A Christian heritage from the start. And this little mountain paradise has been dedicated to Christ for nearly a century. We’ve grown and changed a lot in that time, but we’ve always stayed true to our roots.
1897: The beauty and tranquility of the Blue Ridge Mountains led Congregationalist minister John C. Collins to form the Mountain Retreat Association “for the encouragement of Christian work and living through Christian convention, public worship, missionary work, schools, and libraries.”
1907: J. R. Howerton of Charlotte, NC, conceived and carried out the idea of purchasing Montreat for the Presbyterian Church in the United States.
1913: Dr. Robert C. Anderson, president of the Mountain Retreat Association, proposed that the grounds and facilities of the Association be used for a school during the academic year.
1915: The General Assembly decreed “that the property of the Mountain Retreat Association be used for a Normal School and that the establishment of the school be referred to the Synods.”
1916: The Synods of Appalachia, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia elected trustees who met in Montreat on May 2. They elected Dr. Robert F. Campbell of Asheville, NC, chairman; Mr. W. T. Thompson Jr. of Knoxville, TN, secretary; and Ruling Elder T. S. Morrison of Asheville, NC, treasurer.
1916: The Montreat Normal School, a four-year preparatory and two-year college combination, opened its first session in October with eight students. Montreat Normal School continued to grow over the years. Throughout times of war, economic fluctuations, and rapid social change, the school sought to provide a Christian context for young women who were there to be trained as teachers.
1934: Montreat Normal School (College Department) was renamed Montreat College during Dr. Robert C. Anderson’s tenure as president. The college grew as its academic program expanded.
1945: Montreat College began a four-year college for women.
1959: After 14 years as a four-year women’s college, Montreat was restructured as a coeducational junior college and given a new name: Montreat-Anderson College.
1986: Realizing the demands and changing circumstances in higher education, the college Board of Trustees made the decision to once again become a baccalaureate institution. The dream of its first president, Dr. Anderson, was for the college to serve as an accredited baccalaureate institution. The college has realized that dream.
1995: The original name of Montreat College was restored in August, sharing the original vision and identity. The change reflects the Montreat College of today—a four-year college with several growing campuses and a graduate program.
1996: The Asheville campus held its grand opening.
1998: Montreat College was accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as a level three institution to offer the master’s degree in business administration. Since then, Montreat College has added three more master’s degrees to its program offerings: the Master of Arts in Education, the Master of Science in Management and Leadership, and the Master of Science in Environmental Education.
2001: Montreat College purchased 72 acres of land with 21 buildings in Black Mountain in the summer, resulting in a total of four Montreat College campuses.
The Presidents of Montreat College
Dr. Robert Campbell Anderson, 1916–1947
Dr. J. Rupert McGregor, 1947–1957
Dr. Calvin Grier Davis, 1959–1972
Dr. Silas M. Vaughn, 1972–1991
Mr. William W. Hurt, 1991–2002
Dr. John S. Lindberg, 2002–2003
Dr. Dan Struble, 2004–2013
Mr. Joe B. Kirkland, 2013-Present
Mr. Joe B. Kirkland, Interim President