Southern Wesleyan University is a four-year and graduate Christian college, with its main campus in the town of Central, South Carolina. The university was founded in 1906 by what is now the Wesleyan Church.
The school prepares students for leadership and graduate study in such fields as business, education, religion, music, medicine, law and a variety of civic and social service professions. It offers approximately 35 major areas of study for undergraduates and also offers graduate degrees in the areas of business, education and ministry. The university currently serves approximately 2,400 students. There are more than 600 traditional undergraduates enrolled at the main campus in Central, S.C. In addition, undergraduate and graduate programs are offered in an accelerated format at regional learning centers in Central, Greenville, Columbia, Charleston, North Augusta, Greenwood and Spartanburg.
The school has 10 intercollegiate athletic teams. Three of these—men's soccer and men's and women's basketball—have traveled to other countries on short-term mission trips within the last few years. In 2007, women's basketball and men's baseball teams won their respective National Christian College Athletic Association national championships.
Southern Wesleyan University (SWU) occupies a 250-acre (101 ha) campus near the town of Central, S.C.
Freedom's Hill – the first Wesleyan Methodist church built in the South has been relocated to Southern Wesleyan University. The renovated chapel is now used by SWU students and for special events.
Southern Wesleyan University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The School of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education for the teacher education programs at the undergraduate and masters levels. Degree programs in Music and Music Education are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.
The school was founded in 1906 as a result of a prayer meeting in a field that is now part of the main campus. Representatives of Wesleyan Methodist churches in South Carolina and surrounding states met at Central to consider the possibility of establishing a college. Classes at the university began on October 15, 1906. Initially known as the Wesleyan Methodist Bible Institute (1906–1908), subsequent names included Wesleyan Methodist College (1909–1959) and Central Wesleyan College (1959–1994). The school was renamed Southern Wesleyan University in 1994.
A campus fixture for nearly 60 years, Smith Hall was the first building constructed on College Hill. When it opened in 1906, it housed the chapel, six classrooms, administrative space and a small library collection. In 1916, construction was completed on Grimes Hall, which became the central campus landmark until the early 1970s. The building served classroom and administrative purposes, as well as chapel, library and dining hall at times. Since then the campus has expanded to nearly 20 buildings over 250 acres (101 ha).
For a number of years the college operated was a two-year junior college, except for the four-year theological program. For many years elementary and secondary school classes were offered as well. In the late 1950s, the pre-college programs were phased out, and the college moved to a full four-year program. The junior college program had previously received accreditation, but Central Wesleyan College (as the school was then called) was accredited to award bachelor's degrees in 1973.[by whom?] The university is now accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees.
In addition to the traditional program, in 1986 a nontraditional program for working adults was added. Initially known as Leadership Education for Adult Professionals (LEAP), the program has now expanded to several degree programs operating under the title of Adult and Graduate Studies (AGS). The initial LEAP program offered a bachelor's degree in management. An associate's degree in business began in 1988. Master's degree programs in Christian Ministries and Management were added in 1990. Master's programs in Business Administration and Education began in 2002.
The College of Arts and Sciences at Southern Wesleyan University offers a valuable journey of learning and discovery across a broad range of the humanities, fine arts, and the social, natural and computational sciences. 
The spacious Newton Hobson Chapel and Fine Arts Center was opened in August 2008. All Fine Arts classrooms, practice rooms, chapel, etc. are held in this new building.
The B.S. in music, a general degree, provides the student with a foundation in musical studies while giving elective opportunity for study in a secondary area which often integrates with music, e.g., business or computers. Although an applied performance degree is not offered, some B.A. in music majors concentrate in performance by taking additional hours in applied areas of study, particularly in their freshman and sophomore years.
The B.A. in Music Education prepares an individual for certification as a music teacher in the South Carolina schools. Students pursuing this degree also serve in private school music programs as well as private applied music instructors.
Music B.S. (Church Music Emphasis)
The B.S. in Music with a church music emphasis prepares an individual to serve as a minister of music in a local church setting.
Applied Computer Science B.S.
This degree program is designed to prepare the graduate for professional careers in the areas of software development and network administration in the ever growing tech field.
