Eastern University

The information on this page was last updated 3/16/2023. If you see errors or omissions, please email: [email protected]


Located near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Eastern University is a Christian university offering more than 130 nationally-recognized undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certifications. Our core values of faith, reason, and justice are woven throughout all of our programs.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Eastern University
1300 Eagle Road
St Davids, PA 19087-3696

Website: eastern.edu

Phone: 610-341-5800

Email: [email protected]

Organization details

EIN: 231409675

CEO/President: Dr. Ronald A. Matthews

Chairman: Steve Clemens

Board size: 26

Founder: Six Baptist Ministers

Ruling year: 1953

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 06/30

Member of ECFA: No

Member of ECFA since:


Vision: As a community, Eastern University will Listen...Love...Learn...Lead.

Eastern University is dedicated to ideas, inquiry, and the development of people of faith who will enhance the quality of society and the church. Toward that end, Eastern will continue to expand its formative role in the world as a university in which knowledge and wisdom are imbued, Christlike engagement is inspired, and stewardship is modeled.

Mission statement

Eastern University is a diverse, Christ-centered community preparing graduates to impact the world through faith, reason, and justice.

Statement of faith

Scripture: We believe that the Bible, composed of Old and New Testaments, is inspired by God and serves as the rule of faith and practice, being the authoritative witness to the truth of God embodied in Jesus Christ.

God: We believe in one God eternally existing as Three Persons.

We believe in God the Creator, author of all life and our salvation.

We believe that God created human beings, male and female, in the image of God as an expression of God's eternal love, to live in God's perfect will. As such, human beings are called to be faithful stewards of God's creation and to live in relations with God, each other, and the created world.

We believe in God the Spirit, Lord and giver of life, who reveals Jesus Christ to human beings to transform them through conversion and sanctification to full humanity as willed by the Creator.

We believe that Jesus Christ was conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, and is truly God and truly human. We believe that he lived a fully human life as Jesus of Nazareth, who walked with us, ministered to us, and proclaimed the Reign of God. Because human beings sinned and suffered the penalty of death, we further believe in the life and death of the Lord for our sins, in the resurrection of his body, in his ascension to heaven, and in his personal and visible future return to the earth.

Salvation: We believe that our salvation is received through faith by grace through Jesus Christ, the only and sufficient mediator between God and humanity.

Baptism & the Lord's Supper: We believe that Jesus Christ commanded us to be baptized and to partake of the Supper in his name.

We believe that baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, signifying redemption through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ together with the believer's death to sin and resurrection to newness of life.

We believe that the Lord's Supper is a commemoration of the Lord's death until he returns.

The Church: We believe that the Church is Jesus Christ's body on earth, called to witness and proclaim the good news of God's Reign and salvation to the world. The Church consists of believers, called by Jesus Christ to worship God, serve one another in a spirit of love and truth, and to proclaim God's Reign-not only through word, but also through deeds of love and justice. As a witness to the Reign of God, the Church embodies God's will to be one in diversity, to care for "the least of these," and to proclaim hope. Therefore, the Church is a light unto the world at all times and in all places.

Every member of the Board of Trustees, every administrative officer of the Institution, professor, teacher, and instructor shall annually subscribe over his or her signature to the Doctrinal Statement, excepting only that a non-Baptist individual occupying any of the foregoing positions shall not be required to subscribe to that part of the Doctrinal Statement regarding the mode of water baptism.

Whenever a member of the Board of Trustees, administrative officer, professor, teacher or instructor is not in complete accord with the foregoing Doctrinal Statement, he or she shall forthwith withdraw from all connections with the University, and his or her failure to do so shall constitute grounds for immediate removal from such positions by the Trustees.

