Course Catalog

Academic Program

The academic program of Gardner-Webb University is designed to prepare graduates to go directly into such fields as business, public service, teaching and nursing or to enter graduate and professional schools. Furthermore, the curriculum is designed to meet the needs of a wide variety of students.



Gardner-Webb University has three graduate schools which award master’s degrees. The Graduate School offers the Master of Arts degree in Elementary Education (K-6), English, English Education, Mental Health Counseling, Middle Grades Education, Executive Leadership Studies, School Counseling, and Sport Science and Pedagogy, and the Master of Science in Nursing degree. The Graduate School offers two doctoral degrees: The Doctor of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership and the Doctor of Nursing Practice. The School of Divinity offers the Doctor of Ministry degree as well as the Master of Divinity degree. The Graduate School of Business offers the Master of Accountancy degree, Master of Business Administration degree, and International Master of Business Administration degree.


For detailed information concerning graduate programs, please contact the appropriate graduate program office of Gardner-Webb University.


The Bachelor of Arts degree is awarded in the following fields: American Sign Language, American Sign Language with Teacher Licensure, Art, Art Education (K-12), Biblical Studies, Communication Studies, Discipleship Studies, English, English as a Second Language with Teacher Licensure, English with Teacher Licensure, French, French with Teacher Licensure, History, Journalism, Missiology, Philosophy and Theology, Music, Political Science, Religious Studies, Social Sciences, Social Studies with Teacher Licensure, Sociology, Spanish, Spanish with Teacher Licensure, Theatre Arts, Youth Discipleship, and World Religions.


The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is awarded in Art.


The Bachelor of Music degree is awarded in the following fields: Composition, Education, Music Business, Performance, and Sacred Music.


The Bachelor of Science degree is awarded in the following fields: Accounting, Athletic Training, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Computer Information Systems, Computer Science, Economics/Finance, Elementary Education (K-6), Environmental Science, Exercise Science, Healthcare Management, International Business, Marketing, Mathematics, Mathematics with Teacher Licensure, Middle Grades Education (6-9), Nursing, Physical Education/Health Education with Teacher Licensure, Psychology, and Sport Management.


The Associate in Arts degree is awarded in Nursing.



The following minor fields are available: American Sign Language, Art History, Biblical Languages, Biblical Studies, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Christian History, Classical Languages, Communication Studies, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Discipleship Studies, English, Environmental Science, French, General Science, Health Science, History, Journalism, Mathematics, Military Science, Missiology, Music, Philosophy and Ethics, Photography, Physical Science, Political Science, Professional Education (available for areas of licensure only), Psychology, Public Relations, Recreation, Sign Language Interpreting, Social Sciences, Sociology, Spanish, Sport Management, Studio Art, Theater Arts, Video & Film, World Religions, Writing, and Youth Discipleship Studies.



A strong emphasis on the liberal arts continues to be a significant feature of the academic program for undergraduate students. The University seeks to develop quality graduates who think logically, communicate clearly, and appreciate their heritage. Therefore, every student is expected to demonstrate competency in English, reading and mathematics. In addition, the General Studies requirements reflect a broad and diversified curriculum designed to prepare students for a future of continual growth.



An integral part of the academic program at Gardner-Webb University is the opportunity to do independent study and to conduct research projects. With the assistance of faculty members, junior and senior students are encouraged to develop expertise in areas of interest beyond those covered in the course offerings.



Gardner-Webb University supports programs which encourage students to relate classroom learning to work experience. In fields such as Teacher Education and Nursing, the experiential dimension is interwoven in the course requirements. In other fields, such as Business, Communication Studies, Psychology and Religious Studies, students are encouraged to participate in internships, which are available throughout the academic year and during summers. For additional information students should contact the dean or department chair of the area of interest.



Gardner-Webb University offers programs which prepare students for professional studies in such fields as ministry, medicine, dentistry and law. In addition, the University prepares students to enter any professional programs, either at the graduate or undergraduate level, that are based on a liberal arts education.



Traditionally a significant number of Gardner-Webb students have prepared for a variety of Christian ministries. Although no particular major is required for seminary or divinity school, in general, students who are interested in these areas should expect to major either in Religious Studies or in any of the liberal arts areas.



