Trinity Christian College

For other institutions named Trinity College, see Trinity College (disambiguation).
Trinity Christian College
Type Private University, Reformed, College, Illinois
Established 1959
Affiliation Christian Reformed Church, IAPCHE, CCCU
President Kurt D. Dykstra
Academic staff
Location Palos Heights, Illinois, United States
Campus Suburban, 130 acres (52.6 ha)
Colors Navy Blue, Columbia Blue
Athletics Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Track & Field, Volleyball
Nickname Trolls
Mascot Troll
Affiliations NCCAA, CCAC, NAIA

Trinity Christian College is a four-year liberal arts college in Palos Heights, Illinois, a southwestern suburb of Chicago. The college was founded in 1959 by a group of Chicago businessmen who wanted to establish a college providing students with a Christian higher education in a Reformed tradition. This accredited,[1] four-year liberal arts college offers degrees in more than 70 programs of study.



On April 5, 1956, a group of young business leaders decided to open a Christian college in the Chicagoland area. On founding the college, they proclaimed “Now is the time to organize.” They then faced the questions of how, where, and when to begin. The answer:

“If we begin with Christ and continue with Christ, we have the assurance that we will be blessed.”

-(Junior College Society newsletter, 1956)

The founders began Trinity Christian College for many of the same reasons other colleges exist—but they envisioned an even deeper mission. What Trinity lives for is to be a place from which God can call followers who will do, not simply believe. Who will not just be Christians, but who will live their Christianity boldly.

From Golf Course to College Courses

The first board of trustees was elected in 1959, and they purchased the Navajo Hills Golf Course in suburban Palos Heights, Illinois, for the campus. After remodeling the former clubhouse and pro shop, the then two-year college opened that fall with a class of 37 students taught by five faculty members.

In 1966, the board initiated the process for the College to become a four-year, degree-granting institution. The first baccalaureate degrees were awarded in May 1971.

Building on the Foundation of Reformed Christianity

Trinity welcomes and serves students from a wide range of denominations and traditions. The College’s roots, however, are found in Reformed Christianity, a historical connection that is both foundational and pervasive today. “Our heritage is the historic Christian faith as it was reshaped in the Reformation, and our fundamental basis of governance and instruction is the infallible Word of God as interpreted by the Reformed standards.” (excerpt from the Mission Statement)

At the Core

The original curriculum of Trinity focused substantially on philosophy, history, English, and theology. While the core curricular requirements of Trinity have evolved over the years, a continuing focus on the liberal arts has been maintained. Moreover, areas of specialization have expanded to include over 80 programs and majors, including the professional areas of business, education, nursing, and criminal justice. From the beginning and continuing today, students learn from dedicated professors who integrate a Christian worldview into their pedagogy and the curriculum.

The Adult Studies Accelerated Program was added in 1999 and offers degrees in business, education, psychology and special education. In addition Trinity now offers a 100% online program in Criminal Justice.

Growth of the Campus and Facilities

The College celebrated its 50th anniversary in October 2009. The College has been blessed with strong growth in the student body, curriculum, and buildings since 1959, as evidenced by the addition of these facilities in the past decade alone:

2001: The College dedicates the Martin and Janet Ozinga Chapel with the 46-rank pipe organ dominating the stage of the 1,189-seat auditorium.

2002: The Heritage Science Center opens, providing 38,000 square feet of classrooms, lab space, and a lecture hall.

2004: Trinity pauses to celebrate and give thanks for the completion of Alumni Hall.

2008: The Bootsma Bookstore Café is dedicated, honoring former College president Dr. Ken Bootsma (1984-1996) and Jan André Bootmsa.

2008: The long-envisioned 44,000-square-foot Art and Communication Center is dedicated.

2009: Plans for the expansion of the gym coincide with development of the new Rt. 83 athletic fields.

2011: The DeVos Athletics and Recreation Center opens.

The ever-changing face of Trinity’s campus will continue to expand and improve in the future, reflecting the heritage of its founders and the vision of its leaders.


The Martin and Janet Ozinga Chapel, a 1200-seat facility, serves as a cultural and spiritual focal point for the student body as well as the greater community. The building provides practice and rehearsal rooms for the music department, and houses the campus ministries program under the direction of the campus chaplain. The Grand Lobby has hosted a variety of events beneath its striking stained glass window, the first of a series of stained glass panels hung throughout the building designed to celebrate Trinity Christian's mission in Reformed higher education.

The Heritage Science Center is a state-of-the-art facility, comprising 38,000-square feet (3,500 m²) of classroom and lab space for chemistry, biology, and physics programs, as well as classrooms and a lecture hall for technology and computer science studies.

The Art and Communication Center (ARCC), provides Trinity Christian students with art and design studios, a graphic design lab, student gallery, The Marg Kallemeyn (black box) Theatre for the performing arts, and the Seerveld Gallery that welcomes guest artists and student artists, alike.

New athletics fields and a new athletics complex have been in development with completion of the DeVos Athletics and Recreation Center celebrated in the fall of 2013. The facility features a state of the art lab for exercise students, a bouldering wall, and a fitness center.

Organization and administration

The eighth college president is Kurt D. Dykstra.

Academic profile

Trinity Christian College developed a cohesive approach to its core curriculum of philosophy, history, English, and theology. In the years since its original vision was conceived, the college has kept pace with the changing educational landscape by offering a broader scope of courses and programs. The curriculum expanded to include business, criminal justice, education, and nursing in addition to its traditional liberal arts focus. Today, there are adult learners seeking to complete their undergraduate degrees along with recent high school graduates exploring a future in disciplines such as information technology, graphic design, social work, exercise science, and communication disorders. Many pre-professional programs are also offered; including pre-medicine, pre-physical therapy, pre-seminary, pre-law, allied health sciences, and most recently, pre-speech and language pathology.

