The college, originally The Paine Institute, was the result of a joint effort by the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America, now known as Christian Methodist Episcopal, and Methodist Episcopal Church South, now known as United Methodist.
It was founded to train teachers and preachers to educate and give spiritual guidance to those who were newly freed from slavery. The first classes were held in January 1884 in rented quarters at 10th and Broad streets.
In 1886, the college moved to its current location at 1235 15th St., and in 1903 the name was changed to Paine College.
The curriculum has since expanded to include more than 30 majors that lead to a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree in liberal arts, business administration and education.
Earlier this year, the college unveiled a 25-year plan that included improvements and additions to the college's campus such as the additions of an academic building, resident life area for student housing, and a Health Education Activities Learning Complex.
There are also plans to renovate Haygood-Holsey, the main administrative building, and to build a Health Education Activities Learning Complex.
In its 128-year history, Paine has had 14 presidents. It didn't have its first black president, Dr. Lucius H. Pitts, until 1971.
Its current president, Dr. George C. Bradley, came to the college in 2008.