Our History

Trinity International University (TIU) is composed of a liberal arts college, a divinity school, a graduate school, and a law school in California. Trinity is the educational ministry of the Evangelical Free Church of America; its main campus is located in Deerfield, Illinois, with regional centers in ChicagoIllinois, in Davie, Florida, and in Santa Ana, California.

TIU holds to the statement of faith of the Evangelical Free Church of America.

A Strong Heritage

Trinity International University traces its roots to 1897 when the Swedish Evangelical Free Church began a ten-week Bible course in the basement of a Chicago church. This soon developed into the Bible Institute of the Swedish Evangelical Free Church of America. In 1884 the Norwegian-Danish Free Church Association began the Norwegian-Danish department of the Chicago Theological Seminary. In 1910 the department withdrew from the seminary and established the Norwegian-Danish Bible Institute and Academy. It was first located in Rushford, Minnesota, and then later in Minneapolis with the name Trinity Seminary and Bible Institute. Between 1946 and 1949 the Swedish school merged with the Norwegian-Danish school to form Trinity Seminary and Bible College, located in Chicago.

During the 1960s, the seminary (renamed Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) and the college (renamed Trinity College) moved to their present Deerfield Campus. In 1992 the college established a regional center in Davie, Florida, where the former Miami Christian College became Trinity College at Miami. In 1995, Trinity College, Trinity College at Miami, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School were united to form Trinity International University. With the inauguration of the university, Trinity College in Deerfield became the College of Arts and Sciences and Trinity College at Miami became Trinity International University–Florida Campus. In 1997 the first class entered Trinity Graduate School. Trinity Law School, located in Santa Ana, California, incorporated into Trinity International University in January 1998. Trinity Law School is accredited with the State Bar of California and is moving toward application for American Bar Association accreditation. The residential undergraduate program in Miami closed in 2000 and the undergraduate and graduate programs were renamed the Trinity International University–Florida Regional Center. In 2002 the College of Arts and Sciences was renamed Trinity College.

EFCA Affliation

Trinity International University is affiliated with the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA), an association of some 1,500 autonomous and interdependent churches and church plants united by a mutual commitment to serve the Lord Jesus Christ under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and obedience to the Word of God. The EFCA is seeking to fulfill the Great Commission which Christ has entrusted to His Church. The growing ministry of the EFCA currently extends to some 50 countries of the world.

The EFCA regards Trinity as its gift to the wider evangelical community, making its educational offerings accessible to students from a wide variety of denominations. Indeed, the majority of Trinity students represent non-EFCA churches.  The nature of the university allows breadth for Christians from many different backgrounds to study, worship, and serve together.