Prairie College is a private, interdenominational Christian college in Three Hills, Alberta. With a commitment to academic excellence and spiritual discipleship, combined with a genuine and welcoming community, the school offers a formative life-changing experience. 

With 300 students from all corners of the globe, 30 programs, and a network of 17,000 alumni, this dynamic campus community is globally-minded and driven to  meet the greatest needs of the world.

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Message from the President

L.E. Maxwell, Prairie’s Co-Founder and my grandfather, shared that “None of us dreamed what God was going to do out here on these barren prairies.”

In truth, no one could have dreamed that over the years 17,000 students would leave this place prepared to serve God in 114 countries around the world.

My prayer is that you would join that legacy, and that all of us in this community will catch a glimpse of the need that is so evident at home and abroad, and in response, take up the call to obey.

Mark Maxwell, President

L.E. Maxwell, Grandfather of Current President Mark Maxwell

 A Little School With a Big Heart for the World

Prairie Bible  Institute opened its doors for the first time on October 9, 1922, with eight students meeting in a small abandoned farmhouse. The campus steadily expanded as more and more students began arriving, eager to learn from L.E. Maxwell and numerous other dedicated Bible teachers.

L.E.’s Manifesto for the school, as originally written in his handwritten note from 1923,  identifies the mission of the school as “to know Christ and make Him known,” a vision that continues today.

An Integration of Vocation & Spiritual Formation

Prairie has changed the name of its undergraduate schools to Prairie College. “Our name has long been a challenge to overseas students wanting to study here as well as to our graduates hoping to work in ‘difficult access’ countries,” shares Mark Maxwell, President. “Our name should not stand in their way.”

In recent years Prairie Bible Institute has evolved into three separate schools: Prairie Bible College, Prairie College of Applied Arts & Technology and Prairie School of Mission Aviation. The school’s administration believes that it is time to bring them together.

The simplified name will serve as an umbrella for all programs, whether ministry or vocational. It will also allow graduates to have greater acceptance into professional opportunities and further education. Finally, it will make it easier for foreign students to get visas to study at Prairie while allowing graduates easier access to other countries.

The risk in doing this is that by taking “Bible” out of the name, Prairie will be accused of lessening its commitment to the Word of God when, in fact, the opposite is true. “Beginning this fall we are expanding our Bible coverage so that every four-year graduate will study all sixty-six books of the Bible,” Mark explains. “This is an exceptional accomplishment putting Prairie among very few schools in North America that teach the whole of the Scriptures.”

For the foreseeable future, Prairie Bible Institute will remain as the corporate name, but Prairie College will become the brand that will be built around the school. “In other words,” says Mark, “this name better serves our mission while still honouring our ninety-two-year heritage and core value of Bible-centered education.”

Former Presidents of Prairie

J Fergus Kirk (1922-1961)
A Henry Muddle (1961-1965)
Leslie E Maxwell (1965-1977)
Paul T Maxwell (1977-1986)
Ted S Rendall (1986-1992)
Paul W Ferris JR. (1992-1998)
Richard E Down (1998-2001)
Charlotte Bates (Interim President 2002)
Jon Ohlhauser (2003-2009)

From the foundation of the school in 1922, our heartbeat has been “To know Christ and make Him known.” We continue in that tradition, in alignment with the global church.

Our Sole Purpose is: To be, and invite others to be, lovers of God…

  • who make disciples,
  • who influence culture, and
  • who build His kingdom

Our Mission:

To help establish God’s kingdom by equipping and mentoring individuals through biblically integrated education for life and careers that will meet the greatest needs of the world for the glory of God.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):

Our heart’s desire is that all our students, while members of our learning community, will be transformed by the Holy Spirit.

Students will be invited to:

  • Be lovers of God
  • Know and be nourished by God through the Scriptures
  • Grow in obedience to Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit
  • Be on mission for the kingdom of God

Our Core Values

Prairie is an interdenominational community that is committed to the following values:

Christ-Centered – Christ is the life-transforming centre of and reason for our learning community. We lovingly follow Him, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and gratefully depend on the Lord Almighty for all our needs.

