Salem College received its charter from the State of West Virginia in December 1888 and offered its first term of instruction beginning in April 1889. Individuals in the Salem, West Virginia community founded Salem College to provide an affordable baccalaureate curriculum grounded in the liberal arts to prepare students for occupations, professional and advanced studies, as well as a Normal curriculum to prepare educators. While the institution was closely associated for many decades with the Seventh Day Baptist Church, Salem College was not sectarian in its teaching or administration. For its first seventy-five years Salem College was a small institution, drawing students mainly from a limited area. The campus comprised several buildings facing Main Street in town. Beginning in the 1960s, Salem College expanded its physical facilities into a newer and more modern campus called the “Valley of Learning.” This is the location of the present campus. In 1989 Salem College and the Teikyo University Foundation entered into a partnership to create an international learning center, Salem-Teikyo University. As S-TU, the institution charted a new course for itself. While retaining the tradition of small classes and providing extra attention to students, the University sought ways to offer an international and intercultural educational experience. The University encouraged the involvement of all faculty, students, and staff in the process of implementing its international focus. In 2000, the name of the institution was changed to Salem International University to reflect an emphasis on global learning. This continued through a relationship developed in July of 2001 with Informatics Holdings Ltd. Informatics Holdings Ltd. is a leader in using technology to reach students through online education. In June 2005, Salem Education LLC assumed control of Salem and began strengthening the university’s programs and operations, developing new programs of study, and improving the university’s facilities and infrastructure. Today Salem University offers undergraduate degrees in Biology, Business Administration, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Education, Information Technology, and Nursing. Graduate degrees and certificates are offered in Business Administration, Education, and Nursing. Programs and courses are offered on campus, via distance education, and blended. In 2017, the name of the institution was changed to Salem University. This change reflects a desire by multiple constituencies, including students, alumni, and community members, to honor our West Virginia roots, history, and heritage. However, this change shall not be interpreted as indicating any diminishment of our commitment to prepare global citizens with broad knowledge, marketable professional skills, and the ability to make decisions with integrity and an international perspective. Salem continues to serve the educational needs of an increasingly diverse, global citizenry and welcomes students from around the world to join our community of scholars.
The mission of the University is to prepare global citizens with broad knowledge, marketable professional skills, and the ability to make decisions with integrity and an international perspective.