A Short History of Indiana Wesleyan University

Indiana Wesleyan University is an evangelical Christian comprehensive university of The Wesleyan Church. IWU is currently ranked 33rd among Midwest Master's Universities in the 2009 edition of “America's Best Colleges,” published by U.S. News and World Report. IWU is also recognized as a “Best Christian Workplace.”

Founded in 1920 as Marion College, the institution changed its name to Indiana Wesleyan University in 1988. This name change reflected the institution's increasing influence well beyond the city of Marion and across the state, its connection with The Wesleyan Church and Christian higher education, and the development of multiple graduate programs.

A strategic decision in the early 1980s would greatly affect the future of the university. Having established itself as a solid liberal arts college, the university began offering courses and degrees to working adults during evening hours and Saturdays.

Since the inception of IWU's innovative adult programs, enrollment has grown sharply. In more than two decades, IWU's enrollment has jumped from 1,087 to approximately 15,400. Within the state of Indiana, IWU has become the fastest-growing university and the largest private university in total enrollment.

IWU is the largest school in the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (the main organization of evangelical schools of higher education in the United States and Canada), with 3,200 traditional students on the main Marion campus and another 12,200 adult learners at regional sites throughout Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, and online.