Bible Based – The Bible is the God-breathed Truth through which He nourishes our community. We willingly obey it and willingly submit our lives, community and program to its authority.

Discipleship Directed – We are a faith community being discipled by one another as followers of Jesus. We diligently teach and eagerly learn His truth to be transformed together into His likeness.

Mission Mandated – God is on mission to bring redemption and reconciliation, sending His Church as ambassadors to the world. We actively respond through lives of servanthood and sacrifice to honour God and for the good of others.

Prairie College is authorized to grant divinity degrees by the Province of Alberta.

Prairie College is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education Commission on Accreditation (5850 T. G. Lee Blvd., Ste. 130, Orlando, FL 32822, 407.207.0808) to grant certificates and degrees at the Associate, Baccalaureate, and Master’s levels.  

ABHE is an institution recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the U.S. Department of Education.  Prairie College’s accreditation was renewed for 10 years in 2022.    

Our accreditation by ABHE and our degree-granting authority from the province of Alberta means that your education can provide options in ministry, the marketplace and for future study.  

Recent graduates have gone on to pursue graduate and post-graduate education (masters and doctorate programs) at schools such as Trinity Western University, Regent College, Tyndale Seminary, University of Toronto, University of Nottingham, Yale Divinity School, University of Chicago and many others.  

If you have any questions or if you would like more information, please contact the Registrar’s Office at registrar@prairie.edu or 403.443.3044.

Prairie College commits to provide a safe learning environment that supports fair treatment of all members of its community and is conducive to relationships based on biblical teaching, mutual respect, cooperation and understanding.

Prairie does not condone behavior that undermines the dignity, self-esteem, or productivity of any student, staff member or faculty member.

Harassment, Abuse and Assault Policy

The Statement of Faith provides the biblical foundation of Prairie’s official doctrinal stance. At the same time, it allows for some variation in theological perspective or position where variance is warranted by scripture.

View Statement of Faith

As a Christian educational community we seek to live according to the biblical standards laid down by Jesus Christ for His body, the Church. For the sake of fulfilling the community’s purposes, its members humbly enter into a Community Covenant that demonstrates grace while articulating our responsibilities within the Prairie community. In joining this community and entering this Covenant we are, before the Lord, acknowledging our dependence on the power and grace of God to live together according to this ideal.

View Community Covenant

The Statement on Human Sexuality articulates Prairie’s beliefs of the Bible’s teaching on human sexuality.

View Statement on Human Sexuality

View Statement on Historical Adam

“It is a long way from the marketplace in a village in Africa to the marketplace in the financial district of downtown Toronto, but that summarizes the scope of the experiences I have been privileged to have enjoyed,” says Mark Maxwell, President of Prairie College.

A dual US/Canadian citizen, born to missionary parents in Nigeria, West Africa, Mark earned a BA in Business Administration at Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C. in 1981 and an MBA in Finance at Baylor University in Waco, Texas in 1984. Mark went on to further training specific to the investment industry by completing the CFA in 1991. His investment industry licenses have included the qualification of “Partner, Director and Officer” (“PDO”) by the Investment Dealers Association as well as an “Investment Counselor & Portfolio Manager” (“IC/PM”) by the Ontario Securities Commission.

As a young man, Mark had a dream – to use business to support charities. In pursuit of that vision, Mark finished university studies and spent 20 years in investment banking, brokerage and portfolio management. In the process, he and his wife, Elaine, had the opportunity to help build three investment management companies, travel widely and cheer for many of their heroes, the people who work in the charities they have been privileged to partner with.

The experience of building companies and membership on various boards has given Mark and Elaine broad exposure to management and organizational governance so that both are now able to contribute actively at Prairie.

At the top of his “special interests” list are their three daughters, Charlotte, Deborah, and Jocelyn, two sons-in-law, a grandson (Caden), and four granddaughters (Eden, Cora, Esther, & Emilee). He enjoys reading, golfing, travelling, game nights around the table, and people.


We’ve provided these semi-annual reports to the Board of Directors so that our friends and supporters can have a snapshot of Prairie’s progress and challenges from the eyes of the President.