This degree program develops in students a competency in key areas of biology, based on a Christian worldview – that God created the world, He has given us the desire and the ability to discover and understand it, and that we are responsible to take care of its plant and animals life. Students learn to integrate faith with learning in biology and be able to discuss ethical implications, even at the global level in biology. They develop competency in cellular biology, molecular biology, genetics, organismal biology (botany, zoology, microbiology and anatomy and physiology), population biology and ecology.
Biology Education B.S.
This degree program is designed for the teacher candidate seeking to obtain certification to teach biology in secondary schools. It is designed to be completed in four years, including a semester of clinical experience. Successful completion of the program and qualifying scores on the examinations leading to certification will ensure certification to teach biology in high school.
Chemistry B.A. and B.S.
This degree program focuses on the study of everything around us, the changes things undergo and man’s interaction with the environment. Knowledge of the principles of chemistry can facilitate understanding of other sciences, including physics, biology, geology, astronomy, oceanography, engineering and medicine.
Computer Information Systems B.S.*
The Computer Information Systems major includes concentrations in Business, Media, and Forensics. The student must choose at least one concentration for the CIS major. The Business Informatics concentration is for those that would like to manage others in the area of Computer Science. The Forensics concentration, designed in conjunction with SLED (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division), is for students that would like to use forensic techniques to investigate computers.
Exercise Science B.S.
This degree program develops in students a competency for applying basic sciences to exercise science, but also delves deeper and explores how psychology and spiritual components relate to health and wellness. Administrative and legal issues related to exercise science are approached from a Christian worldview, and the program uses real-life experience to give a student advantage in the field.
Forensic Science B.S.
Forensic science is the application of the sciences to studying evidence in cases related to criminal and civil laws that are enforced by agencies in a criminal justice system, Courses required for this major lead to an understanding of principles and practices of laboratory science which can be applied to law enforcement.
There are three mathematical science majors at Southern Wesleyan University: B.A. in Mathematics, B.S. in Mathematics, and B.S. in Mathematics Education. Any of the three majors could prepare you for teaching, graduate school in various mathematical areas, actuary, operations research analyst, statistician, research scientist, inventory strategist, cryptologist, robotics engineer, geophysical mathematician, geodesist, civil engineer, geomatics engineer, as well as many other professional opportunities.
Southern Wesleyan University offers work preparing students to enter medical and dental schools. Courses meet the entrance requirements of most medical and dental schools. Southern Wesleyan University graduates majoring in Biology, Chemistry, and Pre- Medical/Pre-Dental have been accepted to medical or dental schools.
The mission of the School of Business at Southern Wesleyan University is to deliver a high quality business education in a Christian environment that prepares students for positions of service and encourages the integration of faith and leadership in business. We seek to develop our graduates into competent business leaders who are also people of high moral character.
Business Administration B.S.
This degree program prepares graduates to gain knowledge of business administration principles behind the functioning of a company or organization while developing a clear perception of business ethics based on Christian principles. In the daytime, residential program, the degree is offered with concentrations in accounting or management.
The School of Education provides academic study and training to students seeking teaching careers in the field of public, private, or Christian education. The teacher education programs at Southern Wesleyan University are fully accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
The Southern Wesleyan University faculty consists of approximately 55 individuals with teaching responsibility plus several others with administrative responsibilities. Most of the full-time faculty members have earned doctorates in their respective fields. In addition, a number of adjunct instructors have teaching responsibilities in both the traditional and AGS programs.
Childs Hall, the oldest dormitory on campus (1947), originally served as an all male facility. It was recently converted into an all female dorm. Childs has 38 single or double occupancy rooms on 3 floors, with a computer lab on the first floor and a kitchen/lounge on the third floor. There are additional rooms in the basement as well as washing machines and dryers. An apartment on the first floor houses the Resident Director.
Mullinax Hall, completed in 2005, is Southern Wesleyan's newest dormitory. Mullinax, an upperclassmen dorm, has the feel of suite style hotel rooms with each pair of rooms sharing a bathroom. It has 78 rooms on 4 floors for residents. In the basement there are washers and dryers, a game room, a computer lab, and an apartment for the Resident Director.
North & South Apartments
The apartments, for upperclassmen, offer four rooms, two bathrooms, a living room and a kitchen in each apartment. There are 35 apartments in use, with a capacity of 140 students. One apartment is used for the Resident Director. The twin apartment buildings were completed in 2000.
