From the Students: Christian University at Gardner-Webb
Gardner-Webb's Christian foundation is important to students
in unique ways. Hear from current students about what it means to them.
Jonathon Rhyne, Freshman Marketing/Journalism
“I know that on my bad days, I am loved by a bunch of people who I don’t even know… Here, people do care about you, and they don’t even have to know your name.” (More)
Hannah Ray, Sophomore English
“Everything falls under that umbrella of 'Why are we doing this?' and a Christian University has the responsibility to do it because they’re trying to glorify God in all that they’re doing.” (More)
Jeremiah Hamby, Senior Psychology
“It’s more than going to Church on Sunday; it’s living in a community of Christian believers in everyday life and being intentional, being vulnerable with them, and the atmosphere at Gardner-Webb has really shown me that…” (More)
Caitlyn Brotherton, Senior ASL
“That’s what college is all about: figuring out what you want to do and who you want to be, and when everyone around you is pointing you towards Christ, it’s a lot easier to be focused on him.” (More)
Zach Shelton is a Defensive Coach for his Former Team
Health, Physical Education
Zach Shelton (’14)
“My experiences at GWU shaped and molded who I am professionally. The faculty were all there to make sure I succeeded. I’m very grateful for the professors that I had in the Department of Health, Sport, and Physical Education. They helped me make it through. Dr. Shonna Snyder, associate professor of health and wellness, and Sara McNeely, instructor of health and physical education, helped me a lot. Ms. McNeely still sends me resources that I can use.”
Inspired by his high school teachers and coaches, Zach Shelton (‘14) came to Gardner-Webb University to pursue a degree in health and physical education. While earning his degree, he also honed his athletic skills as a defensive end on the Runnin’ Bulldogs football team.
Now he’s hoping to motivate the next generation of students in his hometown, Marietta, Ga. Shelton is teaching elementary special education and physical education, and is a coach for the high school where he played football.
“It’s the best experience to start out where I came from. It feels good to go in to meetings, practices, and workouts and know that I am able to give back to a program that gave me so much,” Shelton reflected. “The teachers and coaches I had in high school really treated me like they cared. They made my high school experience one that I could never forget.”
When he came to Gardner-Webb, Shelton encountered a caring faculty who became role models for him to follow.
“My experiences at Gardner-Webb shaped and molded who I am professionally,” Shelton observed. “The faculty were all there to make sure I succeeded. I’m very grateful for the professors that I had in the Department of Health, Sport, and Physical Education. They helped me make it through. Dr. Shonna Snyder, associate professor of health and wellness, and Sara McNeely, instructor of health and physical education, helped me a lot. Ms. McNeely still sends me resources that I can use."
Shelton also appreciated the Christian community at Gardner-Webb. “I grew up in a God-fearing household,” he related. “Going to Gardner-Webb kept me on the right path while I was away from home.”
He’s working alongside three of his former high school coaches and has had an opportunity to coach with one of his high school teammates. “That was a really fun experience,” he noted.
“I coached freshmen defensive line and was also labeled the defensive coordinator,” he added. “After freshmen practices, I would go to varsity and help with whatever they needed. I coached for both freshmen and varsity games and was involved in all game planning and game prep.”
He would recommend Gardner-Webb to any of his students.
“There aren’t a lot of schools where you can get the one-on-one connection with the professors like you do at Gardner-Webb,” he praised. “You’re also able to develop long-lasting relationships with students and faculty.”