Blackburn College (Illinois)

Blackburn College is a private liberal arts college in Carlinville, Illinois. It was established in 1837 and named for the Rev. Gideon Blackburn.

Blackburn College
AffiliationPresbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
PresidentJulie Murray-Jensen
Administrative staff
Location, ,
39.288°N 89.872°W / 39.288; -89.872
CampusSmall town
MascotBarney the Beaver

Blackburn is one of only eight federally recognized work colleges in the United States,[1] and it has the only student-managed work program, enabling students to gain leadership experience as they manage other students. All resident students are required to work, but the program is optional for commuters. Each student who works receives a tuition discount for the hours they work. Blackburn is the least expensive private college in Illinois. It is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA).


Blackburn College established in 1837 and named for the Rev. Gideon Blackburn, a Presbyterian minister who helped raise funds for the school. John Babsone Lane Soule was a professor at Blackburn and also a poet, minister, and journalist.

In 2019, Blackburn college announced and began the construction of am 8 acre solar farm. [2]. The project was finished in August of 2019.


Blackburn College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and the teacher's education program is accredited by Illinois State Board of Education. Blackburn offers the Bachelor of Arts degree with over 40 majors.

Majors include: Art, Graphic Art, Environmental Biology, Biology - General Track, Molecular Biology, Medical Laboratory Science, Pre-Med and other Health Professions, Accounting, Business - General Track, Business Marketing, Marketing, Communications, Computer Science - General Track, Cyber Security, Game Design, Criminal Justice, Elementary Education (1-6), Secondary Education, English Language Arts (9-12), Mathematics (9-12), Social Science: History (9-12), Physical Education (K -12), Spanish Education (K-12), Middle Grades Education, Language Arts (5-8), Mathematics (5-8), General Science (5-8), Social Science (5-8), Education Paraprofessional, Creative Writing, Literature, History, Mathematics – General Track, Mathematics – Finance Track, Leadership, Sport Management, Political Science – General Track, Political Science – Pre-Law Track, Psychology, Spanish, Theatre. [3]

Work program

The work program was first instituted at Blackburn College in 1913 in order to provide access to higher education to individuals with the academic ability, but who were lacking the financial means. While cost reduction remains an important value of the work program today, there is an emphasis on the opportunities it provides for student learning. Most students work a minimum of 160 hours each semester (10 hours a week) in partnership with faculty and staff to help provide virtually all services essential to college operations.


Blackburn's athletic teams compete in Division III of the NCAA's St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Blackburn, whose teams are known athletically as the Beavers, was a member of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1914 to 1923. Blackburn has fielded championship teams in men's basketball, women's basketball, football, men's golf, and baseball. The men's golf team earned the most recent SLIAC championship in 2010.

In January 2009, the college announced that it would stop fielding a football team after the 2008-2009 school year.[4]

Men's sports

  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Cross country
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Tennis

Women's sports

  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Tennis
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Volleyball

Notable alumni


  1. "F.A.Q: Work Colleges Consortium". Work Colleges Consortium. Archived from the original on December 31, 2008.
  2. . thetelegraph Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. "Majors". Blackburn College. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  4. Dettro, Chris (January 14, 2009). "Blackburn makes plans to drop football". State Journal-Register.
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