Stuart-Bennett, the second oldest dormitory on campus, was constructed in 1963 and enlarged in 1966. A disastrous fire destroyed the original female dorm, McDonald Hall, in December 1962. In its place a new dorm was constructed and named in honor of the two victims of the fire, Myrna Stuart and Crystal Bennett. While this building served previously as a women's dorm, it now has separate floors for male and female students. Stuart-Bennett has 94 available rooms on five floors. In addition, there are bathrooms on each floor. There is a lounge on the fourth floor. On the first floor, there is a nurse's station, a computer lab in the lobby, a glassed lounge in the lobby nicknamed the "fishbowl," and an apartment for the Resident Director.
Currently Dr. Joe Brockinton is the vice president for student life and has been there for several years. He resides over the student government (SGA), the student activities club (SAC), athletics, first year experience, counseling, retention, and overall student life. Under Dr. Brockinton there is Justin Carter, the Associate Vice President for Student Life, and a student life cabinet, which is made up of 6 directors. Some of the directors include Carol Sinnamon, Beth Stuart, Chris Williams, and Phillip Pranger. Dr. Joe's wife, Willa, also works at SWU as the Director for Conference Services. Southern Wesleyan's goal for student life is to integrate faith, living, and learning into students education and to cultivate strong men and women who desire to embody the character of Christ.
One of the directors is the director for resident life named Phillip Pranger. Phillip Pranger has currently been at Southern Wesleyan for 5 years as the head Resident Director (RD). He is the main RD for Mullinax residence hall and resides over three other RDs, which are Chris Collins, Jason Tegen, and Heather Cromer. Phil leads the "RA team", which is a team made up of all the RD's of the resident halls and all of the resident assistants. Each year Phil takes the RA team on two retreats, one at the beginning of the first and second semesters, to prepare the team for general student life. Phil instills in his team the importance of loving people and showing people God's love.
The RD for the Apartments is Chris Collins. Chris Collins is a recent Indiana Wesleyan graduate and is experiencing his first year at SWU as an RD. He is also head of Student Activities and the Student Activities Club (SAC) for SWU. The SAC has been highly important to the student life at SWU due to the various events that they put on and bring to student life. Some events have included concerts, American gladiators, super bowl parties, and New Year's Eve parties. SAC has a high amount of student involvement and input, which has been important to its success.
The RD for Stuart-Bennett since 2007 has been Jason Tegen. He, his wife of six years, Kelley Tegen and 11-month-old son Levi live on the first floor of the “Stu-B” dorm. Both Jason and Kelley are alumni of Southern Wesleyan University. Their job, like the other RDs, entails a lot of administrative work but the other big part of the job supports the idea of community and spiritual growth inside and outside the dorm.
Heather Cromer is in her first year as the RD of Childs Hall in 2010-2011. She and her husband Eric Cromer of 8 months are also alumni of Southern Wesleyan University. Heather graduated with an education major and played on SWU's volleyball team for three years. Eric graduate from SWU with Honors and ran Cross Country at SWU. Both Heather and Eric were Resident Assistants during their time at SWU. Heather is head over the female only dorm and hopes to build community and unity amongst not only her Childs girls, but also with the other students around campus.
Resident Assistants (RA's) at SWU play an important role in student life. RA's live with the students in the dorms and are responsible for their safety and well-being while at SWU. Each semester RA's put on "hall events" which are events that engage students spiritually, socially, academically, and cross-culturally. Aside from hall events, RA's perform health and safety checks once a month and are required to be on duty in the dorms one night a week and a couple of weekends out of the semester. The main goal of the RA team is to aid and guide students in both their spiritual walk and general walk in life and show them God's love throughout their time at SWU.
The University offers a wide variety of Food in the Dining Commons which was built in 2003. It features a "Home style Hot(entree & sides) section, Pizza/Pasta, Grill, Rotisserie Fresh, Subzone,Soup&Salad Bar,Cook-to-Order, and much more. There is always something wonderful cooking here,with weekly Bonus Bites, and Monthly Specials. There is also a Snack Shoppe in the Student Life Center that houses a Coffee Shoppe proudly serving Starbucks beverages and a Grille to entice your appetite with favorites like the Warrior Burger and Fried Chicken Tenders as well as Wraps, Salads and Fresh baked cookies. These operations are managed by Pioneer College Caterers,a food Service Management Co. that serves Christian Colleges and Universities across the United States.
