Central Wesleyan College
The college has its roots in the German and English College founded in 1854 in Quincy, Illinois, to train ministers for the German Methodist Episcopal Church. The English portion closed in 1863 as descendants of German immigrants were more numerous and interested in continuing their church traditions.
Church members founded the new school in Warrenton with the stated purposes of providing homes for orphans of the American Civil War and to supply a "higher educational institute for the youth of the German Church in the West." Founders purchased a 900-acre (3.6 km2) campus for the Western Orphan Asylum and Educational Institute. In 1869, the name was changed to Central Wesleyan College and Orphan Asylum. In 1884, the two organizations split: Central Wesleyan College and Central Wesleyan Orphan Home.
In 1909 the German College of Mount Pleasant, Iowa merged with the college, which was renamed the Central Wesleyan College and German Theological Seminary. In 1912 the college was among the original founders of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association. After public universities took over the Mid-America athletic conference, in 1924 Central was among the founders of the Missouri College Athletic Union.
It was reclassified as a junior college in 1930, awarding two-year degrees.