|Chili Seminary, A.M. Chesbrough Seminary, Roberts Junior College|
|Motto||Education for Character |
|Free Methodist Church|
|Endowment||$33.9 million (2020)|
|Athletics||Division II – NCAA – ECC|
|Mascot||Reggie the Redhawk|
Roberts Wesleyan College is a private Christian liberal arts college in Rochester, New York. It was the first educational institution established for Free Methodists in North America. Roberts is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, is a member of the Association of Colleges and Universities of the State of New York, the Rochester Area Colleges, the Association of Free Methodist Educational Institutions, the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).
Northeastern Seminary (NES) is a graduate school of theology located on the campus of Roberts Wesleyan College. Northeastern has been fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada since 2003. It is also accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and approved by the New York State Board of Regents University of the State of New York.
Roberts Wesleyan College was originally established as Chili Seminary by Benjamin Titus Roberts in 1866. Roberts was a social activist who opposed slavery and oppression of the poor, and was a supporter of women's right to vote. He began the school to train young people to become servant leaders with high moral character. Having first used a local tavern as a school, in 1869 a three story brick building was erected. There were 56 students total that year.
In 1885, its name changed to Chesbrough Seminary in response to the $30,000 gift of benefactor A.M. Chesbrough.
In the fall of 1892 both Cox Hall and Roberts Hall were completed. Cox Hall was used as both class rooms and administration. Students laid a sidewalk between Cox and Roberts Hall in 1929.
Carpenter Hall was opened in 1935. It was named for Miss Adella P. Carpenter who had taught at the school from 1877 to 1916.
In 1945, it was renamed Roberts Junior College in honor of B.T. Roberts, the founder of both the college and the Free Methodist Church. Four years later, it was renamed as Roberts Wesleyan College to indicate the transition to a four-year baccalaureate institution and to root itself clearly within the Wesleyan theological tradition.
In 1998, Roberts Wesleyan College established Northeastern Seminary as its graduate school of theology.
Roberts Wesleyan College has undergraduate (60+), graduate (13) and adult degree-completion (5) programs. The college also has a doctoral program in Clinical & School Psychology. At Northeastern Seminary, students can complete a Master of Arts in Theology, Master of Divinity, Doctor of Ministry degree, and several certificate programs.
Roberts has 16 NCAA DII teams. The College is a dual member of two national athletics associations: the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). The Redhawks are currently competing as members of the East Coast Conference (ECC); they formerly competed as members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the American Mideast Conference. Roberts offers the following varsity sports: Basketball (men and women), Cross-country (men and women), Lacrosse (men and women), Soccer (men and women), Indoor track and field (men and women), Outdoor track and field (men and women), Swimming (men and women), women’s Volleyball, and women's Bowling.
In July 2011, the college was accepted into the NCAA Division II reclassification process from the NAIA to NCAA. Roberts became a full member of NCAA Division II for the 2014–15 academic year. Roberts Wesleyan College is the first NCAA Division II school in the Greater Rochester Region.