Welcome to Pillar College where we are dedicated to helping you pursue God’s purpose and your passions in higher education. Pillar is an undergraduate and graduate institution of higher learning that is faithful to classical Christianity, grounded on the authority of God’s Word, and committed to challenging Christians to serve Christ with passion and purpose. As He came into the world to serve God and humanity, you also are invited to learn how to invest your life to make a lasting impact on our world.

Mission Statement

Pillar College educates, inspires, and equips students for excellent scholarship, service, and leadership. Rooted in and committed to Christian faith and love, Pillar fosters intellectual, spiritual, and social development among its diverse student population at various instructional sites.

Statement of Faith

The following is a concise statement of the Wesleyan-Arminian theological doctrines upon which Pillar College is founded. While students are not required to subscribe to all of the following points, all agree to honor the rich tradition upon which this institution was established.


We believe that there is one God, creator and sustainer of all things, infinite in love, perfect in judgments, and unchanging in mercy. God exists eternally in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Jesus Christ

We believe Jesus Christ is God’s Son incarnate, born of the Virgin Mary. He died for the sins of all, taking on Himself, on behalf of sinful persons, God’s judgment upon sin. He rose bodily from the grave and ascended to the right hand of the Father where He intercedes for us.

Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is God present and active in the world. The Holy Spirit was given to the Church in His fullness at Pentecost. By the Spirit, Christ lives in His Church, the gospel is proclaimed, and the kingdom of God is manifested in the world.


We believe in the divine inspiration, truthfulness, and authority of both the Old and New Testaments, the only written Word of God, without error in all it affirms. The Scriptures are the only infallible rule of faith and practice. The Holy Spirit preserves God’s Word in the Church today and by it speaks God’s truth to peoples of every age.


Global Outlook

Pillar stands firmly within the Wesleyan heritage in embracing a world-wide parish, an obligation of love to serve the poor and needy, an earnest devotion to the empowering work of the Holy Spirit in every believer, and willingness to seek unity and cooperation with other believers on all that is essential to faithful Christian life.

Such commitments provide endless possibilities by which Pillar College works to implement its mission for every student. We start by affirming a heartfelt desire to welcome students of various theological traditions and various ethnic, national, and/or racial heritages. With this global outlook, Pillar also seeks to co-labor with area churches and denominations of kindred heart.

Leadership Excellence

Because the effectiveness of an organization in fulfilling its mission depends on the vision, knowledge, and performance of people providing strategic leadership, the trustees and president are committed to institutional excellence through development and assessment of their leadership engagement, abilities, training, and resourcing.

Academic Excellence

Goal: To educate, inspire, and equip students for excellent scholarship, service, and leadership, the college will employ and develop outstanding faculty and provide excellent, accredited, affordable, and accessible degree programs for a diverse student population at various instructional sites.

Student Development Excellence

Goal: To foster intellectual, spiritual, and social development in Pillar students, the college faculty and staff will model Christian faith and love, and encourage an atmosphere of edifying relationships, activities, and morale.

Enrollment Excellence

Goal: To serve more students, establish an ethnically diverse student population, and offer relevant programs at various instructional sites, the college will focus on enrollment growth in the traditional, adult degree-completion (LEAD) and BLEND our bilingual entry program.

Operational Excellence

Goal: To provide sufficient financial, technological, facility, and human resources, the leadership of the college will continually educate, evaluate, and enhance its personnel and operational capabilities for effective and efficient administrative functions.

Promotional and Funding Excellence

Goal: To ensure its financial strength, Pillar will promote its mission, vision, and message through effective marketing strategies and materials by developing relationships with the public and philanthropically-minded individuals.


Pillar College has its roots as an educational ministry of the Pillar of Fire, International. The Pillar of Fire was organized in 1901. It is an evangelical organization with theological roots in the Methodist Episcopal Church and the nineteenth century American Holiness Movement.

Originally called Zarephath Bible Institute, ZBI was founded in 1908 as a training school for missionaries, preachers, and teachers. Over the years, it has prepared many students to serve in various occupations in numerous Christian ministry organizations.

ZBI became Somerset Christian College on March 23, 2001 When the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education issued the license to grant the two-year Associate in Biblical Studies degree. In 2006 the college was approved to offer four-year Bachelor of Arts degrees.

After the loss of the Zarephath Campus due to Hurricane Irene in 2011, Somerset Christian College moved its headquarters to Newark NJ and in 2012 changed its name to Pillar College.

Theological Heritage

Pillar College was founded as an undergraduate level institution in the Wesleyan-Arminian theological tradition. Its doctrinal emphases derive from John Wesley (1703-1791), the leader of the Methodist movement and father of the Methodist Church. Wesley, an Oxford-educated minister of the Church of England, held all of the orthodox beliefs of the Anglican faith, including a high view of Scripture as God’s written Word. Wesley’s experience of saving faith at Aldersgate Street in 1738 set the stage for the Methodist revival in England. His emphasis upon evangelical conversion, free to all who trust in Christ, and personal holiness, marked by a love for God and neighbor, formed the foundation of Methodist teaching. Pillar College is committed to the historic Wesleyan interpretation of evangelical Christianity and ministry as reflected in its Statement of Faith.

The College holds that there is one Church universal according to the ancient Apostles’ Creed. At the same time, Pillar recognizes that the one Church in time and history is made up of many confessing traditions and denominations. The College is committed to an approach to Christian undergraduate education that is based upon the classical Christian faith with its apostolic view of the church as one body with many members.

Therefore, Pillar seeks to educate students of various theological traditions for service within their own denominations and churches. In addition, the College creates a climate for study and fellowship which encourages, equips, and enhances spiritual development and ministry.

Graduation and Retention Rates

To view the IPEDS Data Report which contains this information, click here for a PDF.