Donor confidence score

Show donor confidence score details

Transparency grade


To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Colleges/Universities

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating282 of 111223 of 130
Fund acquisition rating723 of 111392 of 130
Resource allocation rating230 of 111320 of 130
Asset utilization rating272 of 111226 of 130

Financial ratios

Funding ratiosSector median20222021202020192018
Return on fundraising efforts Return on fundraising efforts =
Fundraising expense /
Total contributions
Fundraising cost ratio Fundraising cost ratio =
Fundraising expense /
Total revenue
Contributions reliance Contributions reliance =
Total contributions /
Total revenue
Fundraising expense ratio Fundraising expense ratio =
Fundraising expense /
Total expenses
Other revenue reliance Other revenue reliance =
Total other revenue /
Total revenue
Operating ratiosSector median20222021202020192018
Program expense ratio Program expense ratio =
Program services /
Total expenses
Spending ratio Spending ratio =
Total expenses /
Total revenue
Program output ratio Program output ratio =
Program services /
Total revenue
Savings ratio Savings ratio =
Surplus (deficit) /
Total revenue
Reserve accumulation rate Reserve accumulation rate =
Surplus (deficit) /
Net assets
General and admin ratio General and admin ratio =
Management and general expense /
Total expenses
Investing ratiosSector median20222021202020192018
Total asset turnover Total asset turnover =
Total expenses /
Total assets
Degree of long-term investment Degree of long-term investment =
Total assets /
Total current assets
Current asset turnover Current asset turnover =
Total expenses /
Total current assets
Liquidity ratiosSector median20222021202020192018
Current ratio Current ratio =
Total current assets /
Total current liabilities
Current liabilities ratio Current liabilities ratio =
Total current liabilities /
Total current assets
Liquid reserve level Liquid reserve level =
(Total current assets -
Total current liabilities) /
(Total expenses / 12)
Solvency ratiosSector median20222021202020192018
Liabilities ratio Liabilities ratio =
Total liabilities /
Total assets
Debt ratio Debt ratio =
Debt /
Total assets
Reserve coverage ratio Reserve coverage ratio =
Net assets /
Total expenses


Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$7,164,818$8,138,104$7,161,349$5,563,383$6,590,136
Short-term investments$28,140,876$33,142,541$28,619,186$29,255,529$29,912,412
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$60,872,505$57,266,047$45,692,329$43,755,825$45,393,631
Long-term investments$231,274$325,653$498,015$746,186$879,734
Fixed assets$39,767,264$40,588,740$41,514,674$41,941,739$52,371,548
Other long-term assets$4,325,736$11,887,828$10,031,272$10,868,265$1,833,296
Total long-term assets$44,324,274$52,802,221$52,043,961$53,556,190$55,084,578
Total assets$105,196,779$110,068,268$97,736,290$97,312,015$100,478,209
Payables and accrued expenses$4,211,135$3,669,044$4,435,131$3,831,252$4,285,721
Other current liabilities$1,594,114$4,892,775$3,923,581$1,124,921$1,952,534
Total current liabilities$5,805,249$8,561,819$8,358,712$4,956,173$6,238,255
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$4,829,425$4,563,143$2,157,857$2,328,788$2,199,266
Total long-term liabilities$30,571,167$31,793,939$30,955,743$32,631,755$33,945,911
Total liabilities$36,376,416$40,355,758$39,314,455$37,587,928$40,184,166
Net assets20222021202020192018
Without donor restrictions$38,848,958$36,185,063$30,024,101$30,001,372$30,090,210
With donor restrictions$29,971,405$33,527,447$28,397,734$29,722,715$30,203,833
Net assets$68,820,363$69,712,510$58,421,835$59,724,087$60,294,043
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$9,227,739$11,568,594$6,862,154$4,036,184$5,031,784
Program service revenue$82,494,566$76,062,301$72,052,674$73,909,520$72,250,040
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$713,136$965,343$312,040$826,363$8,218,558
Other revenue$574,599$624,114$956,516$1,431,642$1,873,444
Total other revenue$83,782,301$77,651,758$73,321,230$76,167,525$82,342,042
Total revenue$93,010,040$89,220,352$80,183,384$80,203,709$87,373,826
Program services$79,849,886$72,785,771$70,806,436$71,402,601$71,762,281
Management and general$8,149,702$7,695,933$8,345,584$8,282,537$8,985,368
Total expenses$89,654,124$82,152,914$80,712,648$81,042,816$82,115,510
Change in net assets20222021202020192018
Surplus (deficit)$3,355,916$7,067,438($529,264)($839,107)$5,258,316
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$3,355,916$7,067,438($529,264)($839,107)$5,258,316


