Campbellsville University

Coordinates: 37°20′39″N 85°20′52″W / 37.34417°N 85.34778°W / 37.34417; -85.34778

Campbellsville University
Type Private
Established 1906
President Michael V. Carter
Academic staff
Students 3,200
Location Campbellsville, Kentucky, U.S.
Colors Maroon and Gray[1]
Mascot Tigers
Affiliations Mid-South Conference, Appalachian College Association, Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities

Campbellsville University (CU) is a private university in Campbellsville, Kentucky, United States. Founded as Russell Creek Academy,[2] a Baptist institution, the university currently enrolls more than 3,000 students and is open to students of all denominations. The university offers associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees.[3]

In 2010, Campbellsville University was named #4 in U.S. News & World Report's list of "up and coming" schools in the South.[4] Campbellsville University has been listed in U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges" edition in the "Great Schools, Great Prices" category of the "Best Baccalaureate Colleges in the South." CU has been named 22nd in the "Best Baccalaureate Colleges in the South" category. In 2014, the university trustees ended its covenant agreement with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, but vowed to uphold the ideals.


Ransdell Chapel

Campbellsville University traces its origins to the founding in 1906 of Russell Creek Academy, a school for boys, by the Russell Creek Baptist Association. The Academy gradually developed its offerings and a four-year curriculum, becoming accredited as a college. With an expansion of graduate programs, in 1996 the college gained university status.

The president of the university is Michael V. Carter, Ph.D. The immediate past president is Kenneth W. Winters (born 1934). He is a Republican state senator from District 1 based in Murray in southwestern Kentucky. Before Winters, the president was William Randolph "Randy" Davenport of Campbellsville, who served 1969–1988.

Fuller Harding, an attorney and former state representative from Campbellsville, served on the CU board of trustees for five years. His father, Abel Turner Harding (1881–1966), had been instrumental in raising funds to establish Russell Creek Academy, the forerunner of Campbellsville College.[5]

Forest Shely, a physician in Campbellsville and a 1943 graduate of the former Campbellsville Junior College, served as a trustee of the university for 56 years, from 1954 until his death in 2010.[6]

In 2014, representatives from Campbellsville University met with Kentucky Baptist Convention leaders to report that the CU Board of Trustees had voted to end its Covenant Agreement with the KBC. CU's Board Chairman Dr. Joseph L. Owens said, "Our actions will allow us to select our own trustees but these decisions in no way change the mission or the character of Campbellsville University. We look forward to discussing the new proposed agreement that will continue CU working with the KBC and its churches in areas of joint mission and ministry in the spirit of the Great Commandment and in following the command of the Great Commission."[7]


School of Music

The Gosser Fine Arts Center is home to Campbellsville University's School of Music. Housed in this complex are classrooms, practice rooms, faculty studios, offices, a computer lab, a piano lab, an instrumental rehearsal hall, a choral rehearsal hall, and the Gheens Recital Hall.

The Music Library is on the mezzanine level of the Montgomery Library. This collection contains performance videos, CDs, AV listening/viewing stations, musical scores, music reference books, and music periodicals. There is a conducting room in the basement level for music students to videotape practice and conducting assignments.

School of Art

Next to the Gosser Fine Arts Center is the University's School of Art. Like Gosser, the School of Art main building also has classrooms, and is to have a computer lab for students who want to learn about art. The School also has a Gallery building and the Tessener complex (which has a printing press room and a classroom), that were once houses.

School of Education

When Campbellsville College gained university status in 1996, the re-organized governance included one college of Arts and Sciences and five schools, including The School of Education, which oversees the preparation of teachers. In the fall of 1996, the School of Education moved its offices into Carter Hall and in 2006 into the new School of Education building. The current dean is Dr. Beverly Ennis. The preparation of teachers has expanded to offering graduate education and online education in a wide variety of certifications and advanced roles. The university offers programs in Louisville, Somerset, and Elizabethtown in addition to the main campus. The School of Education has been accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) since 2007.

