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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Livingstone College

by Charles W. Wadelington, 2006; Additional research provided by Kelly Agan; Revised December 2021

See also: Private Education; Private Higher Education; Historically Black Colleges and UniversitiesHistorically Black Colleges and Universities for K-8 Students

Main Building- Livingtone College, 1888. Image courtesy of DocSouth, UNC Libraries. Livingstone College in Salisbury was founded by the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in 1879. Its two previous names were Zion Wesley Institute and Zion Wesley College. The institute was named in 1887 in honor of the great Christian missionary to Africa, philanthropist, and explorer David Livingstone. Its first president, Charles Joseph Price, was a noted scholar, preacher, and orator who attracted students and funding to the college until his death in 1893. Beginning with a single building and 40 acres of land, the campus has grown to over 300 acres containing more than 18 brick buildings.

Livingstone consists of two schools: an undergraduate College of Arts and Science and Hood Theological Seminary, a graduate school of theology. The college supports high intellectual, cultural, and moral standards based upon sustaining values emanating from the Judeo-Christian ideal. To provide this, the college offers a coordinated program of liberal arts and career-oriented curricula with cocurricular activities through which the student may acquire competencies and skills necessary to function responsibly in society. Livingstone remains under the auspices of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. By the early 2000s it had approximately 867 undergraduates served by 81 faculty members.

In 2001, Hood Theological Seminary became independent of Livingstone College with its own charter and board of trustees and appointed Albert J. D. Aymer as its president. In 2002, the A.M.E. Zion Church purchased property for the school and in 2005 Hood Theological Seminary moved into its campus in Salisbury, N.C. 

Educator Resources:

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Irving Boone, "An Appraisal: Livingstone Occupies Unique Position among Institutions of Higher Education," Church School Herald Journal 34 (July 1956).

William J. Campbell, "Origin and Development of Livingstone College and Hood Theological Seminary of the A.M.E. Zion Church and the Progressive Administration of President William Johnson Trent" (M.A. thesis, Hood Theological Seminary, 1950). Louise Marie Rountree, "Livingstone College," A Brief Chronological History of Black Salisbury-Rowan (1976).

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Search Results for 'Livingstone College" in the North Carolina Digital Collections.

Image Credit:

Main Building- Livingtone College, 1888. Image courtesy of DocSouth, UNC Libraries. Charles Lee Smith, 1865-1951
The History of Education in North Carolina. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1888. Available from (accessed November 13, 2012)

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