A New Era Begins

History of the University

Parker University – Founded on Principles While Rooted in Tradition

Parker University (formerly Parker College of Chiropractic) is named for its late founder, Dr. James William Parker. For five decades, Dr. Parker’s passion, skills, and love were directed completely toward chiropractic – from the day he began recuperating from childhood illnesses through chiropractic adjustments until he passed in 1997. 

Our History

While still a senior in chiropractic college, Dr. Parker opened two successful practices in Illinois and published a book on chiropractic. After graduating from chiropractic college in 1946, he moved to Fort Worth, Texas, and developed one of the fastest-growing chiropractic practices in chiropractic history. In 18 months, he established 18 clinics in almost every major city in Texas. From his experience operating these offices, Dr. Parker improved chiropractic care and developed methods for establishing and maintaining successful chiropractic practices. 

Under Dr. Parker’s direction, a foundation was created in 1951 to conduct postgraduate chiropractic seminars. Since its inception, the seminars evolved into PSPS (Parker School of Professional Success), known today as Parker Seminars. Nearly 40,000 chiropractors, or approximately two-thirds of the world’s DCs, have attended these seminars.

In the late 1970s, at the urging of his colleagues, Dr. Jim Parker helped establish and fund Parker College of Chiropractic and consented to lend his name to the school. These colleagues felt students could benefit from Dr. Parker’s remarkable success, healing techniques, philosophy, and business training, which was not included in the traditional chiropractic curriculum. This approach quickly emerged as the foundation for Parker College and serves as its basis today. These doctors believed that if students were exposed to his principles and teachings during their years of training, they would become more successful healers and practitioners after graduation.

Parker College was chartered by the State of Texas on March 8, 1978, and received its nonprofit IRS status in October of 1978. The original campus, located in Irving, Texas, officially opened on September 12, 1982, which was also Dr. Parker’s 62nd birthday.


The first class of 27 students graduated in September of 1985. After the campus opening, enrollment increased, and the college moved to its larger Dallas campus in September of 1989. This new campus featured the latest educational resources, including amphitheater classroom seating, full video display, podcasting technology, advanced laboratories, and a 30,000-square-foot outpatient wellness clinic where student interns could learn and practice with the best doctors in the profession.


In September of 1993, enrollment reached 1,000 students, making it the third-largest chiropractic college in the world. The original Irving campus was converted into a 6,000-square-foot chiropractic wellness center where patients continue to receive chiropractic care today.

In April 2011, Parker College of Chiropractic officially became Parker University, paving the way for new healthcare degree programs that expand students’ knowledge and provide more opportunities for Parker graduates to serve. Parker University’s rich history and the invaluable contributions of Dr. Parker set the foundation for Parker’s impact on the healthcare profession.

Following extensive tornado destruction to campus in October of 2019, Parker University had to rebuild and add new facilities in time for students to return to the classroom by the Fall of 2021. The new 64,000-square-foot South Building now provides students with more than 25,000 square feet of learning space filled with state-of-the-art technological and educational resources.

The rebuild also provides students with a Teaching and Learning Center, customized clinical case simulations using virtual reality technology, an improved campus bookstore, an updated dining hall, numerous student study areas, huddle rooms, and so much more.

Today, Parker University has approximately 2,000 students and more than 35 academic programs, including its chiropractic program and master’s degrees in neuroscience, clinical neuroscience, strength and human performance, and functional nutrition. In 2022, Parker University had the honor of celebrating Dr. Jim Parker’s 102nd birthday.

  • Parker University is recognized as one of the 25 Fastest-Growing Colleges in the U.S.
  • Parker University was a recipient of the 2021 FutureEgde 50 Awards
  • Parker University was honored as a “2022 Great College to Work For®” with a “Perfect Score” and recognized as an Honor Roll Institution
  • The Parker University Board of trustees received the John W. Nason Award for Board Leadership in 2020 in recognition of its leadership and initiative
  • Parker University is recognized by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, the Veterans Administration, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
  • HIMSS Approved Education Partner (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, Inc.)
  • 1 for Best Online Business Schools in Texas List for 2020
  • 2021 Blackboard Catalyst Award
  • Parker University College of Business and Technology wins 2021 Best Colleges in America
  • Parker University wins the prestigious Chiro Games 13 times