Santa Barbara, CA
Private University|Religious|Liberal Arts
About Our College
Ruth Kerr, owner and CEO of the Kerr Glass Manufacturing Company, established the school as the Bible Missionary Institute in 1937 on the former Westlake School for Girls campus near Downtown Los Angeles. It was renamed the Western Bible College in 1939. During these early years, Kerr and the other founders decided that a liberal arts curriculum was the best direction for the school. In 1940 Dr. Wallace Emerson, the first president, renamed the school Westmont College, derived from a college in the west and in the mountains. He envisioned a Christian liberal arts college that would take its place among the best in the nation.