Wesley College was founded in 1873 as the Wilmington Conference Academy and became Wesley College Institute in 1918. Wesley was primarily a two-year institution until it conferred its first baccalaureate degrees in 1978. Graduate programs followed in the 1990s. As a United Methodist-affiliated College, Wesley affirms and celebrates the values of Methodist founder, John Wesley: inclusion, justice, social responsibility, and compassion. As a private, comprehensive liberal arts-based institution, the College seeks to empower and liberate its students to be personally and professionally successful and to contribute to improving the global society.
Located in downtown Dover, Delaware's state capitol, Wesley College serves approximately 1500 students, most of whom reside in one of six residence halls. Twelve students in the Honors Program also reside in the Bellmeyer Honors House. The central campus consists of nineteen buildings on twenty acres; the College's athletic complex, located four blocks west of campus, covers thirty acres. The most recent addition to Wesley's campus is the 36,000 square foot William and Susan Johnston Hall, a health sciences building three blocks south of the main campus. Wesley also serves active-duty military personnel and their families at nearby Dover Air Force Base.
The College currently offers 28 bachelor's degrees in a wide array of undergraduate programs, each of which incorporates the recently implemented liberal arts Core Curriculum. Master's degrees are available in Business Administration, Education, Environmental Science, Nursing and Sport Leadership; these include both traditional and online programs. Sixty-nine full-time faculty members teach in these programs.
Wesley's co-curricular opportunities include student government, Greek life, student publications, band, performing arts and a range of student-led organizations. Students may also study abroad and engage in community service. Many undergraduates, both men and women, participate in intercollegiate sports, including football, soccer, softball, lacrosse and more.