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Lipscomb University

Coordinates: 36°06′21″N 86°47′51″W / 36.1058°N 86.7976°W / 36.1058; -86.7976
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Lipscomb University
Former name
Nashville Bible School (1891–1918)
David Lipscomb College (1918–1988)
Motto"The Truth Shall Make You Free" – John 8:32
TypePrivate university
Established1891; 133 years ago (1891)
Religious affiliation
Churches of Christ
Endowment$97.5 million (2022)[1]
ChairmanRichard G. Cowart [2]
PresidentCandice McQueen
ProvostJennifer W. Shewmaker[3]
Academic staff
238 (Full-time) & 298 (Part-time)[4]
Students4,704 (Fall 2022) [4]
Undergraduates2,955 (Fall 2022)[4]
Postgraduates1,749 (Fall 2022) [4]
CampusSuburban, 113 acres (46 ha)
Colors   Purple & gold[5]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IA-Sun
MascotLU the Bison

Lipscomb University is a private Christian university in Nashville, Tennessee. It is affiliated with the Churches of Christ. The campus is located in the Green Hills neighborhood of Nashville; it also maintains one satellite location called "Spark" in Downtown Nashville to serve the business community.[9] Total student enrollment for the fall 2022 semester was 4,704, which included 2,955 undergraduate students and 1,749 graduate students.


Lipscomb University was founded in 1891 by David Lipscomb and James A. Harding. The campus grounds consist predominantly of the former estate of David Lipscomb, who donated it to the school. The school was always intended to function as a Christian liberal arts institution. It is still affiliated with the Churches of Christ and a seminary is part of the university.

In an early catalog, the founders expressed their views about providing a liberal education that included Christian underpinning:

We purpose to present in the way of a liberal education as extensive a curriculum as can be found in any school, college, or university in the land, and at the same time to thoroughly drill its students in the Bible, the divine source of wisdom and goodness. It was not our design to make professional preachers, but to train males and females, young and old, all who might become members of the school, for the greatest usefulness in life. Each student is left to choose his own calling.

— James A. Harding, Course Catalog, 1896-97

Several prominent Church of Christ ministers received at least a portion of their higher education here (see Notable alumni below). The university remains thoroughly affiliated in the Churches of Christ: Potential full-time, undergraduate faculty must prove their membership in a Church of Christ before being hired.[10]

Its original name was the Nashville Bible School, which was changed to David Lipscomb College, then to Lipscomb University. Lipscomb graduated its first senior class in 1948, leaving behind the name of junior college forever. In 1954, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools granted Lipscomb its first accreditation.[11] In 1988, Lipscomb attained Level III (master's degree-granting) status and became known as Lipscomb University.[citation needed]

Some academic buildings were built with tax-exempt municipal bonds, and, because Lipscomb is a Christian school, this led to an extended lawsuit on the basis of whether or not a private religious institution is allowed to use public bonds. This case was debated for many years and ultimately made it to the Supreme Court.[12][better source needed]

In September 2020, Lipscomb announced that it would be merging with the Austin Graduate School of Theology in Austin, Texas. The merger would become official in January 2021, with Lipscomb managing all of AGST's affairs and expanding their course offerings. Later, AGST folded due to financial troubles.[13]


David Lipscomb (1831–1917) co-founded the Nashville Bible School in 1891.

There have been 14 superintendents or presidents of Lipscomb over 18 administrations.

The Nashville Bible School was co-founded in 1891 by college founders David Lipscomb and James A. Harding. David Lipscomb never served as president, but as chairman of the board of trustees. James A. Harding served as the school's first superintendent.

Academic rankings
U.S. News & World Report[16]212 of 443
Washington Monthly[17]416 of 442


The Allen Bell Tower

Bison Square

The James D. Hughes Center houses all the university's health-science programs and the physician assistant program. The Nursing and Health Sciences Center next door houses the graduate College of Nursing.[18]

Lipscomb has announced plans for a new College of Business building and a new performing arts center.[19]

Student life[edit]

Immaculée Ilibagiza (left), survivor of the Rwandan genocide, at the Christian Scholars' Conference in 2012.

Lipscomb does not have fraternities and sororities. Rather, it has social clubs, which are local and unique to Lipscomb University and are not part of any national Greek system.[20]

The Babbler is the defunct student newspaper and was published weekly during the spring and fall semesters. The title of the publication came from Acts 17:18 which in part says "What does this babbler have to say?"[21] The Backlog is the school's yearbook and is published annually. The Lumination Network, the school's converged student media outlet, replaced the weekly Babbler and is tied heavily with the academic program of the Department of Communication and Journalism.[22] "Lumination Network is Lipscomb University’s official student news service."[23] An independent student newsletter, the Lipscomb Underground, provided unfiltered student opinion for the campus.[24] The LU originally ran from 1994 to 2008, resurfacing in 2016, and persisting on Twitter until 2018. The name Lipscomb Underground comes from the musical Les Misérables which in part says "Make for the sewers, go underground!"[25]

An example of the bison painted by students by Collins Alumni Auditorium.

