Gardner-Webb University is a coeducational, residential, church-related university on a beautiful campus in Boiling Springs, North Carolina. The University derives its name from O. Max Gardner, distinguished governor of North Carolina in the 1930s, and his wife, Fay Webb Gardner. The beauty of the campus and the quality of the academic program owe much to their example and leadership.



Gardner-Webb University is located in the Piedmont section of western North Carolina, one of the most desirable and rapidly developing areas of our nation. Boiling Springs is a small rural town. Nearby Shelby, a city of 25,000, is noted for its support of the arts and as the home of state and national leaders. Forty-five miles east of Gardner-Webb is the thriving city of Charlotte, the largest city in the Carolinas. Less than one hour away to the south is the City of Spartanburg, South Carolina. One hour to the west is the historically rich mountain city of Asheville, NC.


Gardner-Webb is easily accessible, being located only three miles from U.S. 74 and thirteen miles from Interstate 85. Less than one hour from campus are the Smoky Mountains with many recreational opportunities. Gardner-Webb University enjoys the lifestyle of a relatively small institution yet has the advantage of being centrally located to major urban resources in nearby areas.



Gardner-Webb University, founded by Baptists in 1905, has grown steadily to its current enrollment of close to 5,000 students. Over 2,600 undergraduates come from 37 states and 21 foreign countries. Sixty-three percent of the student population are women, and the student body includes several diverse, socioeconomic groups. Gardner-Webb University admits students of any race, sex, and national or ethnic origin without discrimination. This diversity enriches the life of the campus community and reflects the nature of American society.



Gardner-Webb University is committed to the liberal arts as the best preparation students can have for rewarding, meaningful lives. In addition, the University offers programs in career-oriented fields to prepare students for specialized work. All of the programs at Gardner-Webb are evaluated periodically by accrediting agencies to insure that standards of quality are maintained.


Gardner-Webb provides three distinct academic programs: the traditional undergraduate program, the Degree Completion Program (evening classes taught in a number of locations for graduates of two-year colleges), and graduate programs. Gardner-Webb University has a School of Graduate Studies offering M.A. degrees in several areas, the M.S. degree in nursing, the M.A./Ed.S. in Mental Health Counseling, and the M.B.A., I.M.B.A., M.W.T.M., and M.Acc degrees as well as the Ed.D. degree in Educational Leadership, Organizational Leadership, and in Curriculum and Instruction, and the D.N.P. (Doctor of Nursing Practice) degree; a School of Divinity offering the M.Div. and D.Min. degrees; a College of Health Sciences offering the Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree. For additional information on the DCP and Graduate programs, see the catalogs for each program.


The undergraduate on-campus program is designed to help the student gain maximum benefit by providing a balanced curriculum in general studies, a major field, minor(s) and selected electives. Students are encouraged to develop a proficiency in the oral and written use of the English language, an appreciation of cultural, social and scientific achievements, and an awareness of religion and history. The upper level courses provide opportunities for concentration in the areas of special interest and in professional and career-oriented fields. To meet such individual needs the academic program includes independent study and career internships. In the event that a face-to-face course is not available at a specific center, the student may be advised to take the course online.


Complementing the academic program at Gardner-Webb University, is a broad range of student life programs and activities designed to enable students to develop their personal identities, and create lifetime friendships.



Gardner-Webb University is blessed with a dedicated staff and an excellent faculty, eighty percent of whom hold doctorates. The primary concern of the faculty is teaching. The faculty have been chosen because of their academic preparation, their Christian commitment, and their desire for excellence in teaching. Many of Gardner-Webb’s faculty have honored the University with long years of service. The faculty is large enough to provide well-rounded academic programs. Yet, a major strength of Gardner-Webb is that the University has remained small enough so that the relationship between faculty and students is friendly, informal and lasting. The faculty/student ratio is 1:13.



The University’s academic year is divided into two semesters, a summer term and Minimesters. The fall semester is a 16-week term, ending prior to Christmas holidays. Following the 16-week spring semester, is a comprehensive summer school of one 8-week term. Evening classes, both on-campus and at various off-campus locations, are offered throughout the year. Online courses are offered during all terms.


The calender is designed to meet the needs of full-time students with day and evening schedules, part-time students, and members of the communities in which classes are taught who desire further educational work.


The 8-week summer term, minimesters and online delivery of courses, serves the purposes mentioned above and also provides an opportunity for new students or students enrolled in other colleges to accelerate completion of degree requirements.


Various study-abroad programs complement the academic calendar.


The University offers workshops and seminars on a variety of topics and for a variety of groups throughout the year.



Gardner-Webb University has experienced remarkable growth, perseverance, and maturity. The institution began as a boarding high school and later became a junior college. Today Gardner-Webb is a thriving university with growing master’s and doctor’s programs.


From a movement initiated by the Kings Mountain Baptist Association in 1903, and later joined by the Sandy Run Baptist Association, the Boiling Springs High School was chartered on December 2, 1905, as an institution “where the young...could have the best possible educational advantages under distinctive Christian influence.” This close relationship of the institution to the area churches continues today.


In response to the changing educational needs of the area the institution was transformed into the Boiling Springs Junior College in 1928. The Great Depression created many obstacles for the College, but its survival was secured by the sacrifices of many loyal supporters.


In 1942, Governor O. Max Gardner began devoting his energy, time, and wealth to strengthening and guiding the College. So important was his influence that the name of the institution was changed to Gardner-Webb College in honor of the governor, his wife Fay Webb Gardner, and their families.


