Simpson University is a private, Christian, fully accredited liberal arts institution in Redding, California. Redding is the largest city in Northern California between Sacramento, California and Eugene, Oregon – and yet it has the ambiance of a small town. Simpson’s beautiful 92-acre rural campus is located within sight of three mountain ranges, but it is not far from the urban center. The college currently serves over 1,200 graduate and undergraduate students.
Simpson University is selective and does not offer open admission. The average high school GPA of new freshman undergrads is 3.4. SAT scores of accepted students average at least 450 for verbal and 440 for math. Scholarships are awarded on a priority basis to undergraduate students who excel academically, artistically, or spiritually. In addition, grants are given to students who fit certain criteria. One of these is a Home School Grant of $1,000 per year for students homeschooled at least 75% of their high school career. March 2 is the priority awarding deadline.
Originally founded in 1921 as Simpson Bible Institute in Seattle, Washington, the school was named in honor of Dr. Albert B. Simpson, a Presbyterian minister in the late 19th century who pioneered the Bible institute movement and founded the Christian and Missionary Alliance. From its earliest days, the motto of the college has been “Gateway to World Service.” Initially offering a two-year program of study, the school was designed to promote spiritual growth and fulfill the Great Commission by preparing students for service overseas.
By 1940, Simpson was offering a choice of programs: Theology, Missiology and Bible/Music. In 1955, the school moved to San Francisco, and its name was changed to Simpson Bible College since it was now granting bachelor’s degrees. In 1968, the college was granted regional accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Over the years, the college continued to broaden its academic offerings so that by the time the half-century mark was reached in 1971, it had become a comprehensive liberal arts college offering professional as well as biblical studies. That same year, its name was changed to Simpson College.
In 1989, Simpson College relocated to a new campus in Redding. After the move, undergraduate enrollment more than doubled. Graduate programs (including the School of Education and A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary) were established, and the School of Continuing Studies (ASPIRE) was added. Although its original mission has expanded to prepare students for a variety of ministerial and lay professions, the college (now Simpson University) maintains its focus on global service.
Simpson faculty members are experienced in international study and ministry. They reflect a broad range of evangelical backgrounds and come from a variety of institutions across the nation. Class sizes are small at Simpson University, averaging 16 students to every professor. The small class size gives students an opportunity to interact one-on-one with their professors. This personal learning environment is part of what makes the Simpson experience more appealing than a typical four-year university.
Simpson students represent 30 different Christian denominations and several independent churches, although the largest segment continues to be members of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. They also represent a mix of ethnic backgrounds, and come from a number of states and foreign countries. On average, there are two male to every three female undergrads at Simpson.
Simpson University has a greater breadth of degree programs (majors) than most colleges of its size. Simpson offers traditional undergraduate, accelerated undergraduate, study abroad, graduate, and credentialing programs to meet a variety of educational needs. The school is known for its highly successful programs in music, therapy and counseling, business and human resources management, and liberal arts.
Simpson University’s undergraduate program offers Associate of Arts and Bachelor of Arts degrees. The 23 bachelor’s degree programs are offered in three divisions: Theology and Ministry, Science and Business, and Humanities. The university also offers graduate degrees in teaching, education, divinity, psychology, and Christian leadership. The A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary opened in the fall semester of 2007, offering graduate degrees in Bible and Theology.
Simpson University has a residential campus feel, where full-time students are the norm. The school provides dorm rooms to a higher percentage of its students than do most colleges, and freshmen are required to live on campus. Each dorm floor participates in events such as movie nights, bonfires, prayer groups, and more. A student meal plan with 21 meals per week is available. Part-time jobs can be found on or off campus.
Parents are encouraged to view the Simpson faculty and staff as instruments of God in the lives of their students. At the same time, the college recognizes that the parental commitment to their students does not end at the college door. Having more directly guided students through the pre-college years, parents now have the opportunity to coach their student from the sidelines, watching them they develop as individuals and as followers of Jesus Christ. Parents are welcome to get involved in supporting their students through the Parent Council and “Hugs from Home” program.
Simpson has always valued student athletics, with five men’s sports teams and six women’s sports teams. The Simpson athletic program is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). Simpson students compete in the California Pacific Conference and in the sports of soccer, cross country, volleyball, basketball, baseball, softball, and golf. Simpson University has won the Cal Pac Sportsmanship award numerous times.
The climate in the Redding area can be described as Mediterranean, with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. Average high temperatures during July and August frequently exceed 90 degrees but drop to the low 50’s in winter. With lakes, caverns and even a ski park nearby, Redding is the gateway to numerous outdoor activities. Tourists use the city as a base to explore Lassen Volcanic National Park, Lake Shasta, the Cascades, and other natural attractions.
The area has an abundance of outdoor activities to suit every taste, including fishing and boating on the Sacramento River. The Sacramento River meanders nine miles through the middle of town, beginning just below Shasta Dam. This stretch of river is one of the finest trout-fishing waters in the Western United States.
Turtle Bay Exploration Park, a 300-acre ecology park located along the banks of the Sacramento River, contains a museum and 20-acre garden to allow study of native flora and fauna of the Sacramento River ecosystem and surrounding forests. The complex currently includes three museums, a visitor’s center, an aviary, a summer butterfly house, arboretum, gardens, and exhibits highlighting art, history, horticulture, forestry, wildlife, and natural science.
The crown jewel of Turtle Bay Exploration Park is the Sundial Bridge, a unique cantilevered cable-stayed pedestrian bridge designed by world-renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and completed in July 2004. The harp-shaped suspension bridge features a glass deck, and the tall tower holding up the support cables also acts as a sundial. The bridge links the north and south sides of the park and serves as a downtown entrance for Redding’s extensive Sacramento River Trail system.
Simpson University seems to be an ideal choice for well-rounded homeschool graduates who like nature and the outdoors, have a desire to develop spiritually as well as academically and physically, and are considering the ministry/mission field or have an interest in the other majors offered by the college. For more information, see: http://www.simpsonu.edu