Published on June 17, 2014 by Philip Poole  

Offices for the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Schools (IABCU) are relocating to the Samford University campus as soon as transitions can take place.

The organization's membership approved the relocation at the annual meeting earlier in June following a year-long study by a Commission on the Future of the Association. The association will be housed in Samford's Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President. 

The association, which was founded in 1949 under the auspices of the former Southern Baptist Education Commission, has 47 dues-paying member institutions. Presidents and chief academic officers represent the IABCU member schools. Groups representing student affairs, communications/marketing, denominational relations and others often meet as part of the association.

Under a reorganization approved at the annual meeting, the association will employ an executive secretary who will have offices at Samford and work under the direction of the association president to perform many of the tasks previously assigned to the association's associate director. Timothy Fields, who had served as IABCU associate director for 17 years, is retiring, as is current executive director Michael Arrington. Both of those positions were eliminated with the reorganization.

Samford was one of six IABCU-member institutions that submitted proposals to house IABCU. Samford President Andrew Westmoreland is a former association president, and Provost and Executive Vice President J. Bradley Creed has served on the association's board of directors.

"Samford has a long and storied history as a member of this association, and we are pleased to become its home for the foreseeable future," said Creed. "This is a collaborative opportunity that affirms Samford's leadership role in Baptist higher education."


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.