Undergraduate Catalog - General Information - About Judson | Judson University Christian College

About Judson


Judson's roots extend back to 1913 and the founding of Northern Baptist Theological Seminary. From its very first day, NBTS offered both graduate and undergraduate education to men and women training for the ministry. When the seminary portion of Northern Baptist moved from Chicago to Lombard, Illinois, in the early 1960's, it was decided to make the college an independent entity. Under the guidance of Dr. Benjamin P. Browne, college and seminary president, the "new" college was founded in 1963 in Elgin, Illinois, along the shores of the Fox River. It was named after Adoniram Judson, the first American missionary to foreign shores.

From its birth on a 19-acre private estate, Judson has grown today to a campus of 90-acres of woods and spacious lawns. Sixteen buildings dot the campus including four student residence halls; a campus apartment building; a center for science and mathematics; a fine arts center; an education building; a fitness center; a campus commons; a university center; athletic fields; a seven-story classroom, office and residential facility; and as a center of spiritual life, a 650-seat chapel.

A state-of-the-art academic center to house the Architecture and Art & Design Departments and an expanded library opened in the summer of 2007. This facility, the Harm A. Weber Academic Center, employs innovative “green" technology and is one of the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly buildings in the U.S.

Judson's first president, Dr. Browne, retired in 1967. Dr. Amos B. Barton served as president through 1969 and Dr. Harm A. Weber from 1969-1992. In 1992, Dr. James W. Didier was appointed president. He retired in 1998, and Dr. Jerry B. Cain became Judson's fifth president. Dr. Cain retired in June 2012. Dr. William Crothers joined Judson in July 2012 as Interim President. Judson celebrated the installation of its sixth president, Dr. Gene C. Crume, Jr. on October 24, 2013.

Judson is an American Baptist-affiliated, evangelical Christian university of the liberal arts, sciences and professions. It is coeducational and offers the bachelor of arts degree; master's degrees in Architecture, Literacy Education, Organizational Leadership, Business Administration and Leadership in Ministry, and a doctorate degree in Literacy Education.

Judson's size and intimate campus setting allows for close personal associations among students, faculty and staff. Campus life does not end in the classroom; co-curricular activities provide personal recreation and social development. These include intercollegiate and intramural athletics for men and women, Christian ministries, drama, choir, reach-out teams, student publications, volunteer programs, student government and special campus festivities such as Homecoming and seasonal banquets. A majority of Judson's traditional-aged students live in campus residence halls and apartments.

In 1994 Judson introduced a new academic program concentrating on continuing education for non-traditional students. Since its inception, The Division of Professional Studies has offered innovative majors with a high level of student service on our main campus and in 1999, a second location was established in Rockford.

Judson is also home to the annual World Leaders Forum which has brought such world leaders as George W. Bush, Mikhail S. Gorbachev, Tony Blair and Condoleezza Rice to Judson's campus since the event began in 2011.  The World Leaders Forum offers our students and area professionals the opportunity to be in the presence of and be inspired by World Leaders and serves as a catalyst to raise the capital necessary to begin an Entrepreneurial Studies Program at Judson University.

Today, Judson University is home to over 1,200 traditional and adult professional students from 35 states and 21 countries.

1968 Statement of Purpose

It is the conviction of the faculty, administration, and Board of Trustees of Judson University that education is more than the acquisition of knowledge. Education is also the growth of an individual that results from the total experience of the living-learning situation involving the experiences in the classroom, the chapel, the residence halls, the athletic fields, as well as other meaningful associations with persons in the university community.

It is the conviction of the faculty, administration, and Board of Trustees of Judson University that education is at its best when it provides experiences of liberation—that is, when it helps to free persons from bigotry, provincialism, and unexamined belief systems. We consider it imperative for intelligent, searching minds that issues be discussed and options evaluated with humility, since education involves a process of discrimination among alternative answers to the great issues of life. Accordingly, we affirm the values of liberal education, realizing that it is as likely to raise questions as it is to provide answers.

It is the conviction of the faculty, administration, and Board of Trustees that higher education at Judson University should involve a personal intellectual encounter with the Christian revelation. Viewed from this perspective, both knowledge and faith are dynamic, not static. This is consistent with our belief that it is not possible to have worthwhile education where there is uncritical devotion only to the accepted, the safe, and the sanctioned. Christian education is at its best when it involves consideration of both new and familiar truths. The Christian, above all, should hold unswerving allegiance to honesty and integrity in the pursuit of knowledge.

It is the conviction of the faculty, administration and Board of Trustees of Judson University that Christian higher education should include a consideration of commitment to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. It is hoped that every Judson student will experience this commitment during his years at the university.

