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)

Veteran Pastor Enriched his Ministry with Master of Divinity from Gardner-Webb

Pastoral Studies

James Louis Smith ’03

James Louis Smith ’03, Master of Divinity, Pastoral Care and Counseling

“The School of Divinity was a wonderful blessing in helping me to maximize my potential as a pastor. While I was already gaining a lot from the practical side of ministry, I gained so much more in theory as a student. I really treasured my trips to the Holy Land, Greece, and Egypt.”

The Rev. James Louis Smith ’03 of Shelby, N.C., was a 20-year veteran of pastoral ministry when he decided to enroll at Gardner-Webb University. “The School of Divinity was a wonderful blessing in helping me to maximize my potential as a pastor,” Smith reflected. “While I was already gaining a lot from the practical side of ministry, I gained so much more in theory as a student. I really treasured my trips to the Holy Land, Greece, and Egypt.”

Some of the most memorable lessons for Smith were shared by professor of pastoral studies Dr. Doug Dickens, who was also his adviser. “Pastoral care is the heart of my ministry,” Smith observed. “Dr. Dickens shared his personal experiences and offered practical advice in pastoral care. He became a good friend and mentor.”

Since completing his master of divinity in pastoral care and counseling, Smith and his wife have celebrated 41 years of marriage. He has served a total of 38 years at Palmer Grove Baptist Church in Kingstown, N.C., the only town in America named for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Organized in 1929, the church membership is over 500 and includes a mixture of young and old individuals.

Looking back over his ministry, Smith is grateful for the influence of the professors in the School of Divinity. He was impressed by their genuine concern for the biblical education and spiritual formation of the students. “I gained an even greater knowledge of the Bible and a deeper commitment to Christ, the congregation and the community that I serve,” Smith affirmed. “Gardner-Webb, without a doubt, is the greatest educational experience of my life.”