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Colleges in Rowan County, NC

Rowan County is home to four colleges and quality community schools, both public and private, making Rowan a regional center of learning. 

Catawba College - Founded: 1851 |

One of the nation’s top-ranked private colleges is located in Rowan County and has as part of its mission to prepare students to 'reach their highest potential…with a zeal to enrich human life.’ US News World Report ranked Catawba 4th among the Best Regional Colleges in the South, while The Princeton Review cited Catawba among "The Best 384 Colleges” in its 2019 edition. 

Founded in Newton, NC, in 1851 and affiliated with the United Church of Christ, Catawba relocated to Rowan County in 1925. Since that time college faculty, staff and students have enjoyed warm and productive town-grown relationships with citizens of Salisbury and Rowan County. The college maintains an average student-to-faculty ratio of 13 to 1 with a student body that totals Catawba more than 70 fields of study including some unique degree programs such as Music, Business, Sustainable Business and Community Development, Theatre Arts Education and the accredited Athletic Training major.

Committed to sustainability, the College has a goal to achieve climate neutrality by 2030. It was recognized as one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the USA and Canada by The Princeton Review in its “2015 Green Colleges.” The scenic campus is located less than two miles from the center of downtown Salisbury 

Hood Theological Seminary – Founded: Department of Livingstone in 1885 became Independent in 2001

Located at 1810 Lutheran Synod Drive just off I-85, Hood Theological Seminary is Salisbury’s only graduate and professional school. The Seminary is dedicated to the education and preparation of persons for leadership in various ministries and vocations of the Christian Church. Hood’s outstanding faculty and student body are comprised of men and women of all ages from many different denominations and ethnic backgrounds.

Students have the opportunity to study under one of the most gifted faculties in the field of theological education today and at an affordable cost. The Master of Divinity, Master of Theological Studies and Doctor of Ministry are the approved advanced degree programs offered at Hood Theological Seminary. The Seminary is fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, is approved by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church and is the only theological seminary in the United States sponsored by the AME Zion Church.

Livingstone College - Founded: 1879 |

Livingstone College is a private historically black college that prides itself on a holistic learning approach that teaches students how best to compete in today’s global society. Located in the heart of Salisbury, Livingstone was originally founded as Zion Wesley Institute in Concord in 1879 but relocated to Salisbury in 1882. Significantly supported by the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Livingstone is a proud member institution of the United Negro College Fund.

Livingstone has 1,300 students and is housed on 272 acres. Seven of the institution’s buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For the past 137 years, Livingstone College has offered bachelor’s degrees in four schools: Liberal Arts, Mathematics, Science, Psychology, Education, Social Work and Business. In 2012, Livingstone successfully launched its School of Hospitality Management & Culinary Arts. In 2015, Livingstone purchased the former Holiday Inn on Jake Alexander Boulevard to house the school and its students. 

Rowan Cabarrus Community College – Founded: 1963 |

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College (RCCC) has spent over 50 years serving Rowan County. The college offers a wide variety of programs to serve a diverse population. RCCC has a deep commitment to teaching, excellent student care and education affordability. Multiple RCCC campuses are conveniently and strategically located. 

Simply put, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is a way forward for the students, the economy and the community. RCCC offers associate degree programs in more than five areas of study including business, IT, health, engineering and biotechnology. RCCC also offers numerous degrees entirely online as well as certificate programs focused on career training.

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