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Arkansas Baptist College, originally named the Minister’s Institute, was founded in 1884 by the Colored Baptists of Arkansas during their annual convention at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Little Rock. The primary objective of the institute was to raise the educational level within the negro ministry. The secondary objective was to aid the state in making higher education available to young negro men and women. Most of the school’s students were trained in the ministry and today, Religious Studies continues to be one of the College’s major areas of matriculation.
In April 1885, the College’s name was changed to Arkansas Baptist College, and the school moved to 16th and High Street where the campus is currently located; however, the formal address is now 1621 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Drive.