Lee University is a Christian institution which offers liberal arts and professional education on both the baccalaureate and graduate levels through residential and distance programs. It seeks to provide education that integrates biblical truth as revealed in the Holy Scriptures with truth discovered through the study of arts and sciences and in the practice of various professions. A personal commitment to Jesus Christ as Savior is the controlling perspective from which the educational enterprise is carried out. The foundational purpose of all educational programs is to develop within the students knowledge, appreciation, understanding, ability and skills which will prepare them for responsible Christian living in a complex world.
Founded as the Bible Training School in 1918 by the Church of God, Cleveland, Tennessee, the institution was renamed in 1947 to honor its second president, the Reverend F. J. Lee, and attained university status in 1997. The original purpose was to provide both general and biblical training for those persons entering the Christian ministry, and through the years Lee University has continued this purpose of "ministry," ever more broadly defined to include both church and non-church vocations. Many of the students are affiliated with the Church of God; however, numerous students come from other denominations.
Enrollment consists primarily of undergraduate students. Over 70 percent of these students are recent high school graduates, while 14 percent are adults in one of our distance education programs. Over 50 percent of the traditional undergraduate students reside on campus. In order to maintain a sense of Christian community and enhance the personal, spiritual, academic, emotional and physical development of students, Lee University seeks to foster a residential campus experience, with special focus on the needs of freshmen and sophomores. The university works to create common space on the campus and a common core of residential events around which the entire community operates.
Lee University serves the Church and society by offering graduate programs in various professions and academic disciplines. These post-baccalaureate programs are designed to deepen one's understanding of a discipline and/or strengthen one's skills as a professional. The goal of all graduate degree programs is to nurture scholars and professionals who will better serve the kingdom of God and the world. In this way, the graduate programs are a natural extension of the university's commitment to undergraduate education.
As an independent institution, Lee University is controlled by a Board of Directors appointed by the General Executive Committee of the denomination. The President is responsible to this board for facilitating an educational program presented from a theological perspective that is conservative, evangelical and Pentecostal. In keeping with the amended Charter of Incorporation (1968) and the Bylaws of Lee University (article I, sections 2 and 4), all board members, administrators and faculty members certify annually by contract that they will not advocate anything contrary to the Church of God Declaration of Faith.
Lee University endeavors to employ scholars with the highest academic credentials who present their disciplines from a distinctly Christian perspective. All truth is perceived to be God's truth and the effective presentation and integration of truth is the goal. Lee University values teaching as the most important faculty role, and excellence in teaching is the primary standard for retention, tenure and promotion. Faculty research is seen as essential to teaching excellence. It, too, is an important criterion for faculty advancement. Lee University values and rewards Christian community service and service to humankind as significant faculty responsibilities.
Lee University identifies its public service region as being generally coterminous with the geographic scope of the denomination. While most students come from the United States, the student body typically consists of representatives of a broad range of socioeconomic backgrounds from all fifty states and more than fifty countries in Central and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Because of this geographic span, the university serves a racially, ethnically and culturally diverse student body with fifteen percent international or minority students. The institution has adopted the policy that no person in whatever relation with Lee University shall be subject to discrimination because of race, color, national origin, age, gender or disability.
Lee University attracts students with widely varied academic skills. The university is committed to serve under-prepared students with a variety of support services. While the primary source of funding is from student revenues, the Church of God provides for the university in its annual budget. The university also receives support from alumni, businesses, churches, foundations and friends.
All baccalaureate degree students at Lee University must complete a
general education and religion core. The general education courses
foster intellectual development by enhancing the student’s ability to
observe, read, and think critically and to communicate effectively. The
courses also cultivate awareness, understanding and respect for cultural
diversity. The religion core courses are predicated on the Reformation
principle of the priesthood of the believers. The courses are designed
to enable the student both to understand and articulate the Christian
faith. The campus curriculum is enriched by American, Latin American,
European, African and Asian studies programs, study tours, and
An integral part of the university mission is a commitment to training responsible citizens to contribute their God-given gifts to the community at large. A biblical understanding of service and benevolence is introduced in the general education core, actualized through planned, reflective community engagement and developed in various major courses.
Lee University takes seriously the task of preparing students for responsible Christian living in a complex world. The goal is pursued within a variety of structures provided within the widest campus context, such as classroom instruction, extracurricular activities, student development services, residential living, and distance education. The university realizes that the knowledge, appreciation, understanding, ability and skill for such resourceful living will be evident in its students in direct proportion to the success of its programs and services whereby a healthy physical, mental, social, cultural and spiritual development is fostered.
The Lee University experience intends to demonstrate that there is a positive correlation between scholarship and wholeness; that one must approach all learning with a sense of privilege and responsibility under God; that truth is truth wherever it is found, whether test tube, literary or artistic masterpiece or Holy Scripture; that appropriate integration of truth is both intellectual and behavioral in nature; and that the pursuit and application of truth is, indeed, "ministry."
1120 N Ocoee Street
Cleveland, TN 37320-3450