Greensboro Bible and Training School started in Greensboro, NC, in the fall of 1903, as a result of an area revival held by Rev. Seth Rees and Rev. Charles Weigle.
The school closed abruptly after spring semester in 1931 due to insurmountable financial difficulties.
Some board members and supporters, however, still believed in the need for Bible-based education in the area and pursued reopening the school. They met several times with Jim Green, a well-known evangelist.
Following an all-night prayer service, the group decided to reopen the school on January 15, 1932, in the same facilities with many of the same teachers and students. This time, it was called People’s Bible School.
Even though Laurel University’s charter reads “1932,” its beginnings stretch back to the turn of the century with a Board of Trustees always committed to an independent, evangelical, interdenominational school where God’s Word was preeminent.
Growth and change always accompanied this constant commitment to Christian education. The school grew by building a campus in the Grove Park area of Greensboro. In 1980, the campus moved to to its current location in High Point, thanks to property donated by local businessman Edwin H. Shufelt.
The school changed its name in 1949 to People’s Bible College, then later to John Wesley College and finally, to Laurel University in 2011.
From its inception, Laurel University was exempted from state licensure due to its major focus on religious training. Recently, the state reexamined this exemption when the school added two management programs. In 2010, Laurel University became the first Bible College in the state of North Carolina to have some of its programs achieve state licensure.
Laurel University received initial accreditation in 1982 from the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) and presently maintains this accreditation.
In 1994, it received an award from Christianity Today magazine for the largest enrollment growth within ABHE. In 2010, 2011 and 2012, Laurel University won the Evangelical Training Association (ETA) Jonathan N. Thigpen Enrollment Growth Award.
Now, over a century after starting practical Bible education and more than seventy five years after its new charter, Laurel University continues with a vibrant student body, a dedicated Christian staff, and a modern campus.