Salem College received its charter from the State of West Virginia in December 1888 and offered its first term of instruction beginning in April 1889. Individuals in the Salem, West Virginia community founded Salem College. While the institution was closely associated for many years with the Seventh Day Baptist Church, Salem College was never sectarian in its teaching or in its administration.
For its first seventy-five years Salem College was a small institution, drawing students from a limited area. The campus comprised several buildings facing Main Street in town. Liberal arts and teacher education were the primary programs of study.
Beginning in the 1960s, Salem College expanded its physical facilities into a newer and more modern campus called the “Valley of Learning.” This is the location of the present campus.
In 1989 Salem College and the Teikyo University Foundation entered into a partnership to create an international learning center, Salem-Teikyo University. As S-TU, the institution charted a new course for itself and for American higher education. While retaining the tradition of small classes and of providing extra attention to students, the University sought ways to offer students an international and intercultural educational experience. The University encouraged the involvement of all faculty, students, and staff in the process of implementing its international mission.
In 2000, the name of the institution was changed to Salem International University (SIU) to reflect a broader global learning mission. This mission continued through a relationship developed in July of 2001 with Informatics Holdings Ltd. Informatics Holdings Ltd. is a leader in providing education and training in Asia, Africa and Europe and in using technology in reaching students through online education.
In June 2005, Salem Education LLC assumed control of SIU and began strengthening the university’s programs and operations, developing new programs of study and improving the university’s facilities and infrastructure. Today SIU remains committed to its international mission with courses offered on campus and via distance education.