King University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
King University
King University is a private, nonprofit, Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive, liberal arts university. Through King’s...

King University

Bristol, Tennessee

King University is a Presbyterian, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees, and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and the humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II school as well as a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity athletic teams. For more information about King University, visit

Student Profile

Fall 2016 Enrollment
2,343 undergraduate students
90% of undergrad students are full time
37% male — 63% female
61% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2016-2017 Academic Year
129 full-time faculty
226 part-time faculty
13 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2016
73% of first year students live on campus
44% of all students live on campus

School Location

King University is located in Bristol, Tenn., the twin city of Bristol, Va. One community in two states: Bristol, Virginia, on the north side of State Street, and Bristol, Tennessee, on the south side and nestled in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. Bristol is known as the “Birthplace of Country Music.” It is also home to the Bristol Motor Speedway, the world’s fastest half-mile track, where thousands attend NASCAR races every year.

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices

First-Year Seminars and Experiences X
Common Intellectual Experiences X
Learning Communities X
Writing-Intensive Courses X
Collaborative Assignments and Projects X
Undergraduate Research X
Diversity/Global Learning X
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning X
Internships/Coops/Practicums X
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience X


69% of students began in Fall 2015 and returned in Fall 2016 (full time, first time freshmen)


44.4% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 3%
Hispanic/Latino 3%
Black or African American 6%
White 81%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 1%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 2%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 5%


Active, positive competition is a valuable experience that instructs in many areas of life and, at King, the students have the opportunity to get involved in a variety of competitive and structured team sports. With more than 400 student-athletes, the athletic program is an important part of the King campus community.

The Tornado, the name of King’s athletic teams, offers more sports than most schools its size. Students have the opportunity to compete with or cheer for the Tornado along with the University’s mascot, Twister, in the 68,000 square-foot, state of the art Student Center Complex, which seats 1,200 people in its arena. King is a member of NCAA Division II and Conference Carolinas. King’s athletic colors are navy and scarlet red.

Sports Programs: Baseball, Softball, Men’s & Women’s Basketball, Men’s & Women’s Cross Country, Men’s & Women’s Cycling, Men’s & Women’s Golf, Men’s & Women’s Soccer, Men’s & Women’s Swimming & Diving, Men’s & Women’s Tennis, Men’s & Women’s Track & Field, Men’s & Women’s Volleyball, Men’s & Women’s Wrestling, Acrobatics & Tumbling, Cheerleading, and Dance.

King University’s athletic programs have been ranked 1st among the top 50 Christian college athletic programs in the nation by


King University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Its accredited degrees include:

  • Associate of Arts
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Social Work


King University’s teacher education programs are approved by the Tennessee State Board of Education. Its nursing program is approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing, standing as a member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and its Baccalaureate degree in nursing, Master’s degree in nursing, and the Doctor of Nursing Practice are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

The Athletic Training program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), the Bachelor of Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accrediation (CSWE). Additionally, the King University School of Business is a member of Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs.

King is a member of the Tennessee College Association, the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association, the Appalachian College Association, the Tennessee Fund for Independent Colleges, the Council for Independent Colleges, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities, the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, the Holston Associated Libraries, the Tennessee Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the Tennessee Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, and the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

The University is certified to operate in Virginia by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). King University’s Richlands, Virginia, site serves as the main satellite location in the State of Virginia. Each course or degree, diploma, or certificate program offered in Virginia is approved by the governing body of the school, the Board of Trustees.  

