Who is JBU Named After

JBU's Mission, History and Heart

There's always been some confusion about our name with people wondering if we are named after John Brown the abolitionist. 

With the debut of the new mini-series about the abolitionist, The Good Lord Bird starring Ethan Hawke, we anticipate we might get even more questions in the coming weeks.

The short answer is no, we are not named after that John Brown.

John Brown University is named after our founder John E. Brown who was an evangelist. Brought to Christ at a Salvation Army service, John E. Brown was a full-time evangelist for many years. During that time he began to dream of a college that would provide educational opportunities for young men and women of any means.

In September 1919, on his own land, Southwestern Collegiate Institute was started. Later the name was changed to John E. Brown College and then later to John Brown University.

The complete history of JBU is told in our interactive timeline and in the recently published "Christ Over All: A History of John Brown University."

Today John Brown University is a leading private Christian university, training students to honor God and serve others since 1919. Arkansas’ top-ranked regional university (U.S. News Best Colleges, 2021), JBU enrolls more than 2,200 students from 37 states and 48 countries in its traditional undergraduate, graduate, online and concurrent education programs. JBU offers more than 40 undergraduate majors, with top programs including nursing, psychology, kinesiology, engineering, biology, family and human services, and graphic design. Eighteen graduate programs are available in the areas of business, counseling, cybersecurity, education and higher education.