The College was named after a man who reflects the spirit and beliefs of Independent, Sovereign Grace, Landmark Baptist churches.  John Leland (1754-1841) held to the Doctrines of Grace and had the missionary zeal of the Apostle Paul. He had no formal ministerial training and, like us today, believed that the only absolute qualification needed for a gospel preacher was the calling of God. However, Leland knew and appreciated the value of study and learning and was no friend to ignorance. While we strongly believe that the study of the Scriptures and all things related should be one of the Christian's highest goals in life, we are not interested in building an "ivory tower" institution.  
Furthermore, John Leland is well known in American History for his work in the fight for religious freedom. Much of the credit for the establishment clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which grants our religious liberty, goes to John Leland.  Like many of our Baptist forefathers, he was a true advocate of the separation of church and state even as we are today.
Leland was also a strong opponent of slavery in a day when it was not popular to be so. Therefore, it is only fitting to name a college after such a distinguished independent Bible believing Baptist minister and champion of religious freedom and human rights!