Spring 2011
Fall 2011
Spring 2012
Fall 2012
Spring 2013
Fall 2013
Spring 2014
Fall 2014 (unavailable)
Spring 2015
Fall 2015
Spring 2016
Fall 2016
Spring 2017
Fall 2017
Spring 2018
Fall 2018
Spring 2019
Fall 2019
Spring 2020

Staying On Mission, With Headwinds

“The change we saw and experienced at the beginning of 2020 was just a glimpse of what has turned into a long and challenging year. We have made it through, and we are better positioned for the future as a result… but I am certain that we, as a team, are truly exhausted as we near the end of this calendar year.”

See Mark’s message on Teamwork and Technology, as well as a summary of other successes in the midst of times of testing in the PDF link below

Annual Report 2020-2021

Mr. Brian A. Payne (Chair) Ontario Read More Dr. Jeffrey Suderman (Vice Chair) California Read More
Mr. Phil Orazi (Treasurer) Georgia Read More Dr. John Grassmick (Secretary) Texas Read More
Dr. Joshua Bogunjoko South Carolina Read More Mrs. Ruth Borthistle British Columbia Read More
Mr. Myles Hamilton Alberta Read More Rev. Scott B. Hemenway British Columbia Read More
Mr. Peter Wall Alberta Read More Mrs. Anne Reinhardt Alberta Read More


Dr. Brian A. Payne (Chair)
Read More
Mr. Jeffrey Suderman (Vice Chair)
Read More
Mr. Phil Orazi (Treasurer)
Read More
Dr. John Grassmick (Secretary)
Read More
Dr. Joshua Bogunjoko
South Carolina
Read More
Mrs. Ruth Borthistle
British Columbia
Read More
Mr. Myles Hamilton
Read More
Rev. Scott B. Hemenway
British Columbia
Read More
Mr. Peter Wall
Read More
Mrs. Anne Reinhardt
Read More

Elaine and I moved from Toronto to Alberta to join the Prairie team about 12 years ago. Very early in our time here, I was captured by the mandate in Psalm 138:2, to exalt above all things, the Name of God and His Word. Consequently we adjusted our curriculum to ensure full coverage of the Canon in seven courses that are part of every degree.

Those became the cornerstones of our strategic activity, and over time, God brought about a corporate transformation at Prairie, giving us harmony, renewed purpose, and profitability, that I believe is as miraculous as causing the lame to walk.

So, now, as we pass the milestone marking our first century, we look with great anticipation toward the future, trusting God and leaning into the challenges that will certainly come our way while staying true to our created purpose – to exalt above all things His Name and His Word.

Let me take this opportunity to invite you into our story. See where we are going, and if our plan resonates with you, step in. We believe we are in for an exciting story of God’s continuing work at Prairie – and we’d be honoured to have you be part of it.

Strategic Plan 2022-2025 Abridged Version

Mark L. Maxwell

Prairie College was again recognized as a “Best Christian Workplace” in 2021, topping the BCWI scores from both 2015 and 2018 with a 4.38 out of 5.00. The college was featured in a podcast interview on The Flourishing Culture @BCWInstitute. Executive summary: “In BCWI’s 15-year history and the 900-plus organizations we’ve had the opportunity to serve, Prairie College has made one of the single greatest before-and-after improvements of its culture.” Listen as Mark tells the story about how God has taken Prairie from what BCWI would have identified as a “toxic” culture to a “flourishing” culture. To listen to the podcast, please click here. You can also watch the 2021 BCWI Score reveal on YouTube by clicking here.
PUBLICATIONS What is This Book? At Prairie, our mission is to serve the Church by discipling Christians through biblically integrated post-secondary education. We believe that the importance of knowing, teaching and advocating for God’s Word has never been greater. Our goal is not just to enhance biblical literacy among our college community, but rather to impact this generation through the Scriptures as they find access to the Almighty, to His power, and to gain a greater understanding of the universe He has made. We believe that “All Scripture is inspired, or breathed out, by God, and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that we, as people of God will be competent, equipped for every good work.” We have created the book and video below to share some insight of what this book is and why it is so important to us. If you have any questions, comments or would like a copy of the book, please contact Mark Maxwell. Read “What is This Book?” Watch a video presentation with President Mark Maxwell.
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Snyder & Associates, LLP