Midway College, located in Midway, Kentucky, is a private, non-profit liberal arts college, founded in 1847 by Dr. Lewis L. Pinkerton, as the first school in the United States to serve orphaned and disadvantaged women. Through the years the school evolved and became Pinkerton High School, Midway Junior College, and finally Midway College.
Today, Midway College is a leader in providing educational opportunities for men and women who wish to continue their education. Many programs are offered in an accelerated format where students attend classes one evening per week or online anytime. The main campus day program still
operates as Kentucky’s only women’s college and provides a unique learning and living opportunity for women seeking their associate or bachelor degrees.
Midway College is known for its excellence throughout Kentucky and beyond in four pillar program areas - Business, Equine Studies, Nursing, and Teacher Education. The College is approved to award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees.
Midway College, formerly the Kentucky Female Orphan School, was the dream of Dr. Lewis Letig Pinkerton, a young physician and minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Together with James Ware Parrish, the Midway Christian Church elder who raised the funds necessary to open the school, they joined with other progressive thinkers to launch a revolutionary educational experiment.
In antebellum Kentucky, the few girls who received formal education were taught to read only because it was considered necessary for their role as mothers. When they reached adulthood, they would read the Bible to their children. Female orphans were rarely offered even this meager amount of schooling. Without education or parental support and concern, the most many could hope for was a lifetime of drudgery as a maid or laborer. The liberal arts curriculum and career preparation proposed by Dr. L. L. Pinkerton was a comprehensive solution to this tragic situation, and the benefits reached far beyond the individual girls who attended the school. Dr. L. L. Pinkerton’s dream became a reality as Midway-educated teachers went forth to share their learning with youngsters throughout the state and region.
In the years since its inception, the institution has evolved to meet the educational needs of women while preserving the goals and standards of its founders. Today, Midway College has achieved its goal of excellence in education, providing advanced instruction in a broad range of subjects based upon a strong liberal arts curriculum.
The campus and programs have grown with the school’s enrollment, yet many of the traditional ideals Midway was founded on have remained constant. The college's affiliation with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) remains strong and many members of the student body are active members of Christian Church congregations.