Ronald MatthewsPresident$383,907
Kenton SparksProvost$225,008
J Pernell JonesVP for Fin. & Operations (part year)$181,407
Eric McCloyChief Information Officer$155,859
Christine MahanVP for Inst Research & Assessment$146,013
Melissa SnyderAssoc Dean-Nursing (part year)$142,060
Patricia RegerDean - CHSS (part year)$139,045
Albert SocciProfessor (part year)$133,874
Michael ThomasVP for Marketing (part year)$132,856
M Tom RidingtonVP for Advancement (part year)$113,129
Luisa WilsmanVP for Advancement$59,255

Compensation data as of: 6/30/2022

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 3/16/2023. To update the information below, please email: [email protected]


Over 90 years ago, on March 19, 1925, at 1:30 p.m. in the headquarters of the American Baptist Publication Society on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, six Baptist ministers founded what was then called the Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

According to Gordon Baker, Pastor of First Baptist Church of Schenectady, NY at the time, and one of the six founders at that meeting ninety years ago that afternoon, the seminary was founded to provide Baptist churches with pastors who were both biblically informed and also culturally relevant.

Soon thereafter, college courses were added to the seminary curriculum to upgrade the academic qualifications of prospective ministerial students. A Collegiate Department of Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary was officially established in 1932, which originally offered a two-year liberal arts program. In 1951, Eastern Baptist College was organized as a separate institution and relocated to the former Charles S. Walton estate, "Walmarthon," in St. Davids, PA. Early in 1972, the legal name of the school was changed to Eastern College: A Baptist Institution.

Eastern Baptist College's new home, the former "Walmarthon" estate, had a rich history of its own. In 1910, Charles Walton, a wealthy leather-tanner and philanthropist from Philadelphia, set out to build himself an escape from the demands of life and work. By 1913, the construction of "Walmarthon" was finished, completing Charles Walton's country estate. Mr. Walton, was an active member of the community, as well as an elder at his church. Following his passing in 1916, his son Charles Walton Jr. carried on his spiritual and philanthropic legacy and eventually sold Walmarthon and the entirety of the estate to Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1951.

A few years after Eastern Baptist College was added to the Seminary's offerings, a correspondence school was also added. It was an attempt to meet the educational needs of those who could neither travel to Philadelphia nor whose current life situation made theological education feasible to access. Eastern's commitment to shaping education and curriculum to the adult learner continues through its graduate and adult undergraduate programs today. The first Eastern College graduate program (MBA) was approved in 1981.

Meanwhile, the St. Davids campus continued to expand with initiatives like the Bradstreet Observatory, which was completed in 1996 as the result of an eight-year fundraising effort. The Observatory consists of twin 14.5-foot diameter domes that house 16" diameter Meade LX200 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes. This addition to Eastern's facilities opened up incredible opportunities for astronomical work and research done on Eastern's campus.

Because of its growing complexity and expansion into international venues, Eastern College was granted University status in December 2001. In 2003, the University was reunited with its mother institution, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Honoring the legacy of its longest-serving president, Gordon Palmer, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary was renamed Palmer Theological Seminary on July 1, 2005.

Meanwhile in North Philadelphia, Eastern's junior college, Esperanza, was beginning to arise. What started as a dream in 1996 between Reverend Luis Cortes, Jr. and president of Eastern University, Dr. David Black, became a reality with the founding of Nueva Esperanza Center for Higher Education (NECHE), a junior college reaching the Latino community in North Philadelphia. Led by Reverend Luis Cortes, Jr as NECHE's president, the college admitted and enrolled its first cohort of 28 students in 2000, and in 2005 it became Esperanza College of Eastern University.

Today, Eastern University offers undergraduate, graduate, professional, and seminary programs both on-campus and online. Its core values of faith, reason and justice are woven into all of its educational programs.

Program accomplishments

Eastern University was named to the Templeton Honor Roll of Character-building Colleges and the Honor Roll of Exemplary First-year Programs.