Cairn University enjoys a heritage that spans nearly one hundred years. Founded in 1913, it is the result of the merger of two separate institutions which formed Philadelphia Bible Institute in 1951, a school which offered only three-year diplomas and focused primarily on the training of lay people.
Cairn University's Arts & Culture Program offers students a first year experience that focuses on developing a biblically informed perspective on arts and culture throughout history, in the church, and in society. Offering students a dynamic one-year accredited university experience that builds a foundation for further study, the program emphasizes rigorous academics, life in community, and cultural engagement. The Arts & Culture Program can serve as a gap year after high school or as the foundation for further study at Cairn.
In 1958, PBI became Philadelphia College of Bible when the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania granted the institution approval to offer a four-year program leading to the Bachelor of Science in Bible degree. This established PCB as a school for training students for vocational ministry in the church and related organizations.