The decades following World War II were years of physical growth and academic development. New buildings went up as enrollments increased. A major step in the institution’s development was its full accreditation as a senior college in 1971. A degree completion program, GOAL (Greater Opportunities for Adult Learners) was established in 1978. In 1980 the institution began offering a master of arts degree in education.


The institution officially became known as Gardner-Webb University in January 1993, culminating years of preparation. Today Gardner-Webb offers thirteen distinct degree programs, has a highly qualified faculty and a beautiful campus of over 200 acres.


Historically the University has played significant roles in teacher education and ministerial preparation for church-related vocations. Programs of instruction and experiences designed to prepare teachers and ministers continue to be major objectives of the University.


Although there have been many changes over the years, Gardner-Webb University remains closely related to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. The University holds in high esteem its commitment to Christian principles and values as the best foundation for the development of human personality and social order.



James Blaine Davis, 1928-30; Zeno Wall, 1930-32; James L. Jenkins, 1932-35; A.C. Lovelace, 1935-36; George J. Burnette, 1936-39; J.R. Cantrell, 1939-43; Philip Lovin Elliott, 1943-61; E. Eugene Poston, 1961-76; Craven E. Williams, 1976-86; M. Christopher White, 1986-2002; Frank R. Campbell, 2002-2005; A. Frank Bonner, 2005-.



Gardner-Webb University, a private, Christian, Baptist-related university, provides outstanding undergraduate and graduate education that is strongly grounded in the liberal arts while offering opportunities to prepare for various professions. Fostering meaningful intellectual thought, critical analysis, and spiritual challenge within a diverse community of learning, Gardner-Webb is dedicated to higher education that integrates scholarship with Christian life. By embracing faith and intellectual freedom, balancing conviction with compassion, and inspiring a love of learning, service, and leadership, Gardner-Webb prepares its graduates to make significant contributions for God and humanity in an ever-changing global community.




Acknowledging One God – Creator and Sustainer of life, and Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; committing to self-giving service displayed in Christ-like moral action that respects the dignity and value of every person.



Affirming historic Baptist values such as the freedom of individual conscience and the right of people to worship God as they choose, the authority of Scripture in matters of faith and practice, the priesthood of every believer, the autonomy of the local church, and the separation of church and state.



Encouraging visible enthusiasm for knowledge, intellectual challenge, continuous learning, and scholarly endeavors; inviting pursuit of educational opportunities within and beyond the classroom for the joy of discovery; and inspiring accomplishment within one’s field of study.



Offering broad-based exposure to the arts, humanities and sciences and to each field’s unique challenges, contributions, and life lessons; complementing the acquisition of career-related knowledge and skills with well-rounded knowledge of self, others, and society.



Working collaboratively to support and promote shared goals, assuming responsibility willingly, meeting commitments dependably, handling disagreement constructively, and persevering despite distraction and adversity.



Providing students an environment that fosters intellectual and spiritual growth; encourages physical fitness, service, social and cultural enrichment; strengthens and develops moral character; and respects the value and individuality of every student.



Assisting campus, local, national, and global communities through education, outreach, and research; fostering dialogue and action in support of human welfare and environmental stewardship.



Studying and celebrating our world’s rich mix of cultures, ideologies, and ethnicities; respecting and welcoming students without regard to ethnicity, gender, religious commitment, national origin, or disability.



Gardner-Webb University has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The Honor Roll, launched in 2006, recognizes colleges and universities nationwide that support innovative and effective community service and service-learning programs.



Gardner-Webb University is proud to have been honored by the John Templeton Foundation as a “Character-Building College.” The Templeton Foundation has granted this recognition to a limited number of schools which have the building of character as a major part of their mission.



Gardner-Webb University is proud to have been selected by the U.S. News and World Report as one of America’s Best Colleges, based on a wide range of categories, including university mission, retention, academic quality and degree offerings. The U.S. News and World Report honors choice schools each year meeting select criteria.



Gardner-Webb University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degrees.  Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Gardner-Webb University. Inquiries to the Commission should relate only to the accreditation status of the institution and not to general admission information. In addition several departmental programs are accredited by the appropriate state or national agencies. The Education program is approved by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE, 2010 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036, 202-466-7496). The Music and Nursing programs are accredited, respectively, by the National Association of Schools of Music and the Accreditation Commission For Education In Nursing, Inc. (ACEN, 3343 Peachtree Rd. NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326. Phone (404)975-5000, The Associate Degree Nursing program is also approved by the North Carolina Board of Nursing. The M. Christopher White School of Divinity is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools of the United States and Canada. The Athletic Training Educational Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education Programs (CAATE). The School of Business is accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling graduate programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The University is authorized by the immigration authorities of the United States for the education of foreign students.



Visitors to Gardner-Webb University are welcome at all times. The administrative offices are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Interviews and campus tours are available between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday or by appointment with the Admissions Office. Administrative officers and members of the faculty are available at other times by appointment.



Gardner-Webb University is in the town of Boiling Springs, N.C., a community just outside Shelby. The University is only 13 miles from Interstate 85 and three miles from U.S 74. It is accessible to airline services at Charlotte, N.C. and Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C. The telegraph address is Shelby, and the University is served by the Shelby-Lattimore telephone exchange. The number is (704) 406-4000. The FAX number is (704) 406-4FAX (4329) .



If a personal visit to campus is not possible, the University can be experienced on the Internet at Interested persons may log on to the website for all the latest information about campus life, academic programs, athletics and other events making news at GWU. Prospective students can take a campus tour, submit questions about the university, and even apply for admission through the web site.