chapel service

The Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity aims to equip, nurture, encourage, and support men and women for their very best service in the Kingdom of God.

The School of Divinity offers two degree programs: the Master of Divinity and the Doctor of Ministry. Excellent scholars teach the classical Christian disciplines with full awareness that academics alone will not meet the needs, concerns, and challenges of the varieties of Christian ministries to which God calls us. Unless we attend to our spiritual, personal, and emotional development, the ministries to which we are called will fall far short of our Lord’s expectations.

At Gardner-Webb University, great faith manifests itself in who you are and how you act. Because greatness is really about changing lives and helping others, at Gardner-Webb, you’ll do plenty of both. Here, you’ll test your intellectual determination—and you’ll also seek your purpose. You’ll be equipped and encouraged to discover the unique place where your faith reaches out to meet the needs of the world.

History of the School of Divinity

On October 22, 1992, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the establishment of the Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity in recognition of the needs of the denomination, the changing face of theological education, and Gardner-Webb University’s own longstanding tradition of educating ministers on the baccalaureate level. The School opened in January 1993, offering the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and the Master of Arts in Christian Education (M.A.C.M.) degrees. In 1996, the School of Divinity graduated its first Master of Divinity class. The M.A.C.M. degree was phased out upon the graduation of the first applicants.

The School of Divinity was granted Associate Accreditation by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS) in 1997 and was granted full accreditation in January 2000. In the spring of 2001, the School was granted preliminary approval to begin a Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degree. The first Doctor of Ministry seminars were conducted in the fall of 2001.

On October 23, 1998, the Board of Trustees named the School the M. Christopher White School of Divinity in honor of the University’s former president.

The School of Divinity, one of four graduate, professional schools offering graduate degrees within the academic program of Gardner-Webb University, has close ties to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

Our Baptist Partners

Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian university, providing outstanding undergraduate and graduate education that is strongly grounded in the liberal arts while offering opportunities to prepare one for various professions. The University is affiliated on a mutually voluntary basis with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and the Baptist General Association of Virginia.


The School of Divinity is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools, 10 Summit Park Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15275. Phone: (412) 788-6505. Visit the ATS website.

Statement of Educational Effectiveness

Evidence that School of Divinity students are prepared for “service to the church” and that they have developed “the skills necessary for effective ministry” is the ministerial placement rate of our graduates.  Over the past five years 192 students have graduated with 156 of them seeking a ministry position.  Of these 156 seeking a ministry position, 141 (90%) are serving in a ministerial setting.

  • Dr. Robert Canoy

    Dean, School of Divinity Professor of Theology

    (704) 406-4395

Upcoming Events


Accreditation by the Association of Theological Schools


Student to Faculty Ratio


Master of Divinity/Doctor of Ministry Concentrations

Our classes included not only the academic approach to the Bible, research, and current church context, but also the implementation."
— Merianna Neely Harrelson ’14
Our classes at GWU turned the focus to how whatever we were learning matters for the church today. Because of that focus from professors, I was able to develop that skill myself and continue to steer all that I do toward the practical.”
— Andrew Corley ’16
Every professor I had, every class I took, every moment spent at Gardner-Webb was meaningful, and I wouldn’t trade one part of it for an experience anywhere else.”
— Alex Lockridge ’10