NAIA independent schools

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Continental Athletic Conference
FormerlyAssociation of Independent Institutions
AssociationNAIA
Founded2008 (as the AII)
CommissionerTed Breidenthal
Sports fielded
  • 11
    • men's: 5
    • women's: 6
No. of teams16 (13 in 2024)
RegionUnited States and Canada (British Columbia)
Official websitewww.continentalathletics.com
Locations
Location of teams in {{{title}}}

NAIA independent schools are four-year institutional members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) that do not have formal conference affiliations.[1] NAIA schools that are not members of any other athletic conference are members of the Continental Athletic Conference (CAC), formerly the Association of Independent Institutions (AII), which provides member services to the institution and allows members to compete in postseason competition. The CAC has one member institution in Canada's British Columbia. It provides services to the member institutions that are not fitting in any other NAIA conference and allows members to compete in postseason competition. The AII renamed itself the Continental Athletic Conference at the end of June 2021, citing the need to identify as a proper conference.[2]

History[edit]

Chronological timeline[edit]

Member schools[edit]

Schools that competes as independent in some sports that their own conference doesn't sponsor, competes in the CAC as affiliate members (except football).

Current full members[edit]

Departing members are highlighted in pink.

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Basketball? Future
conference
Arkansas Baptist College[a] Little Rock, Arkansas 1884 Baptist[b] 468 Buffaloes 2021 both
Bacone College Muskogee, Oklahoma 1880 Tribal college[c] 900 Warriors 2019 both
Crowley's Ridge College Paragould, Arkansas 1964 Churches
of Christ
331 Pioneers 2016 both American Midwest (AMC)
Fisher College Boston, Massachusetts 1903 Nonsectarian 2,560 Falcons 2012 both
Florida College Temple Terrace, Florida 1946 Churches
of Christ
505 Falcons 2021 men's
Florida National University Hialeah, Florida 1988 For-profit 5,541 Conquistadors 2018 both
Georgia Gwinnett College Lawrenceville, Georgia 2006 Public 9,000 Grizzlies 2012 none
Haskell Indian Nations University Lawrence, Kansas 1884 Public tribal 958 Fighting Indians 2015 both
Morris College Sumter, South Carolina 1908 Baptist[b] 871 Hornets 2005[d] both
Northern New Mexico College Española, New Mexico 1909 Public 3,873 Eagles 2009 both
College of the Ozarks[e] Point Lookout, Missouri 1906 Presbyterian
(PCUSA)
1,508 Bobcats 2015;
2023[f]
both Sooner (SAC)
Penn State–Schuylkill[g] Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania 1934 Public
(PSUCC)
940 Nittany Lions 2018 both
University of Victoria Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 1903 Public 16,961 Vikes 2006[d] both[h]
Voorhees University[i] Denmark, South Carolina 1897 Episcopal[b] 600 Tigers 2005;[d]
2015[j]
both Gulf Coast (GCAC)
Washington Adventist University Takoma Park, Maryland 1904 Seventh-day
Adventist
1,493 Shock 2014 both
Wilberforce University Wilberforce, Ohio 1856 A.M.E. Church[b] 900 Bulldogs 2012;
2023[k]
both Gulf Coast (GCAC)
Notes
  1. ^ Also sponsors football.
  2. ^ a b c d Also a Historically black college and university.
  3. ^ Formerly affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) until 2018.
  4. ^ a b c School competed as a full Independent within the NAIA prior the inception of the AII/Continental beginning the 2008–09 school year.
  5. ^ This institution holds dual membership with the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA).
  6. ^ College of the Ozarks left the Independent/AII/Continental ranks after the 2020–21 school year before re-joining in 2023–24 and will leave it once again after said school year.
  7. ^ This institution holds dual membership with the United States College Athletic Association (USCAA).
  8. ^ UVic competes some of their sports in their primary home conference at the Canada West Universities Athletic Association (Canada West) of U Sports.
  9. ^ Formerly known as Voorhees College until 2022.
  10. ^ Voorhees left the Independent/AII/Continental ranks after the 2012–13 school year before re-joining in the 2015–16 school year.
  11. ^ Wilberforce left the Independent/AII/Continental ranks after the 2021–22 school year before re-joining in the 2023–24 school year.

