Course Catalog

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Gardner-Webb University is a coeducational, residential, church-related university on a beautiful campus in Boiling Springs, North Carolina. The University derives its name from O. Max Gardner, distinguished governor of North Carolina in the 1930s, and his wife, Fay Webb Gardner. The beauty of the campus and the quality of the academic program owe much to their example and leadership.



Gardner-Webb University is located in the Piedmont section of western North Carolina, one of the most desirable and rapidly developing areas of our nation. Boiling Springs is a small rural town. Nearby Shelby, a city of 25,000, is noted for its support of the arts and as the home of state and national leaders. Forty-five miles east of Gardner-Webb is the thriving city of Charlotte, the largest city in the Carolinas. Less than one hour away to the south is the city of Spartanburg, S.C.


Gardner-Webb is easily accessible, being located only three miles from U.S. 74 and thirteen miles from Interstate 85. Less than one hour from campus are the Smoky Mountains with many recreational opportunities. Gardner-Webb University enjoys the lifestyle of a relatively small institution, yet has the advantage of being centrally located to resources of major urban areas nearby.



Gardner-Webb University, founded by Baptists in 1905, has grown steadily to its current enrollment of over 4,000 students. The 2,500 undergraduates come from many states and 30 foreign countries. Slightly less than half of the students are men, and the student body includes several racial and socioeconomic groups. The three graduate schools enroll over 1,800 students. Gardner-Webb University admits students of any race, color, sex, and national or ethnic origin without discrimination. This diversity enriches the life of the campus community and reflects the nature of American society.



Gardner-Webb University is committed to the liberal arts as the best preparation students can have for rewarding, meaningful lives. In addition, the University offers programs in career-oriented fields to prepare students for specialized work. All of the programs at Gardner-Webb are evaluated periodically by accrediting agencies to insure that standards of quality are maintained.


Gardner-Webb provides three distinct academic programs: the on-campus program, the Greater Opportunities for the Adult Learner program (evening classes taught in a number of locations for graduates of two-year colleges), and graduate programs.


Gardner-Webb University has a Graduate School (offering M.A., M.S., DNP, Ed.S., and Ed.D. degrees in a variety of areas as well as some post-master’s certifications), a graduate School of Divinity (offering the M.Div. and D.Min. degrees), and a Graduate School of Business (offering the M.B.A., I.M.B.A. and M.Acc. degrees as well as post-M.B.A. certificates). For additional information on the on-campus undergraduate and GOAL programs, see the bulletins for each program.


Complementing the academic program at Gardner-Webb University is a broad range of student life programs and activities designed to enable students to develop their personal identities and to create lifetime friendships.



Gardner-Webb University is blessed with a dedicated staff and an excellent faculty, seventy-seven percent of whom hold terminal degrees. The primary concern of the faculty is teaching. The faculty have been chosen because of their academic preparation, their Christian commitment, and their desire for excellence in teaching. Many of Gardner-Webb’s faculty have blessed the University with long years of service. The faculty is large enough to provide well-rounded academic programs. Yet a major strength of Gardner-Webb is that the University has remained small enough so that the relationship between faculty and students is friendly, informal and lasting. The faculty/student ratio is 1:13.



The University’s academic year is for most programs divided into two semesters and a summer school. The fall semester is a four-month term, ending prior to Christmas holidays. The School of Divinity offers a January-term prior to its spring semester beginning the first week of February. Following the four-month spring semester is a comprehensive summer school. For the Graduate School and Graduate School of Business it consists of two terms of five weeks each and a concurrent ten-week session in which some courses are offered. The School of Divinity also has three sessions: one six-week session, one three-week session, and one concurrent ten-week session. Evening classes both on-campus and at various off-campus locations are offered throughout the year.


The calender is designed to meet the needs of full-time students with day and evening schedules, part-time students, and members of the communities in which classes are taught who desire further educational work.


The University offers workshops and seminars on a variety of topics and for a variety of groups throughout the year.



Gardner-Webb University has experienced remarkable growth, perseverance, and maturity. The institution began as a boarding high school and later became a junior college. Today Gardner-Webb is a thriving university with growing master’s and doctoral programs.


From a movement initiated by the Kings Mountain Baptist Association in 1903, and later joined by the Sandy Run Baptist Association, the Boiling Springs High School was chartered on December 2, 1905, as an institution “where the young...could have the best possible educational advantages under distinctive Christian influence.” This close relationship of the institution to the area churches continues today.


In response to the changing educational needs of the area, the institution was transformed into the Boiling Springs Junior College in 1928. The Great Depression created many obstacles for the College, but its survival was secured by the sacrifices of many loyal supporters.


