Gordon College is one of the nation’s premier private Christian colleges. The college is located in the historic town of Wenham, Massachusetts, just north of the intellectual hub of Boston, and near the picturesque shoreline of Cape Ann. Gordon stands apart from other outstanding institutions in New England by combining an exceptional education with an informed Christian faith.
In 1889, Adoniram Judson Gordon founded the school as Boston Missionary Training Institute. Progressive at its inception in 1889, the school admitted both men and women of various ethnicities. It was renamed Gordon Bible College in 1916. In 1921, the school was renamed Gordon College of Theology and Missions. In 1955, Gordon developed into a liberal arts college with a graduate theological seminary and moved to its present campus. In 1962, the school changed its name to Gordon College and Divinity School.
Gordon College provides extraordinary access to many opportunities for intellectual, professional, and leadership development. Gordon offers BA, BM, BS, MEd, MMEd, MA, and MS degrees. Students can choose from 33 majors, 38 concentrations, and 21 interdisciplinary and pre-professional minors as well as graduate programs in education and music education. The college also has several online degree programs.
Gordon College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. The music program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and the social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The Commonwealth of Massachusetts recognizes Gordon’s teacher-education program under the Interstate Service Compact.
Gordon is a member of the Annapolis Group and of the Christian College Consortium. It is also a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). In fact, Gordon College is one of two CCCU members listed in the 2021 Edition of “The Best 386 Colleges” published by The Princeton Review.
Gordon’s Global Education Office has programs in Italy, Hong Kong, Oxford, Belize, Croatia, the Balkans, New Zealand, Latin America, and Uganda. Students enrolled in the global program may use financial aid towards a study abroad semester.
In 2007, Gordon College dedicated its Wenham campus in the name of benefactors Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler. The Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler Campus is situated on 450 acres of wooded property alongside Coy Pond, just 25 miles north of Boston.
The Gordon College Bennett Center, a gift to the Gordon community from the George and Helen Bennett family, is a 78,000 square-foot athletic and recreational sports facility. The $8 million center won the Athletics Business magazine’s “Top Ten New Facilities Award” for its design and usability.
The Ken Olsen Science Center, named for the founder of Digital Equipment Corporation and long-time Gordon College board member Ken Olsen, is an 80,000 square-foot state-of-the-art science and technology center. The computer pioneer never saw a conflict between his Christian commitment and his embrace of scientific methods. Olsen saw science and Christianity as complimentary.
“Science is more than a study of molecules and calculations; it is the love of knowledge and the continued search for the truth,” Olsen wrote. “The study of the sciences promotes humility, leaving us with a clear sense that we will never understand all there is to know. At the same time, science provides a defense for truth, authenticates Christianity and stems from the nature of God.”
Gordon has an undergraduate enrollment of around 1,700 students representing more than 50 Christian denominations. As a Christian multi-denominational college, Gordon requires students to sign the school’s Statement of Faith, though the religious conclusions and commitments among students and faculty remain diverse. Catholics do not teach at Gordon College although some students are Catholic.
All students must also sign a Life and Conduct Statement agreeing to the standards of behavior that Gordon values. Gordon College prohibits sexual relations outside marriage, homosexual practice, alcohol, tobacco, and narcotic or hallucinogenic drugs on campus and continues to uphold a dorm-visitation policy that allows for male-female visitation only during particular hours.
Chapel services take place on Mondays and Wednesdays. An academic convocation takes place on Fridays. Attendance at chapel, convocation or other events (lectures, debates, presentations, films, exhibitions, etc.) is required to graduate. All full-time students must obtain 30 Christian Life and Worship Credits per semester.
Gordon College students come from 43 states and 41 foreign countries. Approximately 22 percent of enrollment—including international students—are of Asian, African American, mestizo, Native American, or other non-Caucasian descent.
Gordon College has a student association, student ministries, intramural sports, and a Campus Events Council. There are student-led community-service and outreach organizations ranging from drama troupes to Big Brothers Big Sisters and Habitat for Humanity.
Many other Gordon College outreach programs are based at other sites. In Lynn, Massachusetts, for example, the school has partners for community development. Several student-led groups organize spring-break, winter-break and summer-break community-service trips and mission trips to different sites around the country and the globe.
Gordon College’s varsity sports compete in the NCAA Division III and ACHA, primarily in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC). Gordon’s 30 teams compete in baseball, basketball, cross-country, field hockey, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field (indoor and outdoor) and volleyball. Gordon College athletes are called “The Fighting Scots.”
The town of Wenham, originally settled in 1635, has retained much of its historic character and rural scenery. It’s a town of farms, lakes, woodlands, parks, historic homes, old stone walls, and winding tree-lined roads. Wenham and its neighboring town, Hamilton, were listed among the “Best Places to Live” by Boston magazine.
Tuition & Financial Aid
In October 2020, Gordon College announced a 33% reduction in tuition from $56.7k sticker price to $37.9k, joining two other CCCU schools in bringing tuition costs more in line with what a typical family would consider “affordable.” The college says this reduction is made possible due to its Faith Rising capital campaign, which has expanded its base endowment by $125 million in the past year (250%), coupled with 24% debt reduction. The tuition reduction takes effect in the fall semester of 2021. Previously, in the fall of 2019, Gordon received the largest donation in its history, an anonymous gift of $75.5 million, with additional commitments of an additional $50 million, substantially increasing an endowment of $50 million and resulting in a 15% increase in college-funded student financial aid.
Gordon College is very welcoming to homeschoolers. The college helps homeschool students utilize the strengths of their unique educational background to stretch their minds, deepen their faith, and envision ways that they might elevate their contribution to society—even before they enter college. Gordon offers dual enrollment, summer classes, summer camps, summer enrichment and leadership programs for high school students. For more information on these programs, click here.
If your home or homeschool co-op has been your school for years, stepping into a college classroom or lecture hall for the first time can feel intimidating. Not to worry, Gordon’s nondenominational Christian environment and challenging academics are a natural fit for many homeschooled students transitioning into college. About 5% of Gordon’s current student body is made up of students who were homeschooled at some point in their education. For more information about homeschool admissions, click here.