Gardner Webb University


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


Organization details

EIN: 560529972

CEO/President: A. Frank Bonner

Chairman: Jennifer Marion Mills

Board size: 0


Year founded: 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

Gardner-Webb University is a Christ-centered university founded on the belief that God is the source of all truth. We acknowledge one God - Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer of life. The pursuit of wisdom and understanding in our community of faith and learning is guided by the lordship of Christ and 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. Gardner-Webb strives to provide an environment in which all members of our community love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength (cf. Mark 12:30; Deuteronomy 6:5). Without imposing religious conformity, Gardner-Webb fosters intellectual development, critical reflection, and spiritual growth modeled in the life and teachings of Christ. Gardner-Webb University's love for God is expressed in our community's love for humanity. We maintain that Christian higher education is a formative process in which students, faculty, and staff learn to become good stewards of all of the gifts that God has given to us. Reflecting Jesus' command, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Mark 12:31; cf. Lev. 19:18), we strive to see that all members of our community understand that the best human life is one of self-giving service, displayed in Christ-like moral action, that respects the dignity and value of every person. At Gardner-Webb, we are committed to demonstrating God's love for the world both by what we do and by what we say. Because we are concerned about the needs of others, we join our Lord's global mission through service, leadership, and ministry.

Transparency grade


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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Colleges/Universities

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating179 of 72512 of 87
Fund acquisition rating236 of 72625 of 87
Resource allocation rating257 of 72630 of 87
Asset utilization rating283 of 72535 of 87

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$9,695,059$4,996,406$4,874,989$5,558,556$6,009,200
Short-term investments$48,405,482$45,105,639$30,392,222$0$0
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$82,255,485$72,607,889$57,235,176$26,836,095$25,941,217
Long-term investments$19,053,725$22,036,105$32,394,104$61,907,975$61,335,660
Fixed assets$55,864,866$58,653,873$62,405,162$63,839,461$66,356,459
Other long-term assets$448,847$424,765$4,475,886$4,523,276$5,828,786
Total long-term assets$75,367,438$81,114,743$99,275,152$130,270,712$133,520,905
Total assets$157,622,923$153,722,632$156,510,328$157,106,807$159,462,122
Payables and accrued expenses$4,301,510$5,631,679$6,733,096$6,640,767$6,909,544
Other current liabilities$3,563,251$3,499,752$3,428,941$3,658,837$4,042,269
Total current liabilities$7,864,761$9,131,431$10,162,037$10,299,604$10,951,813
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$2,880,471$898,934$774,129$936,838$1,281,043
Total long-term liabilities$27,870,912$25,788,978$28,549,113$31,210,914$33,894,172
Total liabilities$35,735,673$34,920,409$38,711,150$41,510,518$44,845,985
Net assets20192018201720162015
Temporarily restricted$21,144,303$20,892,666$20,204,786$17,855,718$20,200,397
Permanently restricted$46,005,443$41,612,935$40,460,737$39,558,104$36,860,033
Net assets$121,887,250$118,802,223$117,799,178$115,596,289$114,616,137
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$7,858,165$4,524,521$4,635,354$7,284,399$5,958,188
Program service revenue$83,767,568$82,117,572$84,041,351$69,129,768$66,572,885
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$2,022,323$2,085,327$4,351,285$2,582,260$2,201,087
Other revenue$16,882$743,373$755,253$9,357,064$9,045,771
Total other revenue$85,806,773$84,946,272$89,147,889$81,069,092$77,819,743
Total revenue$93,664,938$89,470,793$93,783,243$88,353,491$83,777,931
Program services$80,891,303$79,386,343$82,399,875$74,047,526$70,081,713
Management and general$10,594,812$9,950,444$10,614,526$10,193,340$9,735,649
Total expenses$92,406,249$90,317,230$94,291,764$85,603,782$80,895,462
Change in net assets20192018201720162015
Surplus (deficit)$1,258,689($846,437)($508,521)$2,749,709$2,882,469
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$1,258,689($846,437)($508,521)$2,749,709$2,882,469


Arnold Frank BonnerPresident$380,117
Mike HardinVP For Administration and Finance$238,982
Benjamin LeslieProvost and Senior Vice President$184,024
Sydney BrownProfessor of Education$171,321
Nancy WinkerProfessor & Director of Didactic Edu Inpa$158,578
Harry Fish JrVP For Advancement$156,359
Jennifer PutnamProfessor of Education$153,426
Stephen LawsProfessor of Education$151,964

Compensation data as of: 6/30/2019

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.


Gardner-Webb University has experienced remarkable growth, perseverance, and maturity. The institution began as a boarding high school and later became a junior college. Today Gardner-Webb is a thriving regional university with growing master's and doctoral programs. From a movement initiated by the Kings Mountain Baptist Association in 1903, and later joined by the Sandy Run Baptist Association, the Boiling Springs High School was chartered on December 2, 1905, as an institution "where the young...could have the best possible educational advantages under distinctive Christian influence." This close relationship of the institution to the area churches continues today. In response to the changing educational needs of the area, the institution was transformed into the Boiling Springs Junior College in 1928. The Great Depression created many problems for the College, but its survival was secured by the sacrifices of many loyal supporters. In 1942, Governor O. Max Gardner began devoting his energy, time and wealth to strengthening and guiding the College. So important was his influence that the name of the institution was changed to Gardner-Webb College in honor of the governor, his wife Fay Webb Gardner, and their families. The decades following World War II were years of physical growth and academic development. New buildings went up as enrollments increased. A major step in the institutions development was its full accreditation as a senior college in 1971. In 1980 the institution began offering a Master of Arts degree in education. The institution officially became know as Gardner-Webb University in January 1993, culminating years of preparation. Today Gardner-Webb is a flourishing regional institution, which offers eight distinct degree programs, has a highly qualified faculty and a beautiful campus of over 225 acres. 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 remains closely related to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. The 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.

Program accomplishments