Our History

A Scottish phrase meaning “Mountain of Trust”, Ben Lippen School was founded in 1940 by the Columbia International University (CIU) board of trustees under the guidance of CIU’s first president, Robert C. McQuilkin. The evangelical boarding school for boys was located at CIU’s Ben Lippen Conference Center on a mountain near Asheville, NC. The school became co-educational in 1952 and flourished as a school for missionary children. After a fire destroyed the main building in 1980, Ben Lippen moved its high school program to its current location in Columbia, SC in 1988 to be on the campus of CIU. An elementary program was begun in 1990 and currently boasts two campuses, one at the Monticello Road location and another on St. Andrews Road in Columbia. All middle and high school students attend the Monticello Road campus. 

Today Ben Lippen School has more than 700 students in grades Pre-K through 12, with approximately 80 of them being international students who live on campus and attend our high school. Ben Lippen is accredited by both ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) and SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) and is a member of the South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA).

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