Returning to its history and heritage, Trinity International University (TIU) has announced it is expanding its reach with the opening of a new site in Kendall in an endeavor to better serve students and the community. The facility, located at 9010 SW 137 Avenue in Miami, formerly the home of Everest College, will feature expanded course options, five classrooms, access to library resources, a high-end computer center with study cubicles, a student lounge complete with WiFi, tech support and a director of campus programs on site.
The public is invited to a grand opening celebration on April 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. when alumni, students and community members can meet the professors and staff, tour the new site and enjoy food, music and fellowship.
For Trinity alumni, the move has sparked fond memories of the school’s Miami roots.
Ruth Velez, host of REACH-FM’s Mid-day with Ruthie J, graduated from TIU Florida with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and business administration. She said, “My mom worked at Trinity’s South Florida campus and started there when it was Miami Christian College; it became Trinity International University and then I worked there at WMCU after graduation, so I feel like I’ve lived through all of their transitions.”
Ruthie remembers, “The reason I wanted to go there was because of the multicultural nature of the school… I think it enriches so much. They say Sunday is the most racially diverse day of the week, but in Trinity classrooms you’ll have at least 10 different countries represented. It produces students who appreciate diversity and learn to work together.”
TIU-Florida is a regional campus of Trinity International University, which was founded in Deerfield, Illinois, in 1897. The Miami campus was established in 1993 following a close relationship with Miami Christian College, a Bible institute begun in 1949 that became a four-year Bible College in 1962. It was located on a 16-acre campus in Opa-locka from 1966 to 1991 and later moved to downtown Miami in 1991. In 2002 the campus moved to North Miami and then to Davie in 2002 where it is currently based. Today, TIU remains committed to the same mission: to engage the culture for Jesus Christ.
While the school has been through a lot of changes, Ruthie said, “It’s like a family to me. The people I met there are lifelong friends… Everybody from Homestead to North Broward would come there, to a historic building in Miami, and now they are impacting the community as pastors and teachers.”
Leo Acosta, co-pastor of The Way Miami, earned his master’s degree at TIU’s downtown Miami site and admits, “It’s been a foundation of where I am today. Through the teaching and mentoring of the professors, it’s more than a school… There are a lot of alumni I still talk to and some attend my church.”
Acosta said he is pleased the school is expanding in the Kendall area. “It’s definitely needed because there’s not an on-site accredited Christian School that I know of in Miami, so you’d either have to leave the area or do it online and some people don’t like to learn that way,” he said.
At TIU students are equipped to be effective, Christ-centered professionals and leaders in their communities. It is the only evangelical Christian University south of the Palm Beaches that is accredited regionally and by the Association of Theological Schools, committed to academic excellence and lifelong learning that helps students to integrate their faith with practice in their chosen field of study. Trinity offers bachelor of arts degrees in business administration, Christian ministries, elementary education, organizational leadership and psychology. Students can also pursue a master of arts in counseling psychology, leadership or theological studies.
Tommy Carrington, ministries director at Miami Youth for Christ and president of the Urban Training Institute, earned his bachelor’s degree from Miami Christian College in counseling psychology and biblical studies and earned his master’s degree in counseling psychology from Trinity International University where he is currently an adjunct professor. “Personally speaking, Trinity has had a profound impact on my life and a tremendous impact on the community,” said Carrington.
He explained that 27 years ago, Miami Christian College partnered with Miami Youth For Christ to do a training conference for youth leaders, and Trinity continued this support. “Sometimes we would have 200 to 400 youth leaders, including volunteers, youth pastors, Sunday school teachers and lay leaders, at the conference, and Trinity professors would come and teach workshops. They’re still involved,” said Carrington, noting this was the catalyst behind the 2-year training and coaching program in the essentials of youth ministry he is involved with now. “I’d say we’ve impacted over 1200 youth leaders who have taken our program.”
Carrington said TIU-Florida’s expansion in Miami is “a great opportunity for students to get a Christian education without having to leave the county or state. Broward was a little far for many in Dade, and now they will have more access. It’s a great boost for the Christian community in South Florida.”
According to TIU-Florida President David Dockery, “At Trinity, we want to bring together head, heart and hands in a distinctive and holistic way, exploring how the Christian faith bears upon all learning and doing…. If you are looking for a place where you can find a sense of belonging and where you will be guided by caring staff members to develop priorities and practices that will prepare you for the rapidly changing world of the 21st Century, then Trinity will be a great place for you.”
TIU-Florida is located at 8190 W State Road 84, in Davie, with the new Kendall location at 9010 SW 137 Avenue, Suite #101, in Miami. For more information about their program, visit florida.tiu.edu.
For more articles by Shelly Pond, please visit goodnewsfl.org/author/shelly/