Gardner Webb University

The information in this column was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 10/26/2020. To update the information in this column, please email:


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


To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Colleges/Universities

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating242 of 91315 of 111
Fund acquisition rating328 of 91538 of 111
Resource allocation rating334 of 91535 of 111
Asset utilization rating356 of 91337 of 111

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$9,235,804$9,695,059$4,996,406$4,874,989$5,558,556
Short-term investments$57,641,273$48,405,482$45,105,639$30,392,222$0
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$89,632,676$82,255,485$72,607,889$57,235,176$26,836,095
Long-term investments$6,286,706$19,053,725$22,036,105$32,394,104$61,907,975
Fixed assets$54,047,121$55,864,866$58,653,873$62,405,162$63,839,461
Other long-term assets$405,483$448,847$424,765$4,475,886$4,523,276
Total long-term assets$60,739,310$75,367,438$81,114,743$99,275,152$130,270,712
Total assets$150,371,986$157,622,923$153,722,632$156,510,328$157,106,807
Payables and accrued expenses$3,867,915$4,301,510$5,631,679$6,733,096$6,640,767
Other current liabilities$5,130,583$3,563,251$3,499,752$3,428,941$3,658,837
Total current liabilities$8,998,498$7,864,761$9,131,431$10,162,037$10,299,604
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$1,929,649$2,880,471$898,934$774,129$936,838
Total long-term liabilities$25,705,520$27,870,912$25,788,978$28,549,113$31,210,914
Total liabilities$34,704,018$35,735,673$34,920,409$38,711,150$41,510,518
Net assets20202019201820172016
Without donor restrictions$51,266,999$54,737,504$56,296,622$57,133,655$58,182,467
With donor restrictions$64,400,969$67,149,746$62,505,601$60,665,523$57,413,822
Net assets$115,667,968$121,887,250$118,802,223$117,799,178$115,596,289
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$8,528,407$7,858,165$4,524,521$4,635,354$7,284,399
Program service revenue$84,575,897$83,767,568$82,117,572$84,041,351$69,129,768
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income($1,657,533)$2,022,323$2,085,327$4,351,285$2,582,260
Other revenue$11,815$16,882$743,373$755,253$9,357,064
Total other revenue$82,930,179$85,806,773$84,946,272$89,147,889$81,069,092
Total revenue$91,458,586$93,664,938$89,470,793$93,783,243$88,353,491
Program services$82,367,145$80,891,303$79,386,343$82,399,875$74,047,526
Management and general$11,286,931$10,594,812$9,950,444$10,614,526$10,193,340
Total expenses$94,505,307$92,406,249$90,317,230$94,291,764$85,603,782
Change in net assets20202019201820172016
Surplus (deficit)($3,046,721)$1,258,689($846,437)($508,521)$2,749,709
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets($3,046,721)$1,258,689($846,437)($508,521)$2,749,709


Arnold F BonnerFormer President$287,264
William M DownsPresident$212,681
James CraftHead Mens Basketball Coach$203,056
Mike W HardinSenior VP For Administration$196,723
Benjamin C LeslieProvost & EVP$196,438
Felice PolicastroProfessor$189,186
Anthony NegbeneborProfessor$178,080
Ami SteelePa Program Director$166,458
Harry Fish JrVP For Advancement$157,564

Compensation data as of: 6/30/2020

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 10/26/2020. To update the information below, please email:


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