Apr 14, 2024  
2017-18 Graduate Bulletin 
2017-18 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

About SWU


Since its founding by The Wesleyan Church in 1906, Southern Wesleyan University has been a Christian community of learners that recognizes God as the source of all truth and wisdom. The university seeks to create an atmosphere in which members of the community work together toward wholeness by seeking to integrate faith, learning, and daily life.

Located in Central, South Carolina, the university is a half-way point between Charlotte, North Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia. It is thirty minutes from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and ten minutes from Clemson University, with whom it shares some cooperative programs. Southern Wesleyan welcomes persons with a wide variety of backgrounds and abilities. Younger and older, undergraduate and graduate, residential and commuting, and traditional and non-traditional students work and interact with a faculty guided by a Christian understanding of the liberal arts.

The university evolved from a small Bible institute and its first charter as Wesleyan Methodist College in 1909 into a four-year, private, liberal arts college, regionally accredited in 1973. Historically, the founders of the college understood linguistic, quantitative, and analytical skills to be the foundation of a liberal arts education. Further, they believed that the cultivation of this curriculum within the context of faith, worship, studies in religion, and service to others created a fertile soil for intellectual and spiritual growth. Thus, the college ensured that every student would be well grounded in these areas by developing a general education curriculum of liberal arts studies. That tradition is alive today. All undergraduate programs-traditional and non-traditional-contain a core curriculum in the liberal arts.

As a ministry of The Wesleyan Church and in service to the global Church, Southern Wesleyan prepares students for graduate study and leadership in such fields as religion, education, music, business, medicine, law, and a variety of civic and social service professions. Graduate programs are offered in fields in which the university has demonstrated particular strengths-education and business. Although the university serves the Southeast, the student population is a wholesome blending of cultural, ethnic and regional diversity drawn from the entire United States and the international community encouraging broader understanding and development of Christian values.

Ideal graduates of Southern Wesleyan have a healthy respect for themselves and others as bearers of God’s image. Their respect encourages care for personal and social health-mentally, physically, and spiritually. They seek a biblical social awareness that cares for people and their environment. Through the completion of courses in world history, culture, and the arts (in traditional and non-traditional classes and in international settings), they are prepared to serve society with respect for the past and a vision for the future. Southern Wesleyan graduates are prepared to confront a rapidly changing world with skills in communication, information processing, analysis, synthesis, and problem-solving.

Mission and Values

University Core Values

Christ Centered: Purpose, Scholarship, Community, Transformation

Purpose: A specific calling for a unique role in our world.
Scholarship: Academic excellence in an innovative faith-centered environment.
Community: Belonging to a connected and compassionate body of learners.
Transformation: Christ’s redemptive work in individual and corporate life.

Comprehensive Statement

We believe that every individual has a God-given purpose, brought to fruition by the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit. Through the challenge of scholarship and participation in a consecrated community of learners we are both individually and corporately continuously transformed into the image of Christ.

University Mission

Southern Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered, student-focused learning community devoted to transforming lives by challenging students to be dedicated scholars and servant leaders who impact the world for Christ.

Doctrinal Statement

As a university owned and organized for the purposes of The Wesleyan Church, Southern Wesleyan University shares a common understanding of doctrine and God’s revealed will as described in the Church’s “Articles of Religion,” “Membership Commitments,” and “Elementary Principles.” The following is a summary of the doctrine set forth in the Articles of Religion, but the statement is not intended to replace or in any way supersede the more explicit affirmations found in the most current version of The Discipline of the Wesleyan Church.

We believe in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

We believe that Jesus Christ, the Son, suffered in our place on the cross, that He died but rose again, that He now sits at the Father’s right hand until He returns to judge all humanity at the last day.

We believe in the Holy Scriptures as the inspired and inerrant Word of God.

We believe that by the grace of God every person has the ability and responsibility to choose between right and wrong, and that those who repent of their sin and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are justified by faith.

We believe that God not only counts the believer as righteous, but that He makes believers righteous, freeing them of sin’s dominion at conversion, purifying their heart by faith and perfecting them in love at entire sanctification, and providing for their growth in grace in every stage of his spiritual life, enabling them through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit to live victorious lives.

Southern Wesleyan University Learning Outcomes

The learning community at Southern Wesleyan University fosters in participants

  • biblically informed personal wholeness reflected in healthy, growth-enhancing relationships with God, themselves, and others;
  • the ability to participate articulately in the significant conversations of the human race from a well-informed, reasonable, and distinctively Christian perspective; and
  • the ability to effect positive change through skillful, values-driven engagement with their world.

