School History

On May 5, 1966, Harry W. Branding, superintendent of the Missouri District of the United Pentecostal Church International, appointed a committee to explore the possibility of a Bible college in the St. Louis area. This committee consisted of Guy E. Roam, W. C. Parkey, W. I. Black, Roy E. Gerald, and Oliver Spencer. On July 13, 1966, this committee recommended to the Missouri District that a college be started, and the Missouri District passed a resolution creating the college.

The General Conference of the UPCI endorsed the college on October 24, 1966. In January 1967, bylaws and guidelines for the college were chosen and the name “Gateway College of Evangelism” was accepted by the Missouri District. W. C. Parkey was chosen as the first president, and a site for the college was purchased at 3155 Charbonier Road near Florissant, Missouri. Gateway College of Evangelism formally opened on September 13, 1968. In 1971, a new campus was purchased at 700 Howdershell Road in Florissant. These facilities had formerly been the St. Stanislaus Seminary, the oldest college campus west of the Mississippi River.

After forty years on the Howdershell Road campus, the college underwent another significant change as President Darrell Johns led it through a transition to UPCI ownership. On October 11, 2011, the UPCI General Board approved a plan for Urshan Graduate School of Theology to acquire Gateway College of Evangelism and start a new undergraduate Christian college offering a variety of majors with the goal of achieving accreditation. After many months of collaboration between the boards, administration, faculty, and staff of both institutions, the transition from Gateway College of Evangelism to Urshan College was completed on July 1, 2012. Urshan College is operated jointly with Urshan Graduate School of Theology under the governance of the Urshan Board of Directors and President David K. Bernard.


Urshan College’s welcoming 22-acre campus is situated in Florissant, a northern suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. The historic nature of the Urshan campus provides students with a distinctly academic environment to pursue their education. With buildings dating back to the 1840s, the Urshan campus is an iconic landmark in the story of Christianity in the Midwest. Just stepping onto most college campuses can be daunting due to their immense size and student body, however at Urshan College we pride ourselves on the close-knit family atmosphere that is present on our campus.

Our proximity to the bustling metropolis of St. Louis affords students access to world–renowned museums and attractions, diverse musical inspirations, and historical destinations. From the Delmar Loop to Old St. Charles, from food to the arts, diversity abounds in St. Louis. St. Louis is also home to historic Forest Park, the site of the 1904 World’s Fair. Forest Park plays host to several attractions, including the St. Louis Zoo, the Missouri History Museum, and the St. Louis Art Museum. St. Louis is full of opportunities to experience education, entertainment, and exploration like no other place in the Midwest.

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