Charleston Southern University

The information in this column was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 8/6/2020. To update the information in this column, please email:


Charleston Southern is the Lowcountry's only Christian university. Our learning community is dynamic. Students come from all over the country and many faith backgrounds. Committed faculty take the time to see your potential. They will help you achieve your personal and career goals. Our close-knit campus offers huge opportunities - including big-time, competitive NCAA Division I athletics.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Charleston Southern University
PO Box 118087
North Charleston, SC 29423


Phone: 843-863-7000


Organization details

EIN: 570474291

CEO/President: Dr. Dondi E Costin

Chairman: Ken Evans

Board size: 25


Year founded: 1964

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 05/31

Member of ECFA: No

Member of ECFA since:


Vision: To be a Christian university nationally recognized for integrating faith in learning, leading and serving. Our Founding Principle: Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.

Mission statement

Promoting Academic Excellence in a Christian Environment

Statement of faith

Biblical Core Values: Scripture - II Timothy 3:16 "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." The Bible is the inerrant and infallible record of God's revelation to humanity, and it is the only sufficient source of appeal on matters relating to the Christian faith. God - Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." John 1:3 "All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made." There is one and only one living and true God. The historical account of Genesis decrees that He is the personal and direct Creator of all that exists, including the first human beings Adam and Eve. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence and obedience. Jesus Christ - John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto them, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." God made provision through Christ for the redemption of sinful humanity by His substitutionary atonement on the cross, and He alone is sufficient as Savior. Salvation - John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Salvation involves God's gracious redemption of individuals and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior by repentance and faith. Life of the Believer - Romans 12:2 "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Christians are to be consistent with Scripture in their character and conduct. Diversity - Genesis 1:27 "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." Because all people are made in God's divine image, they possess full dignity and are worthy of respect. Matthew 22:39 "'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" Jesus' command for us to love others as ourselves extends to all people. Revelation 7:9 "After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb . . ." Charleston Southern University defines diversity as people groups varying in ethnic makeup, cultural background, age, language, educational and professional experience, ability, veteran and/or socioeconomic status. Our commitment to diversity is biblically informed; therefore, the university engages and supports diversity related-matters as they are clearly defined in Scripture. Human Sexuality - Matthew 19:4-5 " . . . [God] . . . made them at the beginning 'male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'[.]" Sexuality is one of the ways the marriage covenant between a husband and a wife is sealed and expressed. Marriage is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards and the means for the procreation of the human race. All forms of sexual intimacy that occur outside the covenant of heterosexual marriage, even when consensual, are distortions of the holiness and beauty God intended for it. The promotion or practice of a homosexual lifestyle (including same-sex dating behaviors) is also contrary to the university's core values. The promotion of transgenderism fails to uphold the university's core values. Education - Deuteronomy 6:6-7a " . . . these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children . . ." Matthew 28:19-20 " . . . make disciples of all the nations . . . teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you . . ." Christianity is the faith of enlightenment and intelligence . . . All sound learning is, therefore, a part of our Christian heritage. The new birth opens all human faculties and creates a thirst for knowledge. Moreover, the cause of education in the Kingdom of Christ is co-ordinate with the causes of missions and general benevolence, and should receive along with these the liberal support of the churches. An adequate system of Christian education is necessary to a complete spiritual program for Christ's people. Evangelism and Missions - Acts 1:8 "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." It is the privilege and duty of every Christian to share the Gospel of Christ personally and by all other methods in harmony with the Gospel. Adapted from THE BAPTIST FAITH AND MESSAGE, Southern Baptist Convention, 2000.

Transparency grade


To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Colleges/Universities

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating399 of 81754 of 100
Fund acquisition rating624 of 81787 of 100
Resource allocation rating187 of 81715 of 100
Asset utilization rating407 of 81751 of 100

