Holiness Bible Institute was founded in October 1945, in Woodstock, New Brunswick, by the Alliance of the Reformed Baptist Church of Canada, with the primary purpose of training ministers within the Atlantic region.
In 1947, the school was relocated to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and renamed Bethany Bible College. Eighteen years later, the leaders once again explored the possibility of relocating to provide a more central location for the constituency and opportunities for growth.
On September 18, 1965, Bethany Bible College reopened on the Sussex Campus, with two buildings on top of the hill overlooking the beautiful Kennebecasis Valley. Three men led the charge for this historic move, raising $100,000 in order for the necessary buildings to be constructed: College president, Rev. C. E. Stairs, District Superintendent, Rev. H. R. Ingersoll; and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Rev. Walter Fernley, worked tirelessly to see this dream fulfilled.
The campus in 1965 consisted of Stairs Hall and Ingersoll House. Named in honour of President Conard Stairs who led the vision for the new campus, Stairs Hall housed administration offices, classrooms, the chapel and dining hall. Ingersoll House, which was named in honour of Rev. H. R. Ingersoll, provided dormitory housing. Fall classes began with eight staff members and 42 students.
In 1972, the school purchased the Sheer Silk Hosiery Mill and lands on Main Street. This is now the lower campus, where the Burbury Administration building and Earle & Marion Trouten Library are located.
In 1983, the Province of New Brunswick authorized the college to grant degrees, and Bethany Bible College became accredited through the Association for Biblical Higher Education in 1987. The school has since added Associate of Arts and Bachelor degree programs, plus a Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology
In 2011, Bethany Bible College was renamed Kingswood University to better serve our purpose of equipping servant leaders for global impact.
Over the years, more property was acquired, and dorms, classrooms, and faculty offices have been added to the campus. In 2008, the Saunders Irving Chapel was dedicated and serves as the center point of the campus. Following a complete modernization and refurbishment of the library in 2010, the Earle & Marion Trouten Library was renamed and rededicated.
In addition, the Mitchell Student Centre was upgraded and Edgett Hall was completely refurbished, making faculty offices more accessible to students. Benson athletic fields and complex were constructed in 2016-17, giving Kingswood students the opportunity to host sporting events as well as intramural sports.
A Counselling Centre, opened in 2019, provides state-of the art facilities for counselling services to the campus and the community at large. Stairs Hall was made fully accessible and the Greg Mann Dining Commons was completely refurbished in 2020.
Degrees and programs have expanded to meet the needs of the church, including distance education. Kingswood Extended provides a hybrid system of learning through online classes or as part of a cohort in community, making education accessible around the globe.
Although names and locations have changed and buildings have been added, the mission of Kingswood University remains the same. From the beginning to the present, Kingswood University exists to prepare men and women for Christian ministry. Today, Kingswood University graduates serve across North America and in 28 countries around the world. As we celebrate 76 years of service to the church, we remain committed to develop Christ-like servant leaders to make a global impact.