Gardner-Webb University

The information on this page was last updated 5/18/2023. If you see errors or omissions, please email: [email protected]


Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university that prepares students to become critical thinkers, leaders and servants in the global community.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Gardner-Webb University
110 South Main Street
PO Box 997
Boiling Springs, NC 28017


Phone: 704-406-4000

Email: [email protected]

Organization details

EIN: 560529972

CEO/President: Dr. William Downs

Chairman: Jennifer Marion Mills

Board size: 33

Founder: Two Baptist Associations

Ruling year: 2000

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 06/30

Member of ECFA: No

Member of ECFA since:


Rigorous and innovative degree programs, combined with distinctive experiential learning opportunities, shape students into thinkers, doers, and world-changers. Forged within a supportive and diverse Christian community, our students emerge ready to impact their chosen professions, equipped with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspired to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others.

Mission statement

The mission of Gardner-Webb University is to prepare graduates for leadership and service in their professional careers and in their personal lives.

Statement of faith

Christian Heritage
Acknowledging one God - Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer of life; committing to the lordship of Christ and self-giving service displayed in Christ-like moral action that respects the dignity and value of every person.

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

Donor confidence score

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Transparency grade


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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Colleges/Universities

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating282 of 111325 of 130
Fund acquisition rating519 of 111462 of 130
Resource allocation rating312 of 111430 of 130
Asset utilization rating393 of 111346 of 130

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$7,062,292$8,906,620$9,235,804$9,695,059$4,996,406
Short-term investments$56,875,143$68,248,986$57,641,273$48,405,482$45,105,639
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$89,204,583$100,184,223$89,632,676$82,255,485$72,607,889
Long-term investments$12,547,665$9,881,747$6,286,706$19,053,725$22,036,105
Fixed assets$51,434,672$53,048,724$54,047,121$55,864,866$58,653,873
Other long-term assets$395,975$385,146$405,483$448,847$424,765
Total long-term assets$64,378,312$63,315,617$60,739,310$75,367,438$81,114,743
Total assets$153,582,895$163,499,840$150,371,986$157,622,923$153,722,632
Payables and accrued expenses$4,272,179$3,883,851$3,867,915$4,301,510$5,631,679
Other current liabilities$3,762,266$3,974,909$5,130,583$3,563,251$3,499,752
Total current liabilities$8,034,445$7,858,760$8,998,498$7,864,761$9,131,431
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$1,495,955$1,636,047$1,929,649$2,880,471$898,934
Total long-term liabilities$22,618,815$24,126,046$25,705,520$27,870,912$25,788,978
Total liabilities$30,653,260$31,984,806$34,704,018$35,735,673$34,920,409
Net assets20222021202020192018
Without donor restrictions$53,481,564$54,200,171$51,266,999$54,737,504$56,296,622
With donor restrictions$69,448,071$77,314,863$64,400,969$67,149,746$62,505,601
Net assets$122,929,635$131,515,034$115,667,968$121,887,250$118,802,223
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$9,714,371$7,471,898$8,528,407$7,858,165$4,524,521
Program service revenue$87,366,733$88,212,144$84,575,897$83,767,568$82,117,572
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$6,018,628$5,277,327($1,657,533)$2,022,323$2,085,327
Other revenue$35,800($4,492)$11,815$16,882$743,373
Total other revenue$93,421,161$93,484,979$82,930,179$85,806,773$84,946,272
Total revenue$103,135,532$100,956,877$91,458,586$93,664,938$89,470,793
Program services$86,628,090$84,070,944$82,367,145$80,891,303$79,386,343
Management and general$11,201,408$10,564,650$11,286,931$10,594,812$9,950,444
Total expenses$98,819,790$95,283,903$94,505,307$92,406,249$90,317,230
Change in net assets20222021202020192018
Surplus (deficit)$4,315,742$5,672,974($3,046,721)$1,258,689($846,437)
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$4,315,742$5,672,974($3,046,721)$1,258,689($846,437)


William M DownsPresident$395,009
James CraftHead Men's Bb Coach$224,792
Benjamin C LeslieProvost and Executive Vice President$183,536
Felice PolicastroProfessor$183,446
Prince BullProfessor/Dean of School of Education$176,470
Anthony NegbeneborProfessor of Economics$171,172
Ami SteelePa Program Director$167,560
Timothy ShueyVP For Administration$124,023

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 5/18/2023. To update the information below, please email: [email protected]


Located in the North Carolina foothills on over 225 acres, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at

From our humble beginnings as Boiling Springs High School in 1905, to our transition to higher education as Gardner-Webb College in 1942, to our evolution in 1993 as Gardner-Webb University, we've come a long way.

Gardner-Webb University was founded as a boarding high school before transitioning into a junior college and four-year institution. Today Gardner-Webb is a thriving regional university featuring a variety of bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs.

A partnership between the Kings Mountain Baptist Association and the Sandy Run Baptist Association established the Boiling Springs High School on December 2, 1905, as an institution "where the young...could have the best possible educational advantages under distinctive Christian influence." This close relationship with area churches continues today.

In response to the changing educational needs of the area, the school was transformed into the Boiling Springs College in 1928. The Great Depression created many challenges for small colleges around the country, but the survival of Gardner-Webb's predecessor was secured by the sacrifices of many loyal financial supporters.

In 1942, North Carolina Governor O. Max Gardner and his wife Fay Webb Gardner began devoting energy, guidance, time and wealth to strengthening the College. The influence of his family was so profound that the board of trustees voted to change the name of the institution to honor the governor, his wife and their families. Gardner-Webb College was born.

The decades following World War II were years of physical growth and academic development. New buildings were erected as enrollments continued to increase. A major step in Gardner-Webb's development was its full accreditation as a four-year college in 1971-1972. 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. Gardner-Webb University's six professional schools and 14 academic departments offer more than 80 undergraduate and graduate major fields of study.

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 holds in high esteem its commitment to Christian principles and values as the best foundation for the development of human personality and social order.

Nationally recognized for character-building programs, Gardner-Webb challenges students to ignite their passions, purposes and professions within an environment that challenges the mind, heart and soul.

Program accomplishments