Mississippi College

The information on this page was last updated 3/22/2023. If you see errors or omissions, please email: [email protected]


Mississippi College, affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention, is a private, co-educational, Christian university of liberal arts and sciences serving more than 5,000 students from 40 states and 30 countries. Founded in 1826, Mississippi College is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of Mississippi and second oldest Baptist university in the nation. With more than 80 areas of study, 15 graduate degree programs, a doctor of jurisprudence, a doctor of education leadership degree and a doctor of professional counseling degree, Mississippi College seeks to be a university recognized for academic excellence and commitment to the cause of Christ.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Mississippi College
P.O. Box 4051
Clinton, MS 39058

Website: mc.edu

Phone: 601-925-3000

Email: [email protected]

Organization details

EIN: 640303086

CEO/President: Dr. Blake Thompson

Chairman: Bill Sones

Board size: 29


Ruling year: 1947

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 05/31

Member of ECFA: No

Member of ECFA since:


Our vision is to be known as a university recognized for academic excellence and commitment to the cause of Christ.

Mission statement

Mississippi College, governed by a Board of Trustees elected by the Mississippi Baptist Convention, is a private, co-educational, comprehensive university of liberal arts and sciences and professional studies dedicated to the pursuit of academic excellence. Founded in 1826, Mississippi College is the oldest institution of higher learning and the largest private university in the state of Mississippi. As a Christian institution, Mississippi College values the integration of faith and learning throughout the educational process.

Consistent with its Baptist heritage and relationship to the Convention, Mississippi College provides a quality Christian education for its student population. Students select the university because of the quality of its academic programs, Christian environment, and location. The university strives to recruit students who demonstrate excellence in scholarship, leadership, and church/community involvement. The majority of students come from Mississippi and other southeastern states.

Mississippi College stimulates the intellectual development of its students through the liberal arts and sciences and concentrated study in specialized fields, including preprofessional and professional programs. Furthermore, the university environment promotes the spiritual, social, emotional, and physical development of its students and encourages them to utilize their skills, talents, and abilities as they pursue meaningful careers, life-long learning, and service to God and others. The university emphasizes those undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs which offer opportunities for service. Additionally, the university reflects its responsibility of service to the community through a variety of learning opportunities and numerous cultural enrichment experiences.

Mississippi College is committed to excellence and innovation in teaching and learning. The university seeks to employ and retain faculty who are dedicated to teaching/learning and advising students, who support and engage in scholarship and creative activities that advance knowledge, and who seek to continue their own professional development. The university also seeks to employ and retain staff and administrators who are equally dedicated to supporting these efforts. Furthermore, the university selects employees who reflect Christian values and a commitment to service. Mississippi College is an equal opportunity employer in accordance with Title VII and applicable exemptions.

Statement of faith

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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Colleges/Universities

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating652 of 111097 of 129
Fund acquisition rating733 of 111195 of 129
Resource allocation rating426 of 111150 of 129
Asset utilization rating665 of 111091 of 129

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$3,635,087$3,733,166$6,653,672$4,947,367$5,043,347
Short-term investments$35,905,709$33,345,212$33,501,475$8,906,832$8,741,032
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$72,993,194$82,771,707$79,902,268$49,857,125$49,369,078
Long-term investments$69,256,847$68,380,081$72,350,546$63,084,987$61,347,562
Fixed assets$107,132,662$105,323,620$104,736,503$105,667,934$106,690,080
Other long-term assets$10,345,304$10,780,202$11,884,614$22,156,110$23,014,171
Total long-term assets$186,734,813$184,483,903$188,971,663$190,909,031$191,051,813
Total assets$259,728,007$267,255,610$268,873,931$240,766,156$240,420,891
Payables and accrued expenses$6,257,755$5,616,363$5,804,949$5,722,005$5,392,474
Other current liabilities$1,191,775$1,683,574$1,701,152$2,246,048$1,047,614
Total current liabilities$7,449,530$7,299,937$7,506,101$7,968,053$6,440,088
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$19,561,459$21,680,959$23,765,686$26,214,854$24,819,963
Total long-term liabilities$37,206,486$41,088,237$40,050,580$37,979,535$37,800,749
Total liabilities$44,656,016$48,388,174$47,556,681$45,947,588$44,240,837
Net assets20232022202120202019
Without donor restrictions$94,692,614$91,132,159$91,827,109$86,556,293$91,321,288
With donor restrictions$120,379,377$127,735,277$129,490,141$108,262,275$104,858,766
Net assets$215,071,991$218,867,436$221,317,250$194,818,568$196,180,054
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$8,175,446$17,482,565$15,869,096$8,721,315$8,644,281
Program service revenue$91,579,388$92,761,683$95,476,990$95,579,349$104,098,479
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$2,640,880$1,857,626$2,003,012$3,915,714$1,996,982
Other revenue$483,160$564,228$75,909$72,585($165,610)
Total other revenue$94,703,428$95,183,537$97,555,911$99,567,648$105,929,851
Total revenue$102,878,874$112,666,102$113,425,007$108,288,963$114,574,132
Program services$95,889,058$89,582,996$89,969,979$96,126,899$99,177,807
Management and general$14,653,010$21,317,520$21,715,552$12,621,342$13,087,799
Total expenses$112,231,844$112,401,865$112,706,128$109,898,557$113,244,313
Change in net assets20232022202120202019
Surplus (deficit)($9,352,970)$264,237$718,879($1,609,594)$1,329,819
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets($9,352,970)$264,237$718,879($1,609,594)$1,329,819


