Erskine College

The information in this column was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 9/9/2020. To update the information in this column, please email:


As one of the oldest and most prestigious church-related liberal arts colleges in the South, Erskine prizes academic rigor and Christian authenticity. Our graduates lead companies, influence professional fields, and make their mark on our culture in many other ways. An authentically Christian academic community as distinctive as the individuals who make it --- students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends --- where who you become is as important as what you learn.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Erskine College
PO Box 338
Due West, SC 29639


Phone: 864-379-8838


Organization details

EIN: 570314390

CEO/President: Dr. Robert Gustafson

Chairman: Samuel James

Board size: 36


Year founded: 1942

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 06/30

Member of ECFA: No

Member of ECFA since:


Erskine College exists to glorify God as a Christian academic community where students are equipped to flourish as whole persons for lives of service through the pursuit of undergraduate liberal arts and graduate theological education.

Mission statement

The mission of Erskine College is to equip students to flourish by providing an excellent liberal arts education in a Christ-centered environment where learning and biblical truth are integrated to develop the whole person.

Statement of faith

We are committed to honoring God in everything we do. We believe that our highest calling is to glorify and enjoy the God who made us. We believe that the only proper response to the grace of Christ is to love, trust, and obey him. And we seek, by the power of his Holy Spirit, to serve him and his Church. We are committed to the authority of the Bible, the historic Christian faith, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. As an agency of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARP), the Seminary affirms with the ARP Church that "the Bible alone, being God-breathed, is the Word of God, written, infallible in all that it teaches, and inerrant in the original manuscripts." The Scriptures are the standard by which we evaluate faith, life, and ministry. We are committed to the essential doctrines taught in the Bible and repeated in the great creeds and confessions of the Church throughout its history. In particular, we are committed to the gospel of salvation by God's grace alone, based entirely upon the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. We seek to keep this message of God's grace at the heart of our teaching and to experience its reality in our lives and ministries. We are committed to the Reformed tradition and especially to the doctrinal standards of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, as set forth in the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms. We believe that this tradition best captures the teaching of the Scriptures. Yet we recognize that we did not come to this conviction by our own wisdom or insight, but by God's grace, and so we deal humbly, graciously, and respectfully with those who understand the Scriptures differently. We also recognize that we must continue to deepen our understanding of the Scriptures and to apply the insights of the Reformed tradition faithfully and thoughtfully to issues of faith, life, and ministry in a changing world.

Transparency grade


To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Colleges/Universities

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating347 of 81743 of 100
Fund acquisition rating392 of 81746 of 100
Resource allocation rating317 of 81739 of 100
Asset utilization rating413 of 81754 of 100

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$1,216,245$1,518,006$1,047,611$1,012,519$828,823
Short-term investments$35,335,186$29,263,285$28,901,322$28,247,557$31,105,062
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$38,846,301$32,699,945$30,761,144$30,030,216$32,904,537
Long-term investments$9,945,940$12,874,376$13,371,411$11,685,630$11,914,779
Fixed assets$25,722,283$26,874,920$26,946,564$25,374,216$25,980,568
Other long-term assets$927,936$927,936$927,936$1,033,822$1,039,931
Total long-term assets$36,596,159$40,677,232$41,245,911$38,093,668$38,935,278
Total assets$75,442,460$73,377,177$72,007,055$68,123,884$71,839,815
Payables and accrued expenses$2,037,970$955,752$952,159$895,059$1,050,957
Other current liabilities$411,252$648,586$541,982$584,522$620,623
Total current liabilities$2,449,222$1,604,338$1,494,141$1,479,581$1,671,580
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$5,553,866$5,762,611$6,082,398$6,827,941$6,841,557
Total long-term liabilities$19,497,499$18,843,360$17,837,106$18,603,790$19,302,936
Total liabilities$21,946,721$20,447,698$19,331,247$20,083,371$20,974,516
Net assets20192018201720162015
Temporarily restricted$0$0$0$5,367,631$6,268,782
Permanently restricted$42,018,687$37,762,823$36,496,868$43,466,169$43,060,836
Net assets$53,495,739$52,929,479$52,675,808$48,040,513$50,865,299
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$1,982,682$1,554,141$3,892,137$2,129,239$2,169,163
Program service revenue$27,317,273$27,282,189$28,742,489$27,522,198$25,944,046
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income($1,074,112)$3,274,358$1,765,953$548,315$1,815,228
Other revenue$43,990$89,580$40,394$44,300$48,261
Total other revenue$26,287,151$30,646,127$30,548,836$28,114,813$27,807,535
Total revenue$28,269,833$32,200,268$34,440,973$30,244,052$29,976,698
Program services$29,853,570$28,623,412$25,165,153$26,393,665$25,790,279
Management and general$4,506,888$3,906,992$6,861,142$4,883,420$4,856,278
Total expenses$34,715,415$32,773,308$32,867,572$31,467,715$30,926,765
Change in net assets20192018201720162015
Surplus (deficit)($6,445,582)($573,040)$1,573,401($1,223,663)($950,067)
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets($6,445,582)($573,040)$1,573,401($1,223,663)($950,067)


