Judson University is an evangelical Christian liberal arts university located in Elgin, Illinois, United States. It was founded in 1963. Judson was formed out of the liberal arts component of Northern Baptist Theological Seminary. When the seminary moved from Chicago to Lombard, Illinois, it was decided to make the college separate from the seminary. Originally as Judson College, it was named after Adoniram Judson, the first American Baptist missionary to foreign shores. The university has campuses in Elgin and Rockford, Illinois, and a student body of approximately 1,300. Judson College became Judson University on August 28, 2007.
Judson University has more than 60 undergraduate majors, minors and pre-professional programs and is currently the only evangelical Christian college or university to offer a fully accredited graduate program in architecture. Some of those programs as followed.
Judson University is the only private Christian university that has an accredited school of architecture in the United States and is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The Master of Architecture degree is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). The Master of Education program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Judson is ranked in the Top Tier of Midwest comprehensive colleges in U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges 2010."
Judson University offers a wide array of programs and extra curricular activities in fine arts, including degrees in art and design, music, and concentrations in theater.
The Draewell Gallery, housed in the Harm A. Weber Academic Center, hosts student work as well as exhibits from artists across the country and around the world. The School of Art, Design and Architecture features a Lecture and Exhibition Series each fall and spring semester. Invited artists tend to show 3-5 times a semester along with 1-3 student shows mainly for senior exhibition.
The Judson University Theater Program, directed by faculty members Dr. Brenda Buckley-Hughes, Professor Kimberly Schmidt, and alumnus Dave Hunter, offers a musical, traditional play and a Nowhere Near Broadway production each fall and spring semester. In recent years, the theater program has produced Shakespeare performances, and such plays as Steel Magnolias, Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and coming October 2011, Children of Eden." Off-Stage Improv is a student-led, school-approved group that performs once a month.
The Music Department at Judson University offers degrees in professional music performance, music education, music ministry, and most recently, music business and entrepreneurship. The university has a variety of performing musical groups including symphonic and orchestral bands, choral groups and ensembles.
Judson is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) as well as the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). The university competes in the NAIA Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC). Judson University teams, known as the Eagles; men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball.
Judson also offers a variety of summer sports camps open to the community. The camps are designed to give students (through grade 12) the opportunity to develop and enhance their skills in sports in a non-competitive environment. Summer camps offered at Judson include:
Judson Student Organization (JSO) plans and/or sponsors the majority of events and activities at Judson University. These events include:
JSO also recognizes other clubs formed on campus:
Fox River campus
Judson's 90-acre (36.4 ha) campus is located on the banks of the Fox River, about 45 miles (72 km) west of Chicago. The university campus was purchased in 1963, when Dr. Benjamin Browne visited the original 19-acre (7.69 ha) country estate, known as Braeburn-on-the-Fox, and offered the owner $100,000.
The Elgin campus is now host to 17 different buildings, among them the new Harm A. Weber Academic Center, established in 2007. The 88,000-square-foot (8,200 m2) Weber Center, which is home to the campus library and School of Art, Design and Architecture, is a LEED Gold certified building and one of the most energy-efficient buildings of its kind in North America.