Dr Blake ThompsonPresident$395,681
Dr Keith ElderProvost$301,732
Dr Stanley BaldwinDean-School of Math & Science$252,826
John P AndersonDean Mc Law School$246,095
Dr Marcelo EduardoDean-School of Business$244,340
William R TownsendVice President & General Couns$217,419
Laura JacksonCOO/CFO$209,185
Deborah J ChallenerFaculty$191,615
Dr Wayne van HornDean-Christian Studies$180,564
Dr Stephen D MartinFaculty$172,459
Phillip McIntoshFaculty$169,817
Dr James TurcotteVice President & Executive Dir$160,299
Judith JohnsonFaculty$157,538

Compensation data as of: 5/31/2023

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 3/22/2023. To update the information below, please email: [email protected]


Mississippi College traces its roots back to 1826 when the institution was chartered by the state Legislature as Hampstead Academy. The same year, America celebrated its 50th birthday and John Quincy Adams served as president of a growing nation with a little more than 9.6 million people. Mississippi College remains the oldest institution of higher learning in the Magnolia State.

Situated on five acres near Mount Salus in Central Mississippi, the new school was renamed Mississippi Academy and began offering classes for boys and girls in January 1827. Back when tracts of land sold for $1.25 per acre, the academy was located on a tiny piece of the 6 million acres of property in Central Mississippi transferred from the Choctaw Indian nation to the American government. That treaty was signed in 1820. Three years earlier, in 1817, the state of Mississippi joined the United States.

Rhetoric was among the subjects taught to the first group of students at Mississippi Academy when the school- house opened. The initial campus building in a small town that later became Clinton was large enough to accommodate 150 to 200 students. Known as the "academic edifice" for decades, the school's first building contained four "handsome" rooms, each with two fireplaces. To the west of it stood a second building with a beautiful chapel added just to the east of in 1860.

The academy was renamed Mississippi College in 1830 and was authorized "to confer...such degrees in the arts, sciences and languages as are usually conferred in the most respectable colleges in the United States..."

A private institution, Mississippi College was coeducational and in December 1831 made history as the first college in the nation to grant a degree to a woman. Gold medallions were presented to the first group of female graduates.

There were other historic firsts for the college in the years to come. In 1842, the college was given to the Presbyterian Church, which later encountered financial straits and returned it to its original owners in 1850. That same year, the Mississippi Baptist Convention obtained the college that today remains the second oldest Baptist institution in America.

Among other noteworthy dates in Mississippi College history: the school's Female Department was discontinued in 1850, but in 1853 a Central Female Institute, later renamed Hillman College, was launched for women in Clinton.

Soon, cannons were fired in places like Vicksburg, Mississippi and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania with the Civil War shattering the fabric of American life. As North battled South in bloody skirmishes, the war nearly decimated schools like Mississippi College. The tumultuous times brought by the Civil War represented defining and often tragic moments in the history of Mississippi College. A large group of MC students, three faculty members, a trustee, and townspeople in Clinton organized the Mississippi College Rifles. The company boarded a train for Corinth and a lengthy series of Civil War battles, primarily in northern Virginia, but few returned home alive. The college kept its doors open during the war years with an average enrollment of about 30 students.

