Tabor College, named after Mt. Tabor, where it is believed the transfiguration of Jesus took place, has impacted the lives of thousands of people for over a century. Established in 1908 by the Mennonite Brethren and Krimmer Mennonite Brethren denominations, Tabor opened its doors with 39 students and three instructors. Before the end of the school year, enrollment sky-rocketed to 104 students and seven faculty.
Sadly, in 1918 a fire destroyed the building that housed the college for its first 10 years. But supporters of Tabor banded together and built two new buildings in two years’ time: a dormitory/dining hall and an administration/ classroom building finished in 1920 and still used today. That structure is the H.W. Lohrenz Building, named after Tabor’s first president.
From its beginning, Tabor College has offered a broad Christ-centered liberal arts education preparing students for employment and training church workers. The first two school terms in 1908-1909 included natural sciences, mathematics, English language and literature, ancient languages, history, Bible and biblical history, business, vocal music and organ, and German reading and grammar. Painting and drawing were added the following year.
While Tabor has continued to be affiliated with the Mennonite Brethren Church, changes have been made organizationally over time. The Tabor College School Association, later known as the Tabor College Corporation, owned and operated the college until 1934 when ownership was transferred to the Board of Trustees of the Conference of the Mennonite Brethren Church of North America. Tabor currently operates under its own charter. Our Tabor College Board of Directors is responsible to the Mennonite Brethren churches of the Central, Southern, Latin America and Eastern districts.
In the course of Tabor’s history, the Hillsboro campus has offered an associate of arts degree, a bachelor of arts degree, a master’s degree in education, and a graduate degree in theology. Additionally, the College offers graduate and online programs.
As a college that is owned and operated by the Mennonite Brethren Church, Tabor accepts and seeks to follow the Confession of Faith of the General Conference of Mennonite Brethren, which was adopted in 1975 and its subsequent revisions. Mennonite Brethren doctrines are in agreement with those of most evangelical Christians.