Great Lakes Christian College History

Over a generation ago, men and women of God were deeply concerned with the lack of vitality and the shrinking numbers of Christian Churches/Churches of Christ in Michigan. Their concern led to plans for founding Great Lakes Bible College, which came into being in 1949 at Rock Lake, near Vestaburg, Michigan.

Great Lakes Christian College: We Started in a Log Cabin

Great Lakes Christian College History

Twelve students were enrolled during the first year and their classes convened in the log cabin of Ralph R. Woodard, the first President of the College. In 1951, the young College purchased a nearby eighty-acre farm and converted it into the first campus. Recognizing the advantages of a more urban location, the Trustees decided to move to the capital city, Lansing, in 1958.

The College occupied the Dodge Mansion for fourteen years. In 1970, the College purchased a forty-acre site on the west edge of Lansing, and the first buildings were constructed for use in 1972. Additional land was later added, and facilities have been constructed as needed.

In 1992, the College name was changed to Great Lakes Christian College. In 2003, the College received accreditation with The Higher Learning Commission, a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

In 2017-2018, the College successfully completed assurance argument evaluations for re-accreditation with The Higher Learning Commission.

GLCC Builds the Doty Center


Great Lakes Christian College 


The Doty Center was built in 2007. This facility is designed to accommodate large events and athletic contests. This multi-purpose gymnasium is named after the late Dr. Brant Lee Doty, who was a professor, dean, and chancellor of Great Lakes Christian College. This building will continue his legacy of service to students and constituents in the Lansing area and beyond.

The newest construction is the Knowles Learning Center. The first phase (the faculty office suite) is completed. The Knowles Learning Center is a facility that provides opportunity for the College to expand the capacity of learning for past, current, and future students. The impact of GLCC is felt far and wide.

GLCC Alumni

Our alumni can be found in 40 of the United States and in many foreign countries. The Michigan churches, in particular, are impacted by our graduates who serve as preachers, youth ministers, music ministers, and Christian education directors. Since 1949, the College continues to be true to her mission of training students to be servant leaders in the church and world.

Our Mission

Great Lakes Christian College, an institution of higher education affiliated with Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, seeks to glorify God by preparing students to be servant-leaders in the church and world.

Our Purpose Statement

Since our students will be serving primarily in church-related, congregational contexts, our primary task is to educate men and women to be servant-leaders in preaching and other ministry roles. Secondarily, the College educates students to be servant-leaders in careers related to the church (e.g. para-church organizations such as Christian schools) or institutions in the public sector. In both instances, preparing students to be servant-leaders is central to the College’s founding character, history, curriculum, and campus ethos.

As a Christian academic community, Great Lakes Christian College integrates Biblical studies into every aspect of its curriculum and community life. The faculty, staff, and administration of Great Lakes Christian College regard the Scriptures as the revealed, inspired, and infallible Word of God. The Scriptures find their place not only in the classroom, but throughout the campus community, especially in student life and service.

Secure Your Future with GLCC 

Looking for a college that will ensure your future? See the difference Great Lakes Christian College can make by calling 1-800-YES-GLCC or scheduling a personal visit.

Better yet, apply today and get started on your future!

Apply Today!

This article was originally published in 2018 and has been recently updated.

By Mike Harrison | June 21st, 2021 |