General Information


The philosophy of Houghton College, an educational institution of The Wesleyan Church, builds on the concept of preparing individuals to become Christian scholar-servants who exhibit the scholar’s passionate yet humble commitment to the Christian faith and to their chosen academic discipline and the servant’s qualities of serving enthusiastically and unselfishly wherever called. The indispensable characteristics of the scholar-servant are the competence to serve and the willingness to serve.

To acquire the competence to serve, a Houghton graduate must develop effective skills in listening, reading, written and spoken communication, computation, problem solving, logical reasoning and value discrimination. In addition, the graduate’s cumulative knowledge must provide a solid foundation for lifelong learning by a thorough grounding in one or more academic disciplines plus familiarity with fundamental concepts, principles and methods of the basic fields of knowledge. Learning must also relate disciplines to each other and to life in ways that assist in making wise decisions and appreciating one’s individual heritage, while respecting cultural diversity and the integrity of creation.

To develop the willingness to serve, the graduate must encounter positive models through life examples from Houghton’s faculty and staff. Their reasoned faith must rest on sufficient knowledge of the Bible and its central doctrines to communicate Christianity effectively to others and produce a world view that infuses Christian truth into knowledge and experience.

To achieve its ideals, Houghton College will sustain a scholarly community of believers who confess the Lordship of Jesus and who actively seek truth and recognize its foundation in Christ. Because of the risks involved in educating the intellect and the character, the faculty and staff will strive to provide a challenging and stimulating environment which is also nurturing and supportive. The community will also be characterized by the historic distinctives of The Wesleyan Church, including purity of heart and life, concern for justice in social issues and unselfish stewardship of time and the material provisions of creation.

Creedal Statement

Christian institutions over the past 2000 years have attempted to articulate the framework of their convictions in cognitive terms called creeds. As an academic institution, we recognize that all learning happens within a framework of assumptions and presuppositions about the ultimate questions of human existence--the meaning of persons and the source and limits of knowledge. At Houghton, as at most Christian liberal arts colleges, we seek to make these assumptions explicit.

Our framework of conviction draws heavily on the affirmations of the Apostle's Creed. It also reflects the particular concerns of the historical period within which it was articulated.

It is these convictions that we bring into dialogue with our academic studies, in ways that both our faith and our studies may be enlarged and sharpened.

This statement of doctrinal views has been adopted by the board of trustees of Houghton College:

  • We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are fully inspired of God and inerrant in the original writings, and that they are of supreme and final authority for faith and practice.
  • We believe that there is one God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • We believe that God created the entire universe, including human beings, by special operation of divine power.
  • We believe in the fall of Adam and Eve and the consequent sinful nature of all humanity which necessitates a divine atonement.
  • We believe in Jesus Christ as truly God and truly man, and in His virgin birth, His matchless teachings, His vicarious death, His bodily resurrection, and His promised second coming.
  • We believe in justification by grace through faith and in regeneration by the Holy Spirit, who makes the penitent believer a new creature in Christ and commences His lifelong sanctifying work.
  • We believe that the Christian may be filled with the Holy Spirit, or sanctified wholly, as a definite act of divine grace wrought in the heart of the believer to take full possession, cleanse, and equip for service on condition of total surrender and obedient faith.
  • We believe in the personal existence of Satan.
  • We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead--of the saved to everlasting blessedness and of the lost to everlasting punishment.

Community Expectation

All community members, including students, commit to Houghton’s Community Covenant. This commitment signals our desire to live together in Christian community and fellowship. The Student Guide gives a more complete statement of expectations for community life, including student behavior and lifestyle.

As part of our commitment to community life, the Houghton community gathers for chapel three times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday). Students commit to attending at least 2/3 of these chapels per semester.


Houghton College’s main campus is in the hamlet of Houghton, Allegany County, in western New York, about 65 miles southeast of Buffalo and 70 miles southwest of Rochester. It is in the heart of the Genesee country, rich in historic Archaic, Lamoka, and Woodland Native American cultures. The campus sits on the Allegheny Plateau at roughly the 1,300-foot level, on the site of the former Caneadea Indian Reservation of the early 1800s. Fifteen miles to the north are the Genesee’s magnificent Portage Falls and Letchworth State Park. On all sides is the scenic beauty of the rolling hills and northern hardwood forests of western New York State. Allegany County, with extensive state forest land, abundant wildlife, and cross-country and downhill ski trails, is rapidly developing into a leading recreation area of western New York.

When the former Buffalo Bible Institute in West Seneca merged with Houghton College in 1969, the West Seneca campus was created. The programs on this campus evolved from lower-divisional status to specialized courses and internships designed to complement majors offered on the main campus, particularly those requiring an urban setting.  

Houghton College has moved the focus of its work from the former Buffalo Bible Institute site in West Seneca to various sites in the city of Buffalo. Our involvement is now in Adult Education, Buffalo City Semester, Wesley Service Corps, and various other ministries of co-curricular education and service.

Academic Standing and Regulations

Houghton College is fully accredited by the Regents of the University of the State of New York and by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (267.284.5000) is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U. S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The most recent renewal of this status was awarded in 2005.

The Greatbatch School of Music is a member of the National Association of Schools of Music, and the requirements for entrance and for graduation as set forth in this catalog are in accordance with the published regulations of the National Association of Schools of Music, 11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21, Reston, VA 20190. (703.437.0700.) 

The Education Department is a member of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council, One Dupont Circle, Suite 320, Washington, D.C. 20036. (202.466.7236.)

Houghton Graduates

Each year an average of 65 percent of Houghton’s graduates go on to full-time employment. The remaining 35 percent enter graduate school within a year of leaving Houghton. Approximately 16 percent of our graduates go into full-time Christian service. The remainder tend to enter professional fields such as education, business, medicine, law and social services. Post-graduation statistics are available from the career services office.


Consortium activities increase learning opportunities for students by bringing special programs to campus and by creating the opportunity for selected sophomores or juniors to enroll with ease in special programs at other consortium colleges.

  • Christian College Consortium
  • Council for Christian Colleges and Universities
    • See the Off Campus Programs department for information about the Off Campus Programs of the CCCU.
  • Western New York Higher Education Consortium

  • Five-College Committee
    • Houghton is also part of an ongoing consortium relationship with four other colleges serving the northern tip of Appalachia: St. Bonaventure University, Alfred University, Jamestown Community College (Olean) and the SUNY College of Technology at Alfred. Details of cross-enrollment opportunities may be found through the academic records office.
  • Rochester Area Colleges
    • The Rochester Area Colleges is a consortium of higher education institutions in the Rochester, New York, area.  Founded in 1970, Rochester Area Colleges has numerous area public and private colleges as members and provides numerous collaborative working opportunities for colleges and their students. The purpose of the association is to support the functions of career development, placement and experiential education in the region.
    • Participating institutions include: Alfred University, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Finger Lakes Community College, Genesee Community College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Houghton College, Keuka College, Monroe Community College, Nazareth College, Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester Institute of Technology, St. Bernard’s Institute, St. John Fisher College, SUNY Alfred, SUNY Brockport, SUNY Empire State College, SUNY Geneseo, University of Rochester and Wells College. For further information, contact the academic records office.

Policy Information

Religious Observances

In compliance with New York’s Hevesi-Levy Act, Houghton College will accommodate any of its matriculated students who are unable to register for classes, take an exam, or attend a class because of religious beliefs (taken to mean the doctrinal beliefs of religious organizations which qualify as tax-exempt corporations under federal law).