Ancilla’s History

Ancilla Domini College, organized and sponsored by the Congregation of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, is a two-year, liberal arts college. It was established in 1937 under the accreditation of the Indiana State Board of Education. Prior to that year Ancilla functioned as an extension of DePaul University of Chicago under a charter granted to the Poor Handmaids in 1925.

Originally Ancilla provided higher education for prospective members of the  Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. With the needed expansion of college facilities in 1966, the College broadened its liberal arts curriculum and admitted students from the surrounding geographical area, awarding an associate degree for the first time in 1967.

Since 1973 Ancilla has maintained accreditation with the national Higher Learning Commission.

Timeline

  • 1925: Ancilla was established as an extension of DePaul University of Chicago under a charter granted to the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ in 1925. Originally Ancilla provided higher education for prospective members of the Congregation of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.
  • In 1937 Ancilla became accredited by the Indiana State Board of Education.
  • In 1966 Ancilla incorporated as a separate entity from the religious congregation which founded it. A board of trustees consisting of Sisters and leaders from the surrounding communities is now charged with maintaining its academic mission while addressing education needs of the local community.
  • In 1966, because of needed expansion of college facilities, the College broadened its liberal arts curriculum and admitted students from the surrounding geographical area, awarding an associate degree for the first time in 1967. Since 1966 Ancilla has augmented its liberal arts program with various career preparation offerings.
  • Since 1973 Ancilla has maintained accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission.
  • In 1989 a Student Success Center was established to meet individual academic needs of traditional and non-traditional students.
  • In November 2001 ground was broken to address science and technology needs. The new wing completed in January 2003 is comprised of computer and science labs, classrooms, and offices. Renovation of the original science laboratory in 2004 produced a state-of-the-art nursing lab.
  • Since 1998 Ancilla athletic teams have participated in the National Junior College Athletic Association and, since 2000, the Michigan Community College Athletic Association.
  • In 2006 Ancilla reorganized several services into an Advising Center to serve all new students and all students with academic needs.
  • Today’s 1,000-acre campus is shared by Ancilla College and the American Headquarters of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. The Sister’s facilities include a retreat and conference center, a ministry directed toward the needs of the environment, an artistic community, a beef and grain farm, and a nursing home.
ancilla logo

The seal of Ancilla College was designed in 1965 by Sister Consilia Danyi, P.H.J.C The cross, symbolic of Jesus Christ, is above the book which indicates the Christian message that motivates the educational programs and all that takes place on campus. The lily stylized as an “M” represents Mary, patroness of the congregation that founded and sponsors Ancilla College.

The seal of Ancilla College was designed by Sister Consilia Danyi, P.H.J.C., of the art department of the College in 1965 under the administration of President, Sister Joel Lampen, P.H.J.C. The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ take their name, Ancilla Domini Sisters, from the passage of scripture Luke 1:38 in which Jesus’ mother, Mary, expressed to the angel Gabriel her service to God in the words, “Behold the Handmaid of the Lord.”

In Latin her words translate to “Ancilla Domini” meaning “Handmaid of the Lord.”  The official name of the College is Ancilla Domini College. The seal of Ancilla College first appeared on the By-Laws of the Board of Trustees of Ancilla Domini College and the Articles of Incorporation on August 23, 1965.