news-category: Admissions

Gardner-Webb Offers Minister’s Dependent Scholarship to Help Families in Full-Time Ministry

Recipient Callie Owen, ’24, Prepares for STEM Teaching Career to Give Back to Her Community   

Callie Owen, a junior at Gardner-Webb University, is guided by a goal “to one day be able to give back to the places that gave to me growing up.” To fulfill this dream, she’s preparing to teach middle grades math.

By choosing a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) field, Owen has the potential to have a profound influence on her students. The U.S. Department of Labor says that in the next seven years, the number of STEM jobs will grow 8 percent, which is a higher rate than non-STEM jobs. Further, she will have an opportunity to encourage girls in her class who might hesitate to choose a math-related career, such as computer science, reports the National Girls Collaborative Project and the website

“I have always considered the field of education a calling,” Owen stated. “Education fuels the world; it is so vital in every child’s life.”

Callie Owen, left, and her sister, Ressie, a 2021 alumna

Owen, of Balsam Grove, N.C., is thankful to receive the Minister’s Dependent Scholarship that helps pay for her education and also provided assistance for her sister, Ressie, a 2021 alumna. This scholarship is awarded to a dependent student of a full-time minister of a church or an ordained, full-time employee of a church-related agency.

“I feel as though paying for college can become such a burden on so many students, and the fact that GWU offers a scholarship to help my family means a great deal,” Owen asserted. “Throughout the past 5 years, the Minister’s Dependent Scholarship has helped us to further our education. My family is also grateful that it is another scholarship to allow me to be at a school where I can continue to grow in my faith and be in a community-centered environment.”

As she prepares to teach adolescents, it’s important to her that her GWU professors have classroom experience and are able to connect theory to practice. “All of my professors were once teachers themselves and they have multiple instances for most scenarios,” she explained. “I feel as though I am equipped with the knowledge needed to enter the classroom. Knowing that I have a support system, and I can ask questions and gain guidance has also given me confidence that I will be prepared when entering the classroom.”

Moreover, one of the most important lessons Owen has learned is to be intentional. She explained, “Be intentional with your work and where you want to work, but also be intentional with your relationships. Picking the right job, the right place, or even the right friend group, are all things that are encompassed by this word, intentionally. Gardner-Webb has taught me academically how to be knowledgeable and do research based on where you want to be after college. This will help me after I graduate and for many years to come.”

Callie Owen plays the piano during the talent competition.
Callie Owen plays the piano during the Miss GWU Pageant talent competition.

Owen also participates in opportunities across campus to grow in her faith, build leadership skills and develop friendships. She is a member of the worship band for The Gathering, the student-led worship service on Tuesday evenings in Tucker Center. She placed Second Runner-up in the Miss GWU pageant and received the Most Talented award for her piano performance of a Bach piece. In addition, she is a member of the GWU Math Club, Student North Carolina Association of Educators (SNCAE), and the Honors Association.

“The Gardner-Webb experience has been so much more than I could ever hope for,” she summarized. “The thing I value most is the community. I have established such great friendships while at Gardner-Webb. Everywhere you go, you are bound to run into someone you know or someone willing to offer a smiling face. Each class challenges you and each person pushes that challenge. You are able to develop a positive relationship with all. Gardner-Webb is unique, beautiful, and my favorite place to be.”

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to six professional schools, 14 academic departments, 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. Ignite your future at

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