Download Full Text (2.3 MB)


Olivet University is the outgrowth of a deep conviction of a great need, born of prayer and faith in God. Certain men, who had been led into the experience of heart holiness, and thus into deep fellowship with Jesus Christ in His purposes for the world, seeing that the Bible and religious teachings were practically eliminated from the public schools, and that, under these circumstances not even the proper standards of morality could be maintained; also seeing the prevalence of destructive higher criticism in the colleges and universities by which the principles of our holy faith were being undermined, felt that something different should be provided for the education of their children and the children of their neighbors, who were of like precious faith. Accordingly, during the fall of 1907 a small school was opened in a residence building in Georgetown, Illinois, with Miss Mary Nesbit as teacher.

This small school of course did not satisfy; and the next year the present location, midway between Georgetown and Ridgefarm on the Interurban car line, was selected. A small, three-room frame building was erected, and the school enlarged to an Academy with Prof. Fred Mesch as principal. Forty acres of land were secured and fourteen acres laid off as a campus, and the rest subdivided into residence lots. Later other land was secured, a part of which was reserved for a campmeeting ground. The school prospered as an Academy; but Trustees were looking ahead and planning for greater things.

The next year a large, three-story, brick building was erected, the present girls’ dormitory, and the College of Liberal Arts was added. Dr. A. M. Hills was chosen President, and served in that capacity for one year. He was succeeded by Prof. Ezra T. Franklin, who held the position for two years.

The school quickly outgrew this building and another, the present Administration Building, was erected and finally completed the summer of 1913, though part of it had been used the year previous.

It was thought by those in control that the school should be placed under the care of some church to insure its permanency and greater usefulness. Accordingly, in the Spring of 1912 it was tendered to the Church of the Nazarene, which church accepted the gift and assumed control.

During the year 1916, there was erected a splendid brick building for a steam heating plant, which furnishes steam heat and hot water for the Administration building, the Dormitory, the Hospital, the President’s residence, and the Music Hall, all of which belong to the University. In 1919 Dr. J. E. L. Moore was called to the Presidency of the University and under his efficient administration, the Institution has shown a marked advance, with bright prospects for the future.

The general administration is vested in a Board of twenty-one Trustees, whose members are nominated by the six district assemblies of the Church of the Nazarene, included in the Central Educational District. The Board of trustees elect the President of the University, and, upon his recommendation, the members of the faculty.

With regard to direct administration: “The President of' the University shall be the head executive of the University, and shall be amenable to the Board of Trustees. He shall direct the affairs of the University in harmony with principles and policies marked out by the Board of Trustees. He shall have full authority in matters of scholarship and discipline. The heads of the different departments shall constitute a Faculty Council, who shall be advisory to him in these matters. He may delegate the discipline to a dean of men and a dean of women, but they shall act under his instruction. The President shall guard carefully the work of every Department.”

Document Type


Publication Date



Olivet Nazarene University


Olivet, Illinois


university catalog, student rules, faculty, courses of study, religious influence

Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning


Christian Denominations and Sects | Christianity | Higher Education | Religion



Olivet University possesses many advantages in light of purpose for which it has been established.

1. A high spiritual tone. A constant revival atmosphere, and a deep missionary spirit is prevalent. It is an atmosphere, in which sturdy Christian character is developed and strong religious leadership for the future is prepared. The religious spirit is not narrow nor sectarian. The student body includes members of many denominations.

2. A faculty strong in scholarship and teaching skill. Many hold advanced degrees from leading Universities.

3. Excellent laboratory and library facilities, which are constantly being augmented, and modem well-equipped

4. A high standard of scholarship.

5. Close contact of individual student with instructors whose character and ability quicken the intellectual, spiritual, and social life of students.

6. Adaptation of course of study to fit the needs of the individual student.

7. Conditions favoring financial economy on the part of students and attractive to families who come to locate in the community.

8. An opportunity for young men and women, who have awakened to the need of education somewhat late in life, to take such preparatory subjects and push on to the higher branches, and secure a fundamental training in the Bible as well.

9. Free Hospital Service.

Olivet University Thirteenth Annual Catalogue 1921-1922