The traditional (not including adult learners) student body has swelled to more than 1000 undergraduates, taught by a dedicated faculty of more than 80 instructors. With a student/faculty ratio of 11:1, Trinity students receive individual attention that affirms their spiritual and academic experience. Although students are drawn from predominantly Reformed and Presbyterian church backgrounds, students also come from diverse traditions, including Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, and Roman Catholic.

With 49 Degrees Offered, 60+ Majors Offered and 50+ Minors Offered, Trinity Christian offers a variety of educational and ministry experiences including studies abroad in Ecuador, Kenya, Spain and other countries and internships with corporations and non-profit organizations. The college's proximity to the resources of metropolitan Chicago offers students an exceptional "classroom" that provides experiential learning opportunities. The college offers a Chicago Semester program in cooperation with sister institutions in which junior and senior students live in downtown Chicago, attend cultural events, work internships in their chosen field, and take seminar courses about urban life. On campus, students can also pursue the interdisciplinary urban studies minor, including courses from many departments such as sociology, history, political science, church ministry, and biology. Inter-collegiate sports for men and women, student-run ministry programs, and a full scope of creative expression in fine arts and student publications complete the Trinity Christian experience.

In Fall 2012, Trinity began its first two master's degree programs, in counseling psychology and special education. Both programs take about two years to complete, and utilize hybrid courses that combine face-to-face classroom sessions with online learning components, to provide flexibility with living arrangements and work schedules. The school also began a three-year speech and language pathology program, in which students take classes at Trinity for three years majoring in communication disorders. Then for two years students can attend either Saint Xavier University in Chicago, IL or Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan to finish their bachelor's degree from Trinity and receive a master's degree in speech language pathology.

Courses at Trinity normally emphasize homework, projects, and papers over tests. Most majors at Trinity require students to also have a minor of at least 18 credit hours distinct from the major. The only exceptions are for double majors, nursing, social work, or business with an upper level concentration. <

2015/2016 Enrollment Figures

Adult Studies

In 1998 Trinity Christian College opened the TRACS department, now called Adult Studies, to serve the needs of the non-traditional student. Adults 23 years of age and older can complete their college degree through this program.

The Adult Studies programs are offered in a cohort format, so students begin the program as part of a group (20 maximum) and move through each course together. The cohort format encourages friendships and creates a supportive environment. Each course in the Adult Studies programs is accelerated. Courses that would normally require 16 weeks to finish are completed in five-, six- or seven-week periods. Classes will cover the necessary course material in a shorter timeframe, helping students finish their degrees and/or teaching license in less than two years.

To simplify the process further, courses are held on the same night of the week during the same time period (usually 6 p.m.-10 p.m.) throughout the program. For example, if the first class meeting begins on a Tuesday evening, the class continues to meet every Tuesday evening for the duration of the program. When students enroll in the Adult Studies programs, they are registering for every course in the program. This predetermined sequence and registration will help eliminate the need to modify students' personal or professional schedules.

Programs offered in the Adult Studies department are:

Graduate Studies

In 2012 Trinity Christian College began offering two graduate level programs: a Master of Arts in Special Education[2] and a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology.[3]

The Graduate Studies Counseling Psychology program offers a two or three-year option for earning the 48 credit hours required and operates on a year-round schedule. Students take two courses each semester in the two-year option. Each course meets one night per week so students are on campus two nights a week. During the fall and spring semesters, students attend class face-to-face on campus. In the winter and summer semesters, courses are accelerated and blended with online components. The program is offered at Trinity's main campus in Palos Heights, Illinois.

The Graduate Studies Special Education program is for those who have already completed an undergraduate degree and have a valid teaching license. Students attend class just one night a week, on the same evenings throughout the entire program, for 1 ½ years. Some courses are blended with online instruction. The program is offered at our main campus in Palos Heights, Illinois.

Student life

STUDENT LIFE AT TRINITY IS ALL ABOUT STUDENTS. Our community welcomes and invites them to thrive in every way. We're here to help them find their passion and belong. Every new student begins their Trinity experience with our unique First Year Forum program that transitions them to the Trinity life. From there, we encourage them to engage in a full collegiate life. Our students lead the way through over 100 official student leadership positions. Many, many more participate in unofficial acts of service to one another as they live in a community of Christian integrity and love.

Extracurricular activities


Business and Interest

Campus Ministry


Multicultural Groups


Student Activities and Events

Student Association


Trinity Christian athletic teams are known as the Trolls; the college is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) competing in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC). The Trolls also compete in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer and track & field, and volleyball; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, track & field, and volleyball.

In Fall 2011, an NAIA men's golf team was started. In November 2007, the women's soccer team made it to the NCCAA national finals in Kissimee, Florida, and in 2005 collected Trinity's first national title by winning the NCCAA National Soccer Tournament.

The Mascot for Trinity Christian College is the Troll.[4] It is the only college in the nation that has this particular mascot. The Trinity Troll was among the Top Ten College Team mascots according to ESPN U.

Accreditation and memberships

Trinity Christian College is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).[5] Trinity Christian College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission[6] and a member of the North Central Association. The college is accredited by the Illinois State Board of Education for elementary, K-12, and secondary certification. The bachelor of science in nursing program is approved by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation ( and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The business program is accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs. The bachelor of social work (BSW) program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The college is approved by the state of Illinois for state scholarships, grants, and loans. Trinity is approved for all federal educational aid programs, including the education of veterans under Title 38, U.S. Code; and it is approved for the education of international students by the U.S. Department of Justice, Immigration, and Naturalization Services.


  1. "The Legend of the Troll". Trinity Christian College Athletics. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  2. "CCCU". Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  3. "HLC". Higher Learning Commission. Retrieved 31 October 2013.

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