Just the Facts

Gardner-Webb University, a private, Christian university, provides outstanding undergraduate and graduate education that is strongly grounded in the liberal arts, while offering opportunities to prepare for various professions.

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others.

Location: 50 miles west of Charlotte and about an hour’s drive from both Asheville, N.C., and Greenville, S.C.; main campus of more than 225 acres is located in Boiling Springs, N.C., in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Students: 3,178 students, including the traditional day program, graduate studies and undergraduate online Degree Completion Program (DCP); 66% female, 34% male; 44 states, 45 foreign countries; 91 North Carolina counties; average class size is *17.

Faculty: More than 154 full time, 76% with Ph.D. or equivalent

Curriculum: A total of nine colleges and schools offer more than 80 undergraduate and graduate major fields of study.  Gardner-Webb’s top five undergraduate majors are Nursing, Biology, Exercise Science, Psychology and Business Administration/Management. The top enrolled schools and departments are Business, Nursing, Natural Sciences, Exercise Science and Communication Studies.

Athletics: NCAA Division I; member of the Big South Conference; compete in 11 men’s and 11 women’s sports. Student athletes make up over 43% of the student population for the traditional undergraduate program at Gardner-Webb.

Religious Affiliation: Christian

History Highlights: Founded in 1905 as Boiling Springs High School; became Boiling Springs Junior College in 1928; renamed Gardner-Webb College in 1942 in honor of North Carolina Governor O. Max Gardner and his wife, Fay Webb; became a university in 1993; hosted 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials-Cycling; reclassification to NCAA Division I athletics in 2000; added first doctoral program (Doctor of Ministry) in 2001; celebrated 100 years of educational service in 2005; completed largest-ever capital campaign of $46 million in 2013; opened the College of Health Sciences facility which houses the Hunt School of Nursing, the Department of Physician Assistant Studies and the Department of Exercise Science in 2015; received a gift from the Gardner Foundation to support undergraduate research by establishing the Fay Webb Gardner Master Mentorship Program in 2017; the first Tucker Scholar was named in 2020.

President: Dr. William M. Downs, July 1, 2019 – present

(Updated August 29, 2022)

*The average class size is based on traditional undergraduate general education core classes. Upper level traditional undergraduate classes average 10 students; Degree Completion Program classes average 17 students and graduate courses average 10 students.