Spalding University is a private, co-educational university in Louisville, Kentucky affiliated with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. It is the oldest Catholic university in the United States west of the Allegheny Mountains. Spalding University is the oldest Catholic university west of the Alleghenies. It traces its roots back to 1814 and the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. It was named after Catherine Spalding, founder of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. The school was originally named Nazareth Academy and was located in Nelson County near Bardstown, Kentucky.
In 1829, the legislature of the Commonwealth of Kentucky granted Nazareth College a charter allowing the institution to confer degrees. In 1920, the Sisters of Charity opened Nazareth College in Louisville, Kentucky's first, four-year, Catholic college for women. The Louisville and Nazareth campuses merged. In 1969, the school was renamed Spalding College and in 1971 all instructional activity was moved to the Louisville campus. In 1973, Spalding College became co-educational and an independent college in the Catholic tradition open to students of all faiths and backgrounds. In 1984, Spalding College became Spalding University.
Spalding offers day, evening, and weekend classes leading to undergraduate and graduate degrees in the areas of health sciences, natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and education. The Masters of Fine Arts in writing degree program, with focus areas in fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, drama, and writing for children, publishes a biannual literary magazine, The Louisville Review. Spalding University offers 11 varsity sports on the NCAA Division III level, as a member of the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.