Southern Wesleyan (SWU) teams, nicknamed athletically as the Warriors. We now have a new mascot due to the recent change in division. We are now (NCAA) division II, and we are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division I level, primarily competing in the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC). The Warriors also compete as a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Division I level. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball. New sports being added include men's and women's tennis and track and field. Women's Lacrosse is also being introduced.
Southern Wesleyan University students have a variety of recreational opportunities. Tysinger Gymnasium houses a basketball court, a workout gym and an activity room. The university has a full-size tennis court. Intramural sports include basketball, ultimate frisbee and flag football.
Southern Wesleyan University's Chapter of Campus Crusade for Christ started in September 2009. Campus Crusade holds weekly meetings and is in the process of starting a praise and worship. CRU at SWU is a sister chapter of Clemson University Campus Crusade. The main goal of the organization is to reach out to everyone in our local community.
The Campus Crusade for Christ organization sponsors various ministry opportunities. These include mission trips around the world. These trips are better known as Summer Projects. In addition, there are spring break ministry trips, various retreats and conferences throughout the year, and a regional conference called Encounter, which is held in late December and early January.
Every semester after Spiritual Emphasis Week, discipleship groups are formed for students.[by whom?] Discipleship groups are led by both students and faculty members. The groups focus on various topics. Arrangements are under the direction of the Director of Worship and Discipleship.
The SWU Student Government Association "consists of nineteen voting members and functions as both an active liaison between the students and administration and a project-oriented organization that mobilizes students to address campus and community concerns. Positions are obtained by election or application." The association is divided into two main sections: the executive board, whose members oversee specific areas of the scope of responsibilities and activities of association, and the class-specific representatives, who mainly focus on organizing activities for their class, fundraising and managing the funds for those activities, and giving their class a voice in association.
Southern Wesleyan University offers opportunities for students to be involved with a ministry team that is funded by the university. There are three types of ministry teams sent out by the university and they are as follows:
In order to be accepted for a position on one of the recreation teams, a student must fill out an application that can be picked up from the Spiritual Life office, have two people who know you fill out reference forms and turn them into the Spiritual Life Office, and sign up for a designated interview time with the Spiritual Life staff. This process takes place at the beginning of each spring semester and the people who are to be placed on the teams will be contacted soon after the process has taken place. All recreation teams then get together with their respective teams in order to assign positions, pick a team name, and take team pictures to be used in their promotion items.
Recreation Teams are supplied with a fifteen passenger van to travel in for the summer. The team is also issued cash, a credit card, and gas cards to pay for highway tolls, food, overnight stays in hotels, and gas.
In order to be accepted for a position on The Difference a student must fill out an application that can be picked up from the Spiritual Life office, have two people who know you fill out reference forms and turn them into the Spiritual Life Office, and sign up for a designated interview and audition time with the Spiritual Life staff. This process takes place at the end of every fall semester and the students picked to fill the team will be notified by December of that semester. The team then comes back to campus for the following spring semester to begin practice for their travels.
The Difference is provided a sound system to travel with during their year under contract, as well as a fifteen passenger van with a trailer to transport their equipment. The team is also issued cash, a credit card, and gas cards to pay for highway tolls, food, overnight stays in hotels, and gas.
In order to be accepted for a position on the University Singers a student must fill out an application that can be picked up from the Spiritual Life office, have two people who know you fill out reference forms and turn them into the Spiritual Life Office, and sign up for a designated interview and audition time with the Spiritual Life staff. This process takes place as positions open and need to be filled. University Singers is directed by Rev. Gail Kerstetter and accompanied by Rev. Bob Kerstetter.
The University Singers are provided a sound system to travel with during their year under contract, as well as a fifteen passenger van with a trailer to transport their equipment. The team is also issued cash, a credit card, and gas cards to pay for highway tolls, food, overnight stays in hotels, and gas.
Each member of any of the ministry teams receive a scholarship that will go towards their tuition, divided equally in half to cover two semesters. The recreation teams as well as The Difference receive weekly pay checks during the summer of travel to supply them with money for their needs during travel.