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)

GWU Physician Assistant Studies Program Prepares Alumnus to be Lifelong Learner

Physician Assistant Studies

Adam Benfield ’16

Adam Benfield ’16, Master of Physician Assistant Studies

“The PA studies classes provide the base knowledge you need to succeed in a career as a PA, and the Gardner-Webb faculty instills a desire in each student to never stop learning.”

When Adam Benfield ’16 of Hickory, N.C., began looking at schools for Physician Assistant (PA) Studies, Gardner-Webb University was at the top of the list. A native of Fallston, N.C., Benfield had attended a larger university for his undergraduate degree but wanted the “hometown feel of a small campus and small class sizes for graduate school,” he shared.

He became a member of GWU’s first class of PA students and as he got to know his professors and classmates, he was grateful for the opportunity. “The individualized care you receive at Gardner-Webb is far and above the most valued part of my experience,” Benfield observed. “Each professor brings different background experiences, knowledge, and approaches to learning and medicine, which mesh to create the perfect environment to push each student to achieve his or her maximum potential and beyond. Each professor knows you by name and, particularly in the PA program, you spend so much time with the professors that they will know you almost better than you know yourself. Given this, there is no lack of available professors to write references for you once you graduate and begin looking for work.”

Benfield works in a family medicine practice, seeing patients of all ages. Being a PA combines his two interests. “I've always been intrigued by science and driven by the desire to understand the world around me,” he assessed. “I've also been compassionate and caring. The rigorous academic studies and science combined with the ability to manage my own patients once I graduated led me to choose the PA profession. Family medicine gives me a broad range of experiences and is not limited to one specialty or one body system, which keeps my job interesting as well as academically engaging.”

His advice to new PA students is to persevere. “The PA studies classes provide the base knowledge you need to succeed in a career as a PA, and the Gardner-Webb faculty instills a desire in each student to never stop learning,” Benfield affirmed. “It is going to be a grueling several years of lectures, studying, late nights, and early mornings. You're going to feel like you're being torn down, but ultimately, with enough tenacity and resilience, you will arise with the knowledge, tools, and will to succeed in medicine. By providing this base knowledge and giving you the tools and the know-how to continue your education throughout your life, Gardner-Webb prepares you for every situation that you could possibly face in the real world.”