Edward Waters College is a private, Christian, historically black liberal arts college which was specifically established to educate newly freed slaves. Founded in 1866, it is considered Florida’s oldest private institution of higher education. It was originally called Brown Theological Institute and was established through the efforts of Reverend Charles H. Pearce and Reverend William G. Steward.
The school was forced to close due to financial difficulties but reopened in 1883 as the East Florida Conference High School and later as the East Florida Scientific and Divinity High School. It adopted its present name in honor of Edward Waters who was the third bishop of the AME Church. However, it began its occupancy of its present site only in 1904 after the college was destroyed by fire in its original location in Beaver Street. It is presently located at 1658 Kings Road, Jacksonville, Florida.
Accredited by the Commission on the Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate degrees, Edward Waters College offers programs in Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Elementary Education, Psychology, Mathematics, Biology, Music and Fine Arts, Communications and Organizational Management. Several alternative programs are also offered through the CLIMB Program, Black Male College Explorers Program, the Schell-Sweet Community Resource Center and the Articulation Agreement with Life University. The college’s degree programs consist of courses divided into five categories; General Education/Core Courses, Mission Requirements, Major Courses, Supportive Courses and Electives.
Educational cost amounts to approximately $ 16,464.00 inclusive of tuition, room and board. Current enrollment is 839, more than 90% of whom rely on financial aid. Edward Waters College seeks to provide a comprehensive learning experience through access to scholarly and dedicated faculty as well as various opportunities for internships, community service and extra-curricular activities.