BABCOCK UNIVERSITY (BU)—as it is now known—actually began on September 17, 1959 as Adventist College of West Africa (ACWA). Established by the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a senior college for training church workers from the West African sub-region, ACWA opened its doors with only seven ministerial students.
By 1966, when it graduated the first set of Bachelor of Arts degree holders in its own name, enrolment included students taking Business Administration as potential accountants within and outside the Church; and two-year Pre-Nursing students in preparation to pursue a nursing career at the Church’s School of Nursing at Ile-Ife, Osun State. History was made in 1975 when ACWA became the first institution in Nigeria to sign and operate an affiliation agreement with Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, USA. This relationship enabled it to award Bachelor of Arts degrees from Andrews University in Biology, Business Administration, History, Religion and Secretarial Studies.
1975 was also the year ACWA was renamed Adventist Seminary of West Africa (ASWA) in response to the dynamics of its socio-political environment. In 1983, restricting local factors again necessitated the phasing out of the Bachelors programmes in Biology and Business Administration. In 1988, ASWA reached another academic milestone through an affiliation agreement with the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary of Andrews University, which authorized it to offer Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry. Master of Arts in Religion was added in 1990 and both programmes were operated during Summer sessions from 1997 to 2007. In order to attain national recognition for its status and programmes, an attempt to obtain a local affiliation with University of Ibadan, under the name “Babcock College” was initiated.