Christ University, formerly Christ College (Autonomous), was born out of the educational vision of St Kuriakose Elias Chavara, an educationalist and a social reformer of the nineteenth century. He founded the first indigenous congregation, Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI). Established in July 1969, Christ College became the most preferred educational institution in the city of Bengaluru within the first three decades. From 1990 it initiated path breaking reforms in higher education with the introduction of innovative and modern curricula, insistence on academic discipline, imparting of Holistic Education and the support of creative and dedicated staff. Today Christ University is rated among the top ten educational institutions of the country.
The UGC conferred Autonomy to Christ College (No. F.13-1/2004) on 7 October 2004 and identified it as an Institution with Potential for Excellence in 2006. On 22July, 2008 under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956, the Ministry of Human Resources Development of the Union Government of India, vide Notification No. F. 9-34/2007-U.3 (A), declared it a Deemed to be University, in the name and style of Christ University.