The college began as a vision in 1963 in the minds and hearts of Jerald Johnson, serving in Germany, and Bob Cerrato, of Italy. The vision was to serve continental Europe by training persons for ministry. A building was found in a little German village surrounded by Switzerland, the village of Büsingen. The mandate of the college was to be international in scope, with English as the medium of instruction, and to prepare persons for ordination and Christian service. The school was called European Nazarene Bible College (ENBC) and was established in 1965 with Rev. John B. Nielson as its first rector; classes began January 10, 1966.
Throughout its existence, the college has stayed focused on fulfilling its original purpose. In 1977, the school affiliated itself with MidAmerica Nazarene University (MNU), through which it was able to offer a fully accredited Bachelor of Arts degree. In the early 1990’s, as an immediate result of the fall of Communism and the lifting of the Iron Curtain, the school started theological education by extension and, through this, expanded its mission to include many students from various countries who were not able to study at the campus in Büsingen and/or study in the English language. In 2001, the name was changed to European Nazarene College (EuNC). This change had been several years in coming, and it was accepted in the hope that the new name would reflect the institution’s educational profile more accurately.
Realising that the rapidly changing European and CIS environment demanded a drastic change in the way EuNC provided theological education for ministry, the school started a 7-year self-change project in autumn 2004. In January 2006, the Board of Trustees accepted the new strategy Moving Forward that emerged out of this project. The strategy reaffirmed the mission and vision statement of EuNC and outlined the organisational priorities for the future of being “one multicultural and multinational school with one campus and administrative centre and many teaching locations in various European and CIS countries” and aiming at “a high mobility of faculty and students between the campus and the various locations, with the goal of exposing them to the best of residential and extension education.”
In the following years EuNC implemented the Moving Forward strategy. The school adapted its academic and administrative structures to better support a multi-site school with one overall faculty and student network, living and studying in different countries, and one curriculum with room for contextualisation within the various European and CIS cultures. In 2007/08 a new, outcomes based curriculum, relevant to the diverse European and CIS context was launched. That same year, the school also adopted the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS).
During the final year of the timeline of the strategic plan, 2010-11, the school found itself in a different position than anticipated, even though all objectives had been realized. EuNC was confronted with unforeseen developments such as a significant drop of student enrolment at the campus, challenges in accrediting all learning centres through the existing affiliate relationship with MNU, and decreased financial and personnel resources. In response to these challenges, EuNC decided to close the residential programme in the summer of 2011 and fully concentrate on the learning centres of the school. Currently a transitional strategic plan is in place for the period 2011-13. The plan is called Moving Beyond, Building a Decentralised School of Christian Ministry, and intends to move EuNC beyond a campus-centred school.
In November 2012, the school received accreditation from the European Evangelical Accrediting Association (EEAA) for the Certificate in Spiritual Formation (60 ECTS) and the Diploma in Christian Ministry (120 ECTS).