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)

Divinity Student Values Supportive GWU Faculty and Staff

Pastoral Studies

Chase Robinson (’12) major, biblical studies; minor, missions; (’16) Master of Divinity

Chase Robinson (’12) major, biblical studies; minor, missions; (’16) Master of Divinity

“My professors were all wonderful, each brought something unique and important to my experience and education. They knew more than just my name. They knew me as a person. They were invested in me as a person. There were many excellent teachers, encouragers, mentors, and on some level, even friends. That community and atmosphere is why I decided to stay at Gardner-Webb for graduate school.”

Two weeks after graduating from the School of Divinity at Gardner-Webb University, Chase Robinson (’16) accepted the call to pastor Sandy Plains Baptist Church in Shelby, N.C. He transitioned to the role after serving as the church’s youth and children’s minister for three years.

“I love being with people and building meaningful relationships,” reflected Robinson, who earned a Master of Divinity in Pastoral Studies. “My job gives me great opportunities to do so.”

Originally from Vale, N.C., Robinson also completed his undergraduate studies at Gardner-Webb, having earned a Bachelor of Arts in biblical studies with a minor in missions. When he came to the University he knew he was called to do ministry, but was leaning toward missions. “That slowly changed as I started to work for a couple of local churches,” he shared. “First was New Bethel Baptist in Lawndale, N.C., and then Sandy Plains Baptist. During that time I fell in love with the local church and local church ministry. I still have a heart for missions, but right now my mission field is just a little closer to home than I thought I would be when I started at Gardner-Webb.”

Not only did Robinson discover where God was leading, he was also introduced to a young woman who shared his passion for ministry. During his sophomore year, he met his wife, Mindy, while serving in FOCUS, a campus ministry involving teams of students who lead youth retreats locally and regionally. “Mindy was my FOCUS leader our sophomore year,” Robinson recalled. “The next year we were co-leaders. Before we dated, we were blessed with the opportunity to grow as friends and also to lead in a ministry together. It's amazing to think that my partner in that ministry became my partner in life. And she is just that. She supports me, encourages me, and is one of the only people willing to lovingly tell me when she thinks I'm headed down the wrong road.”

Robinson chose to continue his studies at GWU School of Divinity because of his experience with the faculty and staff. “My professors were all wonderful, each brought something unique and important to my experience and education,” he affirmed. “They knew more than just my name. They knew me as a person. They were invested in me as a person. There were many excellent teachers, encouragers, mentors, and on some level, even friends. That community and atmosphere is why I decided to stay at Gardner-Webb for graduate school.”

Divinity school helped him examine his beliefs and become grounded in his faith. “Dr. Danny West (professor of preaching and pastoral studies) gave the analogy of a suitcase my first semester of divinity school,” Robinson related. “He said that we all had a theological suitcase. He claimed that he and the rest of the faculty intended on taking that suitcase and dumping the contents on the table, giving us the challenging but extremely rewarding opportunity to pick up each piece and decide what goes back in and what doesn’t. School was that process for me. The classroom has given me a language to communicate my faith and a confidence to share it with others.”

His divinity school experience also helped him make the transition from youth pastor to pastor. “The classes and material we covered helped in a very real way, but I think even more than that, the community helped me,” he assessed. “I was blessed to have Dr. Robert Canoy (School of Divinity dean) as our interim pastor during the transition. His guidance was invaluable. Other professors encouraged me, answered my questions, and gave me much needed advice and direction. Most of all, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can continue to come to them for direction and encouragement for years to come.”