The History of Trinity Western University
In 1957, a small group of people had an extraordinary vision to establish a distinctly Christian university in Canada.
The vision began when the Evangelical Free Churches of America (EFCA) appointed a committee to explore founding a liberal arts college in the Fraser Valley. Christian educator and church leader David Enarson was one of the guiding members of the committee and had a vision for an accredited Christian university. Members of the committee purchased the Seal Kap dairy farm in British Columbia's Fraser Valley and developed plans to build the college. The dream finally took off when Trinity Junior College opened in 1962.
Since those first days, Trinity Western has held a unique vision for Christian liberal arts and sciences education in Canada. The first president, Dr. Calvin B. Hanson (1962-1974), helped shape the early vision. Two decades later, with 800 students enrolled, the college achieved two important milestones. In 1984, under the leadership of TWU’s second president, Dr. R. Neil Snider (1974-2006), Trinity Western was granted full membership into the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), and in 1985, the British Columbia legislature renamed the Trinity Western College Act the Trinity Western University Act, establishing TWU as a university.
The next milestones for the University included incorporating ACTS Seminaries and the School of Graduate studies, which offer masters and doctoral programs in theological studies, counselling psychology, and the humanities.
TWU is now Canada’s premier global Christian university and a leader in liberal arts education offering undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs. As reported in educational surveys carried out by The Globe and Mail University Report and Maclean’s magazine, TWU has earned national recognition for its overall quality of education. TWU has two Canada Research Chairs: Canada Research Chair in Person-Centred Outcomes and Canada Research Chair in Cardiovascular Adaptation to Exercise.
Today, in addition to the programs offered at the main Langley, B. C. campus, Trinity Western University provides a wide array of degree and non-degree learning experiences at its satellite campuses and through its various schools and institutes.