Future member[edit]

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joining Basketball? Current
conference
Spartanburg Methodist College Saxon, South Carolina 1911 United
Methodist
1,025 Pioneers 2024 both Carolinas (CJCC)
(NJCAA)

Former full members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Current
conference
Basketball?
Allen University Columbia, South Carolina 1870 A.M.E. Church[a] 600 Yellow Jackets 2005 2016 Southern (SIAC)[b] both
University of Antelope Valley Lancaster, California 2009 For-profit 1,517 Pioneers 2013 2015 California Pacific (CalPac) both
Arizona Christian University[c] Glendale, Arizona[d] 1960 Nondenominational 820 Firestorm 2009 2012 Golden State (GSAC) both
Ashford University Clinton, Iowa 1918 For-profit N/A Saints 2012 2016 Closed in 2016 both
Ave Maria University Ave Maria, Florida 2003 Catholic
(Diocese of Venice)
1,200 Gyrenes 2008 2009 The Sun both
Benedictine University at Springfield Springfield, Illinois 1927 Catholic
(Ursulines)
N/A Bulldogs 2010 2011 Closed in 2018 both
Bushnell University[e] Eugene, Oregon 1895 Disciples
of Christ
800 Beacons 2005[f] 2007 Cascade (CCC) both
California State University San Marcos San Marcos 1989 Public[g] 14,511 Cougars 1998 2015 California (CCAA)[b] both[h]
Central Baptist College Conway, Arkansas 1952 Baptist Missionary 739 Mustangs 2009 2011 American Midwest both
Central Christian College of Kansas McPherson, Kansas 1884 Free Methodist 1,013 Tigers 2015 2017 Sooner (SAC) both
Clarke University[i] Dubuque, Iowa 1843 Catholic
(B.V.M.)
1,230 Crusaders[j] 2006;
2015[k]
2007;
2016[k]
Heart of America (HAAC) both
Cleary University Howell, Michigan 1883 Nonsectarian 600 Cougars 2017 2018 Wolverine–Hoosier (WHAC) none
College of Coastal Georgia Brunswick, Georgia 1961 Public 3,438 Mariners 2011 2012 The Sun both
Cottey College[l] Nevada, Missouri 1884 Nonsectarian 307 Comets 2018 2022 American Midwest women's
Dakota State University Madison, South Dakota 1881 Public 2,282 Trojans 2011 2013 North Star (NSAA) both
Dalton State College Dalton, Georgia 1963 Public[m] 5,047 Roadrunners 2012 2014 Southern States (SSAC) men's
Fisk University Nashville, Tennessee 1866 United
Church of
Christ
910 Bulldogs 2008;
2014[n]
2010;
2021[n]
Gulf Coast (GCAC) both
Governors State University University Park, Illinois 1969 Public 7,775 Jaguars 2015 2016 Chicagoland (CCAC) both
Green Mountain College Poultney, Vermont 1834 United
Methodist
N/A Eagles 2018 2019 Closed in 2019 both
Holy Cross College Notre Dame, Indiana 1966 Catholic
(C.S.C.)
500 Saints 2006[f] 2009 Chicagoland (CCAC) both
Holy Family College[o] Manitowoc, Wisconsin 1935 Catholic
(Franciscan)
500 Lakers 2016 2020 Closed in 2020 both
University of Houston–Victoria Victoria, Texas 1973 Public 4,407 Jaguars 2007 2015 Red River (RRAC) none
Indiana University–Kokomo Kokomo, Indiana 1945 Public[p] 3,719 Cougars 2012 2013 River States (RSC) both
Indiana University–Northwest Gary, Indiana 1959 Public[p] 4,760 Redhawks 1998[f] 2019 Chicagoland (CCAC) both
Indiana University–Purdue University Columbus
(IUPUC)
Columbus, Indiana 1970 Public[p] 1,411 Crimson Pride 2022 2023 River States (RSC) none
Indiana University–Southeast New Albany, Indiana 1941 Public[p] 6,840 Grenadiers 1978[f] 1994 River States (RSC) both
Indiana University–South Bend South Bend, Indiana 1966 Public[p] 8,394 Titans 1987[f] 2003 Chicagoland (CCAC) both
Iowa Wesleyan University Mount Pleasant, Iowa 1856 United
Methodist
570 Tigers 2012;
2021
2013;
2023[q]
Closed in 2023 both
Jamestown College[r] Jamestown, North Dakota 1883 Presbyterian
(PCUSA)
900 Jimmies 2012 2013 Great Plains (GPAC) both
King College[s] Bristol, Tennessee 1867 Presbyterian
(Evangelical
Presbyterian
/
PCUSA)
1,800 Tornados 2009 2010 Carolinas (CC)[b] both
Lambuth University Jackson, Tennessee 1843 United
Methodist
800 Eagles 2008 2009 Closed in 2011 both
Lawrence Technological University Southfield, Michigan 1932 Nonsectarian 3,000 Blue Devils 2011 2012 Wolverine–Hoosier (WHAC) both
Life University Marietta, Georgia 1974 Nonsectarian 2,692 Running Eagles 2008;
2013[t]
2012;
2014[t]
