Tabor College has impacted the lives of thousands of people for over a century. Established in 1908 by those of the Mennonite Brethren and Krimmer Mennonite Brethren denominations, Tabor’s doors were first opened with 39 students and three instructors. Before the end of the school year, enrollment sky-rocketed to 104 students and faculty increased to seven.
Sadly, 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. These buildings – the Mary J. Regier Building and the H.W. Lohrenz Building – were finished in 1920 and are still in use today.
From its beginning, Tabor College has offered a broad liberal arts curriculum with a strong Christian foundation. 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, 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 North Carolina 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.
Tabor College’s School of Adult and Graduate Studies, an extension of the main school, opened offices in 1993 in Wichita, Kan., with the first classes beginning the following year. Associates, undergraduate and graduate degrees have all been and are still offered there. Initially, AGS offered undergraduate degrees in management and organizational development, business, Christian ministries and nursing, plus a graduate degree in business administration.
In 2007, the Hillsboro campus started offering online instruction. The nursing program, which began in 2002, became the first online degree offered at Tabor in 2009. In fall 2014, AGS launched a master’s in business administration and a master’s in entrepreneurial ministry leadership as two completely online degrees. Currently all online courses are based out of Wichita.
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. Following are some of the important beliefs in the Mennonite Brethren Confession of Faith:
The God of the Bible is the one true God. He has existed for all-time and is the Creator of everything.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God and is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit. The life and teachings of Jesus provide direction for Christian living. Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension provide the means by which we come to God. By making a conscious, personal commitment to Christ as Savior and Lord, humans find forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
When Jesus ascended, He promised that God, the Holy Spirit, would come to convict persons of sin, be their guide and teacher and empower them for faithful discipleship. The Holy Spirit is present in all believers.
The Bible is inspired by God and is the infallible and authoritative guide for the life of Christian discipleship.
Being Christ’s disciple means moving past the initial commitment to Him to careful obedience to Him, recognizing Him as Lord, loving others as well as loving God and seeking to bring others into faithful discipleship.
God created humans in His own image, but with the ability to do evil as well as good. Because of the sacredness of human life, procedures and actions, which terminate human life, violate God’s plan.
Faithful Christians actively pursue peace and reconciliation in all relationships by following Christ’s example and His command to love God, neighbors and even enemies. We strive to be peacemakers and agents of reconciliation in families, churches and communities, in our nation and throughout the world. As peacemakers, we strive to alleviate suffering, reduce strife, promote justice and work to end violence and war, so that others may see a demonstration of Christ’s love.
The Church consists of all true followers of Christ. The Church is a community in which its members faithfully interpret God’s voice and where we are accountable to one another for faithful Christian living and for the life of the Church.