Academic Programs


Arts Management (BA), Athletic Training (BS), Biochemistry (BS), Biology, General Biology (BA, BS), Cell and Molecular Biology (BS), Human Biology (BA), Pharmacy Dual Degree (BS), Business, Accounting (BA), Business Administration (BA), Economics (BA), Finance (BA), Management (BA), Marketing (BA), Sport Management (BA), Chemistry*, General Chemistry (BS), Health Sciences Chemistry (BS), Communication (BA), Criminal Justice, Digital Media Art & Design, Graphic Design (BS), Photography (BS), Videography (BS), English*, General English (BA), Literature (BA), Writing (BA), Forensic Science (BS), French* (BA), Health Informatics, Healthcare Administration (BSHA), History* (BA), Information Technology (BTech), Interdisciplinary Studies (BA), Mathematics* (BS), Music (BA), Neuroscience (BS), Nursing (BSN), Philosophy (BA), Physical Education* (BA), Physics* (BA, BS), Political Science/History* (BA), Psychology (BA), Religious Studies (BA), Security & Intelligence Studies, Spanish* (BA), Technical & Professional Communication, Theatre (BA), Youth Ministry (BA) *Teaching Licensure may be pursued in each of these majors with additional course work.  See School of Education for further details.


Biblical Studies, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Coaching, Digital Media Art & Design, Economics, Elementary Education, English, French, Health Education, History, Intercultural Studies, K-12 Education, Leadership, Mathematics, Middle Grades Education, Music, Philosophy, Photography, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Secondary Education, Security & Intelligence Studies, Social Work, Spanish, Technical & Professional Communication, Theatre, Youth Ministry, Education Licensure Endorsements and Additional Endorsements, Elementary (K-6), Middle Grades (4-8), Secondary (7-12), English as a Second Language (PreK-12) (additional endorsement only), Biology (7-12), Chemistry (7-12), English (7-12), French (7-12), History (7-12) [Economics, Geography, Government], Mathematics (7-12), Music Education (K-12) [Instrumental, Vocal], Physical Education (K-12) [Health], Physics (7-12), Spanish (7-12)

Education Licensure Endorsements and Additional Endorsements

Elementary (K-6), Middle Grades (4-8), Secondary (7-12), English as a Second Language (PreK-12) (additional endorsement only), Biology (7-12), Chemistry (7-12), English (7-12), French (7-12), History (7-12) (Economics, Geography, and Government), Mathematics (7-12) Music Education (K-12) (Instrumental, Vocal), Physical Education (K-12) (Health), Physics (7-12), Spanish (7-12)

Pre-Professional Programs

Dentistry, Engineering, Health Sciences, Law, Medicine, Ministry, Pharmaceutical Science, Physical Therapy, Veterinary Medicine

Graduate Programs

Master of Business Administration for Professionals (PMBA)
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Master of Education (MEd)
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Off-Campus Study

Campuses and Instructional Locations: 
Tennessee Campuses – Bristol, Kingsport, Knoxville, Nashville
Tennessee Instructional Locations – Blountville, Friendsville, Kingsport, Morristown, Sevierville, Strawberry Plains, Blount County, Harriman,
Virginia Instructional Locations – Abingdon, Big Stone Gap, Richlands
King also offers several online degree options.

Domestic and International Learning Opportunities:
Los Angeles Film Studies Center, American Studies Program – Washington D.C., AuSable Institute of Environmental Studies Program (Michigan), Australia, Austria, Botswana, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Peru, Russia, Scotland, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, Wales, Hungary

More Distinctions

  • King University is celebrating 150 years as a Christian institution of higher learning. King currently has a student body of more than 2,600 students, most of whom are pursuing degrees in business, nursing, and education. King students hail from 38 states, 37 countries, and 6 continents. King University maintains an approximate 14:1 student-faculty ratio.

  • The U.S. Department of Education and the Corporation for National and Community Services (CNCS) named King University to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the University’s commitment to bettering community through community service and service learning.

  • Research performed by the Brookings Institution on the value colleges add to student outcomes ranks King University as tied for third in the state of Tennessee alongside Fisk University. Brookings utilized data and analysis of both two- and four-year colleges and universities to provide insight into how well these schools prepare students for high-paying careers.

  • King University was recently recognized among the “Best Value Christian Colleges and Universities” by Christian Universities Online.

  • Other recent distinctions received by King University include the Top Ranked Christian College Athletic Program; Most Affordable Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Nursing Leadership, Nursing Management, or Nursing Administration for 2016; Best Christian Colleges and Universities in the South and Most Affordable in the Nation; Military Friendly School; and Best Regional University.

