Campbellsville University was established in 1906 as the Russell Creek Academy by the Russell Creek Baptist Association following several years of prayer and dialogue on the need for Christian education in southern Kentucky. The institution grew and was instituted as Campbellsville Junior College in 1924, and in 1933, Campbellsville College was among the first to be admitted to the newly organized Kentucky Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. In 1949, the college was accredited by the Southern Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges as a junior college.
In October 1957, the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky (now the Kentucky Baptist Convention), authorized the Board of Trustees of the college to proceed with the Board’s plan for Campbellsville College to become a four-year institution. In December 1963, Campbellsville College was approved for membership in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) as an accredited liberal arts senior college. In December 1994, the Commission on Colleges of SACS approved Campbellsville College for accreditation at Level III with the offering of the Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction.
In April 1996, the Board of Trustees changed the status of Campbellsville College to Campbellsville University (CU). CU is now organized into the following areas: College of Arts and Science, School of Business and Economics, Carver School of Social Work, School of Nursing, School of Education, School of Graduate and Professional Studies, School of Music, and School of Theology. CU has regional centers in Louisville, Hodgenville, and Somerset and a growing number of programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels that are offered online or in blended formats. Academic offerings include 53 undergraduate majors, 17 master’s degrees, five post-graduate areas, and eight pre-professional areas of study. CU’s Technology Training Center provides short-term certificate training in a variety of study areas including allied health and cosmetology.
The home campus of Campbellsville University has grown to 95 acres over the past decade. Fall 2013 enrollment totals 3,618 students in the various programs and levels. Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, but is neither owned nor governed by the KBC.