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Montreat College

Though it has locations in populous cities like Charlotte and Asheville, Montreat College�s main campus is situated in the small town of Montreat. The scenic, isolated campus is the perfect place for a Christian liberal arts college like Montreat. Not only does it add outdoor exploration to student life, it also encourages a tightly knit campus where students can grow in faith.


310 Gaither Circle


Total Undergrad enrollment
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Out State Tuition Fees
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Additional Information

College Type
Religious Affiliation
Presbyterian Church
Campus Housing
Mission Statement
Christ-Centered, Student-Focused, Service-Driven: Equipping agents of transformation, renewal, and reconciliation.
Cavaliers/Lady Cavaliers
Navy Blue And Vegas Gold

College History


In 1897 a Congregationalist minister named John C. Collins from New Haven, Connecticut, joined with a number of likeminded associates from other denominations, including evangelist Weston R. Gales, to form the Mountain Retreat Association. �The corporation was not owned by one denomination but it was interdenominational in its makeup without church connection or control. The original Montreat idea has changed, grown and developed into what now is. Its name was derived from the words �Mountain Retreat.�� The purpose of the original organization was stated in its charter as follows: ��to establish and maintain in the mountain section of North Carolina, a municipality containing assembly grounds for the encouragement of Christian work and living through Christian convention, public worship, missionary work, schools, libraries, orphan homes, manual and trades training and other operations auxiliary and incidental thereto; also a community and health resort with places for dwellings, permanently and temporarily, for health, rest, recreation, Christian work and fellowship, together with whatever may be connected therewith, directly or incidentally.� Today the name �Montreat� is used for at least three different entities including Montreat College. The original Mountain Retreat Association still exists, but was transformed into a Presbyterian conference center less than ten years after its creation when J. R. Howerton of Charlotte, North Carolina, conceived and carried out the idea of purchasing Montreat for the Presbyterian Church in the United States (also known informally as the Southern Presbyterian Church). In 1913, Dr. Robert C. Anderson, then president of the Mountain Retreat Association, proposed that the grounds and facilities of the Association be used for a school during the academic year. In 1915, an Ad Interim Committee of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, U.S. reported: �1. We have made a careful examination of the Montreat property, and believe that it could be made suitable for school purposes by installing heating facilities and adding up-to-date school equipment. In this way provision could easily be made for 350 to 400 pupils. 2. We have carefully considered the various schools within the bounds of our General Assembly and under the control of the various Synods and Presbyteries, and we believe that one need of our ecclesiastical school system is a Christian Normal School for Teachers. We believe that Montreat is well located and adapted for a school of this nature.� Having been granted a charter by the State of North Carolina in January 1917, the minutes of the Mountain Retreat Association �Managing Committee� dated July 13, 1917 voted �The Mountain Retreat Association hereby offers to the Board of Trustees of the Montreat Normal School so much of their buildings grounds and equipment as may be needed for school purposes for eight months during the year, it being understood that the Montreat Normal School shall pay for water, lights, insurance and ordinary repairs to the property for the time covered.� In this way the predecessor to Montreat College was created as a part of the Mountain Retreat Association to make year-round use of the facilities previously used only for summer conferences. But from the beginning �the accounts of the Mountain Retreat Association and Montreat College were kept separate. No money was ever transferred from one to the other.� The Town of Montreat came into being in 1967 after the Mountain Retreat Association found it increasingly burdensome to maintain the roads and the water and sewer systems of the retreat center. The Board of Directors voluntarily agreed to surrender �all municipal powers and functions and permit Montreat to be governed by the laws of Buncombe County and the State of North Carolina.� One of the school�s benefactors over the years has been local resident Billy Graham, whose wife Ruth Bell Graham was actively involved with students for many years. During a time when the school�s identity was being defined, Dr. Graham gave a total of $150,000 over a period of three years. In 1962 Rev. Calvin Thielman who had been living in Montreat for some time as a Special Assistant to Billy Graham was called as Pastor of the Montreat Presbyterian Church and at the same time served as the first chaplain to students at Montreat-Anderson College. He held both of these jobs until 1992 when Ed Bonner was called as college chaplain, while Thielman continued as Pastor of the Church until his retirement in 1995. In the 1975 the college and the Mountain Retreat Association conference center formed two separate organizations with Dr. Vaughn as College President and Mr. Monroe Ashley, a Baptist minister who had done extensive work in camp and conference ministry, as the President of the Mountain Retreat Association

College Specialty


The Mission of Montreat College is to be: �Christ-centered, Student-focused, Service-driven: Equipping agents of transformation, renewal, and reconciliation.�



Sammy Stewart was a member of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team that won the World Series in 1983