There are a few givens of college life. Students will study. They will learn. They will play. They will meet people who can change their lives. At King University, they will also grow—as students, certainly, but perhaps more importantly, as people.  

A great education prepares students for a successful future. Many colleges promise just that, alone. The difference lies in how one gets from point A to point Z. At King University, students’ journeys are filled with new experiences to challenge (and even change) the way they view themselves and the world. They go beyond the usual and learn in an environment that encourages exploration, gaining real-world experience through a wide range of hands-on learning experiences to supplement classroom theory.

Service Learning Abroad

Students can explore the world with a broad range of travel opportunities, both domestic and foreign, even during their first year. A significant portion of students broaden their education and world-view through study abroad, mission, and community service trips to locations such as New York, Atlanta, Italy, Israel, Costa Rica, Mexico, Malaysia, or Kenya and Tanzania in East Africa.

The Arts

Creative talents are supported through majors in music, music education, digital media art and design (photography, videography, graphic design), and theatre. Participants might get the chance to perform at Carnegie Hall; travel to Scotland, England, or even Greece for performances; or head down to the “World’s Fastest Half Mile” to take photos of NASCAR legends at Bristol Motor Speedway. Even if one is not majoring in the arts, they have the opportunity to participate in music and theatre productions.


Campus Ministries X
Choral groups X
Concert band X
Dance X
Drama/theater X
International Student Organization X
Jazz band X
Literary magazine X
Marching band  
Model UN  
Music ensembles X
Musical theater  
Pep band X
Radio station  
Student government X
Student newspaper X
Student-run film society  
Symphony orchestra  
Television station  
Yearbook X

Mark Twain once said, “Knowledge without experience is just information.” King University takes that sentiment very seriously. The King community believes that learning happens when one goes looking for answers. Everything about King is geared to a journey of learning.

Close Faculty Relationships

Students navigate the college maze with the help of professors who are knowledgeable in their fields and innovative in their approaches to education. More than 67 percent of King professors hold doctorates from the finest colleges and universities in the world. They are a dedicated group, holding high distinctions in their respective fields. They each have exceptional professional—as well as personal—experiences to share.

King’s faculty-student ratio of 14:1 provides students with easily accessible professors in small class settings. This provides students with the personalized attention necessary for success. Students will also have a student liaison, a major advisor, and career services staff to offer them guidance along the way.

Undergraduate Research

Students are guaranteed to participate in stimulating classes led by people who will fully engage their minds. Whenever possible, King faculty involve their students in exciting, forward-thinking research activities. Examples of research opportunities have included:

  • Studying the solar orbits of asteroids and star clusters of astrophysical interest.
  • Engaging in frontline research on the effect of pesticides on human biology.
  • Mapping the growth and life cycle of algae and other single-celled organisms in local wetlands.

Core Curriculum

The Core curriculum at King is the academic foundation for the students’ Quest. It gives students the skills, ideas, and knowledge they need to pursue their major and minor programs with confidence and good judgment. The Core, expressing King’s values through the early exploration of the arts and sciences and a cross-cultural experience, helps King students understand their responsibilities to learn and serve. The Core’s global emphasis, and the fact that senior faculty teach most courses, give advantages for King students in the job market and in graduate school. The required 40 hours of general education represent one-third of the hours necessary for graduation.


Arts/fine arts  
Computer literacy  
English (including composition) X
Foreign languages  
History X
Humanities X
Mathematics X
Sciences (biological or physical) X
Social science X


Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 84 89 46 8 2 3 0 232

Students at King describe their college environment with words like welcoming, peaceful, unique, fun, and extraordinarily friendly. King students love getting out and getting involved. Whether that be through a camping outing, snowboarding in the mountains, performing during open mic “unplugged” sessions and karaoke competitions, or “working the race” at a major NASCAR event, there are many ways to be involved at King.

Bristol, Tennessee

King’s campus is situated on 135 wooded acres with Georgian-style architecture buildings providing a quiet, beautiful learning environment just two minutes away from bustling downtown Bristol. Bristol is known as the “Birthplace of Country Music.” It is also home to the Bristol Motor Speedway, the world’s fastest half-mile track, where thousands attend NASCAR races every year.

