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)
Jacob Kirby Changed Plans From Music to Discipleship Studies
Jacob Kirby (’16)
“Gardner-Webb is just so well-rounded in terms of the variety of courses students can take, both in the core curriculum and in electives … if I hadn’t experienced what it was like to study other courses besides music, like English courses and history and religious studies, I may never have known what paths were available for me to pursue.”
During his sophomore year, Jacob Kirby felt a calling to switch his major from music education to discipleship studies.
Kirby told his music professor and mentor Dr. Paul Etter that his passion was in ministry — not music — and the professor responded with encouragement.
“He actually prayed for me, right there in his office, that God would guide me along the right path for me,” Kirby shared. “That’s the kind of people these professors are. To this day, Dr. Etter is still one of my closest mentors even though I’m not a music major anymore.
“Gardner-Webb is just so well-rounded in terms of the variety of courses students can take, both in the core curriculum and in electives … if I hadn’t experienced what it was like to study other courses besides music, like English courses and history and religious studies, I may never have known what paths were available for me to pursue,” Kirby added.
“I’ve got friends studying religion at other schools and there is really nowhere else that offers the blend of academic rigor and practical preparation for ministry that Gardner-Webb does. In a year, I’ll be proud to say I’ve graduated from Gardner-Webb’s religious studies and philosophy department.”
Since switching majors, Kirby has accepted several leadership roles on campus. He is coordinator of The Gathering, GWU’s student-led worship service, and is president of the Religious Studies Association. He is also coordinator of the Student Recruiter Ambassadors for Undergraduate Admissions and the membership chair of the Honors Student Association.
"The Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy has been a valuable resource is preparing me to discern and pursue my calling to ministry,” he affirmed. “I've been blessed by the opportunity to learn and grow and serve alongside faculty that are passionate about seeing me become a disciple-maker and advocate for the global church. Since switching majors, I've been challenged and strengthened in my calling to serve the church directly after graduating. The experiences I've had both in the ministry field and in the classroom have prepared me to apply for jobs in full-time worship ministry after graduating.”