St. Louis, Mo. – The American Midwest Conference announced today that Baptist Bible College (Springfield, Mo.) and Crowley’s Ridge College (Paragould, Ark.) will join the American Midwest Conference for the 2024-25 academic year. The addition of the two institutions brings AMC membership to 12 schools.
“The AMC is excited to add both Baptist Bible and Crowley’s Ridge for next year. Both institutions are growing as institutions in general as well as athletically,” AMC Commissioner Will Wolper said. “Many
of our schools already compete against the two schools in non-conference competition, so the opportunity for us to add two institutions in our southern footprint that align with our current membership philosophically, on their mission and sports sponsorship, strengthens the AMC, and will enhance our student-athletes experiences as well as the experiences of Baptist Bible and Crowley’s Ridge’s student-athletes.”
“In Baptist Bible College and Crowley’s Ridge College, we are adding two schools that are similar institutions to one another in size, the direction of the institutions and athletics programs, and planned
growth as well as having similar values, missions and beliefs of our current membership,” Central Baptist College President Terry Kimbrow, chair of the AMC Council of Presidents, said. “My colleagues and I see that both schools have a great future ahead, and the AMC’s future will be greater having them as partners. Both Drs. (Mark) Milioni and (Richard) Johnson have shown a commitment to supporting excellence within their athletics programs and to becoming involved in the Conference themselves. We welcome the Patriots and Pioneers to the AMC.”
Crowley’s Ridge College is a private four-year church-affiliated but autonomous co-educational liberal arts college designed to help students grow closer to God while pursuing a college degree. The
institution is committed to continually emphasizing the integration of scholarship, critical thinking, service, and the spiritual dimension of life. Crowley’s Ridge enrollment has grown over 20 percent since 2020.
“It is an exciting time at Crowley’s Ridge College to be given this opportunity to be a member of the American Midwest Conference. This is a top-notch organization and the leadership of AMC Commissioner Will Wolper and his staff stand out as you read what this conference is about and understand how they encourage the involvement of athletic staff, non-athletic staff, presidents, and college students to participate in this conference,” Crowley’s Ridge College President Dr. Richard Johnson said. “I am looking forward to working with and learning from each of them as CRC does our part to add to this outstanding conference and we are grateful for this opportunity.”
With the addition of men’s and women’s golf, and men’s and women’s cross country for the 2023-24 academic year, Pioneer Athletics has grown to nine sports. Like Baptist Bible, CRC sponsors AMC
championship sports of baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, softball, and volleyball. Crowley’s Ridge has been a member of the Continental Athletic Conference since joining the NAIA in 2016.
“We are all excited about the next chapter in Crowley’s Ridge College Athletics. Our entire coaching staff is looking forward to the move to the American Midwest Conference,” Crowley’s Ridge Athletic Director Chris Perkins said. “Our student-athletes are looking forward to building on the regional rivalries that the AMC will bring to their college experience.”
Baptist Bible College educates, inspires, and equips students to serve as effective Christian leaders. Founded in 1950, specializing in ministry and professional studies degrees, BBC has a long heritage of producing Christian professionals and ministers, offering accredited degrees at the associate, bachelor, and master levels. Baptist Bible is in the business of seeing students’ lives changed through the Gospel to equip them to impact others for life change as well. Since 2020, enrollment at Baptist Bible has grown by nearly 35 percent. “Baptist Bible College is honored and humbled to be accepted into the NAIA and the American Midwest Conference,” Baptist Bible College President Dr. Mark Milioni said. “The reputation and commitment to quality, excellence, and high standards both in athletics and academics are visible to all. We look forward to making many new friends and enjoying great competition in the coming years. Thank you again from a grateful family at Baptist Bible College.”
Patriot Athletics is growing to nine sports, with the addition of softball in the spring of 2024 and women’s soccer in the fall of 2024. The Patriots also compete in AMC championship sports of baseball,
men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s soccer, and volleyball. Baptist Bible was approved for NAIA membership in October. They are currently a member of the National Christian
Colleges Athletics Association (NCCAA), where they captured the 2022 NCCAA Division I men’s basketball national championship.
“On behalf of Baptist Bible College, I am thrilled to announce that we have been accepted into the American Midwest Conference. This is an incredible honor and opportunity for our institution. We are deeply grateful to the AMC for extending this invitation,” Baptist Bible Athletics Director Darin Meinders said. “This acceptance into the American Midwest Conference aligns perfectly with our mission and values. It reflects the hard work, dedication, and excellence of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff. We are excited to join a community that values both academic and athletic achievements.”
With the addition of Springfield, Mo. and Paragould, Ark. to the Conference’s footprint, over 40 percent of the travel in the Conference is under two-and-a-half hours, with nearly 35 percent under one hour 45
minutes. The American Midwest Conference (AMC), a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), has 10 full members in Arkansas and Missouri. Formed in 1986 as the Show-Me
Collegiate Conference, the AMC sponsors championships in 16 sports and emphasizes the NAIA Champions of Character® Initiative and its five core values – integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership.