About SWU


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.


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.

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

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.


Southern Wesleyan University was originally established in 1906 as the Wesleyan Methodist Bible Institute whose mission was to develop Christian character in its students while giving thorough intellectual training. Now, as a four-year, private, liberal arts college, SWU’s structure and name have changed, but our mission—to be a Christian community of learners that recognizes God as the source of all truth and wisdom—has remained.

  • October 15, 1906. The school is established as Wesleyan Methodist Bible Institute with three instructors. It is one of five colleges and universities sponsored by The Wesleyan Church.
  • 1909. The school is chartered as Wesleyan Methodist College.
  • 1928. The school becomes a junior college offering a four-year theological degree.
  • 1958. The high school academy and junior college at the institution are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
  • 1963. Re-organized as a four-year liberal arts institution and named Central Wesleyan College.
  • 1986. The Leadership Education for Adult Professionals program—now called Adult and Graduate Studies—is established.
  • 1995. The college is renamed Southern Wesleyan University.
  • 2002. SWU begins offering master’s degree programs in business administration and in education.
  • 2006. SWU celebrates its centennial
  • 2013. SWU begins offering fully online programs nationwide.
  • 2013. SWU is accepted into the NCAA Division II membership process.


Southern Wesleyan University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, and masters degrees.  Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Southern Wesleyan University. http://www.sacscoc.org/

Education programs are approved by the South Carolina State Board of Education using the Standards of the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC). The School of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Fine Arts programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) for demonstrating excellence in their academic programs.

The Wesleyan Church

Southern Wesleyan University is a sponsored higher education institution of The Wesleyan Church

Enrollment Demographics

The majority of the over 600 traditional, undergraduate students are from South Carolina and North Carolina. Students also hail from 20 other states and 10 foreign countries. 80% are white students and 20% are minority students. 39% percent are male and 61% are female.

Student consumer information

Academic Programs

SWU offers over 40 undergraduate areas of study and 4 graduate degrees within the School of Business, School of Education, and the College of Arts and Science.

Freshman Profile

  • Average SAT Composite Score = 1005 (Critical Reading and Math)
  • Median HS GPA = 3.6

A third of the freshman class was ranked in the top 25 percent of their high school graduating class and 70 percent were in the top half of their high school class.


SWU Warriors compete in the Conference Carolinas of the NCAA Division II, as well as the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). Men’s teams include baseball, basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, tennis, and track and field. Women’s teams include basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Learn more about SWU Athletics.


  • Student-Faculty Ratio 14:1
  • Average Class Size = 17
  • 73 percent have the highest degree in their field (Doctorate/Terminal)
  • The international faculty represents South Korea, Nigeria, Brazil, Canada, and France. Other faculty members have worked extensively  overseas in countries such as Russia, the Philippines, Romania, Zambia, England, and. Australia.

Spiritual Life  

Spiritual formation is an essential and central part of life at SWU. Opportunities in our traditional program to walk closer to God include bi-weekly chapel services, discipleship groups, Spiritual Emphasis Week, Missions Conference, Ignite (student athletes), Student Missions Fellowship and a host of student-sponsored groups and events. Learn more about Spiritual Life at SWU.

Campus Life  

Eighty percent of first-year students and 60 percent of all students live on campus in residence halls, two-bedroom suites with private baths, and campus town-house apartments. All residence rooms include internet access, cable TV and personal phone line. Each residence hall is supervised by a professional residence life coordinator and a team of paraprofessional resident assistants. Campus life programs include intramural sports, weekly student-sponsored social events, service projects, ministry opportunities, concerts, plays and lecture series. In addition, there are many recreational and professional student clubs to choose from. Learn more about Student Life at SWU.


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