Picture Our Past

Corban's History


In the growing city of Phoenix, Arizona, Evangelist Leland B. Entrekin and Pastor Roy O. Bancroft founded Phoenix Bible Institute (PBI) in 1935. Bancroft carried the work into 1943, and at that time a resolution was passed to hand over the institute to the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches who were better equipped to provide support for the school.

In the fall term of 1943, 30 students had applied for enrollment. By 1946 the decision was made to move the school to Oakland, California

A New Home, A New Era

At a meeting in April 1946, a motion was made for purchase of the property of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in Oakland, California, for the sum of $37,500.

A new name was chosen for the school: Western Baptist Bible College. By 1954 enrollment had reached 94. The college remained at the Oakland site for ten years.

The Maturing Years

The “El Cerrito property,” as it was first called, caught the attention of the Board. Its six acres and facilities just north of Oakland were said to be available for $150,000. An offer was made, and by the fall of 1956 classes began on the El Cerrito, California campus for 103 students.

In 1957-58, with enrollment at 128, the largest department continued to be missions, while the second largest was the pastoral department. The library collection continued to grow to 10,000 volumes.

On to Oregon

July 15, 1969, administrators used $5,000 from the President’s Club as a down payment for the new 100-acre campus in Salem, Oregon. The sale was personally signed by then Governor Tom McCall.

In October, several of the buildings on the new campus were named for John Schimmel, Herbert Farrar, Carrel and Fern Aagard and Dr. H.O. Van Gilder, laying the foundation for decades of growth, building and expansion.

Investing in the Future

The world desperately needs educators, healthcare professionals, business and ministry leaders whose daily lives are founded in the Word of God. That’s a need we address at Corban. All of us—administrators, staff, faculty, volunteers, students and donors—work together to educate Christians who will invest their lives in leadership and service and make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ.

Corban Unleashed