Archive for category Crown’s History

Moments in Crown’s History…

Rev. J. D. Williams and his wife Harriet - Crown College

Rev. J. D. Williams and his wife Harriet – Founder of Crown College

The foundation that J. D. Williams laid for Crown has continued until this day. The college was established as a training school for missionaries & church leaders both in the Christian and Missionary Alliance and many denominations around the country. Offering more majors and career choices than before, Crown’s original mission of providing Biblical training for students has not wavered.

Every so often, organizations get a new president and institutions of higher learning are no exception. Crown College has been blessed with many excellent presidents during its nearly 100 year history. While most of these leaders survive only through photos, manuscripts and hand written notes, Dr. Bill Lanpher, Dr. Gary Benedict and Dr. Rick Mann survive on video through their inauguration ceremonies. Crown has been blessed by the faithfulness of God to bring in such excellent leaders to take the college to the next level. Each president offers a fresh vision for the college to pursue excellence, growth and a heartfelt academic experience that only Crown College can offer. Enjoy these inauguration videos of presidents past and present.

1987 – The Inauguration of Dr. Bill Lanpher – 12th president of Crown College

1997 – The Inauguration of Dr. Gary Benedict – 13th president of Crown college

2006 – The Inauguration of Dr. Rick Mann – 14th president of Crown college

For more information about Crown College go to:
or call: 1-800-68-CROWN (952-446-4100)

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Honor our Past, Look to the Future – 1985 Video

Crown College (St. Paul Bible College) has seen many changes throughout the years. There have been three different campuses, two in St. Paul and the current campus in St. Bonifacius, MN that was acquired in 1970. The current campus was for many years called “the miracle campus” and for good reason.The following video of the Mortgage Burning Ceremony pays tribute to the faithfulness of God through the years and, then president Dr. L. John Eagen, clearly states the core of what the college’s purpose is and what we desire to accomplish in the world. Be blessed and inspired…

God continues to bless this college with spiritual vigor, strong academic programs, and financial resources. We enjoy the following section of the video when Dr. Eagen states,

“Fifteen years later, now is the time to rest. Now is the time to enjoy the reduction of the debt on the campus. And for some number of years put ourselves in a position where we no longer depend upon divine intervention in order to function.”

That has been suggested to me…

Beloved, there are more people today who do not know Jesus Christ than there were 15 years ago in 1970. The task of St. Paul Bible College from 1916 on has had nothing to do with debt, it’s had nothing to do with buildings, it’s had nothing to do with what makes us comfortable or at ease. It’s had everything to do with the discipling of men and women who, in turn, can use their lives and have the Lord multiply their influence, even as He did the loaves of bread and fish, from every corner of the Earth, so that when, as we read in Revelation chapter 5, when that great day comes, that celebration, when we gather around the Throne, those from every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and when they worship the Lamb who is seated in the throne and sing that song, ‘Worthy is the Lamb’, the mission of this college has had something to do with who’s there, and the size of the choir that gives glory, honor and praise to the King.”

May these words continue to ring true on our campus. Crown College strives not only for academic excellence or global connectedness, but our primary goal is to provide a place for Christ to be central to each student, faculty and staff member’s life. Continue to pray for Crown College and our mission to impact the world for our Savior both here in America and in every nation around the globe. When all this brick and mortar deteriorates, when the world wears out and goes away, that is what truly matters in the end. Be blessed today…

The mission of Crown College is to provide a biblically based education for Christian leadership in The Christian and Missionary Alliance, the church-at-large, and the world.

For more information about Crown College go to:
or call: 1-800-68-CROWN (952-446-4100)

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As Graduation Approaches…

Graduation is this Saturday. Current undergrad students are scrambling to finish their finals, faculty are busy administering and grading assignments and staff are scurrying to get everything in place for graduation. In the midst of our business it’s nice to look back at our heritage and see how far Crown College has come since the institution’s founding in 1916. Staff & faculty have changed. Thousands of students have come and gone. Yet, the mission of Crown has stayed centered on its mission of training Christians to serve and influence the world for Christ. So here is the story of Crown College.

