Jump to content

Welch College

Coordinates: 36°22′04″N 86°32′57″W / 36.367753°N 86.549267°W / 36.367753; -86.549267
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Welch College
Former name
Free Will Baptist Bible College
MottoO Send out Thy Light and Thy Truth
TypePrivate college
AffiliationNational Association of Free Will Baptists
Religious affiliation
Free Will Baptist
Academic affiliation
EndowmentUS$2.2 million (2016)[1]
PresidentJ. Matthew Pinson
ProvostMatthew McAffee[2]
Undergraduates394 (fall 2022)[3]
Location, ,
United States

36°22′04″N 86°32′57″W / 36.367753°N 86.549267°W / 36.367753; -86.549267
Colors    Blue, white & gold
Sporting affiliations

Welch College, formerly the Free Will Baptist Bible College,[4] is a private Free Will Baptist college in Gallatin, Tennessee.[5] Founded in 1942, it is one of several higher learning institutions associated with the National Association of Free Will Baptists. Welch College offers 40 majors, including theological studies, premed/nursing, business, teacher education and music.[6]


The National Association of Free Will Baptists in general session in Nashville, Tennessee, called for the creation of Free Will Baptist Bible College and its doors opened in 1942 as a two-year institution. Linton C. Johnson was its first President. Eight students composed the original student body. The college added a third year of study in 1949, a fourth year in 1950 and awarded its first Bachelor's degrees to five students in 1951.

In August 2008 the college purchased a 66-acre (270,000 m2) tract in Gallatin, Tennessee, to become the site of a larger campus. The college sold its West End Avenue campus and as of March 2017 is completing the new campus on the Gallatin site.[7]

In July 2012 at the National Association of Free Will Baptists in Memphis, the denomination voted to change the name of the college to Welch College.[8] It was renamed for John L. Welch and his wife Mary; Welch was a prominent figure in the merger of Free Will Baptist bodies into the NAFWB denomination.[9]


In August 2019, the college briefly attracted national attention when administrators suspended a transgender student, attributing the action to a conflict in student policy.[10] The student had undergone a double mastectomy as part of his transition process days prior to the suspension.[11][12]


Administration building at the old Welch College campus

The college offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Music Education degree programs. Two- and three-year associate degree programs are also offered as well as a Master of Arts in Theology, Teaching, Humanities, and Organizational Leadership in addition to a Master of Divinity.[13] [14]


The athletic teams of Welch College are called the "Flames" and compete in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). Currently there are five varsity teams.

Men's sports[edit]

  • Basketball
  • Golf
  • Cross Country
  • Soccer (Fall 2018)[15]

Women's sports[edit]

  • Basketball
  • Volleyball
  • Golf
  • Cross Country
  • Soccer (Fall 2018)[15]


  1. ^ "Welch College". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  2. ^ "Welch College Rises in U.S. News & World Report's Top College Rankings" (Press release). Welch College. September 18, 2017. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  3. ^ "Welch College Annual Report". Welch College. December 4, 2017. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  4. ^ "Free Will Baptist changes name to Welch College". Nashville Post. July 23, 2012. Archived from the original on November 29, 2017.
  5. ^ "Welch College | Cappex.com". www.cappex.com. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  6. ^ "Education: Welch College".
  7. ^ Todd, Jen (March 15, 2017). "Welch College students home at new campus". The Tennessean.
  8. ^ "Free Will Baptist Bible College Changes Name". Welch College. July 18, 2012. Archived from the original on April 8, 2015. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  9. ^ "About Welch College in Gallatin, TN".
  10. ^ "Statement from Welch College President Matt Pinson". Welch College. August 9, 2019. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  11. ^ Strapagiel, Lauren (August 9, 2019). "This Transgender Man Was Kicked Out Of His College After Getting Top Surgery". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  12. ^ Aviles, Gwen (August 9, 2019). "Transgender student suspended from Christian college after top surgery". NBC News. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  13. ^ "Certificates and Degrees Offered". Welch College. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  14. ^ "Graduate Programs". Welch College. Retrieved May 28, 2024.
  15. ^ a b "Welch College Adds Men's and Women's Soccer". Welch College. December 1, 2017. Retrieved December 18, 2017.

External links[edit]