It was this goal that in 1921 caused local farmer J. Fergus Kirk to write Midland Bible Institute in Kansas City for a Bible teacher. Leslie Earl Maxwell responded to the letter with enthusiasm, planning to stay for just a few years to informally teach the small group of students, then move into mission service elsewhere.
Prairie College commemorated our 100th anniversary in 2022. 17,000+ graduates have come through Prairie’s halls and have gone on to work on every habited continent. Through the years, Prairie’s mission has remained the same: To know Christ and make Him known.
L.E. Maxwell, Grandfather of Current President Mark Maxwell
To everyone’s surprise, students just kept on coming. Unbeknownst and completely unfathomable to them in 1922, Kirk and Maxwell would spend the rest of their lives establishing Prairie Bible Institute, together welcoming and teaching thousands of students from around the globe.
The peak of Prairie’s enrollment was in the post-war years, with 900+ service men and women coming to the College to learn and then return to their service locations overseas to evangelize to the people they had come to know while they were stationed. Prairie’s strong mission emphasis caused Prairie graduates to continue to spread around the globe…from war-torn France to the savannas of Africa to the jungles of South America and to remote Asian villages.
Vocational training would be added to Bible courses in the ‘90’s with the Prairie Aviation Training Centre. PATC celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2022 having sent hundreds of graduated pilots to both dusty airstrips and to the cockpits of jumbo jets throughout its history. Through a partnership established with Mission Aviation Fellowship in 2017, PATC has been able to strengthen its operations and reach.
Prairie would add sport as another avenue of ministry and growth for students, today part of the Alberta College Athletic Conference. The Explore Program, focusing on outdoor leadership and wilderness skills, was born in 1998, followed by programs such as Discover intercultural studies, Practical Nursing, Primary Care Paramedic, Digital Media, and Prison Ministry; all avenues to address a great need in the world and to provide students with marketplace employment while still providing biblical training.
As the College celebrated its centenary, President Mark Maxwell (grandson of co-founder L.E. Maxwell) couldn’t help but marvel at God’s faithfulness to the school, through the joys and difficulties of the last hundred years. “Words fail to adequately reflect the events of the past century at Prairie, and to capture the potential for the next century.” Says Maxwell.
“As I reflect on Prairie’s early days, I am repeatedly impressed with the fact that L.E. and the team around him did a very good job. We look toward the next century and will continue to build on Prairie’s solid foundation, to continue to be a team working in harmony, with strong programs, and to welcome students from around the world so that they can go out and meet the greatest needs of the world. We are planning for a total revamp of our campus facilities through our $100M Centennial Campaign to set the school up for a productive second century.”
Former Presidents of Prairie
J Fergus Kirk
Fall 2024 (September start), Winter 2025 (January start), and Online Education (start anytime) applications are open.
Prairie welcomes applications from individuals all around the world! To begin the International Student Application please click the link below.
If you are applying for the Master of Leadership in Global Christian Education and need more information visit the program page.
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We have launched our Campaign for Greater Impact to provide students with the very best learning opportunities and campus facilities for the decades ahead.
In Phase One of this Campaign, we plan to invest in much-needed campus renewal, including: upgraded Infrastructure, a new Student Residence, Cafeteria, Worship Auditorium, and expanded Aviation Training Centre. A modern campus requires an investment that is bold, and even expensive, but each Campaign Project is strategic, and designed to enhance Prairie’s campus and student life experience.
This expansion of PATC’s facility is a key project of Prairie’s Campaign for Greater Impact. It will increase the College’s capacity to train a new generation of Christian aviators to serve God in missions, and also address the growing need for trained pilots in the commercial aviation sector.
Invest in the next generation of missional professionals. Each year Prairie College distributes over $500,000 in scholarships and bursaries to students. We are grateful for each gift that reduces the burden of students’ tuition and allows students to fulfill their God-given professions.
Encourage inmates in five institutions across Alberta to discover or reconnect with Jesus Christ. This fund assists the students studying the Certificate in Bible program with scholarships, resources for classes, and instruction.
Prairie College is educating students to pursue a Biblical foundation for life and career. Your contribution to this fund assists in minimizing the College’s general operating expenses.
To allocate your gift, please select one of the donation buttons below.