Amid the deadly Civil War struggles, portions of the Mississippi College campus served other purposes. Soon after it opened in 1860, Provine Chapel was utilized as a hospital by Northern U.S. General Ulysses S. Grant and his wounded Civil War troops. Others believe the ground floor of the two-story building was also used as a stable for his horses. A cherished campus landmark today, Provine Chapel remains the oldest building on the Clinton campus. It is the setting for Christmas concerts by the Mississippi College Singers, the headquarters of classrooms and offices for the Department of Christian Studies & Philosophy and a wonderful venue for Southern family weddings year-round.

Despite its endowment being wiped out, many of its students leaving to fight in the Civil War, and its physical plant badly deteriorating, MC experienced a post-war resurgence. Leaders like President Walter Hillman helped save Mississippi College and did so with a modest salary of $1,000 per-year.

Administrations of Mississippi College Presidents like Drs. Warren Webb, W.T. Lowery and J.W. Provine energized a fruitful period with new buildings, the redevelopment of the school endowment, and enrollment growth.

Enrollment climbed to 400 students during the Provine presidency and the endowment grew to more than $500,000. Mississippi College landmarks like Jennings Hall opened in 1907, and it was considered among the most elegant residence halls in the South. It was heated with steam, and students bragged about having an electric light in every room! The dormitory provided meals in a well-furnished dining hall. Today, Jennings remains a splendid headquarters for faculty offices, classrooms and houses delightful fountains in its renovated courtyard.

After the Roaring 20s, there were enormous financial challenges facing Mississippi College, all of American higher education and the business world. Shaking America's foundations, and creating widespread poverty for millions of people in big cities and small towns, Mississippi College survived the ravages of the Great Depression that began in 1929 and lingered for well over a decade. Mississippi College students at times made tuition payments with a wagonload of potatoes. Gifts of land, houses, and other resources were welcomed, along with cash at the Baptist school. It was the same way during the difficult years of Reconstruction. Despite adversity Hillman College prospered in the late 1920s, with two brick cottages built for a dozen female students and a faculty member on the Clinton campus. The good times didn't last with Hillman consolidating with Mississippi College in 1942. Combined with the influx of women was a post-World War II enrollment boom with many G.I. vets returning from overseas battles to receive a college education in Clinton, Mississippi.

While the Hillman campus no longer exists today other than a marker at a Clinton park, many notable MC buildings are alive and well in the early 21st Century. Constructed in 1925, multi-purpose facilities like Alumni Hall are still going strong in 2013. Alumni Hall includes an indoor water fitness pool, student gathering spots with large flat-screen Tvs, a basketball court, coffee shop, conference rooms for the Board of Trustees and a student counseling center. Longtime college dormitories like Chrestman Hall and Ratliff Hall continue to receive extensive use. The Leland Speed Library, Self Hall, home of the School of Business, and Aven Fine Arts Building, home of musical and theater productions, have undergone extensive renovations.

Mississippi College's administrative home and auditorium that was built in 1948, Nelson Hall continues to be a cornerstone of the Christian university. Buildings in downtown Jackson that serve as the home of the university's School of Law (purchased in 1975) also take a prominent place in Mississippi College history books. The construction of Cockroft Hall, home of the School of Nursing, the A.E. Wood Coliseum, the university's basketball arena, and setting for today's graduation ceremonies, and the list goes on.

From new buildings to new academic programs, from successful fund drives to the hiring of award-winning faculty and the latest computer technology purchases, Mississippi College has experienced tremendous advances under its presidents in the modern era. Presidents D.M. Nelson, R.A. McLemore, Lewis Nobles, Howell Todd and now Lee Royce can all point to accomplishments.

Under the guidance of its leaders at Nelson Hall, a caring faculty and staff, and enriched by God's many blessings, Mississippi College has emerged from humble beginnings to become as one of the South's premier Christian universities, with a bright future still to come.