Medical and dental schools desire students who have demonstrated academic excellence in science fields combined with the intellectual breadth supplied by the liberal arts. Gardner-Webb graduates have experienced a high degree of success in gaining admission to medical and dental schools. Students interested in these professions are encouraged to major in Biology or Chemistry. Students interested in a career in veterinary medicine, optometry and other health professions that require graduate work generally complete the same courses as premedical and predental students.



According to the Association of Law Schools, there are two objectives of undergraduate education for prospective law students: first, the student should learn to reason logically; second, the student should learn to write and speak with clarity and precision. Gardner-Webb University provides a number of majors that give students an appropriate background for admission to law school.



Gardner-Webb University encourages students who plan to enter a professional school for graduate work following their baccalaureate degree to use the catalog of the professional school they wish to enter as a guide to choosing undergraduate courses. In order to assist students, Gardner-Webb University provides the services of faculty advisers for each preprofessional program.



Gardner-Webb University offers professional programs in a number of areas, including Accounting, Business Administration, Communication Studies, Computer Information Systems, Computer Science, Education, and Nursing.



Gardner-Webb University offers a variety of special academic programs for students with special needs and qualifications, including those discussed below:



The Noel Program for Students with Disabilities provides support services to deaf, blind, learning disabled, and other students with documented disabilities. In order to assess each student’s needs and to provide the necessary support services, current professional documentation of a disability or disabilities must be furnished. Upon acceptance to the University, documentation should be sent to the Noel Program for Students with Disabilities. Documentation must be furnished no later than three weeks prior to the beginning of services. Each student is assigned a disability specialist who will work with the student throughout his or her time at Gardner-Webb. Some of the accommodations/services that may be provided if the student has supportive documentation include notetakers, extended-time testing, materials in alternative format, lab assistants, interpreters, orientation and mobility training and use of adaptive technology. The student may also receive help in developing effective study skills and organizational and test-taking strategies.



Through this program students who are blind or visually impaired have full access to the educational and social opportunities of the University. Special orientation is given to help students make the transition to the University. Orientation and mobility training are provided and a wide variety of adaptive equipment and software is available. In order to meet the needs of both blind and visually impaired students, the University maintains an equipped resource room located in the library and a technology lab in Frank Nanney Hall.



Through this program students who are deaf or hard of hearing have full access to the educational and social opportunities of the University. Qualified interpreters that are RID-certified and/or state-licensed and notetakers enable these students to attend fully integrated classes and to participate in extracurricular activities sponsored by the University. Residence halls are equipped with visual fire alarms and doorbell lights. Each deaf and hard of hearing student has a videophone in his/her residence hall room. Frank Nanney Hall, the Library and Campus Security are equipped with videophones as well. The University provides sound amplification equipment that will aid the hard of hearing student in the classroom.


The program director and other staff members are proficient in sign language. They are available for academic, personal, and career guidance.



All Gardner-Webb University undergraduate students who would like assistance with coursework are encouraged to contact the LEAP Office. Our Peer Tutoring Program provides assistance for a number of courses and subject areas and is free of charge. The tutoring services will seek to clarify course content, emphasize concepts, strengthen background skills needed for mastery of material, practice application of materials to content, reinforce learning, and promote independent learners.


Prior to making an appointment with a peer tutor, LEAP recommends that a student first speak with his/her professor about concerns in particular classes. Professors can often provide insight into what area(s) need attention or what strategies may be helpful in specific courses.


Please contact LEAP by emailing or by calling (704) 406-4390 with any questions or concerns or by visiting the website.



The Greater Opportunities for Adult Learners (GOAL) program is a degree completion program designed for students who have already entered the workforce. Students must have completed a minimum of 60 semester hours of transferable undergraduate credit to be considered for admission into the program. Degree-seeking students in the traditional undergraduate program who have withdrawn from the university and been away from studies for at least one fall or spring semester may request transfer to the GOAL program simply by applying for admission to GOAL.


Students who desire an immediate transfer and who are in good academic standing may, under exceptional circumstances, appeal to the Readmission Review Committee. Special consideration will be given to students who wish to pursue a GOAL major not offered in the traditional program, as well as those who have relocated from the area and desire to pursue a distance program at Gardner-Webb University. Appeals will not be considered for students in the final 32 hours of their current program except in extreme circumstances. Students considering an appeal should contact the Advising Center for more information. Residential housing is not available to students in the GOAL program (with the exception of the School of Nursing’s RN to BSN program). Additional information about the GOAL Program is located on the University website,, under Degree Completion Program, or in the GOAL catalog. Or call 1-866-GWU-GOAL.