In 1942, Governor O. Max Gardner began devoting his energy, time, and wealth to strengthening and guiding the College. So important was his influence that the name of the institution was changed to Gardner-Webb College in honor of the governor; his wife, Fay Webb Gardner; and their families.


The decades following World War II were years of physical growth and academic development. New buildings went up as enrollments increased. A major step in the institution’s development was its full accreditation as a senior college in 1971. In 1980 the institution began offering a Master of Arts degree in education.


The institution officially became known as Gardner-Webb University in January 1993, culminating years of preparation. In 2001, Gardner-Webb began offering its first doctorate (Doctor of Ministry) and in 2005, GWU celebrated 100 years. Today Gardner-Webb offers thirteen distinct degree programs, has a highly qualified faculty and a beautiful campus of over 200 acres.


Historically the University has played significant roles in teacher education and ministerial preparation for church-related vocations. Programs of instruction and experiences designed to prepare teachers and ministers continue to be major objectives of the University.


Although there have been many changes over the years, Gardner-Webb University remains closely related to the Baptist churches of North Carolina. The University holds in high esteem its commitment to Christian principles and values as the best foundation for the development of human personality and social order.



James Blaine Davis, 1928-30; Zeno Wall, 1930-32; James L. Jenkins, 1932-35; A.C. Lovelace, 1935-36; George J. Burnette, 1936-39; J.R. Cantrell, 1939-43; Philip Lovin Elliott, 1943-61; E. Eugene Poston, 1961-76; Craven E. Williams, 1976-86; M. Christopher White, 1986-2002; Frank R. Campbell, 2002-2005; A. Frank Bonner, 2005-.



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.




Acknowledging One God – Creator and Sustainer of life, and Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; committing to self-giving service displayed in Christ-like moral action that respects the dignity and value of every person.



Affirming historic Baptist values such as the freedom of individual conscience and the right of people to worship God as they choose, the authority of Scripture in matters of faith and practice, the priesthood of every believer, the autonomy of the local church, and the separation of church and state.



Encouraging visible enthusiasm for knowledge, intellectual challenge, continuous learning, and scholarly endeavors; inviting pursuit of educational opportunities within and beyond the classroom for the joy of discovery; and inspiring accomplishment within one’s field of study.



Offering broad-based exposure to the arts, humanities and sciences and to each field’s unique challenges, contributions, and life lessons; complementing the acquisition of career-related knowledge and skills with well-rounded knowledge of self, others, and society.



Working collaboratively to support and promote shared goals, assuming responsibility willingly, meeting commitments dependably, handling disagreement constructively, and persevering despite distraction and adversity.



Providing students an environment that fosters intellectual and spiritual growth; encourages physical fitness, service, social and cultural enrichment; strengthens and develops moral character; and respects the value and individuality of every student.



Assisting campus, local, national, and global communities through education, outreach, and research; fostering dialogue and action in support of human welfare and environmental stewardship.



Studying and celebrating our world’s rich mix of cultures, ideologies, and ethnicities; respecting and welcoming students without regard to ethnicity, gender, religious commitment, national origin, or disability.



Gardner-Webb University is proud to have been honored by the John Templeton Foundation as a “Character-Building College.” The Templeton Foundation has granted this recognition to a limited number of schools which have the building of character as a major part of their mission.



Gardner-Webb University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097: Telephone number 404-679-4501) to award Associate, Baccalaureate, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees. Inquiries to the Commission should relate only to the accreditation status of the institution and not to general admission information. In addition several departmental programs are accredited by the appropriate state or national agencies. The Education program is approved by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE, 2010 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036, 202-466-7496). The Music and Nursing programs are accredited, respectively, by the National Association of Schools of Music and the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC, 3343 Peachtree Rd. NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326. Phone (404)975-5000, The Associate Degree Nursing program is also approved by the North Carolina Board of Nursing. The M. Christopher White School of Divinity is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools of the United States and Canada. The Athletic Training Educational Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education Programs (CAATE). The School of Business is accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling graduate programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The University is authorized by the immigration authorities of the United States for the education of foreign students.



The Gardner-Webb campus is beautiful, spacious, and rich in lawns and trees. It is designed and equipped to serve its living and learning community. Over 200 acres of rolling landscape provide more than adequate space for buildings, playing fields and landscaped areas. Extensive building and improvement projects have been completed in recent years. The present living and dining facilities are designed to serve a resident student body of approximately 1,300. Among the campus and buildings are the following:


Athletic Fields consist of many acres of practice and playing fields, situated around the campus, for football, baseball, soccer and softball. There is adequate space for all sports, intramural and intercollegiate.


