California Baptist University
Former names
California Baptist College (1950–1998)
MottoLive Your Purpose
TypePrivate university
Established1950; 74 years ago (1950)
Religious affiliation
California Southern Baptist Convention
Endowment$119.1 million (2022)[1]
PresidentRonald L. Ellis
Students11,491 (Fall 2021)
Location, ,
United States

33°55′48″N 117°25′30″W / 33.93000°N 117.42500°W / 33.93000; -117.42500[2]
CampusSuburban, 160 acres (65 ha)
ColorsNavy blue and gold[3]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division I, Western Athletic Conference
Western Water Polo Association (men's water polo)
Golden Coast Conference (women's water polo)

California Baptist University (Cal Baptist or CBU) is a private Baptist Christian university in Riverside, California. Founded in 1950 as California Baptist College, it is affiliated with the California Southern Baptist Convention, an organization affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. CBU is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.


1950s through 1990s

Founded in 1950 as California Baptist College in El Monte, California by the Los Angeles Southern Baptist Association, the new college enrolled 120 students during its first year under the leadership of the first president, P. Boyd Smith.[4] In 1953, the college moved under the wing of the California Southern Baptist Convention, the same year that the first edition of the Angelos, the college yearbook, was published. In 1954, the college received its charter from the state of California.[citation needed]

Soon, the college outgrew its facilities, and, in 1955, moved its campus to the then-rural city of Riverside, California.[5] The school's new 75.6-acre campus was already equipped with constructed buildings that could be used for offices, classrooms, and living areas.[citation needed] What is now known as the Annie Gabriel Library, was the first to be built in 1921. In 1927, the original administration building was constructed whereas the W.E. James Building was built in 1934.[citation needed] The building which now houses the ceramics studio and boiler was constructed in 1938. In 1958, the college named its second president, Lloyd Simmons.[citation needed]

In September 1998, California Baptist College officially became California Baptist University.[6]

2000s through present day

The School of Music was established in 2002, and the Bonnie G. Metcalf School of Education following in 2003. The same year, the university complex, known as the Yeager Center, was opened housing classrooms, administration offices, the cafeteria, computer labs, and professors' offices.[7]

Student body composition as of May 2, 2022
Race and ethnicity[8] Total
Hispanic 38% 38
White 37% 37
Other[a] 10% 10
Black 6% 6
Asian 6% 6
Foreign national 2% 2
Native American 1% 1
Pacific Islander 1% 1
Economic diversity
Low-income[b] 43% 43
Affluent[c] 57% 57

In the fall of 2010, CBU added a College of Health Science and enrollment exceeded 4,700 students.[9]

On September 8, 2015, CBU offered its first doctoral degree, a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) through the School of Nursing.

The CBU Events Center opened in November 2017.[10] The following year, the CBU Dennis and Carol Troesh Engineering Building was opened.[11]

Expulsion of Domaine Javier

On August 30, 2011, California Baptist University expelled incoming nursing student Domaine Javier for being a transgender woman. CBU claimed she concealed her identity when applying to the school.[12] Before attending classes, Javier revealed her identity on MTV's True Life, after which CBU expelled her. As a result, Javier's attorneys filed a lawsuit against the school on the grounds of discrimination, citing California's Unruh Civil Rights Act. Javier also brought suit against the university for breach of contract.[13] Riverside County Superior Court Judge Gloria Connor Trask ruled on July 11, 2014 that as a transgender person, Javier's application violated the university's moral code and the school was within its rights to expel her. Trask, however, ruled the university should not have prohibited Javier from entering university businesses and services which were open to the public.[14] Because of California Baptist's decision to bar Javier from their campus businesses, Judge Trask ordered the school to pay her $4,000 in statutory damages in addition to attorney's fees.[15]


Annie Gabriel Library

The Annie Gabriel Library is named in honor of Miss Annie Gabriel, whose gifts enabled the initial development of the collection.[citation needed]


In 2004, CBU was recognized in a November 2004 article in the American School and University magazine, which recognizes education design excellence, for the construction of the Yeager Center, by Kroh/Broeske Architects in Riverside. The university also won honors from the city of Riverside.[citation needed]


Main article: California Baptist Lancers

The California Baptist (Cal Baptist) athletic teams are called the Lancers. The university is a member of the Division I level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), primarily competing in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) for most of its sports since the 2018–19 academic year;[16][17][18] while the men's water polo team competes in the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA); and the women's water polo team competes in the Golden Coast Conference (GCC). The Lancers previously competed in the Pacific West Conference (PacWest) of the NCAA Division II ranks from 2011–12 to 2017–18; and in the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) from 1987–88 to 2010–11.

