Historic Methodist Colleges in Missouri


In 1999 the General Commission on Archives and History was compiling a list of institutions of higher education founded by the United Methodist Church and its various predecessor bodies. Joy Flanders, Director of Student Success and Associate Professor at the Center for Learning & Teaching, took on the task of compiling the list for Missouri. She had her work cut out for her. Although Central Methodist has been the one and only since the 1940s, that certainly wasn’t the case five decades prior. This map is a compilation of Flanders’ research.

Avalon Academy (U.B. in Christ) –
Opened 1869 by Missouri Mission Conference, moved to Trenton 1890, later merged into Campbell College of Holton, Kansas. 

Bellevue Collegiate Institute in Caledonia (M.E.S.) – Joined St. Louis Conference 1869, 1870 became all male, renamed Missouri Military School, 1894 moved to Fredericktown, closed 1901. 

Carleton Institute in St. Francois County (M.E.) – Deeded to St. Louis Conference 1883. One of few schools open through Civil War, closed 1924. 

Central College in Fayette (M.E.S.) – 
Took over the male student body of Howard High School 1854. Now Central Methodist University. 

Central Female College in Lexington (M.E.S.) – Began 1868 as Marvin Institute, 1871 became Central College for Women, closed 1924 with assets to Central College in Fayette. 

Central Wesleyan College in Warrenton (German Methodist Episcopal) – Opened 1864 as the Western Orphan Asylum and Educational Institution, became Central Wesleyan College and Orphan Asylum  1869. 
Closed 1941. 

Cottey College in Nevada (M.E.S.) – 
Began as Vernon Seminary 1884, 1892 M.E.S. took over; campus given to Southwest Conference 1924. 1927 the P.E.O. acquired the school, which  is open today. 

Danville Female Academy in Montgomery County (M.E.S.) – Opened 1856, the school closed after Civil War. The local congregation purchased the chapel. 

George R. Smith College in Sedalia (Freedman’s Aid and Southern Educational Society of the M.E.) – Opened 1894 “devoted to the moral and intellectual culture of the colored people of the west.” The school was co-educational from the beginning, rare at that time. The building burned 1925 and efforts to rebuild were not realized. In 31-year history 3,000 students were educated there. It was merged into Philander Smith College of Little Rock, Arkansas. 

Howard Payne College in Fayette 
(M.E.S.) – Took over female student body from Howard High School 1854. Merged with Central College 1927. Portions of Howard Payne Hall still in use at CMU. 

Johnson College in Macon (M.E.) –  Opened 1869, merged with English and German College at Quincy, Illinois 1875, then owned by the Missouri and Illinois Conferences jointly. Ownership later transferred to the Deaconess Society as school for boys.

Kansas City National Training School for Deaconesses and Missionaries (M.E.) – Opened by Women’s Home Missionary Society 1899, the school was in Kansas City, Kansas. Moved to Missouri 1904, became National College. Merged with Saint Paul School of Theology in 1964.

Kansas City University (Methodist Protestant Church and U.B. in Christ) – Opened 1896 as Mather College by the Methodist Protestant Church of Missouri. 1913 the U.B. joined in operation of the school. Foreclosed during Depression.

Lewis College in Glasgow (M.E.) – Opened 1866, controlled by a joint committee of the Missouri and St. Louis Conferences 1882 to 1891. Closed 1902, assets sent to Central College in Fayette. 

Lincoln and Lee University in Kansas City (M.E.S., M.E. and KC Chamber of Commerce) – Opened 1926, merged with (then closed) Kansas City University 1930, reopened 1933 with no church influence. Is now the University of Missouri – Kansas City. 

Marionville College (M.E.) – Given to the St. Louis Conference 1871. 1882 it became Marionville College, then Ozark Wesleyan College. 1924 moved to Carthage. Closed 1932, assets to Central Wesleyan College in Warrenton. 
Marthasville Seminary (Evangelical Church in Missouri) – Operated from 1850 to 1883 when it moved to St. Louis. Is now Eden Seminary. Buildings in Marthasville used for Emmaus House by the German Evangelical Synod of North America. 

Marvin Collegiate Institute in Fredericktown – 1893 the M.E.S. disassociated from Bellevue Collegiate Institute and began Marvin Collegiate Institute, name change to Marvin College 1910. Closed 1924, with records to Central College in Fayette. 

Maryville Seminary (M.E.) – Opened 1889 by Missouri Conference. Sold 1906 to the state of Missouri and later opened as a State Normal School. Today is Northeast Missouri State University. 

Missouri Wesleyan College in Cameron (M.E.) – Started 1883 as Cameron Institute, name changed to Missouri Wesleyan Institute 1891 after M.E. got involved. 1897 name changed to Missouri Wesleyan College. Merged with Baker University 1928. 

Morrisville Collegiate Institute – Started 1871 as Morrisville Institute, adopted by the Southwest Missouri Conference name changed to Morrisville College 1890. Merged with Scarritt Collegiate Institute 1908. Closed 1924 with assets to Central College. 

Northwest Missouri College in Albany (M.E.S.) – Operated 1877 to 1910. 1922 merged into Central College in Fayette. 

Scarritt Bible and Training School in Kansas City (M.E.S.) – Started 1889 by the Women’s Foreign Missionary Society to “train deaconesses, missionaries and other women in full-time work.” Relocated to Nashville 1924. 

Scarritt Collegiate Institute in Neosho (M.E.S.) – Opened 1878 and closed 1905, merging with Morrisville College 1908. 

St. Charles College (M.E.S.) – Known as first college west of the Mississippi, opened in 1836. Began offering military training 1885, advertised as “Methodist military school” 1903. Closed 1915. 

Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City (Methodist Church) – Started 1958 and known as National Methodist Theological Seminary. Moved to Church of Resurrection campus in Leawood, Kansas, 2013.