The history of Westmont began in Los Angeles in 1937 with the establishment of the Bible Missionary Institute. In 1940, it became a liberal arts college committed to the Christian faith. The college was renamed Westmont with Dr. Wallace Emerson as the first president.

By 1944, Westmont had outgrown its facilities in Los Angeles. The search for a new campus led founder Ruth Kerr and the trustees to the former Dwight Murphy estate in Montecito with its 111 acres and the beautiful Mediterranean house which became Kerrwood Hall. Acquiring another property and the Deane School for Boys completed the campus that features the pathways, stone bridges, and gardens of the former estates.

The Westmont Seal
The symbols of the Westmont College seal relate to the Christian faith and the ideals of a Christian college of the arts and sciences.

The open Bible shows the source of our authority in faith and practice.
The burning lamp reflects knowledge lighting both the mind and the spirit.
The three crosses symbolizes our Trinitarian faith.
The star and crown represent the incarnation and Lordship of Christ.

Christus Primatum Tenens: Christ Holding Preeminence
"That in all things He might have preeminence." -Colossians 1:18