Cal Baptist competes in 21 intercollegiate varsity sports:[19] Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming & diving, track (distance), water polo and wrestling; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, stunt, swimming & diving, track (distance), volleyball and water polo; and co-ed sports include cheerleading and dance.



This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (August 2023) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Incorporation, accreditations and memberships

California Baptist University is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. In March 2011, WASC awarded a 10-year accreditation reaffirmation to the university, the maximum accreditation period granted by WASC.[20]

In addition, CBU's various schools and colleges hold accreditations from and memberships with organizations related to their specific disciplines. These accreditations and memberships currently include:

The university is a member of the American Association of Higher Education, the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities, the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, and the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges.[citation needed]

CBU is affiliated with LECOM, the largest medical school in the United States, offering qualified students early acceptance to their medical, dental, and pharmacy schools.[24][25][26]

Notable alumni


  1. ^ Other consists of Multiracial Americans & those who prefer to not say.
  2. ^ The percentage of students who received an income-based federal Pell grant intended for low-income students.
  3. ^ The percentage of students who are a part of the American middle class at the bare minimum.


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2022. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2022 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY21 to FY22 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 17, 2023. Retrieved February 17, 2023.
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: California Baptist University
  3. ^ CBU Athletics Updated Branding Guide (PDF). July 22, 2022. Retrieved December 22, 2022.
  4. ^ Randall Herbert Balmer, Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism: Revised and expanded edition, Baylor University Press, USA, 2004, p. 120
  5. ^ Thomas C. Hunt, James C. Carper, Religious Higher Education in the United States: A Source Book, Taylor & Francis, Abingdon-on-Thames, 1996, p. 358
  6. ^ Praeger, American Universities and Colleges, 19th Edition [2 Volumes]: Nineteenth Edition, ABC-CLIO, USA, 2010, p. 88
  7. ^ "California Baptist University & La Sierra University". 951 Magazine. July 23, 2005. Archived from the original on October 9, 2007. Retrieved January 30, 2008.
  8. ^ "College Scorecard: California Baptist University". United States Department of Education. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  9. ^ September 27, 2010 "CBU Fall enrollment posts new record, historic one-year" from university website Archived September 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "New Cal Baptist University arena in Riverside impresses on opening day". Press Enterprise. November 11, 2017. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  11. ^ "CBU dedicates new building for College of Engineering". California Baptist University. July 26, 2018. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  12. ^ "Transgender Student Says School Kicked Her Out For Being A Him - CBS Los Angeles". October 31, 2011. Retrieved February 6, 2024.
  13. ^ "Transgender Student Sues University That Expelled Her for 'Fraud'". February 27, 2013.
  14. ^ "Expelled transgender student gets partial win". July 15, 2014.
  15. ^ Journal, A. B. A. "Transgender student and Baptist college both claim victory in lawsuit over expulsion". ABA Journal.
  16. ^ "CBU Rejoins NCCAA". California Baptist University. It transitioned to Division I in 2018-2019. March 25, 2011. Retrieved June 4, 2011.
  17. ^ "CBU Announces D1, WAC Move". CBU Athletics.
  18. ^ "A visual look at 2020-21 NCAA championships |". Retrieved July 31, 2021.
  19. ^ "Lancers to join PacWest". California Baptist University. October 15, 2010. Retrieved June 4, 2011.
  20. ^ California Baptist University. "CBU earns first-ever 10-year accreditation reaffirmation". CBU Website. CBU. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  21. ^ Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education Archived May 21, 2011, at the Wayback Machine (CAATE)
  22. ^ "ABET -". Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  23. ^ "Applicants | Council on Education for Public Health". Archived from the original on June 16, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  24. ^ "CBU Inks Agreement With Nation?S Largest Medical School". Archived from the original on October 27, 2020.
  25. ^ "Early Acceptance Program". LECOM. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  26. ^ "LECOM Affiliated Colleges and Universities" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on December 2, 2021.
  27. ^ "Charlie Rose - Rick Warren". Archived from the original on June 6, 2009. Retrieved August 1, 2009.
  28. ^ "All Together Separate Lyrics". Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  29. ^ "Bio". Archived from the original (PDF) on August 2, 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  30. ^ " is available at". is available at