Clarks Summit University

The information in this column was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 3/8/2021. To update the information in this column, please email:


Online and on campus, Clarks Summit University equips Christ-centered, career-ready graduates who succeed in careers around the globe. Clarks Summit University combines Christ-centered academic distinction and practical, real-world experience in an exceptional mix of on-campus and online options for undergraduate, graduate, and seminary students. Fully accredited programs span from High School Dual Enrollment to more than 40 undergraduate majors, flexible master's programs and terminal degrees. A pioneer in accredited online biblical education, Clarks Summit University also offers fully online programs and accelerated degrees.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Clarks Summit University
538 Venard Road
Clarks Summit, PA 18411


Phone: 800-451-7664


Organization details

EIN: 150543962

CEO/President: Dr. James R. Lytle

Chairman: Matt Calderon

Board size: 15

Founder: Dr. Richard J. Murphy

Year founded: 1940

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 05/31

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 2003


Founded in 1932 in Johnson City, New York, Clarks Summit University is an educational institution that embraces its Baptist heritage. With a commitment to biblical authority, Clarks Summit University serves undergraduate, graduate and seminary students by preparing them for lives of significant service for the cause of Jesus Christ in a variety of ministries and careers.

As a learning community dedicated to biblical higher education, Clarks Summit University strengthens the church of God and influences society by cultivating an environment that promotes academic excellence and Christlikeness. Students are challenged to pursue biblical truth and wisdom, to embrace a Christian worldview and to develop professional competence and relational skills.

Clarks Summit University aspires to be a community of individuals who love and serve God with all their heart, soul and mind, and who love their neighbor as themselves. We launch our graduates into the world as servants of God and as lifelong learners.

Mission statement

CSU exists to prepare Christ-centered, career-ready graduates.

Statement of faith

We believe in the verbal and plenary inspiration of the text of the original manuscripts of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, which alone constitute the inerrant Word of God. We believe the Bible supports using a grammatical, historical method of interpretation in light of the progress of revelation. Thus, we believe that the Bible is the clear, sufficient, and supreme authority for all belief, life, and ministry.

We believe in the trinity of the Godhead: one immutable and omnipotent God, omniscient in all things past, present, and future, who eternally exists in three equal Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe in the deity, virgin birth, perfect humanity, sinless life, substitutionary death, bodily resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only means of salvation from sin and the sole mediator between God and man.

We believe in the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit, through whose ministry believers today are regenerated, baptized into Christ and His body, indwelt, sealed, gifted, and empowered for service. We believe that gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to build up the body of Christ. We believe that the sign gifts of the Spirit were given only for the apostolic era, providing revelation and authenticating the ministry of the apostles.

We believe that God created the universe (including mankind) in six literal, consecutive 24-hour days apart from the process of evolution. We believe that man was created in the image of God and retains that image after the fall. Therefore, we affirm the dignity of human life and affirm that all people are worth pursuing for the cause of Christ.

We believe that all human beings are totally depraved and guilty before God as a result of the fall of Adam. We commit acts of sin because we are sinners by nature.

We believe that the Triune God saves sinners by grace alone through faith in Christ alone. God secures their eternal salvation, having sovereignly elected them to be willing recipients of His grace in Christ, whose blood was shed for the remission of sins. We believe that salvation is demonstrated through good works that are part of a holy life. We believe that every Christian has the joyous responsibility of evangelizing sinners in obedience to Christ's Great Commission.

We believe that the universal Church is the body of Christ, comprised of all true believers from Pentecost until the Rapture. Jesus Christ is the sole head of the Church.

We believe that the local church is an assembly of immersed believers, led by pastors and served by deacons, independent and congregationally governed, in fellowship with other churches of like faith and order.

We believe that the local church is responsible to fulfill the Great Commission. It must observe the ordinances of believers' baptism and the Lord's Supper; foster true fellowship, prayer, and worship; edify and equip believers; and evangelize the world.

We believe that the only biblical mode of baptism is immersion; that baptism is for believers only; that it is a testimony of their identity by faith with Christ's death, burial, and resurrection; and that it is a prerequisite for local church membership.

