BABCOCK UNIVERSITY (BU)—as it is now known—actually began on September 17, 1959 as Adventist College of West Africa (ACWA). Established by the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a senior college for training church workers from the West African sub-region, ACWA opened its doors with only seven ministerial students.
By 1966, when it graduated the first set of Bachelor of Arts degree holders in its own name, enrolment included students taking Business Administration as potential accountants within and outside the Church; and two-year Pre-Nursing students in preparation to pursue a nursing career at the Church’s School of Nursing at Ile-Ife, Osun State. History was made in 1975 when ACWA became the first institution in Nigeria to sign and operate an affiliation agreement with Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, USA. This relationship enabled it to award Bachelor of Arts degrees from Andrews University in Biology, Business Administration, History, Religion and Secretarial Studies.
1975 was also the year ACWA was renamed Adventist Seminary of West Africa (ASWA) in response to the dynamics of its socio-political environment. In 1983, restricting local factors again necessitated the phasing out of the Bachelors programmes in Biology and Business Administration. In 1988, ASWA reached another academic milestone through an affiliation agreement with the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary of Andrews University, which authorized it to offer Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry. Master of Arts in Religion was added in 1990 and both programmes were operated during Summer sessions from 1997 to 2007. In order to attain national recognition for its status and programmes, an attempt to obtain a local affiliation with University of Ibadan, under the name “Babcock College” was initiated.
The process of affiliation with the University of Ibadan was still in progress when the Federal Government of Nigeria included Babcock University as one of the first three private universities in the country, announced on April 20, 1999. At a public ceremony presided over by the then Honourable Minister of Education, Mr. Sam Olaiya Oni, at the National Universities Commission (NUC), Abuja, on May 10, 1999, the Certificate of Registration No:002 was handed over to BU Pioneer Chancellor and Chairman of the University Council, Pastor Luka T. Daniel in his capacity as the President of the Africa-Indian Ocean Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Proprietors formally inaugurated the University on June 17, 1999.
The first batch of 1,006 students arrived on September 13, 1999 and their Matriculation Ceremony was presided over by the Visitor to the University, President of the General Conference and world leader of the Seventh-day Adventist Church from Washington, D.C, USA, Pastor/Professor Jan Paulsen, on January 28, 2000. The University commenced with three faculties (which later became Schools)—Faculty of Education and Humanities, Faculty of Management and Social Sciences, and Faculty of Science and Technology with eleven departments. The School of Law and Security Studies became the fourth School. The 7th graduation on June 07, 2009 marked the 50th Anniversary of the institution, and the 10th Anniversary of the university. The event attracted Federal and State dignitaries, as well as leaders from the World Headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Being a pioneer private University in Nigeria since 1999, Babcock has continued this legacy of upholding a cutting-edge excellence in education. Babcock now has a postgraduate school which took off in the third quarter of 2010 and a medical school which took off in January 2012.
Similarly, a deliberate expansion policy of our programmes to meet current market demands and maximum service delivery has resulted in departmental upgrades and addition of new programmes. The latest additions are the Music & Creative and Educational Foundations departments to School of Education & Humanities.