From Ohio History Central
The United Brethren Church opened Ashland College, the predecessor of Ashland Theological Seminary and of Ashland University, in 1879, in Ashland, Ohio. The school originally enrolled seventy-five students and had eight faculty members. The institution struggled during its first years, eventually filing for bankruptcy in 1888, and the court ordered the school's sale.
In 1888, the United Brethren Church purchased Ashland College's buildings from the court and established Ashland University. The next year, Ashland University founded a theological seminary, although Ashland Theological Seminary remained a formal part of Ashland University's Bible Department until 1930. Prior to 1930, the seminary only offered undergraduate degrees. By the early 2000s, Ashland Theological Seminary averaged an enrollment of eight hundred students per year. The seminary also offered courses in Columbus, Ohio, Cleveland, Ohio, and Detroit, Michigan.