Southern States (SSAC) both
Lincoln College Lincoln, Illinois 1865 Nonsectarian 800 Lynx 2018 2020 Closed in 2022 both
Lincoln Christian University[u] Lincoln, Illinois 1944 Christian 1,050 Red Lions 2014 2022 N/A[v] both
Lindenwood University at Belleville[w] Belleville, Illinois 2003 Presbyterian
(PCUSA)
N/A Lynx 2012 2014 Closed in 2020 both
Louisiana State University of Alexandria Alexandria, Louisiana 1959 Public 3,378 Generals 2007[f] 2014 Red River (RRAC) both
Lourdes University Sylvania, Ohio 1958 Catholic
(Franciscan)
1,500 Gray Wolves 2010 2011 Wolverine–Hoosier (WHAC) both
University of Maine at Fort Kent[w] Fort Kent, Maine 1878 Public[x] 1,339 Bengals 2017 2018 USCAA Independent both
Marygrove College Detroit, Michigan 1899 Catholic
(I.H.M.)
N/A Mustangs 2008 2012 N/A[y] both
Marymount California University Rancho Palos Verdes, California 1932 Catholic
(R.S.H.M.)
923 Mariners 2010 2012 Closed in 2022 none
Mayville State University Mayville, North Dakota 1889 Public 780 Comets 2012 2013 North Star (NSAA) both
University of Missouri–Kansas City
(UMKC)
Kansas City, Missouri 1933 Public[z] 16,000 Kangaroos[aa] 1969[f] 1994 The Summit[ab] both[ac]
Mount Mercy University Cedar Rapids, Iowa 1928 Catholic
(R.S.M.)
1,490 Mustangs 2015 2016 Heart of America (HAAC) both
North American University[ad] Stafford, Texas 2007 Nonsectarian 785 Stallions 2022 2023 Red River (RRAC) both
University of Northwestern Ohio Lima, Ohio 1920 Nonsectarian 4,200 Racers 2007[f][ae] 2008[ae] Wolverine–Hoosier (WHAC) both
Ohio Dominican University Columbus, Ohio 1911 Catholic
(O.P.)
3,052 Panthers 2009 2010 Great Midwest (G-MAC)[b] both
Oral Roberts University Tulsa, Oklahoma 1963 Evangelical 3,300 Titans[af] 1989[f] 1991 The Summit[ab] both
Our Lady of the Lake University San Antonio, Texas 1895 Catholic
(C.D.P.)
2,660 Saints 2007[f] 2008 Red River (RRAC) both
Rochester College[ag] Rochester Hills, Michigan 1959 Churches
of Christ
1,100 Warriors 2011 2017 Wolverine–Hoosier (WHAC) both
Rogers State University Claremore, Oklahoma 1909 Public 4,300 Hillcats 2005[f] 2007 Mid-America (MIAA)[b] both
University of St. Thomas Houston, Texas 1947 Catholic
(C.S.B.)
1,626 Celts 2007 2011 Southern (SCAC)[ah] both
Savannah College of Art and Design at Atlanta
(SCAD Atlanta)
Atlanta, Georgia 2005 Non-profit
art school
2,000 Bees 2010 2012 Appalachian (AAC) none
Savannah College of Art and Design
(SCAD Savannah)
Savannah, Georgia 1978 Non-profit
art school
11,897 Bees 2003[f] 2004 The Sun none[ai]
Soka University of America Aliso Viejo, California 2001 Nonsectarian 441 Lions 2007 2012 California Pacific (CalPac) none
University of South Carolina Beaufort Beaufort, South Carolina 1959 Public 1,386 Sand Sharks 2022 2023 Peach Belt (PBC)[b] both
Southeastern University Lakeland, Florida 1935 Assemblies of God 3,850 Fire 2008 2009 The Sun both
Stillman College Tuscaloosa, Alabama 1876 Presbyterian
(PCUSA)
1,000 Tigers 2016 2018 Southern States (SSAC) both
Stephens College[l] Columbia, Missouri 1833 Nonsectarian 754 Stars 2004[f] 2008 American Midwest women's
Talladega College Talladega, Alabama 1867 United Church of Christ[a] 600 Tornadoes 2008 2011 Gulf Coast (GCAC) both
Texas A&M University–Texarkana Texarkana, Texas 1971 Public 1,865 Eagles 2014 2016 Red River (RRAC) both
Trinity Lutheran College[u] Everett, Washington 1944 Lutheran 166 Eagles 2014 2016 Closed in 2016 none
Truett McConnell University Cleveland, Georgia 1946 Baptist 1,600 Bears 2009 2010 Appalachian (AAC) both
Valley City State University Valley City, North Dakota 1890 Public 1,220 Vikings 2012 2013 North Star (NSAA) both
Victory University[aj] Memphis, Tennessee 1941 Nondenominational 1,970 Eagles 2008 2009 Closed in 2014 men's
University of the Virgin Islands Charlotte Amalie, U.S. Virgin Islands 1962 Public[a] 2,392 Buccaneers 2016 2023 Gulf Coast (GCAC) both
Walla Walla University College Place, Washington 1892 Seventh-day
Adventist
1,940 Wolves 2008 2015 Cascade (CCC) both
Warren Wilson College Swannanoa, North Carolina 1894 Presbyterian
(PCUSA)
650 Owls 2010 2012 Coast to Coast (C2C)[ah] both
