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Strategic Plan

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Strategy #1: Build Upon the Christian Foundation


Vision: Gardner-Webb University will be widely regarded as one of the preeminent Christian universities in the southeastern United States. Integrating scholarship and Christian life, the University will foster faith, service, and leadership, sending forth graduates who are prepared for lives of meaning and purpose, being inspired and prepared to make a positive and significant difference in the world. This vision will be realized as the University:

  • continues to emphasize its strong Christian identity and mission by becoming more intentionally Christian in character and maintain its Baptist heritage through continued service to North Carolina Baptists,
  • provides an environment conducive to and support of spiritual growth for both students and the entire University community,
  • works toward greater integration of Christian commitment and academic excellence, and
  • continues to strengthen Campus Ministries and programs in volunteerism, service-learning, and leadership which have an impact on the larger community in appropriate socially conscious ways.


Strategy #2: Strengthen the Academic Program


Vision: Gardner-Webb University will be widely respected for the excellence of its academic program and will be known as a place where free and open search for truth, inside and outside the classroom, occurs in a community committed to quality academics, grounded in the liberal arts, and dedicated to the service of God and humanity. This vision will be realized as the University:

  • continues to employ and support Christian faculty members who are: committed to the mission and values of the University; committed to the well-being and success of students; outstanding teachers; productive scholars; and who contribute to the diversity offered by varied cultural and ethnic backgrounds,
  • regularly evaluates each educational program—both undergraduate and graduate—to assure consistency with the University’s Mission Statement and to determine how best to serve the needs of students in preparing them to succeed in a domestic or an international workplace,
  • adds academic programs at both the graduate and undergraduate levels appropriate to the University’s mission,
  • acquires program-specific accreditation for any program that has appropriate, separate accreditation available,
  • expands the study abroad program to increase the number of students involved and provide a variety of program options to allow students to select the best fit for their academic goals,
  • establishes alternative delivery systems and advancing technology to provide education in multiple formats and locations for new and existing undergraduate and graduate programs,
  • offers additional general and discipline-specific development opportunities for faculty and staff, and
  • increases opportunities for student participation in mentored undergraduate research.


Strategy #3: Uphold a Student-Centered University


Vision: Gardner-Webb University will be a student-centered university committed to educating students holistically in order to meet their changing needs. Gardner-Webb will promote opportunities for total growth and development and encourage individual learning in a caring community based upon Christian principles, while valuing the uniqueness of the individual student. This vision will be realized as the University:

  • facilitates student and faculty interaction through an excellent student-professor ratio in the classroom,
  • provides venues for student and staff interaction and implement a program of learning communities,
  • provides a nurturing, safe, attractive, comfortable, well-maintained environment of building and grounds,
  • provides quality student development programming and services which enable students to thrive spiritually, academically, mentally, and physically.


Strategy #4: Promote a comprehensive, reputable athletic program


Vision: Gardner-Webb University will promote an athletic program which attracts and prepares model student athletes to experience success--athletically, within our conferences as well as regionally and nationally within NCAA Division I, academically and in later life--and which unifies, promotes, and brings credit to the University and reflects its Christian values. This vision will be realized as the program:

  • maintains compliance with NCAA regulations,
  • recruits, supports, and retains student-athletes who embody and represent the values of the University,
  • provides facilities and outdoor space that will accommodate and meet NCAA Division I athletic requirements and regulations, and
  • provides appropriate and competitive financial support, including salaries.


Strategy #5: Embrace and Nurture a Culture of Service


Vision: Gardner-Webb University will fulfill its motto “Pro Deo et Humanitate”—For God and Humanity—by strengthening its commitment to a culture of benevolent service to others in the University, local, regional, national, and global communities. This vision will be realized as the University:

  • provides opportunities for personal discipleship, ministry outreach, service learning, civic engagement, continuing education, research, and volunteerism,
  • cultivates and strengthens its relationship with surrounding communities by assisting local businesses and being an active participant or leader in the various Chambers of Commerce, community oriented events, and YMCA programs,
  • increases its commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability.


Strategy #6: Plan for Growth and Cultivate Supportive Relationships


Vision: Gardner-Webb University will plan growth effectively, knowing that this growth inherently includes excellence in programs and is dependent on successfully marketing our university and cultivating relationships with people who truly value and support higher education within a Christian environment. This vision will be realized as the University:

  • continues to develop and refine a comprehensive institutional effectiveness plan,
  • through enhanced relationships, marketing, and preservation of its heritage and history, promotes its mission, value, and accomplishments of its faculty, students and alumni, to the larger public, and
  • increases its financial strength and resources by managing enrollment growth, conducting appropriate capital campaign initiatives and increasing alumni involvement and support