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California Baptist University first opened its doors as the California Baptist College in El Monte to just 42 students in the year 1950. It was founded by the Los Angeles Baptist Association and four years later, following its growth in enrollment, the institution relocated to its current site in Riverside. Through the years, after various milestones, the institution finally achieved university status as the California Baptist University in the year 1998.
Today, California Baptist University sits on a 160-acre campus in the heart historic Riverside. It boasts of state-of-the-art facilities including a 270-seat theater, an advanced music production and recording studio, a fitness center, an aquatic centre, and over 30 buildings that house the university's 10 schools and colleges through which it offers 72 bachelor's and 25 master's degree programs in areas of architecture, visual arts and design, engineering, health science, nursing, behavioral sciences, business, Christian ministries, education, and music.