John Brown University's rich history began with an enthusiastic author, educator, radio broadcaster, and evangelist, John E. Brown, who recognized the need for an academic institution that would prepare young people to serve Christ. In 1919, with a goal of educating the "Head, Heart, and Hand," John Brown laid the foundation for the institution that would later be called John Brown University. The vision of JBU has been carried through its ninety-four year history by the leadership of the founder, his son, John Brown Jr., his grandson, John Brown III, and Presidents George Ford, Lee Balzer, and now Charles Pollard.
The university offers an education based on a liberal arts core curriculum and 44 undergraduate majors. Also available at JBU are academic opportunities for professionals and graduates. The JBU Degree Completion Program was established in 1993 to meet the needs of working adults and allows them to complete their undergraduate degree. The Graduate Studies Program, established in 1995, offers master's degrees in Community Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, School Counseling, Business Administration, Leadership and Ethics, Higher Education Leadership, and Curriculum & Instruction.
Since its founding, JBU has sought to nourish the spiritual life of its students. Professors and students work together to integrate a Christian worldview with their understanding and practice of academic disciplines. Professors and staff also make themselves available to guide and mentor students in the faith.
Within the JBU community there are a variety of opportunities for students to deepen and live out their faith. Chapel services are held three times a week and feature dynamic worship and gifted guest speakers. A wide variety of ministry opportunities are offered to students through the Office of Christian Formation.
Students also gain valuable professional and personal life-skills that equip them to serve in business, education, industry, the arts, and a variety of other fields. Students and graduates are encouraged to integrate faith in the workplace and in every area of their lives.
While the scope of JBU's mission has grown over the last 94 years, the central direction of that mission has remained the same: "Christ Over All."