Student body[edit]

As of 2023, Lipscomb University had 39% male students and 61% female students.[26]


Lipscomb Bisons logo

Lipscomb athletic teams are the Bisons. The university is a member of the Division I level of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), primarily competing in the ASUN Conference.[citation needed]

Lipscomb competes in 17 intercollegiate varsity sports: Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis and track & field (indoor and outdoor); women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field (indoor and outdoor) and volleyball.[citation needed]

The university has an ongoing sports rivalry with Belmont University, just 3 miles (4.8 km) down the road from Lipscomb. Traditionally, basketball games between the two schools are called the "Battle of the Boulevard". In 2006, the rivalry reached a new level when Belmont and Lipscomb advanced to the finals of the Atlantic Sun tournament at the Memorial Center in Johnson City, Tennessee, with the winner earning its first-ever bid to the NCAA tournament. Belmont won 74–69 in overtime.[27] Lipscomb was invited to the National Invitation Tournament as the regular-season conference champion, "the program's first-ever post-season appearance."[28][29]

In 2019, Lipscomb made the NIT basketball finals, falling to the Texas Longhorns.[30]

Notable alumni[edit]




Music & arts[edit]





  1. ^ https://www.nacubo.org/-/media/Nacubo/Documents/research/2022-NTSE-Public-Tables--Endowment-Market-Values--FINAL.ashx?la=en&hash=362DC3F9BDEB1DF0C22B05D544AD24D1C44E318D
  2. ^ "Lipscomb taps attorney as board of trustees chair". May 2023.
  3. ^ "Higher ed veteran Jennifer Shewmaker appointed Lipscomb University's chief academic officer". Lipscomb University. June 22, 2022. Retrieved June 23, 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d "College Navigator - Lipscomb University".
  5. ^ Lipscomb University Brand Identity Guide and Stylebook (PDF). January 1, 2016. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  6. ^ "Search CCCU Institutions - CCCU". July 26, 2016.
  7. ^ NAICU – Member Directory Archived November 9, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "TICUA Member Institutions".
  9. ^ Sichko, Adam (May 5, 2016). "Downtown's newest tenant: 125-year-old university with ambition to grow". Nashville Business Journal. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  10. ^ "What it means to work at Lipscomb - Human Resources". Lipscomb University. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  11. ^ "Institution Details". Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Archived from the original on March 6, 2014. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  12. ^ Industrial Development Board of Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County v. Harry E. Steele, et al., 537 U.S. 1188 (2003).
  13. ^ "Austin Graduate School of Theology, Lipscomb University announce merger". Lipscomb University. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Dr. H. Leo Boles, Churchman, Dies". The Tennessean. February 8, 1946. p. 9. Retrieved October 4, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
  15. ^ "Ex-Lipscomb President E. H. Ijams Services Set". The Tennessean. July 16, 1982. p. 30. Retrieved October 5, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
  16. ^ "2023-2024 Best National Universities". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 22, 2023.
  17. ^ "2023 National University Rankings". Washington Monthly. Retrieved February 10, 2024.
  18. ^ "Health science programs consolidated into renovated Hughes Center |". www.lipscomb.edu. January 31, 2019. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
  19. ^ "LIPSCOMBLEADS is largest giving campaign in institutional history, $250 million goal |". www.lipscomb.edu. January 31, 2019. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
  20. ^ "Social Clubs". Lipscomb University. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  21. ^ "About The Babbler". Lipscomb.edu. Archived from the original on February 7, 2009. Retrieved March 17, 2010.
  22. ^ "Lumination". Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  23. ^ "Lumination Network". Lumination Network. Lipscomb University. Retrieved July 10, 2023.
  24. ^ "The Lipscomb Underground". The Lipscomb Underground. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  25. ^ "The History of the Lipscomb Underground". The Lipscomb Underground. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  26. ^ "Lipscomb University Student Life". US News and World Report. Retrieved September 21, 2023.
  27. ^ "Belmont 74-69 Lipscomb (Mar 4, 2006) Game Recap".
  28. ^ the program's first-ever post-season appearance
  29. ^ "Bisons traveling NIT road to el Paso". March 12, 2006.
  30. ^ "Lipscomb's run in the NIT ends with loss to Texas in championship game".
  31. ^ "Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame bio". Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  32. ^ "Edwin Trevathan, M.D., M.P.H. | Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health". www.vumc.org. Retrieved September 21, 2021.
  33. ^ Mallory Gafas and Tina Burnside (January 7, 2019). "Cyntoia Brown is granted clemency after killing man who bought her for sex". CNN.
  34. ^ "Jackson National Life CEO returns to Nashville roots". The Tennessean. July 7, 2015. Retrieved October 14, 2015.

External links[edit]

36°06′21″N 86°47′51″W / 36.1058°N 86.7976°W / 36.1058; -86.7976