Asbury University

Not to be confused with other institutions named or formerly named Asbury College.
Asbury University
Motto Eruditio et Religio (Latin)
Motto in English
Learning and Religion
Type Private
Liberal Arts
Established 1890
Endowment US$27.6 million[1]
President Sandra C. Gray
Provost Jon S. Kulaga
Academic staff
Students 1,764 (2012)[2]
Undergraduates 1,325
Postgraduates 236
Location Wilmore, Kentucky, U.S
Campus Suburban
Athletics Baseball, Basketball (men's and women's), Cross Country (men's and women's), Golf (men's and women's), Soccer (men's and women's), Swimming & Diving (men's and women's), Softball, Tennis (men's and women's), Volleyball, Lacrosse (men's and women's)
Colors      Purple
Mascot Eagle
Affiliations Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, National Christian College Athletic Association, Christian College Consortium, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities
Hager Administration Building

Asbury University, formerly Asbury College, is a Christian liberal arts institution located in Wilmore, Kentucky, United States. Although it is a nondenominational school, the college's foundation stems from a Wesleyan-Holiness tradition. The school offers 50 majors across 17 departments. Primarily a four-year college, Asbury was ranked in the third tier of liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report in 2008.[3] Asbury University's freshman retention rate is above 85 percent. Approximately 34 percent of incoming freshmen are in the top 10 percent of their high school classes, and more than 80 percent of current faculty are full-time.

The campus of Asbury Theological Seminary, which became a separate institution in 1940, is located across the street from Asbury University.

Asbury University is a member of the Christian College Consortium and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

In the fall of 2012, Asbury University had a total enrollment of 1,764: 1,325 traditional undergraduate students, 203 adult degree completion students, and 236 graduate students.


Asbury College was established in 1890 by John Wesley Hughes in Wilmore, Kentucky. It was originally called the Kentucky Holiness College, but was later renamed after Bishop Francis Asbury, the "Father of American Methodism" and a circuit-riding evangelist. Asbury was instrumental in Methodist education in central Kentucky, having founded the state's first Methodist school, Bethel Academy, in 1790; its site lies near High Bridge, only about four miles (6 km) south of Wilmore.[4] After being pushed out as President of Asbury College in 1905, Hughes went on to found another college, Kingswood College, in Breckinridge County, Kentucky. Kingswood College no longer exists. Despite his disappointment over being removed at Asbury, Hughes wrote in his 1923 autobiography: "Being sure I was led of God to establish (Asbury College), it being my college child born in poverty, mental perplexity, and soul agony, I loved it from its birth better than my own life. As the days have come and gone, with many sad and broken-hearted experiences, my love has increased. My appreciation of what it has done, what it is doing, and what it promises to do in the future, is such that I am willing to lay down my life for its perpetuation." In 1928, Hughes was invited to break ground for Asbury College's new chapel, Hughes Auditorium, which is still in use today.

Under great financial difficulty, Asbury College hired Dr. Henry Clay Morrison, a Methodist evangelist and editor of the Pentecostal Herald magazine, as its president in 1910. With the help of his Pentecostal Herald readers and his nationwide reputation as a great preacher (William Jennings Bryan regarded him the "greatest pulpit orator on the American continent"), Morrison was able to pay off large debts owed by the college and increase its reputation and student body. After stepping down as president in 1925, Morrison was asked once again to assume the presidency in 1933 under another financial crisis. He served his second term until 1940.

Succeeding Morrison as president of Asbury College was his Executive Vice President, Z.T. Johnson, the first alumnus of the college to serve as its president. The longest-tenured president in the school's history to date (1940–1966), Johnson's presidency at Asbury College was marked by growth, both of the student body and the campus physical plant. Campus improvements during his administration included an amphitheater, a 9-hole golf course, an athletic field with a quarter-mile track, a 370-acre (1.5 km2) farm, twenty-one duplexes, a triplex, an 18-unit apartment, eight faculty homes, five dormitories (including the Johnson Men's Dormitory), a student center, fine arts building, a library addition, a science hall, and the Z.T. Johnson Cafeteria. During his term as president, the student enrollment rose from 526 to 1,135. It was also under Johnson's administration that Asbury College moved to full racial integration in 1962.

In 2001 The Kinlaw library was completed. It was named in honor of Dennis F. Kinlaw and his wife Elsie. It contains over 150,000 items in several collections. There are three floors and most of the collections are on the main and top floors.[5]

On October 5, 2007, Dr. Sandra Gray was inaugurated as the seventeenth president of Asbury. She had previously served as Provost and as professor of business management at the school. Her inaugural challenge was given by Mitch McConnell, United States Senator from Kentucky and Minority Leader of the Senate. Gray was the first female president of the college.

March 5, 2010 Asbury College became Asbury University. Asbury Seminary, in honor of the promotion, displayed a congratulations banner for their sister school on the main road of Wilmore, KY and the Asbury University Art department decorated the famous statue of Francis Asbury with a new "Asbury University" T-shirt.


Students come from 44 states and 15 countries. Nearly 90 percent of the university's students live on campus. Eighty-two percent of the school's faculty hold terminal degrees in their field of study. The university offers master's degrees in education and alternative certification programs. Internships, exchange programs, missions, and community service opportunities are available and are part of the curriculum in nearly every major.[6] Asbury has a large general education requirement ranging from 39–57 semester hours.

Undergraduate majors are divided into three distinct schools, while the School of Graduate & Professional Studies houses all graduate majors:[7]

College of Arts and Sciences

School of Communication

School of Education

School of Graduate & Professional Studies

Since 2000, Asbury University has welcomed graduate students in education. In 2005, the institution added the adult degree completion program for undergraduate students, which includes three majors and has campuses in Wilmore, at the Jessamine Career and Technology Center and online. The Master of Social Work program began classes in fall 2008, and is a candidate for full accreditation. In the fall Asbury University will offer classes for the Principal Licensure Program to prepare professional educators to provide leadership in schools across Kentucky, nationwide and around the world.


Asbury University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Asbury University is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music. The Asbury University Department of Education is accredited by the Kentucky Department of Education and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and all of its individual teacher education programs have state approval. The Asbury University Social Work Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Notable alumni

More than 20,000 living alumni of the college surround the globe, leading and serving in all 50 states and at least 80 nations.[6]

Notable alumni include:

College presidents


Asbury University teams are known as the Eagles. The university is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the River States Conference (RSC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming and tennis; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis and volleyball. Men's and women's lacrosse are the two newest varsity programs, both beginning competition in the 2014–15 academic year.[8] Since the RSC does not sponsor lacrosse for either sex, both lacrosse teams play in the Appalachian Athletic Conference.

The school mascot is the Eagle and the school colors are purple and white.


See also

Further reading


  1. As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 1, 2010. Retrieved February 15, 2010.
  2. "Asbury University Quick Facts". Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  3. "U.S. News and World Report: Asbury University At A Glance". Archived from the original on August 2, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  4. Thacker, Joseph A., Jr. Asbury College: Vision and Miracle. Nappanee: Evangel, 1900, 19.
  5. "About the Library". Asbury University. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  6. 1 2 "Asbury University profile". Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  7. "Asbury University Academics Page". Archived from the original on April 4, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
  8. Gonia, Jeremiah (February 14, 2013). "Lacrosse Coming to Asbury". Asbury Collegian. Retrieved February 23, 2013.

External links

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