news-category: Awards

Gardner-Webb University Awarded for Extraordinary Professional Programming

National Guide for Colleges Endorses Schools for Holistic Education

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Recognized for its innovative approach to education, Gardner-Webb has been named a 2021-2022 College of Distinction in the nation and in North Carolina. Furthermore, the University has been recognized as a Christian College of Distinction and received additional honors for blending the liberal arts with professional programming in business, education, and nursing. Additionally, GWU was commended for its career development programs.

Dr. Ben Leslie
Dr. Ben Leslie

Colleges of Distinction’s selection process comprises in-depth research and detailed interviews with each school about the institution’s first-year experience and retention efforts. Also examined are the school’s general education programs, career development, strategic plan, student satisfaction, and more.

Gardner-Webb Provost and Executive Vice President Ben Leslie noted that these areas of student engagement have been focal points for Gardner-Webb’s faculty and staff for several years. “Consequently, we have seen significant growth in each of these areas,” he asserted. “At Gardner-Webb, students receive a world-class education in the context of an intimate community that nurtures values of faith, service and leadership.”

the six badges Gardner-Webb received for nursing, buseinss, education, north carolina, christian, career development

Founder Wes Creel created Colleges of Distinction to draw attention to schools like Gardner-Webb whose student-centered education prevails in applying theory to practice while fostering a dynamic learning community. “We accept only those schools that adhere to the ‘Four Distinctions: Engaged Students, Great Teaching, Vibrant Community, and Successful Outcomes,’” Creel remarked. “It’s about finding the best opportunities for each individual student’s needs and desires. Gardner-Webb has proven its commitment to helping students achieve success.”

The University’s additional recognitions in business, education and nursing are true marks of honor in the world of higher education. Colleges of Distinction granted these awards after a comprehensive vetting process, selecting schools based on such qualities as accreditation, breadth of program, and a track record for success. Moreover, GWU prepares students to graduate and enter the workforce with critical-thinking skills and the ability to adapt in an ever-changing society.

Colleges of Distinction noted the exceptional characteristics of each program:  

  • Business: The fast-paced, modern world of business requires effective communication and innovative strategies. Programs within the Godbold College of Business keep future leaders ahead of the curve and ready to grow alongside the industry.
  • Education: Gardner-Webb’s future educators in the College of Education are bolstered by an enriching liberal arts perspective, allowing them to be empathetic, creative, and efficient mentors for their students.
  • Nursing: The accredited Hunt School of Nursing at GWU has enabled its students to take calculated action, even in high-pressure situations. Their well-rounded perspective allows them to think on their feet and care deeply for their patients.
  • Career Development: Going beyond job search and resume writing, Gardner-Webb’s Center for Personal and Professional Development equips students with comprehensive four-year plans, advising, and more. Through a comprehensive program that addresses holistic student development, students receive unparalleled support throughout every stage of career exploration, development, and application.

About Colleges of Distinction:

Colleges of Distinction has recognized and honored schools throughout the U.S. for excellence in undergraduate-focused higher education for over two decades. The member schools within the Colleges of Distinction consortium distinguish themselves through their focus on the undergraduate experience. For more information, visit

About Gardner-Webb University:

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at

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