With the consent and recommendation of the high school principal, rising high school seniors may complete their last year of high school at Gardner-Webb University while simultaneously earning full college credit.


High school seniors and rising high school seniors may take courses at Gardner-Webb University while still enrolled in high school.


College credit for work successfully completed will be granted subsequent to high school graduation.



The Honors Program provides special opportunities for academically talented students. In addition to special honors and interdisciplinary classes, a variety of lectures, trips and other events are planned for students. An Honors House is available on campus for study and recreation. Application procedures are available through the Admissions Office.



The Undergraduate Research program encourages scholarly research, including artistic endeavors, that come to fruition outside the boundaries of the classroom. Students in any discipline may receive funding to work with a faculty mentor/collaborator on a well-planned project that is then presented in a public venue such as a professional conference or published in a scholarly journal. Projects over the last few years have included a biology experiment on biodiesel fuel retrieved from algae; a collaborative article published in a professional psychology journal about counseling bereaved children and adolescents; and teams trained for two simulation conferencese, Model Arab League, and Model NATO. The Undergraduate Research program is a co-sponsor of the Life-of-the Scholar Multidisciplinary Conference, which gives students the opportunity to showcase their scholarship on campus in February each year. The program also supports the GWU Summer Research Scholars program, which funds students who live on campus for a summer term and work with a mentor/collaborator on an Undergraduate Research project. For more information please contact, Dr. June Hobbs, 704.406.4412.



Service learning provides a link for reflecting and connecting what is learned within the classroom and what is learned through related service activities outside the classroom. At Gardner-Webb University, academic Service Learning is formally defined as an integration of Service Learning objectives and course learning objectives intentionally designed to evoke meaningful change in both service recipients and service providers, thus fostering a lifelong sense of community engagement. Service Learning is incorporated into classes across many disciplines across the university. The program coordinator, Prof. Susan Manahan, is available for faculty and student guidance.



The Gardner-Webb University curriculum provides students with a global understanding of the world so that they may gain the international understanding necessary to be informed citizens. The University also encourages students to explore the appropriateness of study abroad. This can be an integral part of the students’ university experience, providing personal growth, cultural understanding, an international perspective, improved foreign language skills, and a competitive edge in the eventual job search.


Semester exchanges are currently possible at universities in England, Wales, Malta, Spain, Sweden, and Hong Kong. Students who wish to study in countries other than those mentioned may do so either with another university or independently. GWU-sponsored summer study opportunities are available in Canada (French) and Costa Rica (Spanish).


Students can also participate in mission experiences abroad. Honors students may attend special honors programs that take place in a foreign country. Students in the Broyhill School of Management GEM program will also participate in specially designed international experiences. Through the Office of International Programs students may arrange to study at foreign universities other than those with which GWU has an exchange agreement.


During the academic year, GWU sponsors short trips to various overseas destinations. With prior arrangement, credits may be earned for study/travel abroad. Some financial assistance for international study/travel is available to students who meet the necessary eligibility requirements.




Mission Statement

In accordance with the University’s mission to “[provide] outstanding undergraduate. . . education that is strongly grounded in the liberal arts,” the Undergraduate Research Program’s mission is to involve students and professors in scholarly projects that come to fruition outside the boundaries of the classroom.



  1. To encourage academic excellence as described in the University’s Statement of Values: “enthusiasm for knowledge, intellectual challenge, continuous learning, and scholarly endeavors”; “the pursuit of educational opportunities within and beyond the classroom for the joy of discovery”; and “accomplishment within one’s field of study.”
  2. To promote scholarly undergraduate projects involving faculty mentoring or collaboration.
  3. To encourage students to become part of a larger scholarly community.
To meet these goals, the Undergraduate Research program:


1. Funds student research in all disciplines. Students who have received UR funds have, for example,

  • developed techniques for retrieving algae to use in the extraction of biodiesel fuel;
  • written a symphonic version of Beowulf, which debuted at GWU, conducted by the student composer;
  • participated in the Modern Arab League, in which student simulate interaction between Arab countries;
  • studied the difference between actual and real fitness levels of students in a controlled experiment.