Mission Statement and Educational Goals

Judson is an evangelical Christian university that represents the Church at work in higher education, equipping students to be fully developed, responsible persons who glorify God by the quality of their personal relationships, their work, and their citizenship within the community, the nation and the world. Through a broadly based education in the liberal arts, sciences and professions, the university enables its students to acquire ideas and concepts that sharpen their insights, develop skills appropriate to their career goals, and develop the skills and commitment for lifelong learning. The Judson community experience challenges graduates to be decisive leaders and active participants in church and society, articulate proponents of Biblical Christianity, persuasive advocates for the sovereignty of God over all life, and effective ambassadors for Christ.

Educational Goals

Judson graduates will embrace a Christian worldview derived from critical and disciplined interaction with God's Word and God's world. This ultimate goal will be achieved as students attain the following intermediate goals:

  1. Embrace Christian ethics for lifelong growth and behavior, model personal commitment to Christ and the church, and articulate that faith.
  2. Practice wellness from a Christian stewardship perspective and make responsible lifestyle choices that lead to optimal health and vitality.
  3. Appreciate the development, values and limitations of their own and other cultures through personal integration and communication.
  4. Engage the complexity of human personality and behavior, developing balanced and critical self-awareness, and demonstrating sensitivity in interpersonal relationships.
  5. Develop widening aesthetic appreciation, discernment and expression, including an understanding of the creative process.
  6. Acquire critical and creative thinking abilities, read and listen perceptively, and write and speak effectively and responsibly.
  7. Develop analytical, research, and problem-solving skills using appropriate mathematics, logic, technology, and scientific methods.
  8. Embrace the Christian life, as ethical and redemptive servants, leaders, and stewards.
  9.  Acquire competencies in a major field and skills for lifelong learning.

 Operational Objectives

  1. Judson will be a Christ-centered community that cares.
  2. The total Judson community will minister to the whole student, addressing academic, spiritual, physical, emotional, and social needs in a multicultural and multinational environment.
  3. Judson will deliver Christ-honoring professional service in all operations to all stakeholders.
  4. Judson faculty and staff will be spiritually maturing Christians who minister through learning, facilitating, mentoring and advising.
  5. Learner-centered education in the liberal arts and sciences will undergird all programs.
  6. Judson will be financially healthy.
  7. The college will embrace growth in student populations and programs through ongoing strategic planning and assessment.

Student Outcomes

Like any educational institution, Judson University includes students of varying degrees of preparedness, motivation and discipline. This being the case, there will be a variety of student outcomes. Indeed, no college or university can guarantee equality of outcome, but it can do everything in its power to ensure equality of opportunity. Our goal is to provide the finest Christian liberal arts education possible. However, it is up to the individual student to show initiative and take ultimate responsibility for his or her education. Consequently, this catalog represents a snapshot of where we are in our community-wide quest for excellence, rather than an unconditional contract.

A Conservative, Evangelical Christian Institution

Judson University is and has been a conservative, evangelical Christian university that represents the Church at work in higher education, equipping students to be fully developed, responsible persons who glorify God by the quality of their personal relationships, their work, and their citizenship within the community, the nation and the world.  In addition, and as stated in the "1968 Statement of Purpose" and reflected in other documents, the academic experience at Judson is founded within the context of the liberal arts tradition. 

Judson's faith identity is defined by three foundational principles.  First, and as mentioned above, Judson is a conservative, evangelical, Christian university, reflecting the commitment to share God's love through Jesus Christ throughout the world.  Second, Judson is a Baptist institution of higher education, and its historical faith perspective shapes its academic and co-curricular programs.  Third, the evangelical Baptist commitment provides a learning environment that is predominantly, but not exclusively, Christian.

There are ten qualities that clearly reflect how Judson University Trustees, administrators, faculty, staff, students and alumni are to live out the three foundational principles of the University's faith identity.  To learn more about these ten qualities, read Judson's Faith Identity Statement.


Judson University is a conservative, evangelical Christian university that represents the Church at work in higher education, equipping students to be fully developed, responsible persons who glorify God by the quality of their personal relationships, their work, and their citizenship within the community, the nation and the world.  Diversity is an ethos embraced by the University to foster inclusion, service, and quality of life amongst our global and local communities.  Strategic actions toward achieving diversity goals facilitate meaningful and sustainable impact throughout the Judson community, enriching the University as a whole. 

Our goals are to:

  1. Maintain and increase the institution’s diversity population based on the existing urban context,   
  2. Cultivate an environment where people of all backgrounds can thrive academically, socially, spiritually, and professionally,  
  3. Implement plans to support diversity activities throughout all areas of the University, including recruitment, hiring, retention efforts, curriculum transformation, and partnerships.  

 Strategies for achieving these goals include: 

  1. Continued recruitment and retention of diverse under-represented populations of faculty, staff, and students,   
  2. Measurable initiatives that facilitate recruitment, retention, and graduation of diverse under-represented populations,  
  3. Scholarship and grant opportunities for diverse under-represented populations,  
  4. Support for multicultural student organizations and leadership opportunities,  
  5. Linkages to external support groups/organizations/societies.   


Judson University, Shaping Lives that Shape the World