Such that graduates …

  1. Bear witness to a deepening relationship with God through Christ reflected in integrity of thought, affection, and action.
  2. Have established lifestyle habits that facilitate ongoing growth intellectually, spiritually, physically, socially and emotionally.
  3. Approach issues of both a theoretical and practical nature from a consistently biblical perspective, tempered by awareness of personal biases and divergent views.
  4. Lead positive change by seeking justice for, reconciliation with, and service to others in a manner that reflects understanding of social dynamics.
  5. Recognize and value truth and beauty in themselves and their surroundings as reflections of the Creator.
  6. Critically and creatively construct their own well-reasoned perspectives in discussing current trends, ideas and events, drawing on understanding of the breadth of human knowledge.
  7. Demonstrate skill in listening, reading, scholarship, writing, public speaking and the use of technology.
  8. Solve problems effectively using scientific research, critical thinking, and creativity.
  9. Work collaboratively in diverse cultural groups to achieve positive results.
  10. Master professional or discipline-specific knowledge and skills sufficient to be productive in the field to which they are called.

Programs and Formats

Southern Wesleyan University seeks to meet the educational needs of diverse student populations through both traditional and innovative approaches. For those students who seek an excellent residential campus experience in the context of a strong Christian environment, the university provides a residential campus program at its facility in Central, South Carolina. There the rich traditions of academia are coupled with dorm-life, sports, chapel, and artistic performances.

SWU’s residential campus program offers a wide variety of undergraduate majors in areas such as business, recreation, teacher education, music, English, communication, religion & ministry, biology, chemistry, math, computer science, forensics, pre-medicine, medical technology, history, psychology, social science and human services.

To serve the needs of the working adult, Southern Wesleyan University offers adult evening programs in an innovative framework. Learning centers in Greenville, Columbia, North Augusta, Charleston, and Central provide opportunities to conveniently complete undergraduate and graduate programs by attending classes one evening a week, with additional online instruction.

Undergraduate programs offered in the adult evening format include an associate degree in general studies. Also offered are bachelor of science programs in business administration, human services. and early childhood and family studies. 

Southern Wesleyan University also offers graduate programs for working adults at locations around the state of South Carolina, including the Master of Business Administration (MBA), the Master of Education in Classroom Leadership (MEDCL), the Master of Education in Administration and Supervision (MEDAS), and the Master of Science in Management (MSM).

Campus and Learning Center Facilities


Southern Wesleyan University occupies a three-hundred acre campus near the town of Central (the central point on a railway line running between Charlotte and Atlanta). Instructional facilities on campus include Folger Fine Arts Building (1964), Brower Classroom Building (1966), Gibson Science Building (1966), Ellenburg Lecture Hall (1966), Nicholson-Mitchell Christian Ministry Center (1940, addition 1996), John M. Newby Education Center (2003) and the Newton-Hobson Chapel & Fine Arts Center (2008). Claude R. Rickman Library (1975) is conveniently located at the center of the campus. Providing individual and group reading and study areas, the library contains over 115,000 cataloged volumes, including the Wesleyana Collection, as well as access to electronic books, reference sources, and online databases with nearly 27,000 journals in full-text.

Student residence halls include Childs Hall (1947), Stuart-Bennett Hall (1963, addition 1967), apartments (2000), and Mullinax Hall (2005). The Lowell E. Jennings Campus Life Center (1991) houses snack shop, bookstore, mailroom, and student services; and J. Walden Tysinger Gymnasium (1969) contains locker rooms, shower rooms, official-size hard maple basketball floor, fitness center, recreation areas, and offices for athletic personnel. The University Dining Commons (2005) houses conference services and student food services.

Most administrative offices are located in Correll Hall (1947). Online and Graduate Programs administrative offices are located in Terry Hall (1989). Admissions is located in the Clayton Welcome Center (renovated 2009). In 1997, the university acquired Eagles Rest, which is used as a retreat and conference center. Bryant Lodge (2001) serves as a gathering place for university and community events.


In Greenville, SWU offers Online and Graduate Programs at its Learning Center in the Park East Office Park, 150 Executive Center Drive, Greenville, SC. The facility has seven classrooms, a computer lab and office space.


In Columbia, SWU offers Online and Graduate Programs at its Learning Center at 1021 Pinnacle Point, Suite 300, Columbia, SC 29223. The facility has seven classrooms, a computer lab, and office space.


In Charleston, SWU offers Online and Graduate Programs at its Learning Center at 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 301, Charleston, SC. The facility has ten classrooms, a computer lab and office space.

North Augusta

In North Augusta, SWU offers Online and Graduate Programs at its Learning Center in the Business Technology Center, 802 East Martintown Road, N. Augusta, SC. The facility has ten classrooms, a computer lab, a study room, and office space.