2. Pairs students with professors who serve as mentors/collaborators. Last year, one of these collaborations led to the publication of an article co-authored by Jesse Roberts and Dr. Jim Morgan called “Helping Bereaved Children and Adolescents: Strategies and Implications for Counselors.” The article was published in the Journal of Mental Health Counseling. Roberts is now in graduate school.

3. Helps fund student trips to national conference such as the Alpha Chi conference, which met in San Diego last year. Members of the GWU chapter of Alpha Chi won presentations prizes in psychology, American literature, religious studies, and health science. Other GWU students presented at the Southeast Psychological Association and the North Carolina Academy of Science.

4. In conjunction with Life of the Scholar, hosts an on-campus multidiscplinary scholarly conference for undergraduates the last Saturday in February. This conference is modeled on professional scholarly conferences that professors attend.

5. Host a GWU Summer Scholars program. This program pays tuition, room, and board and provide a mentor/collaborator for students who spend 5 weeks on campus focusing on an undergraduate research project.


For more information, contact Dr. June Hobbs (



Gardner-Webb offers Army ROTC in cooperation with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Military science coursework is offered on the Gardner-Webb campus, and there are no additional tuition charges for those participating in this program. ROTC provides world-class leadership training opportunities applicable in corporate, executive, and government leadership positions. Students may also elect to receive a minor in military science. There are no military obligations for non-contracted students. Four, three, and two-year scholarships are available to qualified students. Interested students should contact the Military Science Department at 704-406-4427/2111.



Gardner-Webb University students may participate in Air Force ROTC at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and may be eligible for AFROTC scholarships to apply to their Gardner-Webb tuition. Air Force ROTC courses are held only on the UNC-Charlotte campus. Interested students should contact the Commanding Officer, AFROTC Detachment 592, Department of Aerospace Studies, 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28223, phonenumber (704) 687-4540.



Gardner-Webb University recognizes the individual needs of students. In order to maximize the student’s opportunity for success, the University places emphasis on a variety of academic support services.


The Academic Advising center is an integral part of the division of Academic Development. The Advising center provides assistance in academic planning and the selection of majors and minors. Services provided by the Advising center include: first semester registration of all new students (freshmen and transfer), academic reporting, assignment of advisors, and academic counseling for students seeking to maintain or achieve a specific grade point average. The Academic Advising center also provides advisement services in the absence of the primary advisor.


Upon entering Gardner-Webb University, the student is assigned an advisor and is encouraged to view the advising relationship as a partnership for success. First-year freshmen seeking a bachelor degree are enrolled in a First-Year program course (UNIV 101 or UNIV 111). Students are eligible to declare a major after completing this course. The instructor for the First-Year program course will serve as the advisor until the student officially declares a major. After an official declaration has been processed, the student will be assigned to a faculty advisor in the department of their chosen field of study.


Transfer students not taking the First-Year Program course will be assigned an advisor in the Academic Advising center until the declaration process is complete. Transfer students are encouraged to officially declare a major before or during their first semester of study at Gardner-Webb University. Academic Advising is located in the Student Success Center, 3rd floor of the Tucker Center.



The Gardner-Webb student has ready access to a number of computer facilities, including PC and Apple labs. In addition to the use of computers in the Computer Science and Computer Information Systems programs, computers are an integral part of programs such as Business Administration, Communication Studies, English, Education, Learning Assistance, Mathematics, Nursing, Psychology, and Science.


Access to the Internet is provided through computer labs and wireless networks on the main campus as well as the Catawba, Charlotte, Iredell, and Winston-Salem campuses.



The Dover Memorial Library is an active and integral part of the University’s academic program. The Library’s collections, available on open stacks, support all areas of the curriculum with a total item count of approximately 850,000, including 230,000 volumes, 600,000 microforms, and many other materials such as videos, compact discs, and computer files. The Library has print and/or online full-text access to more than 15,000 periodicals and is a selective depository for federal government documents.


In addition to its collections, the library provides numerous services to reinforce and enhance the instructional process for both on- and off-campus students.


Professional librarians are available for individual and group instruction. Interlibrary loan, audiovisuals, and production services (lamination, color copies, etc.) are available. The Library’s home page,, provides access to the online catalog and databases as well as information about the Library facility and the Library’s resources, services, and policies.



The University Writing Center, located in Craig Hall, offers free assistance to all Gardner-Webb students on any problem related to writing. Qualified graduate and undergraduate students, under the direction of a faculty specialist in writing, provide individual and group tutoring and answer questions upon request.