About Linfield University
Linfield University is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning on the West Coast. It traces its origins to a Baptist-led school established in 1849 in Oregon City. It eventually relocated and was chartered by the Oregon Territorial Legislature in 1858 as the Baptist College at McMinnville. Later, the name was shortened to McMinnville College. Through the early years, the college also served as McMinnville’s secondary school and didn’t award its first baccalaureate degree until 1884.
In 1922, Frances Ross Linfield donated significant real estate holdings to the school. This transformational gift secured the financial future of the institution. In honor of the gift, trustees renamed the school in honor of her late husband, Rev. George Fisher Linfield.
The 1970s were a time of academic growth at Linfield. Graduate degrees were added, which were awarded through the 1990s. What is now known as the Online and Continuing Education (OCE) program began as a distance-learning opportunity for working adults in 1975. During the 1990s, the programs moved online. Today, OCE offers graduate and undergraduate degrees, minors and certificates. In addition, Linfield’s commitment to international experiences began in 1976 with a student exchange program in Japan. Today, international experiences are a key part of the Linfield experience with January Term, semester and full-year programs in multiple countries.
Linfield established its Portland campus in 1982, when the college entered into an affiliation with Good Samaritan Hospital and began offering a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in the Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing. The Good Samaritan nursing program traces its roots to 1890 and founder Emily Loveridge. With this heritage, Linfield’s program is the oldest continuously operated nursing school in the Pacific Northwest.
In the late 1990s, the institution acquired the former Hewlett-Packard property adjacent to the McMinnville campus, which more than doubled the size of the campus and opened new opportunities for the school.
With its McMinnville campus in the heart of wine country, Linfield has a strong partnership with the wine industry. The Oregon Wine History Archive was founded in 2011 and the Evenstad Center for Wine Education opened in 2018. In 2019, Linfield began a partnership with Ecole Superieure d’Agriculture (ESA) in Angers, France, which allows students to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree as part of a five-year program.
Linfield College transformed into Linfield University in July 2020. With this transition, a College of Arts and Sciences and a School of Business were added and a new 20-acre campus was acquired in Portland to house the School of Nursing. Graduate degrees returned, offering new programs catering to both industry and student interest. Altogether, the shifts were designed to help the university expand strategically and serve the needs of rapidly changing student demographics.
Although the school retains a historic affiliation with the American Baptist Church, the faculty, staff and students are not bound by the religious requirements of its founders. Linfield welcomes all those who seek out Linfield’s exemplary educational opportunities.
While much has changed during its history, Linfield remains a comprehensive private university that integrates education in the liberal arts and sciences and in selected professional disciplines. The uncommon experiences that make up a Linfield education — the unique learning opportunities, understanding of new cultures and perspectives and exploration of passions — continue to be central to the overall experience.
With a relentless focus on student success, Linfield remains as committed as it has ever been to a mission of connecting learning, life and community.
FROM THE ROCKY COAST TO THE CITY OF ROSES ... AND BEYOND
From its formation in 1858, Linfield has expanded its footprint throughout the northwest. Wherever you look, Wildcats can be found.
- McMinnville: The Linfield University McMinnville Campus is situated on 189 park-like acres and is home to the College of Arts and Sciences and School of Business.
- Portland: Linfield’s presence in Portland began with the formation of the Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing in 1982. The current 20-acre Linfield University Portland Campus opened its doors in February 2021.
- eCampus: Linfield’s online education program offers students the opportunity to receive a Linfield education from anywhere with an internet connection.
The Linfield University McMinnville Campus is located on what is the traditional territory of the “Yam Hill” band of the Kalapuya people. After the 1855 Kalapuya Treaty, the Kalapuya people were forcibly removed and are now members of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. The Linfield University Portland Campus is located on the traditional homelands of the Chinookan peoples known as the Clackamas and Cascade Tribes. The ancestral village of Nichagwli (nee CHALK lee), meaning “stand of pines,” was located near what is now the campus. The people of this area signed the Willamette Valley Treaty of 1855 with the United States government.
Members of the Linfield community are encouraged to invest time, energy and resources to learn more about the tribes whose lands we inhabit by visiting cultural centers, shopping at Native-owned businesses, supporting Native nonprofits and taking care of the land.