Lincoln University in Missouri is located in Jefferson City. It was founded in 1866 by members of the 62nd United States Colored Infantry under the name "Lincoln Institute" for the purpose of providing an education to African Americans through the combining of academics and labor. In 1921, it was officially designated a university by the state of Missouri and changed its name to "Lincoln University of Missouri." In 1954, it opened its doors to applicants of all races, and it currently provides both undergraduate and graduate courses. Althea Gibson was an athletics instructor for the university in the early 1950s.
The school became a land-grant university under the Morrill Act of 1890.
It is a founding member of the NCAA Division II Heartland Conference.