The Christian Brothers University, in Memphis , Tennessee, is a private Catholic institution. The university is run by the Brothers De La Salle, a Roman Catholic religious order established by the teachers’ patron saint St. John Baptist de la Salle. It is the oldest institution awarding college degrees in the region.
Christian Brothers College was founded by members of the Christian Brothers De La Salle on 19 November 1871. After more than a decade of attempts to convince the Brothers to open a college there, the Brothers came to Memphis at the behest of the citizens and the town clergy.
The Christian Brothers University took its roots from St. John Baptist de la Salle, the French priest and educational innovator. De la Salle has launched a network of Christian schools where teachers assist parents in their children’s schooling, ethical, and religious development. In order to fulfill his spiritual and pedagogical dream, de la Salle founded the Institute of Christian School Brothers, today known as the Christian Brothers De La Salle.
Christian Brothers College officially became Christian Brothers University in June 1990.
Christian Brothers College was established in 1871, after more than a decade of attempts to convince the Brothers to establish a college in Memphis.
The first President was named Brother Maurelian. His 3 presidential terms totalled 31 years. The Brothers bought the 612 Adams Street building during his presidency which housed the college until 1940, when the college relocated to its present location on Central Avenue and East Parkway South.
Functioning as a combined primary school, middle school (now Christian Brothers High School), and college, Christian Brothers College awarded high school diplomas as well as Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees until 1915, when the college division was discontinued. Elementary classes were discontinued in 1922, and the college served for 18 years as a pure high school. The college, reopened as a junior college in 1940, began in 1942 to award Associate’s Degrees.
Oldest degree-granting institution in Memphis
In 1875, Christian Brothers received the city’s first post-secondary degree. LeMoyne College (one of the two constituent sections of LeMoyne-Owen College today) has a founding year of 1871, but at the time it was an elementary and secondary school. The city’s largest university, Memphis University, was founded only in 1912. Though Rhodes College was established in 1848, it did not move to Memphis from Clarksville, Tennessee until 1925.
The Christian Brothers University traces its roots to St. John Baptist de la Salle, priest and educational innovator. De la Salle has launched a network of Christian schools where teachers assist parents in their children’s schooling, ethical, and religious development. In order to continue his spiritual and pedagogical dream, de la Salle founded the Institute of Christian School Brothers, today known as the Christian Brothers De La Salle.
The university now has an acting lay president following former president Brother Vincent Malham ‘s tragic car crash in 2008.
In 1953, the decision was made to transform the community college into a four year university in order to better meet the community’s needs. The four year program began with degrees in Business Administration and Electrical Engineering, with the first students earning their degrees in 1955 in recent times.
The curriculum was quickly extended to meet the needs for new mechanical engineering and chemistry programs. Biology, Civil Engineering , Mathematics, English, Physics, Chemical Engineering, History , Psychology, Natural Science, Engineering Physics , Computer Science, and Religion and Philosophy were later applied to the following degree programmes. In 1969 teacher training services were extended to secondary education. In 1978, an accelerated evening program offering a degree in Business Administration was added to meet the adult student’s needs, and the Degree of Clinical Psychology was introduced in 1999. CBU launched its Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in Fall 2007.
Graduate-level programs with the Master’s degree in Telecommunications and Information Technology were revived in 1987. In 1989 the Master of Business Administration was added as well as the Master of Engineering Management. In 1997, a Bachelor in Education was added, offering a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership starting in 2001. In 2005 there was added the Master of Arts in Executive Leadership.
Christian Brothers University became co educational in 1970 when another Catholic institution in Memphis (the all-female Siena Institution) closed. Students actually make up around 55 percent of the student body. In June 1990 Christian Brothers College formally became the Christian Brothers University.
This top school is located in beautiful Memphis, Tennessee, along with these other educational institutions you shouldn’t miss:
- Baptist College of Health Sciences
- Belhaven University
- Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law
- Harding School of Theology
- LeMoyne–Owen College
- Memphis College of Art
- Memphis Theological Seminary
- University of Memphis
These amazing universities are located just down the street from our location at South Third Street across from The Southgate Shopping Center. Stop by for a visit anytime!