The Story of Crown College

For nearly a century, Crown College has been preparing Christians to serve and influence the world. Founded in 1916 by Reverend J. D. Williams, the College began with four students who wanted to study the Bible. It quickly blossomed and grew into a training school and eventually became known as St. Paul Bible Institute, establishing a solid reputation as a leader in the Bible-college movement throughout the Midwest.

By 1924, enrollment grew to 152 students; today, it is nearly 1,200. In the late 1950’s, the name was changed to St. Paul Bible College. Accreditation was granted to the College in 1975 by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Of the more than 4,000 degree-granting institutions of higher education in the United States, Crown is one of 116 intentionally Christ-centered institutions to have qualified for membership in the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) and is one of four colleges affiliated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance church in the United States.

The College resided in St. Paul, Minnesota, for over 50 years. In 1970, as the College grew, it moved to its present location just west of Minneapolis, near the communities of Waconia and St. Bonifacius. Nestled among the rolling hills of one of the most lake-dotted regions of Minnesota, the beautiful campus offers an inviting place for learning, and growth.

In the following years, the College expanded the curriculum with the introduction of many new majors and areas of study; the campus also grew with the addition of several housing facilities. In 1992, the name was changed to Crown College. That same year, Crown launched its Adult & Graduate Studies (AGS) program with 53 adult students taking classes in Management and Ethics or Christian Ministry.

Today, Crown remains an exceptional, private Christian college passionate in its preparation of Christians who serve Christ and influence the world. It is distinguished by its pledge to deliver a Christ-centered education, online and on-campus, which is academically excellent and globally connected. More than 25 percent of Crown students also participate on one or more of its 11 NCAA-Division III athletic teams. Crown’s commitment to providing an affordable private college education is unrivaled.

Recognized again in 2012, by U.S. News & World Report, as ranking among the Best Midwest Regional Colleges, Crown offers more than 35 accredited majors to undergraduates as well as adults seeking degree completion or Graduate-level degrees. In 2012, Crown’s AGS Online Programs also received national recognition in the first-ever national ranking of Top Online Programs by U.S. News & World Report.

The mission of Crown College is to provide a biblically based education for Christian leadership in The Christian and Missionary Alliance, the church-at-large, and the world. As such, we exist to fulfill Jesus’ final request on earth, The Great Commission…

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Called to Serve. Prepared to Lead.

During the Crown College Graduation Ceremony, each graduate receives a Servant Towel. This is to remember the example and directive that Jesus gave his followers in the thirteenth chapter of John’s Gospel.

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (John 13:14-17)

Crown College
8700 College View Drive
St. Bonifacius, MN 55375
1-800-68-CROWN or (952) 446-4100

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Tribute to Crown’s Alliance Heritage

Since 1916, Crown College has served as a training ground for students to serve God with their time, talents and intellect. But how did Crown get started? And what is the college’s foundation?
Glad you asked!

Crown College (called the Alliance Training Home in the early years) is associated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance. The College began with one young man who journeyed from Illinois to Minnesota with a desire to be taught the Bible. Rev. J.D. Williams, a devoted follower of Jesus Christ and a leader in the C&MA, was living in St. Paul in 1916 and took this young man into his home to teach him the Word of God. Rev. Williams began training many more young people using the Bible as his only textbook. As the superintendent of the Northwestern District of the C&MA as well as the founder and president of the newly formed college Rev. Williams was a busy man. The tradition of being both District superintendent and college president continued for the first several decades. Crown College has grown considerably since then and uses many more textbooks, but the Bible remains at the core of what we believe and teach.

But what is the Christian and Missionary Alliance? Glad you asked!

     The C&MA began in 1887 and grew out of the vision of Rev. A.B. Simpson, who was a Presbyterian pastor. Throughout his journey, Simpson came to proclaim Christ as not only his Savior, but also his Sanctifier, Healer and Coming King which he expressed through personal and dramatic spiritual encounters. The C&MA began as a missionary society not a denomination. Early Alliance congregations were known as “branches” and came from several major denominations at that time.

