Pictured on this page is the seal once used by The Way College of Emporia. It reads "The Way College of Emporia Incorporated A.D. 1882."
However, The Way dates its beginning to 1942, the year V. P. Wierwille claimed God spoke to him and told him to teach the Word "as it had not been known since the first century." It purchased the college facilities in 1974 and began classes in 1975. How could The Way claim that its college began 60 years before The Way did, and 93 years before it held its first classes?
When The Way purchased the college, it hoped to inherit the school's credibility, accreditation and endowments granted when it was the College of Emporia, a Presbyterian institution. In the most publicized case, a court denied The Way's bid to receive $225,000 from the estate of Dr. John S. Coleman. Accreditation agencies withdrew accreditation because it was apparent that The Way college did not meet academic standards. The Way lost the credibility it desired as well, since it was obvious that the college was inferior, and yet tried to deceive outsiders into thinking it had credibility as a long standing, reputable institution.
The Way was never able to deliver the "fully accredited liberal arts program" The Way promised its followers in 1975.
The Way operated the college for only 14 years. It closed in 1989 (although it had been deteriorating for a few years before that) and sold the facilities to a development agency, Center of Emporia, on October 18, 1991. It was sold for about $750,000, yielding far less than the $1.7 million (or more) The Way had spent to obtain and develop it. The Way bought it by paying off a mortgage of $504,000, plus debts of $190,000. Renovations required over $1 million. Since The Way had lost so many followers, leaders and givers in the late 1980s, and was falling deep in debt, the sale was probably necessary to try to achieve some financial stability.
Emporia was concerned over the years about The Way's gun training, mass weddings and bloc voting.
The campus has since been sold in pieces to various agencies and is used for such diverse activities as the American Legion, National Teachers' Hall of Fame, administration for the Emporia State University School of Library, churches, parks and retirement homes.
For more details on the early years of The Way College of Emporia, see "From 'Vesper Chimes' to
'The Way International'" by Juedes and Morton.
Back to "The Way Today" Menu