Bost Gymnasium and Swimming Pool is part of the University Physical Development Complex. Renovated in 1999, it is named in memory of L.C. Bost of Shelby and Jean Bost Gardner. The facility contains basketball courts and classroom areas. The swimming pool is heated and enclosed for year-round use.


Broyhill Adventure Course was funded by the Broyhill Foundation and constructed in 1999. The Alpine Tower, the Climbing Straight Wall, and the Rescue Exercise provide leadership training activities for students and other groups.


Communications Studies Hall, formerly the Boiling Springs Elementary School, was acquired in 1990. It houses the Communication Studies Department offices; the Millennium Playhouse, classrooms for journalism, photography, television, radio, and theater; and Art Department offices, classrooms, and studios.


Craig Hall is named in memory of Hubert M. Craig, Sr., of Gaston County, a former trustee of Gardner-Webb University. The building was renovated in 1998 and houses classrooms and offices for the School of Education and English department.


Dover Campus Center, constructed in 1966, was completely renovated in 1990. It houses the cafeteria, lounges, the Campus Shop, the Center for Congregational Enrichment, Financial Planning, and the undergraduate admissions offices. The building is named in memory of Charles I. Dover of Shelby.


Dover Memorial Library is named in memory of Mr. and Mrs. John R. Dover, Sr., pioneer industrialists of Cleveland County. The three-story structure, erected in 1974, is designed to provide seating for over 450 students.The library is equipped with state of the art computer technology, which provides access to libraries around the world. The holdings include several special book collections, the most notable being the library of the local post-Civil War author Thomas Dixon, and the diaries and scrapbooks of the late Mrs. O. Max Gardner. The library houses the Belk-Ellis Multimedia Center, provided by the William Ellis family of Shelby, N.C., and the Belk Foundation. The library houses a model of Jerusalem’s Herodian Temple Mount during the time of Jesus. The 240-squarefoot replica, one of only two in the world of this stature, was constructed by William McGehee of Winston-Salem and donated to the school as a teaching tool. Located across from the Library is the Kathleen Nolan Dover Garden.


Dover Memorial Chapel is a graceful and inspiring structure which stands at the formal entrance to the campus. Erected in 1972, the interior features a 336-seat auditorium. The lower level houses various academic offices and classrooms.


Elliott Hall, originally constructed in 1952, honors the memory of the seventh president of the University. Renovated in 1985, the building houses the School of Nursing and classrooms.


Elliott House houses the University radio station WGWG, a 50,000 watt stereo FM educational station broadcasting over a radius of 75 miles. Public Relations and the University Publications Department are also located in Elliott House.


Frank Nanney Hall is a 12,000-square-foot building and is home for the Noel Program for Students with Disabilities and the Department of Social Sciences. The building consists of classroom space, production labs, testing centers and office space and is located near the Lake Hollifield Complex and the Boiling Springs. The building was finished in Summer 2008 and was made possible by many generous donations including a substantial lead gift from Frank Nanney, a Gardner-Webb trustee from Rutherford County.


Gardner Memorial Hall, completed in 1948, was constructed and furnished by the family of the late Governor O. Max Gardner. The building contains a recital hall, music studios and offices, classrooms, practice rooms, a band room and the campus computer technology offices.


Hamrick Hall was built after World War I as a memorial to area residents who gave their lives for the cause of freedom. It was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1940. In 1943, the rebuilt structure was named in memory of E.B. Hamrick. In 1982, the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1998, the building was completely renovated and now houses the School of Business and the George Blanton, Jr. Auditorium.


Lake Hollifield Complex is named in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Hughy H. Hollifield, Gardner-Webb alumnus and trustee respectively. The lake is surrounded by walking trails, and a bell tower with a forty-eight bell carillon.


Lindsay Hall, completed in 1967 and completely renovated in 1992, is a threestory, air-conditioned structure. It was named in memory of David and Winifred Herbert Lindsay, of Rutherfordton. The building houses the M. Christopher White School of Divinity, the Religion and Psychology departments and classrooms.


Lutz-Yelton Convocation Center, completed in 1982, serves as the center of cultural and athletic activities for the area. Included in the Center is the 600-seat Kathleen Nolan Dover Theatre. The stage is fully equipped to handle all types of dramatic productions. Also included in the Center is the Paul Porter Arena, which seats 5,000 for basketball games and various meetings. Classrooms, offices for athletic administration and coaches, sports information, handball courts and athletic training facilities complete the Center.


