The vision for Champion Christian College was birthed in the minds both of Pastor Eric Capaci and of the congregation of Gospel Light Baptist Church, which he founded in 1992. In the fall of 2005, the vision became a reality as Champion Christian College was begun with 104 students and twenty-four faculty members. Most of the students came from other states and from Independent Baptist churches.
The campus for both the church and college consisted of approximately fourteen acres in the heart of Hot Springs, Arkansas. Gospel Light’s support of Champion was strong, and during the very first year a two-hundred-bed, state-of-the-art dormitory was built on the property. Within four years, it was filled with vibrant students. Although the college experienced exponential growth, it was limited to the context of the Independent Baptist churches.
As Champion grew, the programs of studies increased. Champion offered the following four-year baccalaureate degrees: pastoral studies, youth ministry, music ministry, missions, secondary education, and elementary education. An Associates Degree in church secretarial studies was also an option. In 2010, following a serious study of the mission of the college and the educational needs of students, the Board determined to launch the pursuit of accreditation. There was at the same time a shift in the ministry philosophy of Gospel Light, and Champion determined that it would extend its scope of ministry to a broader group of Bible-based churches. These sudden changes were not embraced by several of the supporting churches and resulted in a decline in enrollment of more than one hundred students over the next four years.
In the past year of 2015, Champion determined to strengthen its educational programs, to improve its response to student educational needs, and to take the first steps in the pursuit of accreditation.
With the support and goodwill of several local pastors and business professional persons, the College became an independent non-profit corporation, changed its name to Champion Christian College, elected a board of Directors, and reinstated Dr. Francis Grubbs as Provost. Dr. Grubbs, former president of CCC, has provided leadership to several colleges pursuing accreditation as president or consultant.
CCC is moving forward with accreditation. The board, the president and officers, and the faculty and staff are engaged in taking steps to see accreditation completed.
It is a bold venture and challenge in a very calamitous time, but as we observe the erosion of the foundation of our nation and culture, we believe our God is calling out a people to be trained and prepared to complete His mission in a post-Christian era. Champion Christian College is dedicated to thus educating and training church leaders, missionaries, lay vocational persons, and even martyrs for the glory of God, to extend His kingdom, and to perform His will on earth, as it is in heaven.