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$4,867,562$11,913,023$8,706,075$8,997,147$6,058,738
Short-term investments$21,009,146$20,112,954$18,657,598$16,839,024$17,811,497
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$84,389,839$103,026,504$71,287,057$70,260,744$65,198,790
Long-term investments$3,705,160$3,326,458$2,863,645$2,285,965$6,399,386
Fixed assets$95,862,087$81,026,208$71,516,440$59,757,541$54,174,126
Other long-term assets$6,664,313$4,258,482$3,979,016$4,382,125$3,811,321
Total long-term assets$106,231,560$88,611,148$78,359,101$66,425,631$64,384,833
Total assets$190,621,399$191,637,652$149,646,158$136,686,375$129,583,623
Payables and accrued expenses$4,680,673$6,588,743$5,042,695$4,465,919$3,953,805
Other current liabilities$2,215,540$1,295,539$1,315,369$1,278,194$1,081,144
Total current liabilities$6,896,213$7,884,282$6,358,064$5,744,113$5,034,949
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$6,249,309$3,821,174$4,677,831$5,183,247$5,693,590
Total long-term liabilities$61,256,894$59,678,958$23,254,099$21,096,405$22,162,483
Total liabilities$68,153,107$67,563,240$29,612,163$26,840,518$27,197,432
Net assets20192018201720162015
Temporarily restricted$0$5,622,750$5,128,087$4,616,563$5,297,654
Permanently restricted$21,988,257$17,683,677$17,333,319$16,385,251$16,177,133
Net assets$122,468,292$124,074,412$120,033,995$109,845,857$102,386,191
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$4,219,071$5,373,565$6,322,619$4,602,278$5,699,286
Program service revenue$88,931,308$89,244,536$90,021,368$86,228,761$78,035,651
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$974,661$1,151,234$26,665$416,628$1,087,627
Other revenue$20,551$21,510$43,517($176,046)($77,480)
Total other revenue$89,926,520$90,417,280$90,091,550$86,469,343$79,045,798
Total revenue$94,145,591$95,790,845$96,414,169$91,071,621$84,745,084
Program services$83,471,563$81,175,701$77,924,032$71,556,441$65,864,825
Management and general$7,096,477$10,297,764$9,200,007$10,648,277$9,536,928
Total expenses$92,421,901$92,555,796$88,181,047$82,974,226$76,148,818
Change in net assets20192018201720162015
Surplus (deficit)$1,723,690$3,235,049$8,233,122$8,097,395$8,596,266
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$1,723,690$3,235,049$8,233,122$8,097,395$8,596,266


Jairy C Hunter JrPresident Emeritus$553,357
James RadebaughHead Basketball Coach$212,222
Jackie FishVP Academic Affairs$182,978
Dondi E CostinPresident$175,373
Michael BryantExecutive VP$173,773
Mark TuckerHead Football Coach$165,926
Andrea Toader MeierDean, College of Nursing$165,578
Robert L BlackmonVP Business Affairs$157,725
David BaggsVP for Advancement$151,133
Janet MimsVP for Finance/CFO$138,017
Marc EmblerVPAA$134,165
Jim RhotonVP for Enrollment$115,199
Bill WardAsst. VP for Develop./Planned Giving$110,418
Clark CarterDean of Students$93,954

Compensation data as of: 5/31/2019

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 8/6/2020. To update the information below, please email:


Charleston Southern University, formerly Baptist College at Charleston, is affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention. The university offers more than 50 undergraduate degrees, more than 15 graduate degree programs, one doctoral degree, 15 online degree programs and enrolls almost 3,500 students. The university has graduated 20,000 students in its 55-year history. The urgent need for another college in the Lowcountry became a matter of active and organized consideration in 1954. South Carolina Baptists made its establishment a matter of official deliberation at a meeting of the General Board in September 1955. After considerable study by official education committees, both locally and convention wide, the Capital Needs Committee of the State Convention brought a recommendation which initiated efforts to begin seeking both a site and funds for the establishment of a college. The South Carolina Baptist Convention agreed to support the plan, and more than 70,000 individuals made contributions ranging from $1 to $20,000. Former Charleston mayor, J. Palmer Gaillard Jr., was instrumental in helping supporters acquire 500 acres of land 16 miles from the city limits of Charleston, at the northeast intersection of Interstate 26 and Highway 78. In 1964, trustees were elected by the South Carolina Baptist Convention. Dr. John A. Hamrick, pastor of First Baptist Church of Charleston and founder of First Baptist Church School, was elected the first president of the university by the Board of Trustees in November 1964. The first semester of Charleston Southern University was in the fall of 1965, in buildings of the First Baptist Church of North Charleston. Administrative offices were located in the First Baptist Church of Charleston. Professors from The Citadel and the Medical University offered to serve as part-time professors to supplement the small faculty. The old St. John Hotel, now The Mills House Hotel, offered to rent rooms to house students. By September 1966, buildings on the campus were ready, and the university's second year began amid construction, landscaping and the physical development of the campus. By the third year, a 60-member faculty was in place, and majors were offered in 17 academic areas. In 1969 the founding class graduated, and by 1971 the school gained accreditation. In 1984, Dr. Jairy C. Hunter Jr. became the second president of Charleston Southern University. The Graduate Studies Program in education became accredited in 1986. It was expanded to include concentrations in elementary and secondary education beginning with the 1988 spring term. The College of Business began to offer a Master of Business Administration degree in 1990. In 1993, the College of Education began offering a Master of Education in Educational Administration. In 1999, a Master of Science in Criminal Justice was added to the graduate offerings. In 1990, the school achieved university status and changed its name to Charleston Southern University. The university has grown from an initial student body of 588. From 2005 to the present, several significant buildings have been added including the Science building, the Whitfield Center for Christian Leadership, the Athletic Performance Center, the Singleton Baseball Complex and the Health Science building. New programs in physician assistant studies and a doctor of education in leadership have been added. Dr. Jairy C. Hunter retired in May 2018, and Dr. Dondi E. Costin became the third president on July 1, 2018. From its beginning the university has sought to provide not only excellent academic opportunities, but has, in all its planning, held to the ideal of the development of the total individual. Employment of personnel deeply committed to assisting each individual student to attain his maximum potential within a Christian environment has made this institution distinctive.

Program accomplishments