Within an easy driving distance of campus, there is plenty to do. The area offers kayaking and canoeing, hiking trails and rock climbing, live music, concerts, festivals, and professional theatre productions at The Paramount Center for the Arts.

Student Activities

Students can join theatre productions, express their musical talents with one of the many choirs and bands on campus, or participate in the many intramural athletic competitions taking place throughout the academic year. Social circles expands within a close-knit community where people greet each other by first name—students, faculty, and staff alike. There are many ways to meet new people through King’s Launch events for new students as well as a variety of SLACK (Student Life and Activities Committee at King) events. Anyone can become engaged through student clubs and organizations, service fraternity, leadership programs, community service, and student government, as well as a wide range of off-campus activities—all within driving distance of campus.

King University Institute for Faith and Culture

Through its thought-provoking lecture series, the King University Institute for Faith and Culture aims to address issues of faith engaging culture not only for the King community but for audiences throughout the region as well. The Institute offers opportunities for focused consideration and reflection. Each year, the Institute welcomes a authors, artists, musicians, scholars, philosophers, historians, and others to interact with a regional and national audience. One notable highlight of the lecture series is a moving and enlightening lecture from a survivor of the Holocaust.

Spiritual Life

Students are encouraged to examine their own beliefs and those of others in a welcoming, supportive environment. The spiritual traditions of other students melt together and thrive in a liberating atmosphere that supports personal expressions of faith. Opportunities abound with chapel, a convocation series through the King University Institute for Faith and Culture, and service projects.


Coed dorms  
Men’s dorms X
Women’s dorms X
Apartments for married students  
Apartments for single students  
Special housing for disabled students  
Special housing for international students  
Fraternity/sorority housing  
Cooperative housing  
Theme housing  
Wellness housing  
Other housing options  

King graduates are recognizable by their success. They have become distinguished scientists, nurses, business leaders, physicians, college professors, lawyers, and more. They are venturing out into the world, into places like the UrbanPromise in Camden, N.J., and bringing change to their community.

Career Services

King’s Career Services program offers a unique experience for students, integrating career identification with educational programs best designed to meet those goals. King graduates stand out when they begin looking for employment, having gone through a robust job and internship identification process. They are prepared to make meaning and significant contributions to their communities through their vocation after they complete their degrees.

Outstanding Placement

At King, the University’s goal is to prepare students for life after college, whether it be a career or graduate school. King offers numerous opportunities for hands-on learning to better prepare students for whatever the future holds. Ninety-two percent of recent graduates were either employed or in graduate school six months after graduation, according to recent survey respondents.



1,601 Total Applicants
823 Total Admissions
159 Total Freshmen Enrollment

51.41% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2017-18 Admission

Rolling admission? Yes

Admissions Factors

Very Important
Academic GPA

Rigor of secondary school record

Application Essay

Freshmen Profile Fall 2016

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 440 540
SAT Math 438 565
SAT Writing    
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 19.25 24
ACT Math 17 23
ACT English 18 24
ACT Writing    


Visiting King’s beautiful 135-acre campus and clearly shows why King University has been recognized as a “Best in the Southeast” college. At King, visitors are always welcome! Whether one is a prospective student, alum, friend of the university, or relative of a current student, King faculty, staff, and students welcome them to campus.

King’s Office of Admissions arranges several visit days throughout the year for prospective students and their families including King for a Day and Access King events. King offers a personalized campus tour led by the University’s admissions representatives or current King students. To schedule a visit to King’s main campus or one of the many locations throughout East Tennessee or Southwest Virginia, contact the university’s Office of Admissions at 800.362.0014,, or visit




Tuition $25,798
Fees $1,478
Total $27,276
Room and Board (on campus) $8,180
Estimated Total On Campus $35,456


Average Financial Aid Packages 2016-17 ESTIMATED

$23,738 First year students
$12,095 All undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown 2016-17 ESTIMATED

63.37% on average, the percentage of need that was met
13% of financial need students that had need fully met

$12,095 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$4,509 Average need-based loan