Great Compassion. Great Conviction. And The Great Commission.
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.