Evangel University
Former name
Evangel College (1955–1998)
Motto"Your Calling. Our Passion."
TypePrivate university
Established1955; 69 years ago (1955)
Religious affiliation
Assemblies of God
PresidentMike Rakes
Academic staff

37°13′15″N 93°15′49″W / 37.22096°N 93.26367°W / 37.22096; -93.26367
Campus80 acres (32.4 ha)[2]
ColorsMaroon and gray[3]
Sporting affiliations

Evangel University is a private Christian university and seminary in Springfield, Missouri. It is affiliated with the Assemblies of God Christian denomination, which is also headquartered in Springfield. The campus sits on 80 acres (32 hectares) that were originally part of O'Reilly General Hospital.[4]


Evangel College (later University) was founded by the General Council of the Assemblies of God on September 1, 1955, as the first national Pentecostal school of arts and sciences.[5] The denomination, led at the time by the Rev. Ralph Riggs, already had several Bible schools, and wanted a college where students entering secular fields could study in a Pentecostal, faith-based environment.[6] The college was established on the property of the former O'Reilly General Hospital, which had been established during World War II by the U.S. Army.[7] In its five-year history as an Army hospital, O'Reilly served more than 100,000 patients.[7] After the war, it briefly served as a veteran's hospital before the Army declared it excess property. The property was acquired by the Assemblies of God in December 1954 for the use of Evangel College. [8] The first day of classes at Evangel was September 1, 1955. There were 87 students.[6] Evangel students lived and went to classes in the O'Reilly barracks for years. The first permanent structure built on campus was the Klaude Kendrick Library in 1963. In the decades since, Evangel has slowly replaced the barracks with permanent structures. The last Army barrack on campus was demolished in 2009.[9]


In 2010, the Assemblies of God began an effort to consolidate Evangel University with Central Bible College and Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.[10] All three institutions were owned by the Assemblies of God and located in Springfield, Missouri. A resolution for consolidation was passed at the Assembly of God's 2011 General Council in Phoenix, Arizona, following which efforts began to make a formal proposal to the Higher Learning Commission.[10]

The consolidation was approved by the Higher Learning Commission in April 2013, making way for the official launch of the "new" Evangel University in August 2013. With the Higher Learning Commission's approval, the Assemblies of God also announced that Carol Taylor, president of Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, CA, had been named to lead the consolidated university.[11] Taylor is an alumnus of Evangel University and the Assembly of God Theological Seminary.[11] Mike Rakes[12] became president of Evangel University in 2021.


Academic departments include Business, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Communication, Education, Humanities, Kinesiology, Music, Natural and Applied Sciences, and Theology and Church Ministries. In addition Evangel offers graduate degrees in Social Sciences, Kinesiology, and Education along with master's and doctoral degrees through Evangel's embedded seminary, the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. This makes the total number of programs available 42 associate programs, 378 bachelors programs, 104 masters programs and 20 doctorates.[13]

Evangel's School of Theology and Church Ministries was launched in 2013 to prepare students for vocational ministry. The new school was created with the 2013 consolidation of Evangel, Central Bible College, and Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. The three departments within the school are Bible & Theology, Church Ministries, and Intercultural Studies.[14]


Evangel University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission,[15] whose predecessor the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools first accredited Evangel in 1965.

Evangel also has the following specialized/programmatic accreditations:[16]

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issues teaching certificates to graduates who successfully complete the Teacher Education program.

Student life

Approximately 2,350 students attend Evangel University from all 50 U.S. states and 20 countries.[17] The university's gender distribution is 55% female and 45% male.[18] There are more than 50 student clubs and organizations at Evangel. Each year more than 80% of Evangel students are involved in at least one campus activity outside of athletics and music. Evangel is primarily a residential campus, with most students living in one of six residence halls: Spence Hall, Walther Hall, Scott Hall, Krause Hall, Burgess Hall or Lewis Hall. The Perkin Apartments are available for married student housing.


The Evangel athletic teams are called the Valor. The named was changed from the Crusaders in 2021.[19][20] The university is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) from the 1987–88 academic year through the spring of 2023. In February 2022, Evangel accepted an invitation to join in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) for all sports, effective beginning the 2023–24 academic year.[21]

Evangel competes in 17 intercollegiate varsity sports: Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball; and co-ed sports include cheerleading.[22]

Club sports

The university offers club sports such as bass fishing, beach volleyball, bowling, crossfit and disc golf.[23]


Notable alumni

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  1. ^ "About".
  2. ^ a b c "College Navigator - Evangel University".
  3. ^ Evangel Valor Brand Guide (PDF). Retrieved August 29, 2022.
  4. ^ "EU Klaude Kendrick Library". Retrieved 27 March 2009.
  5. ^ "Evangel University History". Retrieved August 17, 2023.
  6. ^ a b "History". Evangel University. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  7. ^ a b Glenn, Michael. "O'Reilly General Hospital of Springfield, Missouri". The Springfield-Greene County Library. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  8. ^ Glenn, Michael. "About O'Reilly: A Brief Introduction". O'Reilly General Hospital of Springfield, Missouri. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  9. ^ "History Video". Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Assemblies of God Consolidation Update". Assemblies of God. Archived from the original on 23 January 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  11. ^ a b "Evangel Consolidation Approved". SBJ Business Authority. SBJ Staff. 16 April 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  12. ^ "New President". Evangel University. Retrieved 2022-06-23.
  13. ^ "College Navigator". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  14. ^ "Theology and Church Ministries". www.evangel.edu. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  15. ^ "Higher Learning Commission". hlcommission.org. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  16. ^ "Evangel University Accreditation". 20 February 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  17. ^ "Evangel University | the Assemblies of God university of arts, sciences and professions". Archived from the original on 2009-11-30. Retrieved 2009-11-24.
  18. ^ "Evangel University Report". U. S. News & World Report. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  19. ^ Redden, Elizabeth (March 31, 2021). "Evangel Drops Crusader Mascot". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  20. ^ Wheeler, Wyatt D. (September 22, 2021). "Evangel University becomes Valor after dropping Crusaders mascot". Springfield News-Leader. Springfield, Missouri. Retrieved August 17, 2023.
  21. ^ "KCAC to Add Evangel University as 14th Member Institution in 2023". Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. February 10, 2022. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
  22. ^ "Evangel Athletics". Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  23. ^ Evangel University
  24. ^ "Ashcroft Center". Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  25. ^ "Baseball Complex". Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  26. ^ "Coryell Field". Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  27. ^ "Softball Complex". Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  28. ^ "Tiger Stadium". Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  29. ^ "Fieldhouse". Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  30. ^ "Rivercut Golf Course". Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  31. ^ "Bill and Payne Stesart Golf Course". Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  32. ^ Silliman, Daniel (2022-01-12). "Died: George O. Wood, Who Led the Assemblies of God into Growth". News & Reporting. Retrieved 2024-04-22.

Further reading