Warriors at heart. Your campus experience may only last a few years, but your connection to Southern Wesleyan can last a lifetime. Stay connected to SWU through events, publications, and social media.

The faith-filled community at SWU is comprised of students, faculty and staff who are passionate about learning and growing, both inside and outside of the classroom.

Statement of Purpose


Southern Wesleyan University (SWU) 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.

Since its founding by The Wesleyan Church in 1906, SWU has been a Christian community of learners that recognizes God as the source of all truth and wisdom. The university seeks to create an atmosphere in which members of the community work together toward wholeness by seeking to integrate faith, learning, and daily life.

Located in Central, South Carolina, SWU is a half-way point between Charlotte, North Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia. It is thirty minutes from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and ten minutes from Clemson University, with whom it shares some cooperative programs. SWU welcomes persons with a wide variety of backgrounds and abilities. Younger and older, undergraduate and graduate, residential and commuting, and traditional and non-traditional students work and interact with a faculty guided by a Christian understanding of the liberal arts.

The university evolved from a small Bible institute and its first charter as Wesleyan Methodist College in 1909 into a four-year, private, liberal arts college, regionally accredited in 1973. Historically, the founders of the college understood linguistic, quantitative, and analytical skills to be the foundation of a liberal arts education. Further, they believed that the cultivation of this curriculum within the context of faith, worship, studies in religion, and service to others created a fertile soil for intellectual and spiritual growth. Thus, the college ensured that every student would be well grounded in these areas by developing a general education curriculum of liberal arts studies. That tradition is alive today. All undergraduate programs—traditional and non-traditional—contain a core curriculum in the liberal arts.

As a ministry of The Wesleyan Church and in service to the global Church, SWU prepares students for graduate study and leadership in such fields as religion, education, music, business, medicine, law, and a variety of civic and social service professions. Graduate programs are offered in fields in which the university has demonstrated particular strengths—religion, education and business. Although the university serves the Southeast, the student population is a wholesome blending of cultural, ethnic and regional diversity drawn from the entire United States and the international community encouraging broader understanding and development of Christian values.

Ideal graduates of SWU have a healthy respect for themselves and others as bearers of God’s image. Their respect encourages care for personal and social health—mentally, physically, and spiritually. They seek a biblical social awareness that cares for people and their environment. Through the completion of courses in world history, culture, and the arts (in traditional and non-traditional classes and in international settings), they are prepared to serve society with respect for the past and a vision for the future. SWU graduates are prepared to confront a rapidly changing world with skills in communication, information processing, analysis, synthesis, and problem-solving.