This History of New College Franklin

In 2006, several educators in TN, MD, and AL started brainstorming about a distinctive approach to liberal arts education that had been lost in the world of Christian Higher Education. Over the next two years, Matt Vest and Greg Wilbur, in conversation with colleagues in higher education from around the country, wrestled through the particulars of what a revival of the seven classical liberal arts could look like in an intentionally relational and mentoring environment.

Foremost on their minds was how a tutoring model such as Oxford and Cambridge could effectively meld with the best of the Great Books tradition while incorporating a robust attention to the Quadrivium with a firm theological foundation in a discipling community. Through many discussions, plans, prayer, and the mercies of God, a complete vision, strategic plan, curriculum, and distinct philosophy of education emerged.

New College Franklin was incorporated with the State of Tennessee in November of 2008 and received authorization as a college by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission on St. George’s Day, April 23, 2009. The college officially welcomed its inaugural class of twelve students seeking the Bachelor of Arts degree at the opening convocation on August 14, 2009.

We quickly attracted the attention of students from coast to coast in the United States as well as Canada. The majority of our faculty and staff have been with the college since the early years providing a consistency and stability to the vision and mission of NCF. Our newer faculty continues to expand the commitment of pouring into the lives of our students, engaging minds with truth, beauty, and goodness, and rejoicing in the wonder of God’s creation and providential care.

New College Franklin marked its 10th anniversary in August 2019, welcoming students, alumni, faculty, and friends to celebrate God’ mercies in what He is doing in and through the lives that intersect with the college.

The Board of Trustees and staff actively participate in the life of the college as we continue to seek the Lord’s favor in our planning and preparations for the future. In April 2021, the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) awarded New College Franklin accreditation status.

By the grace of God, NCF continues to grow and thrive, building on the foundation of the Word of God, and embracing true Wisdom, Virtue, and Service.