HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT BABCOCK
BABCOCK UNIVERSITY (BU)—as it is now known—actually began on September 17, 1959 as Adventist College of West Africa (ACWA). Established by the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a senior college for training church workers from the West African sub-region, ACWA opened its doors with only seven ministerial students. By 1966, when it graduated the first set of Bachelor of Arts degree holders in its own name, enrolment included students taking Business Administration as potential accountants within and outside the Church; and two-year Pre-Nursing students in preparation to pursue a nursing career at the Church’s School of Nursing at Ile-Ife, Osun State. History was made in 1975 when ACWA became the first institution in Nigeria to sign and operate an affiliation agreement with Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, USA. This relationship enabled it to award Bachelor of Arts degrees from Andrews University in Biology, Business Administration, History, Religion and Secretarial Studies.
1975 was also the year ACWA was renamed Adventist Seminary of West Africa (ASWA) in response to the dynamics of its socio-political environment. In 1983, restricting local factors again necessitated the phasing out of the Bachelors programmes in Biology and Business Administration. In 1988, ASWA reached another academic milestone through an affiliation agreement with the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary of Andrews University, which authorized it to offer Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry. Master of Arts in Religion was added in 1990 and both programmes were operated during Summer sessions from 1997 to 2007. In order to attain national recognition for its status and programmes, an attempt to obtain a local affiliation with University of Ibadan, under the name “Babcock College” was initiated.
The process of affiliation with the University of Ibadan was still in progress when the Federal Government of Nigeria included Babcock University as one of the first three private universities in the country, announced on April 20, 1999. At a public ceremony presided over by the then Honourable Minister of Education, Mr. Sam Olaiya Oni, at the National Universities Commission (NUC), Abuja, on May 10, 1999, the Certificate of Registration No:002 was handed over to BU Pioneer Chancellor and Chairman of the University Council, Pastor Luka T. Daniel in his capacity as the President of the Africa-Indian Ocean Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Proprietors formally inaugurated the University on June 17, 1999.
The first batch of 1,006 students arrived on September 13, 1999 and their Matriculation Ceremony was presided over by the Visitor to the University, President of the General Conference and world leader of the Seventh-day Adventist Church from Washington, D.C, USA, Pastor/Professor Jan Paulsen, on January 28, 2000. The University commenced with three faculties (which later became Schools)—Faculty of Education and Humanities, Faculty of Management and Social Sciences, and Faculty of Science and Technology with eleven departments. The School of Law and Security Studies became the fourth School. The 7th graduation on June 07, 2009 marked the 50th Anniversary of the institution, and the 10th Anniversary of the university. The event attracted Federal and State dignitaries, as well as leaders from the World Headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Being a pioneer private University in Nigeria since 1999, Babcock has continued this legacy of upholding a cutting-edge excellence in education. Babcock now has a postgraduate school which took off in the third quarter of 2010 and a medical school which took off in January 2012.
Similarly, a deliberate expansion policy of our programmes to meet current market demands and maximum service delivery has resulted in departmental upgrades and addition of new programmes. The latest additions are the Music & Creative and Educational Foundations departments to School of Education & Humanities. Today, Babcock hosts the following schools:
- Benjamin Carson School of Medicine
- Computing and Engineering Sciences
- Education And Humanities
- Law And Security Studies
- Management Sciences
- School of Nursing Sciences
- Public and Allied Health
- Science And Technology
- Veronica Adeleke School of Social Sciences
- College Of Postgraduate Studies
As the pace-setter in private education delivery, Babcock has earned an award as the Best Private University in Africa. Indeed, Babcock is the leader in Nigeria in offering an education that inspires hope and transforms lives.
In keeping with biblical guidelines, the Sabbath begins at sunset on Friday and ends at sunset on Saturday. Babcock University community observes the Sabbath “according to the commandment” (i. e. Saturday, the day between the Good Friday of Christ’s crucifixion and the Easter Sunday of Christ’s resurrection). The University expects all employees on campus to demonstrate a spirit of understanding and reverence to God, and are welcome to participate in the worship experience throughout the Sabbath hours. In this regard, all offices and work activities end at 1.00 p.m. on Friday to enable all employees prepare for the Sabbath.
