Quick Facts

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.


Location: Gardner-Webb University, a private Christian University, is located 50 miles west of Charlotte in the Piedmont area of Western North Carolina. Main campus of 200 acres is located in Boiling Springs, NC. 


School Type: Four-Year


Students: Over 4,300 students including the day program, graduate studies, and the GOAL program (Greater Opportunities for Adult Learners).  63% female, 37% male from 37 states and 21 foreign countries.


Faculty: 147 full-time, 79% with Ph.D. or equivalent.  Faculty to student ration is 1:13. Average Class Size is 25.


Curriculum: A total of 5 professional schools, 2 academic schools, and 11 academic departments offer nearly 60 undergraduate and graduate major fields of study.  Approximately 33% of students major in business field, 30% in social sciences, and 17% in nursing.


Athletics: NCAA Division I; member of the Big South Conference


Religious Affiliation: Baptist


Number of Registered Organizations: 43


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 Governor O. Max Gardner and his wife Faye Webb Gardner-Webb; became a university in 1993; hosted 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials-Cycling; completed $34 million capital campaign in 1998; reclassification to NCAA Division I athletics in 2000; added first doctoral program (Doctor of Ministry) in 2001. Gardner-Webb celebrated 100 years of educational service in 2005.


President: Dr. A. Frank Bonner (July 1, 2005-Present)

Did You Know?

  • Gardner-Webb’s Online Graduate Program in Business was ranked No. 1 in the nation for “Student Services and Technology” in the U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of America’s Top Online Education Programs for 2012. The Report also ranked Gardner-Webb No. 15 in the nation for “Faculty Credentials and Training,” No. 27 for “Teaching Practices and Student Engagement,” and was one of only 14 institutions to make the Honor Roll.
  • The U.S. News and World Report also ranked Gardner-Webb as one of the “Best Universities” in the South that offer “a full range of undergraduate and master’s programs” in the 2012 edition of “America’s Best Colleges.”
  • Gardner-Webb’s core curriculum ranks in the nation’s top two percent for quality and breadth, according to the recent What Will They Learn? study by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA).
  • Gardner-Webb was selected by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for its prestigious Community Engagement Classification, recognizing the University’s institutionalized commitment to service. GWU is one of only 311 institutions nationwide to have earned the distinction.
  • Gardner-Webb’s online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program is ninth best in the world according to BusinessMBA.org’s list of the “Top 50 MBA Programs for 2012.”
  • Gardner-Webb was one of only 528 universities and colleges nationwide to be named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll (for the fifth consecutive year).
  • Gardner-Webb was selected in 2011 by the White House for the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge. GWU is one of just over 300 schools to participate in this yearlong community service initiative.
  • Gardner-Webb was recently awarded the North American Mission Board’s (NAMB) Courts Redford Award, which recognizes the nation’s top 10 universities for mobilizing student missionaries through NAMB.
  • The Big South Conference honored Gardner-Webb’s Jane Savage (softball) and Josh Padgett (men’s track and field) with the prestigious George A. Christenberry Award for Academic Excellence in 2012.