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)

Music Alumna: ‘Gardner-Webb is One of the Best Decisions I Ever Made’

Music Education and Performance

Marissa Parsons ’03

Marissa Parsons ’03 music education major with concentration in voice, Spanish minor

“So many professors and people worked with me and shaped the person and professional I am today. They taught not only by their instruction but by the example they were to us in how they lived their lives and interacted with us.”

Marissa Parsons placed a decal from Gardner-Webb University on her car window after her first visit to the campus. She was called into ministry and felt the Lord was showing her GWU was the next step. “I saw how many opportunities I would have beyond the classroom,” Parsons reflected. “I spent a lot of time prayerfully considering where the Lord wanted me to go and where I would have the most opportunities to serve and grow.”

Since graduating in 2003 as a music education major with concentration in voice and a minor in Spanish, Parsons has ministered in three states and two countries and served as a full-time missionary. The choral director at James River High School in Midlothian, Va., Parsons leads a show choir that competes locally and nationally. She has taught music to people from age 5 to 85 and directed large and small groups. She’s worked in small private faith-based schools, charter schools and large public schools.

In each experience, she recalled lessons learned from her music professors at Gardner-Webb. She is especially thankful for her studies in voice, theory, opera theater, piano, music history, critical listening, writing and voice leading. “So many professors and people worked with me and shaped the person and professional I am today,” Parsons observed. “They taught not only by their instruction but by the example they were to us in how they lived their lives and interacted with us.”

One of those professors was her advisor, who helped her choose her major. “I knew I felt called to ministry, missions, and music. He clearly told me he felt like I should do music education,” Parsons recalled. “He saw in me something I didn't see in myself. I trusted him completely and knew it was the right decision.”

She also realizes how every class she took at GWU prepared her for the future. “When you are receiving your education you don't understand why you need to know the things you are learning,” Parsons offered. “It isn't until you enter the work force that you know you have this wealth of knowledge and a specific skill set and experiences employers are looking for. I did the best I could in my classes and soaked up every opportunity that came my way. I valued the smaller class sizes, the personal connection with professors, and the amazing service organizations. Gardner-Webb is without a doubt one of the best decisions I ever made and nearly every part of my current life was shaped by someone I met or an experience I had while attending GWU.”