The Church of the United Brethren in Christ founded Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, in 1847. The college was named after Philip William Otterbein, one of the founders of the United Brethren Church. The United Brethren eventually merged with the United Methodist Church, and Otterbein has remained affiliated with the Methodists ever since.
Two brothers, Matthew and Peter Westervelt, donated the land the Otterbein College would eventually be built upon. This donation of land for the college resulted in the new village in Blendon Township to be named for the brothers and became known as Westerville.
From Otterbein's beginning, it has taken pride in the diversity of its students. From the outset, the college admitted women as well as men, allowing them to pursue the same programs of study.
Otterbein College is a private, 4-year liberal arts college. It has an enrollment of approximately 3,000 students which includes both traditional undergraduate students and adult students enrolled in graduate programs or post-degree studies.