Founded in 1894 by the Rev. Dr. Nero Crockett and the Rev. W.M. Robinson, the school was named for Caleb Isom Clinton, presiding bishop of the S.C. Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church at the time. Clinton Institute served as a boarding high school and provided a quality education to hundreds of newly freed black citizens. Later called the Clinton Normal and Industrial Institute, the school was authorized to certify teachers. Today Clinton Junior College is focused on providing a quality liberal arts education and retains close ties to the A.M.E. Zion Church.