Dedicated in October 1974, the Clifton L. Fowler Library is Colorado Christian University’s primary provider of learning and research resources. We are named for the founder of the Denver Bible Institute, Clifton L. Fowler, who launched the school in 1914 and served as president until 1937. Throughout the last century, our Library has evolved and integrated organically through several mergers. In 1985, Rockmont College, formerly Denver Bible Institute, merged with Western Bible Institute, becoming Colorado Christian College. In 1991, Colorado Baptist University joined the family to form our current institution. During these transitions, the libraries at these institutions interwove to form the diverse and historic collection we carry today.
While preserving our historic roots, we continue to pursue innovation and technology in our mission to equip the community. In 2010 and 2011, the Library adopted new systems software and also integrated into the two largest resource sharing programs in the state: the Marmot Network and Prospector. Through these two programs, the CCU community gained access to over 30 million books and resources. In 2015, the library also joined Mobius, a consortium of libraries in Missouri who share resources and this is a significant partnership because numerous Mobius libraries are at schools of theology.
In 2022, our collection boasts over 806,000 books, e-books, streaming music and video along with over 70,000 online journals. Additionally, in 2022 the library won the Association of Christian Librarians' Award for Excellence in Innovation for its Book A Librarian program. Four librarians and three staff members serve our community and they are often commended by students for their knowledge and dedication.
The CCU library was dedicated in October 1974 to our institution's founder, Clifton LeFevre Fowler. He was born at Kirksville, Missouri, on August 7, 1882, of Scotch ancestry. At the age of eighteen he had a conversion experience through an invitation to attend a Bible class at the Y.M.C.A. He joined the Methodist Church, but his chief interest was the Y.M.C.A. where he was employed as a personal counselor. He was noted for being zealous in witnessing.
For health and personal reasons, Fowler found himself in Denver. While there, Fowler rededicated his life to the Lord and began preaching in a Methodist mission church in Denver. Fowler continued with the Methodist church for a time, preaching at the mission church and attending Trinity Methodist. However, as a result of C. I. Schofield’s teachings and the influence of friends, he found that his own beliefs concerning Christ’s second coming and the security of all Christians in their salvation were the same as that of the Baptists. In time, he was baptized and joined the Baptist church. One day while kneeling in prayer at a pastor’s home, there came to Fowler the idea of establishing a school where the Bible could be taught just as it was written, a dream which came to fulfillment ten years later.
During a two-year stint in pastoral ministry in Palisade, CO, Fowler was ordained as a Baptist Minister. Following this, he went to Liberty, Missouri, and attended William Jewell College, a Baptist institution. After completing his studies, Fowler matriculated in the college. He displayed his talent in teaching for five years while continuing to preach. Here in Liberty he first began teaching informal Bible classes for William Jewell students. In 1910, Rev. Fowler began publishing his teachings in Grace and Truth, a monthly magazine, which he later continued to publish in Denver.
He did not forget his earlier calling to establish a Bible Institute in Denver. At the time, there were no Bible Institutes in Denver, and in 1914 at the age of thirty-two, he moved back to Colorado and launched Denver Bible Institute. He served in various capacities as Dean or President from 1914 to 1937, when he retired.
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