McKendree University, located in Lebanon, Illinois, was originally established as "Lebanon Seminary" by pioneer Methodists. In 1830, the seminary's name was changed to McKendree College in honor of Bishop William McKendree who was the first American-born bishop of the Methodist Church. In 2007, after 179 years of growth, McKendree College officially changed it name to McKendree University.
McKendree University is recognized as the oldest college in the State of Illinois and the oldest college in the nation with continuous ties to the United Methodist Church. In addition, many former McKendree College faculty and students have been acknowledged for their service supporting the Union forces during the U.S Civil War as the 117th Illinois Volunteer Infantry was called the "McKendree Regiment".
In 2013, the college had an enrollment of approximately 3054 students with campuses located in Lebanon, Illinois, Scott Air Force Base, Louisville, Kentucky, Radcliff, Kentucky, and online.