West Virginia University Institute of Technology Beckley, West Virginia 1895 Public[ak] 2,252 Golden Bears 2012 2015 River States (RSC) both
York College[al] York, Nebraska 1890 Churches
of Christ
459 Panthers 2015 2016 Kansas (KCAC) both
Notes
  1. ^ a b c Also a Historically black college and university.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Currently an NCAA Division II athletic conference.
  3. ^ Formerly known as Southwestern College until 2011.
  4. ^ Former campus location was in Phoenix.
  5. ^ Formerly known as Northwest Christian University until 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m School competed as a full Independent within the NAIA prior the inception of the AII/Continental, beginning the 2008–09 school year.
  7. ^ Part of the California State University System.
  8. ^ The Cal State–San Marcos men's and women's basketball teams joined as an Independent 13 years after becoming a full member for other sports (2011–12).
  9. ^ Formerly known as Clarke College until 2010.
  10. ^ Clarke now competes as the Pride since the 2017–18 school year.
  11. ^ a b Clarke left the Independent/AII/Continental ranks after the 2006–07 school year; before re-joining for only the 2015–16 school year.
  12. ^ a b This institution is a women's college, therefore it does not field men's sports.
  13. ^ Part of the University System of Georgia.
  14. ^ a b Fisk withdrew from the Independent/AII/Continental ranks from 2010–11 to 2013–14.
  15. ^ Formerly known as Silver Lake College until 2019.
  16. ^ a b c d e Part of the Indiana University System.
  17. ^ Iowa Wesleyan left the Independent/AII/Continental ranks after the 2012–13 school year before re-joining in 2021–22 school year and left once again after 2022–23 since the school closed the doors.
  18. ^ Currently known as the University of Jamestown since 2013.
  19. ^ Currently known as King University since 2013.
  20. ^ a b Life left the Independent/AII/Continental ranks after the 2011–12 school year, re-joining for only the 2013–14 school year.
  21. ^ a b This institution held dual membership with the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA).
  22. ^ Lincoln Christian discontinued its athletics program after the 2021–22 school year.
  23. ^ a b This institution held dual membership with the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA).
  24. ^ Part of the University of Maine System.
  25. ^ Marygrove announced that all athletics would cease after the 2017 fall season (with men's & women's soccer and volleyball remaining) of the 2017–18 academic year; with their August 2017 announcement of the closing of school's undergraduate programs.[3]
  26. ^ Part of the University of Missouri System.
  27. ^ UMKC rebranded its athletics as Kansas City and competes as the Roos since the 2019–20 school year.
  28. ^ a b Currently an NCAA Division I conference.
  29. ^ UMKC's men's basketball team left the NAIA after the 1985–86 school year, but its women's basketball team remained in the association until 1993–94.
  30. ^ Also sponsors football.
  31. ^ a b Northwestern Ohio competed as an Independent while transitioning to join the American Midwest Conference as an associate (provisional) member.
  32. ^ Oral Roberts competes as the Golden Eagles since the 1993–94 school year.
  33. ^ Currently known as Rochester University since 2019.
  34. ^ a b Currently an NCAA Division III athletic conference.
  35. ^ Savannah A&D had sponsored men's or women's basketball until after the 2008–09 school year.
  36. ^ Formerly known as Crichton College until 2010.
  37. ^ Part of the West Virginia University System.
  38. ^ Currently known as York University since 2022.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NAIA Member Schools". NAIA. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  2. ^ "Athletics' Conference, Association of Independent Institutions Re-brands to Continental Athletic Conference". Haskell Indians. June 26, 2021.
  3. ^ "What you need to know about the closing of Marygrove College". model D. October 29, 2019.

External links[edit]