We believe that the ordinance of the Lord's Supper is solely a memorial of Christ's death, and that the body and blood of Christ are not present in the bread and cup.

We believe in the priesthood of all believers and that we have direct access to God apart from any mediator except Christ. We respect the God-given capacity of individual soul liberty through which each person will give account for living by the dictates of his own conscience. We believe in the separation of church and state, and that believers must fulfill biblical responsibilities to each.

We believe that the Bible directs us to a life of holiness, requiring separation from worldliness and ecclesiastical apostasy unto God.

We believe in the personal existence of angels as created spirit beings. God's holy angels are ministering spirits. Satan and other fallen angels can influence believers, but believers cannot be demon possessed.

We believe in the pre-tribulational rapture and bodily resurrection of the Church at Christ's imminent coming. Believers will give account for their works at the Judgment Seat of Christ, which will follow the Rapture.

We believe in the distinction between the nation of Israel and the Church, the Spirit-baptized Body of Christ. The Church is not the collection of all believers of all times.

We believe that God will fulfill the biblical covenants made with the nation of Israel. Though they are now dispersed among the nations, they will be re-gathered in the land of Israel and saved as a nation at the premillennial coming of Christ to the earth. At that time, Christ will begin his Davidic rule over the world for 1,000 years and continue to reign in the eternal state.

We believe in the bodily resurrection and judgment of unbelievers after the millennial reign of Christ. We believe in the eternal existence and punishment of all unbelievers in the lake of fire and the eternal existence and blessedness of all believers in the new heavens and earth.

Transparency grade


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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Colleges/Universities

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating214 of 81719 of 100
Fund acquisition rating88 of 81713 of 100
Resource allocation rating734 of 81790 of 100
Asset utilization rating64 of 8178 of 100

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$663,772$629,671$682,954$1,356,492$633,178
Short-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$877,345$837,861$1,290,039$1,582,441$914,236
Long-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$8,836,285$9,384,253$9,910,966$10,662,631$12,133,920
Other long-term assets$1,209,497$1,253,606$1,179,979$1,047,579$717,453
Total long-term assets$10,045,782$10,637,859$11,090,945$11,710,210$12,851,373
Total assets$10,923,127$11,475,720$12,380,984$13,292,651$13,765,609
Payables and accrued expenses$958,316$1,400,558$1,424,443$1,462,375$1,500,294
Other current liabilities$491,133$424,714$505,702$672,535$392,139
Total current liabilities$1,449,449$1,825,272$1,930,145$2,134,910$1,892,433
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$1,565,532$1,456,628$1,160,426$1,319,355$0
Total long-term liabilities$6,611,408$6,793,475$7,061,595$7,546,079$6,737,576
Total liabilities$8,060,857$8,618,747$8,991,740$9,680,989$8,630,009
Net assets20192018201720162015
Temporarily restricted$3,112,158$3,333,178$3,454,861$2,852,209$2,392,830
Permanently restricted$0$0$0$0$0
Net assets$2,862,270$2,856,973$3,389,244$3,611,662$5,135,600
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$1,193,964$820,965$1,493,583$2,024,480$2,550,871
Program service revenue$7,642,085$8,429,998$9,120,767$9,312,905$9,668,850
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$364,090$283,384$571,264$0$0
Other revenue$17,602$109,273$52,092$192,270$70,437
Total other revenue$8,023,777$8,822,655$9,744,123$9,505,175$9,739,287
Total revenue$9,217,741$9,643,620$11,237,706$11,529,655$12,290,158
Program services$6,607,597$7,052,871$7,861,410$8,782,976$9,398,337
Management and general$2,499,212$3,159,091$3,545,741$3,833,033$4,182,613
Total expenses$9,173,335$10,249,518$11,668,689$12,888,113$13,963,905
Change in net assets20192018201720162015
Surplus (deficit)$44,406($605,898)($430,983)($1,358,458)($1,673,747)
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$44,406($605,898)($430,983)($1,358,458)($1,673,747)


James LytlePresident$138,740
William HigleyAssistant Secretary$85,874
Andrew WhippleVP of Enrollment Managemen$83,061
Allen DreyerExecutive Director For Adm$70,306
Paul GoldenDirector of Alumni Service$66,526