     After Simpson’s death in 1919, Dr. Paul Rader, a dynamic evangelist and pastor, was chosen to lead the C&MA. It was at this time that C&MA tabernacles (churches) sprung up in many U.S. cities and in Canada. The Great Depression and World War II had some impact on C&MA, but it did not deter its expansion to spread the Good News to new mission fields around the world. In fact, these challenges actually brought a healthy spirit of sacrificial giving and solid community. Many churches gave as much to missionary efforts around the world as they did to their local congregational expenses. It truly was an inspiring time.

     After the battles of World War II, people began moving to more urban populations, and the C&MA continued to move forward. Tabernacles were exchange for traditional church buildings and many C&MA churches moved to the suburbs. In 1974 the C&MA officially declared itself to be a denomination, along with a sweeping restructuring of the organization. During this time, Dr. A.W. Tozer and Dr. Louis L. King greatly influenced The Alliance. Dr. King as head of the missionary effort began to implement the indigenous church policy—envisioning each national church of the C&MA as self-supporting, self-propagating, and self-governing entity.

Today the C&MA in the U.S. and Canada is becoming increasingly multicultural with immigrants form many countries around the world, but specifically refugees from Southeast Asia, which began in the mid-1970s. As ethnic churches were planted, the awareness of a need for mission-sending congregations was never higher. The Alliance is answering the call to go and make disciples. A deeply rooted desire that has permeated the C&MA since its founding in 1887.

     It was on this foundation that Crown College built its mission to train Christian leaders to serve an influence the world.

Here is a brief video of the history of Crown.

For more historical pictures go to “A Rich Crown College History in Pictures

Crown College
8700 College View Drive
St. Bonifacius, MN 55375
1-800-68-CROWN or (952) 446-4100

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A Rich Crown College History in Pictures

Through the years, Crown College has established itself as a leader in Christian higher education. You will see pictures from our past, enjoy the history and see how far we’ve come in the past century. Enjoy!


Since 1916, Crown College, formerly known as St. Paul Bible College, has established a clear directive to train students to be leaders in the world through Christian ministry in the Christian and Missionary Alliance, the church at large and the world.


From humble beginnings, the institution has grown from a small training home in 1916, to a flourishing learning community of over 1,200 students dedicated to living out God’s call on their lives through the equally important work of full-time ministry or using their gifts in the business world.


Never short on character, students at Crown College (St. Paul Bible College) have always enjoyed at tight community of fun-loving, community driven and globally minded people with a heart for having a good time and supporting the sharing of God’s Word throughout the world. The picture above is donkey basketball, probably played during one of the College’s missions festivals. What an interesting game!


No matter how much faculty and staff might try to teach and bless the students who come to Crown (SPBC), it’s the students who bless faculty & staff more than they realize. The energy and enthusiasm on campus is a breath of fresh air to everyone involved. When everyone at Crown works together in training, learning and encouraging one another – real growth occurs.


Walking down the halls of the current campus in St. Bonifacius, MN, you can feel the energy of the students, the encouragement and light-heartedness of people enjoying each others company. Looking back, didn’t they have some great syle back in the 70s?Image

Music has always been a large part of Crown/St. Paul Bible College. From worship songs before chapel, to Christmas in Crown Chapel, to instrumental concerts, to the current Christian Rock Bands – Crown College has enjoyed musical excellence and creativity.


Old photos of Men’s basketball and football players in action.


Sports has also been a fantastic way for Crownies to gather for some quality competition and school spirit. Now with 11 NCAA Division III teams the College is enjoying some great success both on and off the field.

Throughout the 95+ years of Crown College’s existence one thing remains the same – our commitment to train Christian leaders to impact the world for our Lord Jesus Christ. While people, technology and methods of teaching change, Crown College’s mission will not be moved. Blessings on your day! Never stop learning.

“Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” – Proverbs 1:7

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