Arlington Baptist University (ABU) is an Independent Baptist Bible college, located in Arlington, Texas. It is the official educational institution of the World Baptist Fellowship, which is co-located with the university.
Both ABU and the Fellowship trace their origins to J. Frank Norris, the well-known (and often controversial) Independent Baptist preacher (a statue of Norris, sculpted by Italian-born sculptor Pompeo Coppini, is at the university's entrance).
ABU was founded in 1939 as the Fundamental Baptist Bible Institute and was located at Norris' church (First Baptist Church of Fort Worth). Later called Bible Baptist Seminary, after Norris' death in 1952 it relocated to another location in Fort Worth, changing its name again to Arlington Baptist College and moving to its current location in Arlington in 1955. (ABU's location is a Texas Historic Landmark, the site of a former illegal gambling operation -- Top O'Terrace Casino -- and the university offers tours by appointment during normal business hours.) ABU took its current name in 2017.
Academics and Athletics
At the undergraduate level ABU has four schools: Ministry Leadership, Education, Business, and Interdisciplinary Studies. At the graduate level ABU has two schools: Theology and Education, both of which lead to masters degrees (ABU does not offer doctoral degrees).
ABU is a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association (Division II). Sports teams are known as the Patriots. ABU participates in the following sports: baseball (men's), basketball (men's and women's), volleyball (women's), soccer (men's and women's), golf (men's and women's), and softball (women's).