Wheaton College is a conservative institution of higher education that was founded on Christian principles in 1860. It serves 2,500 undergraduate who study in 40 majors; the most popular majors are Business, Communications, English, and Psychology. The Graduate School was founded in 1937, enrolls about 500 students. The school offers numerous MA degrees, especially in Bible studies and evangelism, and also a PhD in Biblical & Theological Studies and a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology.
The college has 39,000 living alumni.
There are 194 full-time faculty and 105 part-time (adjuncts). 93% hold earned doctorates. The 20 endowed faculty chairs, allowing a tenth of the permanent faculty to hold endowed professorships. The student to faculty ratio is a very attractive 12:1.
It costs about $33,000 per year (including room and board). It is located in Wheaton, Illinois, a suburb west of Chicago.
Duane Litfin has been president since 1993; he is retiring in 2010 and a search is underway.
Wheaton, according to student reports, "Really is about the integration of faith and learning." It is "a close community of students with the same values and beliefs doing their best to learn and grow closer to each other and to God." Students here don't "drink, smoke or do drugs. Period. (Except for the occasional 21st birthday, and even then they don't get smashed.)" Whatever they're doing, "Whether it's playing games on the dorm floor, going into Chicago with friends or getting involved in campus or church groups," "Life at Wheaton revolves around community." High school seniors who considered Wheaton also looked at Taylor University, Grove City College, Baylor University, Biola University and Westmont College. The Princeton Review ranks Wheaton #6 in its list of the "most socially conservative colleges" in its evaluation of 368 elite schools. The Princeton review also ranks Wheaton #1 for Best Campus Food and #1 for Town-Gown Relations.
Wheaton ranks #9 in the country as "Most Politically Conservative College." Book learning means nothing at Wheaton without a Christian basis, and many students comment favorably on the "integration of academic challenges and moral principles" at their school.
The average high school GPA is 3.7; 59% graduated in top 10% of their high school class. The students hail from 50 states, and 39 countries and represent 55 church denominations; most are evangelical Protestants.
Wheaton offers men and women intercollegiate participation in 22 different sports as a member of the NCAA Division III. It does not give athletic scholarships. Wheaton teams have won more than 40 titles over the past six years in 11 different sports. Over the decades 100+ students have earned All-American recognition and 35+ have been recognized as Academic All-Americans.
The college emerged in 1860 out of a local academy started in 1853 by the Wesleyans. Jonathan Blanchard, the former president of Knox College in nearby Galesburg, took over the struggling high-school-level academy in 1859 and made it a four-year college. He was famed as a staunch abolitionist and crusader for prohibition and social reform. When businessman Warren L. Wheaton gave a parcel of land to the Institute, Blanchard proposed to have the school renamed Wheaton College. Charles Albert Blanchard, class of 1870, succeeded his father as president, serving for 43 years, from 1882 to 1925. He built new facilities including an observatory, a ladies' dormitory (Williston Hall), a modern gymnasium (Adams Hall), an "Industrial Building" (later the Academy and now Schell Hall) and Pierce Memorial Chapel. The next president Rev. James Oliver Buswell (1926-1940), strengthened academics and athletics, achieved academic accreditation, upgraded the library, added Ph.D.s to the teaching staff, and launched the first graduate courses. V. Raymond Edman (1940 to 1965) was a popular leader during the postwar expansion era when the GI Bill brought hundreds of eager learners to campus. He built a new library, a dining hall, student center, science facilities, dorms, a second gymnasium, and a chapel-auditorium as the centerpiece of worship and community.
Wheaton displays "For Christ and His Kingdom" at its entrance and on the front of Wheaton's website.
Wheaton sponsors several endowed institutes.
It sponsors the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals. It was founded in 1982 by evangelical historians and Wheaton College alums Mark A. Noll of Wheaton College and Nathan O. Hatch (’68) of the University of Notre Dame. It sponsors scholarly conferences and books about evangelical Christianity..
- Duane Litfin, Conceiving the Christian College (Eerdmans, 2004)