Dr. Todd's administration was committed to preparing Mississippi College for the 21st century. As part of that mission, Dr. Todd targeted a number of physical improvements to maintain and replicate the architectural character of the Mississippi College campus. Renovations and remodeling of Latimer-Webb, Mary Nelson, and Whittington residence halls were completed. Nelson Hall and Alumni Hall were renovated. Self, Farr, and Aven halls also received renovations. In addition to renovations, the Foreign Language Learning Center, a multimedia language lab, was added to Jennings Hall, and state-of-the-art soundproof music practice rooms were installed in Aven Fine Arts Building. New construction included men's and women's residence halls, a 106,000 square foot health facility, and a math, computer science, and chemistry complex. A campus-wide computer network, MCNET, was installed to offer access to the Internet and act as a communication link for all administration, faculty, staff, and students. In 2002, MC successfully completed a $100 million capital campaign entitled "New Dawn" launched in 1996, the largest campaign in the school's history. Through these physical, financial and technological advances, Mississippi College can continue its legacy of academic excellence and Christian witness while offering the best of the total university experience. In June 2001, Dr. Howell Todd retired as president of the university after serving seven years. The Board of Trustees named Dr. Lloyd Roberts, vice president for business affairs and professor of management, to serve as Interim President from July 2001 until June 30, 2002. Dr. Lee G. Royce became the 19th president of Mississippi College on July 1, 2002.

Mississippi College enjoyed steady enrollment increases, experienced a renaissance of campus facilities, and reported extraordinary levels of gift giving under President Lee Royce. Enrollment reached a peak of nearly 5,300 students, including record numbers living in university residence halls. Spacious University Place residence halls, the first built in nearly two decades, opened in 2015. The MC Law School has also experienced a building boom on its Jackson campus. A successful "Growing the Vision" campaign to boost student scholarships, expand the university endowment, enhance facilities and strengthen academic programs raised $87.4 million upon completion in Fall 2011. It began as a $65 million drive in 2006, but school trustees raised it to $80 million, despite a weak USA economy. MC leaders celebrated the university's 190th anniversary in 2016 with special concerts, plays, guest speakers, along with a Blue & Gold birthday cake.

Mississippi College's rapid growth accelerated upon Dr. Royce's arrival in July 2002 after serving four years as president of Anderson University in South Carolina. MC enrollment climbed steadily from the 3,227 students in 2002. There are more than 5,000 students today. MC's 261 international students enrolled in Fall 2017 come from 43 nations. The enrollment leaders are China, India, Saudi Arabia and Nepal. There were just nine international students in 2002 when Dr. Royce arrived. President Royce will retire in May 2018 after leading America's second oldest Baptist college for 16 years. He and his wife, Rhoda, will move to northern Virginia to be near their son, Mark, a college teacher in the region.

Leading the 192-year-old university based in Clinton has been the greatest honor in the life of the Vanderbilt University graduate. Other major accomplishments under Dr. Royce's tenure: the school budget of $38.7 million in 2002 grew to $75.5 million or nearly doubled. The MC endowment shot up from $36 million to $80.9 million. The percentage of faculty rose by 38 percent to climb to 213 during his leadership.

At MC in 2002, Dr. Royce immediately went to work to strengthen finances, boost enrollment and drive partnerships with Clinton and metro Jackson. He strengthened United Way campaigns among faculty and staff. He's a longtime United Way leader. At annual MC Spring Scholarship dinners initiated in 2008, MC attracted nationally recognized speakers. They included U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The scholarship dinners have raised more than $3 million. Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel served as the keynote speaker in 2017. Dr. Royce strongly endorsed MC's move to NCAA Division II athletics and a return to the Gulf South Conference in 17 sports. MC began its 4th season back in NCAA Division II in 2017. MC sports facilities for football, baseball, basketball, track, soccer and other sports have received significant upgrades.

Mississippi College's accomplished leader received several major awards during his tenure, including Clinton Citizen of the Year. He was saluted by the Council for the Advancement & Support of Education as the District III chief executive of the year. Over the years, President Royce remained thankful of the strong support from the Mississippi Baptist Convention. In his retirement message to the faculty and staff, Dr. Royce noted more than 1,100 MC students made first-time professions of faith in Christ since 2002. He's thankful for the enormous support for MC coming from the Clinton community, from the City Hall to the business community and the city's stellar public school district. The MC relationship with the district, one of the best in Mississippi, runs deep. About 64 percent of the Clinton district employees are graduates of Mississippi College.

The Christian university is looking ahead to plans to celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2026. America's second oldest Baptist college, MC continues to see its reputation grow, with high marks in annual publications such as the "U.S. News & World Report" guide to the nation's colleges.

Program accomplishments