Lighthouse on the Prairie
Though small in size Barclay College has made its influence known throughout the world. The college is located in Haviland Kansas on a 20-acre campus with 7 major buildings. It has sent out over one hundred missionaries to 33 countries from many different mission boards. You may view the missionaries’ pictures and the country in which they served on the college website under the title, “The Great Commission Showcase.”
Today, the college offers 12 majors including majors in business administration, psychology and music besides those in church ministry. Nearly one-half of the faculty members have PhDs. All others have master degrees. The college provides online degrees in Psychology and Church Leadership, which you can complete in the comfort of your home. A bi-vocational degree program with Pratt County Community College provides students with the opportunity to earn their bachelor degree from Barclay along with a degree in nursing, agronomy and other vocational fields. The Academic Dean is presently pursuing certified teacher education on campus. The Association of Biblical Higher Education nationally accredits the college. It is presently pursuing regional accreditation with the North Central Association. The music department boasts a 55-voice concert choir. It also has a small group called the Barclay Singers.
Barclay College is a member of the Midwest Christian College Conference, which has eight colleges participating in basketball, soccer and volleyball. Teams in the conference are located in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri. The teams are very competitive and are able to compete, not only in the conference, but also at a national tournament.
The forerunner of the college was an academy, the first high school in Kiowa County, which offered its first classes in 1892. Classes offered that first year included Elocution, Etymology, Rhetoric, Latin, German, Literature-Caesar and Political Economy. In 1916 the academy Board of Trustees voted to begin offering college classes in the fall of 1917. In 1967 the Board of Trustees voted to close the academy and strengthen the college.
During the last two years the college has nearly doubled in size. The Full Time Equivalency was 73 in the spring of 2007 and is now 140. During the spring semester of 2009 there are 146 students enrolled at the college. Applications received to date for the fall semester 2009 are far ahead of the previous years. With the men’s residence hall unable to house the men who are on campus this semester the college is looking towards building additional residential housing. The ratio of men to women is close to 50/50. Students come from 23 different church denominations and from 19 states. Students are required to attend chapel twice a week. The campus is a smoke/alcohol free campus.
In February of 2006 the college’s Board of Trustees voted to provide a full tuition scholarship to all on campus students. Formerly students were amassing government loans to the extent that some were not able to follow their chosen profession with the accumulation of debt they had when they graduated.
The Barclay college food service is open to the public. Many people from outside the college personnel enjoy their meals in the campus cafeteria. If you would like to visit our campus, stop by for lunch and be our guest. The Bears Den is also available to the public. It is an eatery, which has fast foods such as pizza, hamburgers, etc. Pool, ping-pong and video games are also available in the Bears Den. The Den is open evenings seven days a week and is located in the Broadhurst Student Center.
A history of the college was written by Sheldon G. Jackson (former president) and entitled, “Lighthouse On The Prairies.” The book tells of the college’s name changing from Kansas Central Bible Training School to Friends Bible College in 1930 and to Barclay College in 1990. Two quotes from the book state: “Many times students paid tuition with produce rather than cash, and teachers often received sacks of potatoes and beans, cartons of eggs, or a quarter of beef rather than cash,” and in 1935 “…a group of students stood on campus viewing a strange cloud approaching from the northwest. It had the banked appearance of a cumulus cloud, but it was black instead of white and hung low … stretching all the way from horizon to horizon…..The students watched it, mesmerized as they thought such a dark cloud surely contained a powerful rain storm. When it hit, the bright light of the afternoon changes suddenly to darkness – caused by dust instead of rain. Visibility was limited to four feet. Chickens went to roost. Strange static electricity crackled and snapped around wire fences.” If you would be interested in ordering the book you can get it from the college’s online bookstore, Bear Necessities, at the college website, www.barclaycollege.edu.
Annual events at the college are the Barclay College Ladies’ Auxiliary Auction the first Saturday in October. The featured items at the auction are the quilts. The largest amount of money paid for one quilt was $7,---. The Monday after Thanksgiving is the “Campus of Light,” which is a time when musical numbers and fireworks are interspersed with the lighting of each building. This year and every other year a musical Christmas pageant entitled “The Story Of Christmas” is presented the first weekend of December. During the pageant Mary arrives on a donkey, the shepherd boys arrive carrying sheep, Herod enters on his horse and the wise men enter on camels. The music is great, the pageant is colorful and the set is dramatic. Including the pageant choir, there are about 70 actors in the pageant. Some families make this a part of their family Christmas activities. Children are delighted by the pageant. This year the pageant will have three performances on December 5 and 6. Watch your local paper for its announcement. Approximately 1200 people see the pageant each year that it is given.
The mission of the college is to prepare students in a Bible centered environment for effective Christian life, service and leadership. The Board of Trustees that began the college started it for the purpose of providing practical training for Christian workers. Through the years, succeeding boards have continued to stay true to the founders’ wishes.
The college invites everyone to visit the campus. You will find a warm welcome and a friendly atmosphere. Chapels are open to the public and classes may be visited if arrangements are made. Barclay College is proud to be a part of the history of Southwest Kansas.