Adventist (SDA) Church, and registered under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to operate as a private University and, as such, does not receive any government grants. As a senior College, the first set of Bachelor of Arts degrees in Theology were awarded under its own name in 1966. ACWA made history in 1975 by becoming the premier institution to sign and operate an affiliation agreement with Andrews University, Berrien Springs Michigan, USA. This relationship enabled it to train students and award Bachelors degrees from Andrews University, primarily in Biology, Business Administration, Theology, and Religion with minors in Biblical Languages, Biology, Business Administration, History, Religion and Secretarial Studies. Also, in 1975, the name Adventist Seminary of West Africa (ASWA), was adopted in response to the dynamics of its socio-political environment.
The four B.A. programs were run until 1983 when restricting local factors necessitated the phasing out of the B.A. programs in Biology and Business Administration. In 1988, ASWA reached the second milestone in its academic history in an affiliation agreement with the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary of Andrews University which authorized the college to offer the M.A. in Pastoral Ministry (by extension). The M.A. Religion program was later added in 1990. Both programs were upgraded from part-time to resident status in 1992 but later reverted to summer sessions again in 1997 due to the unsuccessful search for qualified full-time teaching staff. A stop-gap measure was meanwhile taken to afford national recognition for its status and programs by way of the institution’s request for a local Affiliation agreement with the University of Ibadan (UI) under the name “Babcock College”. The request was still clearing the tedious hurdles of UI administrative process when BU got its own accreditation on April 20, 1999.
A major bridge crossed by the institution in its quest for a charter as Babcock University, was the Accreditation Visit by a team from the National Universities Commission (NUC), representing government, the first of its kind ever in the history of the nation. This was in response to the application of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nigeria, for the establishment of a private tertiary institution with diverse programs ranging from the Arts to various science disciplines, technology and medicine. The Certificate of Registration No. 002 was handed over to the President of the Africa-Indian Ocean Division of Seventh-day Adventists, pioneer BU Chancellor and Chairman of the University Council, Pastor Luka T. Daniel, at a May 10, 1999 public ceremony in the Conference Hall of the National Universities Commission in Abuja, presided over by the Honorable Minister of Education, Sam Olaiya Oni. The University was formally inaugurated by the Proprietors on June 17, 1999, in the presence of various ecclesiastical, governmental, diplomatic corps and local community leaders and dignitaries, including the Minister of Education, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Registrar of the Joint Admissions & Matriculations Board, Secretary-General of the National Council on Education.
Babcock University finally opened its gates to welcome the premier intake of 1006 students on September 13, 1999 and Prof. Jan Paulsen, General Conference (GC) President and world leader of Seventh-day Adventist Church, in his official capacity as Visitor to the University presided over the maiden Matriculations Ceremony on January 28, 2000. Babcock University is a private Christian co-educational Nigerian university owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nigeria. The university is located at Ilishan-Remo equidistant between Ibadan and Lagos.
In 2017, the university had its first set of graduates from the Ben Carson School of Medicine. It is a part of the Seventh-day Adventist education system, which is the world’s second largest Christian school system.
Babcock University was named after an American missionary by the name of David C. Babcock, who pioneered the work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nigeria in 1914. He was based in Erunmu in Oyo State, Nigeria. The university was established as the Adventist College of West Africa (ACWA) in 1959, initially with seven students; who were hosted at the home of Chief Olufemi Okulaja. In 1975, it changed its name to Adventist Seminary of West Africa (ASWA). The university was officially inaugurated on April 20, 1999.
From the initial four schools, Babcock University has added a postgraduate school in the third quarter of 2010 and a medical school in January 2012. The latest additions are the Music and Educational Foundations departments to the Joel Awoniyi School of Education & Humanities. As at 2013, Babcock hosts nine schools and one college: They are:
- School of Agriculture & Industrial Technology.
- Babcock Business School.
- College of Health & Medical Sciences.
- School of Basic & Applied Science (formerly Science & Technology).
- School of Computing &Engineering Sciences.
- School of Education and Humanities.
- School of Law & Security Studies.
- School of Nursing.
- School of Public & Applied Health.
- School of Post Graduate Studies.
- Davido, Musician & Performer.
- Debo Ogundoyin, Speaker Oyo State house of Assembly.
- Beverly Osu, Nigerian model and actress.
- Olumide Oworu, Nigerian actor.