Judson’s roots are almost a century old, an outgrowth of Northern Theological Seminary, which was founded in 1913. From its inception, Northern offered both graduate and undergraduate education to men and women training for the ministry. In the early 1960s, when the seminary portion of Northern moved from Chicago to Lombard, it was decided to make the college an independent entity. Under the guidance of Dr. Benjamin P. Browne, college and seminary president, a "new" school was founded along the shores of the Fox River in 1963.
Judson is an evangelical Christian university of the liberal arts, sciences and professions, offering a wide variety of B.A. programs and “practitioner-based” graduate programs in architecture, education, organizational leadership and literacy. In 1994, Judson introduced a new academic division concentrating on continuing education for non-traditional students. Since its inception, the Division of Adult and Continuing Education has offered innovative programs at the main campus in Elgin and at its extension campus in Rockford. Judson University offers a variety of degrees, certificates, and courses in an online format.