Hall-Moody Junior College of Martin, Tennessee.

Erskine College Historic, christian, liberal arts college in South Carolina.

Erskine College is a private Christian college in Due West, South Carolina. It offers an undergraduate liberal arts college and a graduate theological seminary. The college was founded in 1839 by the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and its sports teams compete in NCAA Division II as a member of Conference Carolinas.

Lee University

Lee University is a private Christian university in Cleveland, Tennessee. It was originally the Church of God Bible Training School, a small Bible institute founded in 1918 with twelve students and one teacher. The school grew and became Lee College, with a Bible college and junior college on its current site, in 1948. Twenty years later, Lee received accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as a four-year liberal arts college. In 1997, Lee made the transition from college to comprehensive liberal arts university granting graduate degrees. The university is divided into six colleges and schools: the College of Arts & Sciences, the Helen DeVos College of Education, the School of Business, the School of Music, the School of Nursing, and the School of Religion. The university also offers online degrees through the Division of Adult Learning. The university is named for F.J. Lee, its second president.

Southwestern Assemblies of God University Christian private university in Waxahachie, Texas

Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) is a private Christian university and seminary in Waxahachie, Texas. SAGU is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and officially endorsed by the Assemblies of God USA. It is the only Assemblies of God university in Texas. The university offers associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees in liberal arts, Bible, and Church ministry.

Johnson University

Johnson University is a private, Christian university with its main campus in Kimberlin Heights, Tennessee and a second campus in Kissimmee, Florida.

Bryan College Christian liberal arts college in Dayton, TN, US

Bryan College is a private Christian liberal arts college in Dayton, Tennessee. It was founded in the aftermath of the 1925 Scopes Trial to establish an institution of higher education that would teach from a Christian worldview.

Missouri Southern State University Public university in southwest Missouri

Missouri Southern State University is a public university in Joplin, Missouri, United States. It was established in 1937 as Joplin Junior College.

Volunteer State Community College

Volunteer State Community College is a public community college in Gallatin, Tennessee. It is part of the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Crown College (Minnesota)

Crown College is a private Christian college in St. Bonifacius, Minnesota, a small town located 30 miles west of Minneapolis. The college has both on-campus and online programs.

Concordia University Texas private university in Austin, Texas, United States

Concordia University Texas is a private, coeducational institution of liberal arts and sciences located in northwest Austin, in the U.S. state of Texas. The university offers undergraduate, graduate and online degrees as well as an Adult Degree Program for part-time and returning students.

Otterbein University University in Ohio

Otterbein University is a private university in Westerville, Ohio. It offers 74 majors and 44 minors as well as eight graduate programs. The university was founded in 1847 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ and named for United Brethren founder the Rev. Philip William Otterbein. As a result of a division and two mergers involving the church, it has been associated since 1968 with the United Methodist Church. In 2010, its name was changed back from Otterbein College to Otterbein University because of an increasing number of graduate and undergraduate programs.

Schenley Quadrangle United States historic place

Schenley Quadrangle is a cluster of University of Pittsburgh residence halls that is a Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation Historic Landmark and are contributing properties to the Schenley Farms National Historic District in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States.

Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach is a residential campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The university offers associate, bachelor's, master's, and PhD degree programs in arts, sciences, aviation, business, and engineering.

Eastern Michigan University Historic District United States historic place

Eastern Michigan University Historic District is an area of land on the very south end of the Eastern Michigan University campus. Eastern Michigan University is a comprehensive, co-educational public university located in Ypsilanti, Michigan in Washtenaw County. The university was founded in 1849 as Michigan State Normal School. Several buildings since its founding have achieved historical significance and eventually establishing it on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. The district was established in 1984.

Scarritt College for Christian Workers United States historic place

Scarritt College for Christian Workers was a college associated with the United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. The campus is now home to Scarritt Bennett Center.


  1. As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-12-14. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
  2. Page 243 in Higher education in Tennessee, by Lucius Salisbury Merriam, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1893.
  3. 1 2 3 "King College: History of King College". Retrieved 2011-03-16.
  4. COURIER |, ROGER BROWN | BRISTOL HERALD. "King College to become King University". maint: extra punctuation (link)
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-02. Retrieved 2015-02-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. "King University: Education Centers". Retrieved 2016-04-08.
  7. "Commission on Colleges".
  8. "Council for Christian Colleges & Universities". CCCU. May 9, 2019.
  9. "Library: About the Library". Retrieved 2011-03-16.
  10. 1 2 "Library: Knoxville Library". 2011-03-11. Retrieved 2011-03-16.
  11. "King University: Fast Facts". King University. Retrieved 2019-09-03.
  12. "King College: Core Curriculum". Retrieved 2011-03-16.
  13. "Discover King: Experience D.C". Retrieved 2011-03-16.
  14. [ dead link ]
  15. Bristol Herald Courier: Sunday, October 22, 1922
  16. Bristol Herald Courier: Monday, October 23, 1922
  17. "Why Tornado?". King University.
  18. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-01-16. Retrieved 2012-08-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. "Discover King: Chapel & Convocation". Retrieved 2011-03-16.
  20. "King's Buechner Institute changes name". Retrieved 2016-06-22.
  21. "Patricia Cornwell – novelist, forensics expert, heart of gold".
  22. "Salem Press". Salem Press. Archived from the original on 2010-12-21. Retrieved 2011-03-16.
  23. "Cylk Cozart - Biography". IMDb. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  24. "Meet the N.A.I.A.'s - Mike Helton - NAIA OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE". Retrieved 2011-03-16.
  25. "Chad Keen for Bristol, TN City Council". Retrieved 2016-08-05.
  26. "LAIRD, William Ramsey, III - Biographical Information". Retrieved 2011-03-16.
  27. "Representatives - TN General Assembly". 1984-02-21. Retrieved 2011-03-16.
  28. Angled Vector. "Katherine Paterson - About the Author". Retrieved 2011-03-16.
  29. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2011-08-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)