Compensation data as of: 5/31/2019

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 3/8/2021. To update the information below, please email:


Originally named Baptist Bible Seminary because the school only offered a three-year Bible degree, CSU was established in 1932 by a group of pastors led by Dr. Richard J. Murphy. Its original purpose of preparing men and women to serve Christ as they carried out the biblical command to "go into all the world and preach the gospel" has not changed. The founders insisted the new school be strongly biblical and that it keep high academic standards. Through the years, the school's leaders have continued those goals. Our current motto, "Christ-Centered, Career-Ready" indicates high regard for God's Word as well as a commitment to excellent academics.

A three-year Bible program was in place during the early years of 1932-1947. In 1947, four-year programs in a variety of disciplines were added. A few years later, the Regents of New York State granted a temporary charter, and in 1954, they gave permission to grant the Bachelor of Theology and Bachelor of Religious Education degrees. In 1967, the Bachelor of Sacred Music degree was approved.

At that time, the school used the facilities of First Baptist Church, Johnson City, New York. As the number of students grew from the original 40, additional buildings were purchased. In the 1960s, the administration and the board of trustees saw clearly that the school needed a new campus. When the present site in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, was purchased in 1968, this vision became a reality.

During 1968, the Association for Biblical Higher Education granted accreditation, and in early 1969, the Pennsylvania Department of Education approved the same programs and degrees offered in New York. In addition, they approved the Associate of Arts degree. In 1971, in order to accurately reflect the courses of study offered, the name of the institution was changed to Baptist Bible College of Pennsylvania. In 1982, the institution was authorized to grant the Bachelor of Science in Bible degree. Accreditation from the Middle State Association of Colleges & Schools (Philadelphia, PA) was given in 1984.

The launch of Baptist Bible Seminary

For many years, the Trustees prepared to start a post-baccalaureate program that would become a recognized theological seminary, and in September 1972, the seminary was launched with 23 students and 3 professors. Initially offering the Master of Divinity (1975) and Master of Theology (1980) degrees, the seminary now also offers the Master of Ministry (1987), Master of Arts (2012), Doctor of Ministry (1992), and Doctor of Philosophy (2000) degrees.

Graduate Programs Added to College

In 1989, the Pennsylvania Department of Education granted approval for the college to offer the Master of Science in Christian School Education degree. In 2010, that degree was renamed the Master of Education. In 1996, the Master of Science in Counseling Ministries degree program was approved, and in 2007, the Master of Arts degree was approved. In 2012, the Master of Arts in Literature was approved.

The Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music in Music Education, Bachelor of Sacred Music, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Bachelor of Science in Education, and Bachelor of Science in Counseling degrees were added in 2012. That same year, the Master of Science in Counseling Ministries degree was renamed Master of Science in Counseling. The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice was added in 2018.

The Distance Education Department of Baptist Bible College & Seminary offered the first online course through the seminary in the fall of 1997. Two graduate school courses were also made available. That next spring, thirteen online seminary courses were in place. By the summer of 1998, the library catalog was entirely online.

Current Degrees offered at CSU

There are several degrees on all levels offered online. On the undergraduate level, there is an Associate of Arts degree, a Bachelor of Arts degree, a Bachelor of Science degree, a Bachelor of Science in Counseling degree, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree, and a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies degree. On the graduate level, the Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Literature, and Master of Education degrees are offered entirely online. The Master of Science in Counseling degree is mostly online with some required on-campus modules. For the Seminary, the Master of Ministry, Master of Divinity, and Master of Arts programs are offered entirely online. There are also several doctoral courses available.

The school achieved university status with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and the Trustees changed the name to Clarks Summit University in 2016.

Program accomplishments

Clarks Summit University has been accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education since 1984. Middle States is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education (CHEA).

The University has been accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education since 1968.

All degrees offered by Clarks Summit University have been approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The Early Childhood and Elementary PK-4, Secondary Education English, Secondary Education Social Studies, Secondary Education Mathematics, PreK-12 Physical Education/Health, and PreK-12 Music Education programs are approved for Pennsylvania state certification.