Campuses and centers

CU in the Fall

The 80-acre (320,000 m2) campus is situated in the center of Kentucky, about a half mile from downtown Campbellsville, population 9,000. Another portion of the campus, Clay Hill Memorial Forest, is seven miles (11 km) from campus. It is a 135-acre (0.55 km2) educational and research woodland that is being developed by the Division of Natural Science as a regional center for environmental education and research. Also, Green River Lake, a 10,000-acre (40 km2) recreational state park, is five miles (8 km) from campus.

Since 2002, Campbellsville University has operated an off-site center in Louisville, Kentucky. It moved to nearby Jeffersontown in July 2007.

Campbellsville University also has a satellite center in Hodgenville in LaRue County, the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. The branch center offers adult education, general education classes, and children's programs. The building in Hodgenville is a gift to CU from Freddie Hilpp.[8]

Residence halls

CU Campus

Nearly half of the students enrolled at CU live on campus.

Distance learning

Campbellsville University offers online-degree opportunities. Online programs include four associate degree programs: Associate of Science in Business Administration,[9] Associate of Science in Christian Studies,[10] Associate of Science in Criminal Justice,[11] and Associate of Science in General Studies.[12]

Graduate programs include master's and Rank I programs in education and special education, and master's programs in theology, business administration, counselling, organizational leadership, and social work. Campbellsville University offers an RN to BSN that is designed for nurses looking for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree completion program. The accelerated degree programs are Web-based and allow versatile learning.


Campbellsville University teams are nicknamed as the Tigers and the official colors are maroon and gray. The university is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Mid-South Conference. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, bowling, football, cheerleading, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, track & field and wrestling; while women's sports include basketball, bowling, cheerleading, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field and volleyball.

The original football program was discontinued in 1937 during the Great Depression.[13] The college revived the sport in 1987 under the direction of coach Ron Finley (1933–2009).

Several CU teams have received national recognition. Zack Flake, a sophomore from West Chester, Ohio, won Campbellsville's first individual national wrestling championship with his title in the 141-pound weight class in wrestling at the NAIA Wrestling National Championships in 2007.[14] The men's basketball team has had three consecutive berths in the NAIA National Basketball tournament, reaching the National Semi-Final in 2008.[15]

In 2005, volleyball player Amy Eckenfels was recognized as the NAIA National Libero of the Year. In 2006, she set the all-time national record for career digs with 3,569. The volleyball program advanced to its first-ever NAIA National Volleyball tournament in 2007 by defeating rival Georgetown College in the finals of the Region XI qualifying tournament. Lady Tiger Volleyball advanced to the 2008 NCCAA Final Four but lost to Dallas Baptist to conclude the season with a record of 35-11.[16] CU returned to the NCCAA Volleyball Tournament in 2009, sweeping through the field to win the school's first team national championship in Kissimmee, Florida.

In addition, the Men's Tennis Team has won 2 NCCAA National Championships in 2012 and 2015

The school's football team plays at Finley Stadium.

Notable alumni


  1. "Color Guidelines / Campbellsville University". Retrieved 2015-08-16.
  2. University Catalog, 2009-2011 edition.
  3. "ACADEMICS / Campbellsville University". Retrieved 2015-08-16.
  4. Herald-Leader Staff Report (2009-08-21). "Campbellsville University earns high ranking from U.S. News & World Report | Education". Retrieved 2015-08-16.
  5. Calen McKinney, "CU Board of Trustees member, Fuller Harding, dies Jan. 10 at 94", The Campbellsvillian, Vol. 8 No. 2 (June 2010), p. 19
  6. Joan C. McKinney, "Campbellsville University Board of Trustee member since 1954, Dr. Forest F. Shely dies," The Campbellsvillian: The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of Campbellsville University, Vol. 9, No. 2 (November 2010), p. 12
  7. Archived February 9, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. 1 2 The Campbellsvillian: The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of Campbellsville University, May 2009, p. 7
  9. Archived September 2, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. Archived September 2, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. Archived December 1, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. Archived December 1, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. History of Campbellsville University (Prospect, KY: Harmony House, 2005), 159.
  14. "Campbellsville University Athletics News". 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2015-08-16.
  15. "Campbellsville University Athletics News". 2008-03-24. Retrieved 2015-08-16.
  16. "Campbellsville University Athletics News". 2008-12-06. Retrieved 2015-08-16.
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