Birmingham-Southern College Catalog 2016-2017
At the session of the North Alabama Conference held at Tuscaloosa in November 1896,
work was begun toward establishing a college within the bounds of this conference. In
the fall of 1897, the foundation for the first building was laid in Birmingham. In April
1898, a president was elected and a faculty was chosen and organized. The Conference
then surrendered its interest in Southern University and, in September 1898, the North
Alabama Conference College (later named Birmingham College) opened its doors to
For twenty years the two colleges were maintained by the Methodists of Alabama.
Finally, on May 30, 1918, through their appointed commissioners, the two conferences
consolidated these institutions under the name of Birmingham-Southern College. With no
loss of time from the regular work at either place, the consolidation was effected, and the
new institution opened its doors in Birmingham on September 11, 1918. Since that time,
Birmingham-Southern College has grown rapidly and is now a fully accredited institution
in every way.
Birmingham-Southern College has consistently sought academic distinction. In 1937, its
standards were recognized by the nation’s leading academic honor society, Phi Beta
Kappa, which granted the College a charter to establish Beta of Alabama.
The College continues to pursue academic distinction, but not academic distinction
alone. The founders insisted that excellent scholarship prepared young people for a life of
service. Southern University’s first president, William M. Wightman, put it this way to
the second graduating class: “The great point to be considered is, not so much what you
, as much as what you
become—what you shall
to bless your
generation.” Birmingham-Southern College remains committed to that ideal.
ACCREDITATION AND MEMBERSHIPS
Birmingham-Southern College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and
Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia
30033-4097; telephone number 404-679-4500) to award bachelor’s degrees.
The College is also accredited by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church.
Programs of the College are accredited and/or approved by the following organizations:
Alabama State Department of Education
American Chemical Society
Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
National Association of Schools of Music
The College holds membership in the following organizations:
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
American Council on Education
Association of Alabama Independent Colleges and Universities