Crowley’s Ridge College is a private, church affiliated but autonomous, college that offers Associates and Bachelors degrees. CRC is located in Paragould, Arkansas, near the crest of Crowley’s Ridge. The scenic campus covers 150 acres of rolling hills densely populated by pine and hardwood trees. While the college is affiliated with the Churches of Christ, students of all religious backgrounds are welcome at Crowley’s Ridge College.
The founder of CRC was Emmett F. Smith, Jr. Dr. Smith’s vision for Christian education in Northeast Arkansas was stimulated, in part, from the previous existence of two Christian schools: Monea Christian College, located in Rector, Arkansas, and Croft College, located in rural Greene County. Both institutions had ceased operation by the 1930’s.
Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus participated in groundbreaking ceremonies on January 29, 1964, and the college officially opened its doors on July 6, 1964, with an enrollment of 80 students.
Seven presidents have served Crowley’s Ridge College: Emmett Smith, 1964-1973; Albert Lemmons, 1973-1975; Joe K. Alley, 1979-1982; Larry M. Bills, 1987-2001; Arvil Hill, 2001-2002, Ken Hoppe, 2003 – 2019, and Richard Johnson began January 1, 2020.
In 2000, CRC was granted accreditation by the North Central Association of the Higher Learning Commission. In 2005, after a successful HLC visit, the college’s accreditation was continued. The next comprehensive evaluation is set for the 2024-2025 academic year.
On December 3, 2007, CRC received notification from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education that the college had been approved and authorized to offer degrees at the baccalaureate level. On September 4, 2008, the Higher Learning Commission extended CRC’s accreditation to include the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and the Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies.
CRC currently offers 1 Associate degree and 11 Bachelor degrees. These degrees can be found in detail on this website under Current Students/Academic Programs.