The World’s Classroom

When the World Becomes the Classroom

Through study, service and ministry programs, students, faculty, and staff members extended Gardner-Webb University’s footprint and impact to nations and people around the world.

In 2016, numerous students traveled to other countries and experienced foreign cultures, while also completing academic courses, offering ministry support and providing humanitarian aid.

These are examples of some of those life-changing opportunities.


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1 – New Mexico: A group of eight GWU students spent time serving First Indian Baptist Church and other citizens in need in Taos, N.M., by splitting firewood, planting flowers, and cleaning and refurbishing areas of the church.

2 – Cuba: Seven GWU students made history as the first group from the School of Divinity to travel and study in Cuba. Led by Dr. Hebert Palomino, associate professor of pastoral care and counseling, the group visited several places, including the Baptist seminary in Santiago de Cuba, where Palomino helped to establish a counseling program.

3 – Guatemala: Two groups traveled to Guatemala this year to provide outreach. The Hunt School of Nursing served residents of Chuicavioc, Guatemala, by setting up a clinic in a newly-planted church to provide medical needs to the local village, GWU Student Ministries leader Neal Payne guided a group of students in Chimaltenango, Guatemala.

4 – Dominican Republic: Men’s Basketball student-athletes and coaches engaged in ministry, humanitarian relief projects and athletic competition during a summer visit to Santo Domingo, Juan Dolio and San Pedro.

5 – Nicaragua: Dr. Ben Coates led a team to Jinotega, Nicaragua, over the summer where students ministered at the Jinotega campus of the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN). Officials hope the trip marked the beginning of a long partnership with UNAN-Jinotega.

6 – Costa Rica: On a four-week study-abroad experience in the spring, undergraduate students strengthened their understanding and usage of the Spanish language, explored the culture, gained course credit, and developed numerous life skills.

7 – Peru: Five School of Divinity students supported a food ministry and other outreach programs in Lima, Peru, during a trip that also included visits to Bogota, Colombia; Quito, Ecuador; and Monterrey, Mexico.

8 – Italy: Part of an annual study-abroad initiative supported by President Dr. Frank Bonner, 10 students explored Italian language and culture while also earning course credits during a month-long visit to locations including Rome, Florence, Venice and Vatican City.

9 – Greece & Turkey: More than 20 divinity students explored a variety of ancient sites in order to enhance their understanding of biblical texts, particularly the missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul. The trip featured visits to Istanbul, five of the churches of Revelation, the Island of Patmos, Corinth, Athens, Delphi, Berea, Thessalonica, and Phillipi.

10 – Tanzania – Six students helped construct a water tank at a church, shared in worship and ministry with local residents, and experienced the national Kiswahili language and culture during a spring visit to Arusha, Tanzania, in east Africa.

11 – Haiti: American Sign Language (ASL) students and staff members traveled to Haiti serving both children and adults at the Haiti Deaf Academy, where sign language is the primary means of communication.

Learning and leadership for God and Humanity in a changing world.

© 2017 Gardner-Webb University
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