The Tri-Cities’ only Christian college has earned accreditation — a major step that opens the door to growth.
And Gather 4 Him in Kennewick is about to embark on a capital campaign to build a new facility to handle that future growth.
“Accreditation is huge,” said Bob Nash, college president. “It was a lot of work.”
Gather 4 Him offers an Associate of Arts degree.
It was founded in 2008, growing out of the Christian youth conference The Gathering.
In the past, graduates have been able to transfer to one of six four-year universities, including Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Corban University in Salem, Ore., Northwest University in Kirkland, Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho, Eastern Oregon University in LaGrande, and Lewis and Clark State College in Lewiston.
The accreditation through the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools will broaden those transfer options, increase scholarship opportunities and mean Gather 4 Him students will be able to apply for federal student aid, Nash said.
At the college, students take general education classes, from humanities to math and science courses. Because it’s a Christian school, classes are taught from a Biblical world view — that means creationism is taught in science, for example.
Electives are in Biblical education, from Survey of Biblical Literature to Christian Theology.
A signature part of the curriculum is the “practicum,” where students get real-world experience working in a church or the community.
Nash said the college helps students discern their paths and gives them a solid Biblical foundation.
Gather 4 Him has 13 adjunct faculty members and five administrative staff. It’s welcomed more than 130 students since it opened, and 94 percent of its graduates have transferred to four-year universities, Nash said.
The current building, on West Clearwater Avenue near Highway 395, can accommodate about 100 students.
Officials expect to outgrow it in a couple of years, Nash said.
A capital campaign will launch soon to raise money for a new facility in the Southridge area.
It will be able to hold close to 300 people, Nash said.
To learn more or donate to Gather 4 Him, go to college.gather4him.net.