Noel Hall, built in 1992, is a two-story brick structure which houses the M. Christopher White School of Divinity and academic classrooms. The hall is named in memory of Dr. and Mrs. George T. Noel, of Kannapolis, N.C.


Noel House contains offices for the Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. The house was named in 1986 in memory of Dr. and Mrs. George T. Noel, of Kannapolis, N.C.


Physical Plant Offices are located just south of the main campus on Highway 150.


Poston Center, named for Dr. Gene Poston, Gardner-Webb’s eighth president, contains a visitors’ center, the Safety and Security Department offices and the Graduate School offices.


Spangler Memorial Stadium, completed in 1966 and renovated in 2004, includes a football stadium seating 8,500, a track, and a fully equipped field house. The facility is named in memory of Ernest W. and Verna Patrick Spangler of Shelby. The field house is named in honor of V.F. Hamrick of Shelby.


Springs Athletic Facility, constructed in 2000, houses baseball and tennis program offices as well as baseball dressing facilities. Included in the facility is a batting tunnel for the baseball and softball teams.


Suttle Hall, the east wing of the H.A.P.Y. complex, is named in memory of the Reverend John W. Suttle. It contains the offices of the division of Student Development, student government offices, and selected faculty.


Suttle Wellness Center was completed in 2000 and is named in memory of J.L. Suttle Jr., of Shelby, N.C. Added as a wing to the University Physical Development Complex, the Suttle Wellness Center contains a wellness/fitness center with state of the art exercise equipment as well as a student recreation area.


University Physical Development Complex consists of the Suttle Wellness Center, the Bost Gymnasium and Pool, and the office suite for the Department of Physical Education, Wellness and Sports Studies.


Washburn Hall was purchased and completely renovated in 1990. The building contains the offices of the College for Extended Professional Studies (GOAL), and Counseling and Career Services and Academic Advising. It is named in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Gene Washburn of Boiling Springs, N.C.


Washburn Memorial Building is a brick structure erected in 1941 by Seaton A. Washburn in memory of the Washburn families. Originally used as a library, the building was renovated in 2009 for use as a laboratory for Counseling programs.


Webb Hall was built by the O. Max Gardner Foundation in memory of Mrs. O. Max (Fay Webb) Gardner, her parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. The first wing was completed in 1960, and the second wing was added in 1973. The building houses administrative offices, including the office of the president. In front of the Webb Hall is the Suttle-Wall Tower of Light. The tower, built in 1969, is in memory of Joseph Linton Suttle and Dr. Zeno Wall.


The Webb Tennis Complex, constructed in 2000, is one of the premier tennis facilities in the region. The twelve courts are ideal for intercollegiate and recreational play. The courts are lighted for evening play.


Williams Observatory, named in honor of Gardner-Webb’s ninth president Dr. Craven E. Williams, was built in 1990.


Withrow Mathematics and Science Hall, named in memory of A.T. Withrow of Charlotte, has facilities for mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics.


Wrestling Building, located south of the main campus, provides office and practice space for the wrestling team.



Residential students may choose from the following eleven residential facilities which offer a range of housing options – Decker, H.A.P.Y., Lutz-Yelton, Mauney, Myers, Nanney, Royster, Spangler, Stroup, University Commons (six apartment buildings), and University Honors.



Gardner-Webb University at Statesville is located at Statesville, N.C. A wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs is offered at this location. Schedules are arranged to accommodate the needs of working adults.


Gardner-Webb University at Charlotte is located at Charlotte, N.C. The GOAL, Graduate School, and Graduate School of Business programs are offered during the evenings and on Saturdays.


Gardner-Webb University at Winston-Salem is located at Winston-Salem, N.C. The GOAL, Graduate School, and Graduate School of Business programs are offered during the evenings and on Saturdays.



Visitors to Gardner-Webb University are welcome at all times. The administrative offices are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Interviews and campus tours are available between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday or by appointment with the Admissions Office. Administrative officers and members of the faculty are available at other times by appointment.



Gardner-Webb University is in the town of Boiling Springs, N.C., a community just outside Shelby. The University is only 13 miles from Interstate 85 and three miles from U.S 74. It is accessible to airline services at Charlotte and Greenville-Spartanburg. The telegraph address is Shelby, and the University is served by the Shelby-Lattimore telephone exchange.



If a personal visit to campus is not possible, the University can be experienced on the Internet at for all the latest information about campus life, academic programs, athletics and other events making news at GWU. Prospective students can take a campus tour, submit questions about the university, and even apply for admission through the web site,