Learn how King’s has brought Christ’s Gospel into the public square.
From Dr. Percy Crawford’s nationwide television show, Youth on the March, to Dr. Robert Cook’s radio show, The King’s Hour, the College has always sought to bring the light of Christ’s Gospel into the public square. We thank God for his faithfulness.
Dr. Crawford’s Vision
The King’s College opens in Belmar, N.J. Its campus is on an estate built by the wireless inventor and Italian aristocrat Guglielmo Marconi, and its mission, the dream of evangelist Dr. Percy Crawford, is to prepare young men and women with a liberal arts education to make a difference for Christ.
World War II
The College moves to New Castle, Del., in pursuit of state accreditation, selling the Belmar campus to the United States government for top-secret radar research. Many male King’s students and faculty enlist in the armed forces as World War II advances in Europe, and the remaining female students joke about renaming themselves Queen’s College. The new campus is the historic Reybold estate, centered on a mansion called Lexington.
The Briarcliff Era Begins
Land acquisitions by the Tidewater Oil Company surround the King’s campus, and Tidewater requests that the College’s property be rezoned for industrial use. King’s loses the zoning appeal in court and is forced to sell the campus. Undaunted, Dr. Crawford locates a real estate opportunity in Briarcliff Lodge, a former luxury resort in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.
Walk with the King Today
After Dr. Crawford’s death in 1960, Dr. Robert A. Cook, former president of Youth for Christ International, becomes the second president of The King’s College. During his 23-year presidency, the College changes the lives of hundreds of young people. The King’s Hour radio program is broadcast from the King’s campus beginning in 1963, and Dr. Cook retires in 1985.
A Commissioner’s Faith
The King’s College closes its doors because of financial burdens. However, the deputy commissioner at the New York State Board of Education chooses to leave the College’s legal charter in force, believing that New York State needed Christian institutions of higher education. President Friedhelm Radandt, his wife Elizabeth, and volunteers continue working to reopen the College.
Empire State of Mind
Dr. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, sends J. Stanley Oakes to support and resource Dr. Radandt’s efforts to reopen King’s, and, consistent with Dr. Radandt’s own goals, to develop a leadership emphasis at King’s. New York City becomes increasingly prominent in their plans.
Inheriting Dr. Anderson’s Mission
The board of directors of Northeastern Bible College of Essex Fells, N.J., decides to give the institution’s financial assets and alumni to King’s. Northeastern, founded in 1950 by Dr. Charles W. Anderson, had closed in 1990 because of declining enrollment and financial stress, and was required by its by-laws to give its assets to a like-minded organization in the event of closure.
Reviving the Classics
King’s starts classes in the Empire State Building with 17 students. Oakes, a graduate in Classical Greek from the University of Minnesota and in Political Theory from the University of Dallas, develops the leadership potential of King’s through a new core curriculum in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, with the help of Dr. Peter Wood of Boston University.
The House System
Dr. Radandt retires, and Stan Oakes steps up as fourth president of King’s. The King’s curriculum is reorganized around PPE, and the House System is designed soon afterward to cultivate community, instill Christian character, support academic excellence, and bring the disciplines of leadership to life outside the classroom.
The Financial District
The College relocates to the Financial District, renting from the United Federation of Teachers in the heart of New York City’s most historic neighborhood.
Enriching Spiritual Life
Dr. Gregory Alan Thornbury, dean of the theology school at Union University, becomes the sixth president of The King’s College. Under his tenure, King’s rejoins the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities and the College reorganizes spiritual life efforts, launching The King’s Liturgy and January’s annual Day of Service.
O’Keeffe Student Union
King’s announces plans for 3,200 square feet of new rented space for student life, made possible by a gift from the Esther B. O’Keeffe Charitable Foundation. The O’Keeffe Student Union is dedicated on November 17, 2015.
God Provides a New Building
President Tim Gibson announces that King’s has purchased the former Riff Hotel as a new student residence, the College’s first Manhattan real estate purchase. The building now provides on-campus housing for students in the Houses of Susan B. Anthony and Clara Barton.
The King’s College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.