A Brief History
Lindsey Wilson College was founded in 1903 as Lindsey Wilson
Training School by the Louisville Conference of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, South. The school was named in memory of
Lindsey Wilson, the deceased nephew and stepson of Mrs. Catherine
Wilson of Louisville, Kentucky. (Today, Lindsey Wilson
continues its affiliation with the Kentucky Annual Conference of
The United Methodist Church.)
Mrs. Wilson contributed $6,000 toward the construction of one of
the school's first buildings, which now serves as the L. R.
McDonald Administration Building. Funding
also came from the citizens of Columbia and from
Mrs. James Phillips of Lebanon, Ky., for whom Phillips Hall, a
women's residence hall, is named. Mrs. Kizzie Russell of
Columbia also made substantial gifts.
In its early years, Lindsey Wilson educated grades 1 through 12.
Concentration was on "normal work" to prepare students to be
teachers; many continued their education at Vanderbilt
In 1923, the school's curriculum was reorganized, and a college
department offering a junior college degree was added. In 1934,
Lindsey Wilson closed its academy, and the school became
exclusively a junior college. The College, however,
maintained a Model Training School from 1933 through
In 1951, the College was accredited by the Southern Association
of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and in 1985, the
College's trustees voted to become a four-year liberal arts
college. Lindsey Wilson graduated its first baccalaureate
class in May 1988.
The College added a master's degree in Counseling & Human
Development in April 1993. The program is accredited by the
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational
Programs (CACREP), and it has been cited by CACREP as a model
small-college graduate program. A graduate program in
education has been added since then.
While historically the College's focus has been to serve the
citizens of South Central Kentucky, Lindsey Wilson serves a diverse
group of more than 2,600 students representing more than 100 of
Kentucky's 120 counties, 33 states and 28 foreign countries.
The College also has community campuses in the Kentucky
cities of Ashland, Cumberland, Danville, Elizabethtown, Florence,
Hazard, Henderson, Hopkinsville, Lexington, London, Louisville,
Madisonville, Maysville, Paducah, Prestonsburg, Radcliff,
Scottsville, Shelbyville, and Somerset, with other community
campuses in Virginia (Big Stone Gap, Richlands, and Wytheville),
West Virginia (Logan), Tennessee (Gallatin), and Ohio (Cincinnati
and Hillsboro). The College's 2012-2013 enrollment included 2,677
undergraduate and graduate students.