Dr Robert GustafsonPresident$168,081
Dr RL HolmesProvost of the Seminary$71,300
Dr J T Hellams JrProvost of the College$57,773
Mrs D S HodgeAssistant Secretary$51,234

Compensation data as of: 6/30/2019

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 9/9/2020. To update the information below, please email:


In 2014, Erskine celebrated 175 years as a Christian academic community. Erskine College was founded by the Associate Reformed Presbyterian (ARP) Church in 1839. Prior to this time the church had established an academy for men in 1835 and a seminary in 1837. This academy became Erskine College, the first four-year denominational college in South Carolina. By the mid-19th century, Erskine had become a thriving regional college. Following the Civil War, loyal supporters rebuilt the endowment wiped out by the conflict. They also financed construction of the Erskine Building and established chairs in chemistry and English literature under widely respected professors. These professors helped Erskine establish a reputation for academic excellence as the college moved from the classical to the liberal arts curriculum. Also enhancing this reputation were the Erskine literary societies, as old as the college, which trained championship debaters and supplemented speech and literary training. The large auditorium constructed in 1892 offered an improved venue for hosting renowned speakers and enhanced Erskine's continuing role as a cultural and educational center of the South Carolina Piedmont. Erskine also played a leadership role in women's education in the state. The Due West Female College (later Due West Woman's College) was founded independently by ARP ministers and laymen in 1859, and came officially under the control of the ARP Church in 1904. Erskine College first began admitting transfer students from the women's college in 1894 and became officially coeducational in 1899. A planned merger of the college, the seminary, and the Due West Woman's College paved the way for accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges in 1925. By 1927 the three schools had merged into one institution called Erskine College, with the seminary serving as its graduate theological school. During World War II Erskine served as a cadet training school for the United States Army Air Corps. A substantial enrollment effort in the late 1950s brought Erskine's undergraduate enrollment to over 700 students throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s. Enrollment has remained between 500 and 600 for the past several decades, but increased to nearly 800 at the opening of the 2019-20 school year. In an effort to share its heritage and resources with the wider church, Erskine Theological Seminary began offering courses outside of Due West in the 1980s as well as arranging class schedules to accommodate commuting students. Since that time, students from many other denominations - Presbyterian, Baptist, AME, Methodist, Pentecostal, and non-denominational - have joined students from the ARP Church to receive training for ministry. The Seminary launched its distance education program (now Erskine Virtual Campus) in the 1990s. In 2010 the Columbia campus was approved to offer complete degree programs. Additionally, Erskine partners with local churches to serve students in Augusta, Charleston, Greenville, and Florence. In recent years, Erskine has been consistently ranked nationally among the best liberal arts colleges by various listings, including U.S. News & World Report and Forbes. Additionally, these rankings reflect Erskine's placement among the top colleges in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), NCAA Division II, and the State of South Carolina. Erskine College has become known for providing excellent preparation for graduate and medical schools, boasting exceptional acceptance rates for students pursuing graduate studies - nearly 100 percent for some programs.

Program accomplishments