Erskine, South Carolina's first private Christian college, offers undergraduate liberal arts college and graduate theological education on its historic campus in Due West, South Carolina. Founded in 1839 by the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, Erskine's mission as a Christian academic community is to equip students to flourish as whole persons for lives of service. Erskine's undergraduate college consistently ranks among the top private colleges in South Carolina and competes in NCAA Division II as a member of Conference Carolinas. At the graduate level, Erskine Theological Seminary prepares persons for service in the Christian church.
Established in 1839 by the Associate Reformed Synod of the South as an academy for men, Erskine College became the first four year, church-related college in South Carolina. It was named for Ebenezer Erskine, one of the founders of one of the antecedent bodies of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and a pastor. Erskine had led a group of separatists from the Church of Scotland to found an Associate Presbytery. Erskine began to admit women in 1894 and officially became coeducational in 1899. In 1927, it merged with Women's College of Due West, founded in 1859. In 1929, Bryson College closed and merged with Erskine College.
The college adopted a mission statement in May 1991: "Erskine exists to prepare persons for responsible living, service, and ministry, in both Church and society. As a community devoted to Christian commitment and excellence in learning, Erskine accomplishes its mission through undergraduate liberal arts and graduate theological education."
In 1995, the college banned alcohol from the campus and later implemented changes which require all students under the age of 21 to reside in on-campus housing, unless proof of residence with a blood relative was provided. As of 2011 the college has added new policies requiring all students regardless of age or reason to live in on-campus housing. This is mainly seen as a move by the college to combat off-campus drinking.
In 1999, Rev. John Carson became president of the college. Upon his installation he noted: "I do not intend to add anything new, not one new straw on the backs of faculty or staff or students," Carson said. "But I do intend to be consistent in making this vision a reality. Erskine College will be, by God's grace, what it has been called to be—a Christian liberal arts college open to all students." Dr. Randall T. Ruble was voted in as the President of Erskine College and Seminary on October 26, 2006. He was inaugurated April 10, 2007.
In April 2011, David A. Norman was inaugurated into the office of President.
Student to faculty ratio is 13:1.
On December 20, 2012, Erskine College was placed on warning by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Erksine College teams participate as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division II. The Flying Fleet are a member of the Conference Carolinas. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis and volleyball; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball.