About Pillar College
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.
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.
With campus locations in Newark, Paterson, Plainfield, Jersey City, Ocean County and Basking Ridge in Spring 2023, Pillar College continues to expand and grow. And through the newly introduced vision “Windmills of Change”, Pillar College plans many more career-friendly majors, new delivery methods, new relational networks, and new funding potential. But, mostly, “Windmills of Change” will include new opportunities for thousands of students.
Through Windmills of Change, Pillar will provide more students with profitable careers, blessing communities and businesses with Christ-empowered employees.
The History of Pillar College
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.
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 numerous Christian ministry organizations.
ZBI became Somerset Christian College on March 23, 2001, after 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, New Jersey. In 2012 the school changed its name to Pillar College.
Today Pillar College continues to expand its academics offerings by recently adding the B.S. in Applied Chemistry, Specialization in Consumer Product Development among other academic concentrations.
Pillar College also recently opened the new Paterson location.