The AME Zion University commenced in 1983 with the founding of the AME Zion School of Business Studies attached to the AME Zion Academy, a high school owned by the AME Zion Church. In 1987, the AME Zion Community College was established, offering Associate degrees in Criminal Justice Administration and Law Enforcement, Liberal Arts, Business Administration, Diploma in Trauma Counseling, and Computer Science, and held its first Annual Convocation on May 22, 1989. The AME Zion Community College at the time had the best Computer Science Laboratory in the Country.
In 1996 by an Act of the National Legislature, the AME Zion University was established with the Reverend Frederick Umoja, serving as its first President.
In January 1999, the Rev. Dr. Frank K.M. Zormelo was inducted as the second President of the University. In August 2001, a year and a half later, the Rev. Dr. Mulbah B. Gray, Sr. was appointed the third President. He is the first native Liberian to become President of the AME Zion University; prior to his appointment, he served as the University’s Vice President for Administration.