From Saratoga Springs to Boston's South Shore
A Foundation of Faith
The history of Eastern Nazarene College began when several ministers and lay persons decided to establish a Christian collegiate institute in the city of Saratoga Springs, New York. The founders had a remarkably ambitious vision: in an age when most Christian educational institutions began as Bible colleges and missionary training schools, this was designed as an integrated preparatory academy, liberal arts college, and theological seminary. Its academic foundation was strong from the start, and the school opened its doors as a fully accredited institution on September 25, 1900. Not long thereafter, the institute was relocated to the small village of North Scituate, Rhode Island, and soon became one of the first three schools to be officially supported by the Church of the Nazarene.
"Under the Eaves of Harvard"
On June 14, 1918, Eastern Nazarene College was chartered as a liberal arts college and school of music, with degree-granting authority in the state of Rhode Island. It had been resolved that the college curriculum be reinvigorated and the name of the institute changed to reflect both its evolving religious identity and its initial goal of providing a liberal education. The founders of the College also decided to relocate the school to Quincy, Massachusetts, because the educational standards and requirements there were discovered to be the most rigorous in the nation. In 1919, the College purchased the old summer home of Boston mayor Josiah Quincy, Jr. and moved to Wollaston Park, approximately a quarter-mile from Quincy Bay and Wollaston Beach. Bertha Munro, the first Dean of the College, was thrilled at the prospect of establishing a Christian college "under the eaves of Harvard" and immediately began drafting a new college curriculum for ENC. By 1920, ENC had established a solid reputation as a Christian liberal arts college in New England. ENC’s status as a Christian institution of higher education became increasingly enviable over the next three decades, as the College instituted its first graduate degree program, gained accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and joined the Association of American Colleges.
Broadening Our Vision
In 1955, a new era began for ENC, when the College decided to commit itself entirely to higher education. Over the next thirty years, ENC expanded its bachelor’s degree offerings, and many new undergraduate majors were added to the academic catalogue. In addition to the growth in baccalaureate programs, several new graduate degree programs were added between 1964 and 1981. Accelerated degree programs were established for working adults in 1990. Eastern Nazarene also expanded into other Quincy locations toward the end of the 20th century, with the creation of the Adams Executive Center and the Old Colony Campus on Old Colony Avenue. To meet growing demand for continuing education, the College founded four new Adult & Graduate Studies satellite campuses in 2008.
Who We Are Today
Today, Eastern Nazarene College thrives as a Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences in a beautiful and historic seaside city. Professors at ENC are all committed Christians who hold degrees from top-ranked research institutions, receive national recognition for their academic achievements, interact with students on a personal basis, and are professionally active in Boston and beyond. Students at the College are also highly engaged, and have recently been involved in such activities as research at Harvard, study at Oxford, music tours in the South Pacific, caring for sick children in Uganda, outreach to the homeless of Boston, and ecological conservation on the South Shore. Many have discovered their life’s purpose while at ENC, and graduates of the College experience extraordinary success in fields as diverse as astrophysics and urban ministry, as Eastern Nazarene College continues to serve God, the Church, and the World by providing a quality liberal arts education to students of all ages.
Twenty years ago, President Shields brought little ENC up from Rhode Island and set her down under the very eaves of Harvard and MIT. We all gasped at our presumption, but we went to work, for we had seen the vision of a holiness college in the East. Since then, there has come the growth of which you have heard this afternoon, in buildings, in equipment, in faculty, in curricula, in recognition, and in influence. You have only to look, to see progress that justifies the faith of twenty years ago – of forty years, for, in 1900 in a modest room in Saratoga Springs, PCI was born out of nothing."
– Bertha Munro, Founders’ Day Address, 1939