Founding Principle: Matthew 28:19-20
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Mission: Promoting Academic Excellence in a Christian Environment
Vision: To be a Christian university nationally recognized for integrating faith in learning, leading and serving.
Biblical Core Values: What We Believe …
Scripture. II Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” The Bible is the inerrant and infallible record of God’s revelation to humanity, and it is the only sufficient source of appeal on matters relating to the Christian faith.
God. Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” John 1:3 “All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” There is one and only one living and true God. The historical account of Genesis decrees that He is the personal and direct Creator of all that exists, including the first human beings Adam and Eve. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience.
Jesus Christ. John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto them, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” God made provision through Christ for the redemption of sinful humanity by His substitutionary atonement on the cross, and He alone is sufficient as Savior.
Salvation. John 3: 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Salvation involves God’s gracious redemption of individuals and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior by repentance and faith.
Life of the Believer. Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Christians are to be consistent with Scripture in their character and conduct.
Evangelism and Missions. Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” It is the privilege and duty of every Christian to share the Gospel of Christ personally and by all other methods in harmony with the Gospel.
Statement of Purpose
Charleston Southern University is an independent comprehensive university affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention. This suburban coeducational institution with liberal arts and professional curricula offers degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The University was founded upon the principle that students should have an opportunity for a quality education under the guidance of Christian faculty. The University promotes academic excellence in a Christian environment.
The University aims continuously to increase the academic quality of its students. Students currently are drawn primarily from the Southeastern region of the United States and pursue a broad variety of careers in the arts and sciences, as well as business, education, and nursing.
The South Carolina Baptist Convention founded the institution in 1964 as the Baptist College at Charleston. The campus is located sixteen miles from the city of Charleston within the city limits of North Charleston. The institution changed its name to Charleston Southern University in 1990 to reflect the offerings of graduate programs.
Faith Integration: Strengthen the culture of the university where biblical faith is a priority
Academic Excellence: Assure excellence in academic programs to maximize student learning
Student Engagement and Success: Increase student satisfaction, retention, graduation rates and employment opportunities
Regional, National and International Reputation: Promote academic and student success regionally, nationally and internationally
Faculty, Staff and Coaches Development: Provide for the personal and professional development of faculty, staff and coaches
Enrollment: Grow enrollment through academic program expansion
Athletics: Improve the competitive status of the university’s NCAA Division I athletic program
Resource Development: Generate financial resources to accomplish the university’s goals and objectives
Financial Stewardship: Maximize financial and physical resources to meet current and projected needs
History and Organization
The urgent need for another college in the Lowcountry became a matter of active and organized consideration in 1954. South Carolina Baptists made its establishment a matter of official deliberation at a meeting of the General Board in September 1955.
After considerable study, the Capital Needs Committee of the State Convention brought a recommendation which initiated efforts to begin seeking both a site and funds for the establishment of a college.
Purchase of 500 acres of land, 16 miles from the city limits of Charleston, at the northeast intersection of Interstate 26 and U.S. Highway 78, was made. In 1964, trustees were elected by the South Carolina Baptist Convention.
Dr. John A. Hamrick was elected the first president of the University by the Board of Trustees in November 1964. The first academic session opened in the fall of 1965, in the facilities of the First Baptist Church of North Charleston. By September 1966, buildings on the campus were ready, and the University’s second year began amid construction, landscaping and the physical development of the campus. The University has grown from a student body of 588 to an enrollment of 3,300.
In 1984 Dr. Jairy C. Hunter, Jr. became the second president. The Master of Education became accredited in 1986. It was expanded to include concentrations in elementary and secondary education beginning with the 1988 spring term. The School of Business began to offer a Master of Business Administration degree in 1990.
In November 1990, the South Carolina Baptist Convention, upon the recommendation of the Board of Trustees of Baptist College at Charleston, approved the name change to Charleston Southern University.
In 1993, the School of Education began offering a Master of Education in Educational Administration. In 1999, a Master of Science in Criminal Justice was added to the graduate offerings. In 2009, a Master of Science in Nursing was added to the graduate offerings. In 2012, the College of Adult and Professional Studies began offering a Master of Science in Organizational Management.
From its beginning the University has sought to provide not only excellent academic opportunities, but has, in all its planning, held to the ideal of the development of the total individual. Employment of personnel deeply committed to assisting each individual student to attain his or her maximum potential within a Christian environment has made this institution distinctive.
Affiliation and Support
Charleston Southern University is affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention. However, young men and women of all faiths are invited to share in its programs. The University is under the direct supervision of the Board of Trustees (elected by the South Carolina Baptist Convention), who are charged with the responsibility of operating it within the purpose for which it has been chartered. Income for the University is derived from tuition, endowment, gifts from alumni and friends and from SCBC funds.
Art Studio: The Art Studio features two studio spaces for design, drawing, painting and printmaking classes.
Athletic Center: The Athletic Center, located at the north end of the football stadium, was completed in July 2012 and houses locker rooms for football and track and field and an athletic training room.
Athletic Field House: The Field House contains the basketball court, exercise rooms, athletic training facilities, physical education classrooms and athletic department offices. The building opened in 1967, and an addition was added in 1995. Nearby are the track, the softball and baseball diamonds, the soccer field, the tennis courts, the football stadium, a lake and a picnic area.
Brewer Center: Named for Jimmie, Patricia and Brad Brewer of Lancaster, S.C., in 2000, the Brewer Center has become the central meeting place for students on campus. The facilities include a wellness center equipped with free weights, cardiovascular equipment and workout machines. A multifunctional gym is used for intramural events such as basketball and volleyball, and a lounge area provides ping-pong and pool tables. The campus ministries, recreational services and student activities offices are housed in the Brewer Center.
C. S. Jones Hall: The administration building, named for Clif S. Jones, was dedicated in 1967. Jones and his wife, Ruth, were among the first to support the vision of the college. Jones was a member of the organizing committee that chartered the Baptist College of Lower South Carolina, was on the founding board and was chairman of the first Board of Trustees. The building was renovated in 2006. Jones Hall houses the Office of the President, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the School of Business.
Derry Patterson Wingo Nursing Building: The Derry Patterson Wingo Nursing Building was expanded in 2013 to accommodate the growth of the nursing program. The original building was dedicated in 1995 and is named for Derry Patterson Wingo, wife of Henry C. Wingo, of Kline, S.C. The building houses the College of Nursing and the College of Health Sciences and includes classrooms, computer, nursing, clinical and skills labs, conference rooms, an auditorium, faculty and student lounges, skills work rooms, simulation labs, debriefing rooms, a home health suite and faculty offices. The University recently completed the nursing building expansion and renovation project to accommodate the tripling of the nursing program. The initial building is 15,400 square feet. After some very effective planning sessions, the university was able reduce the size of the additional building to a little over 17,000 square feet. In essence, we were able to slightly double the facilities to accommodate the tripling of the program.
F. K. Norris Hall: Norris Hall was one of the first two buildings constructed on campus and the first facility to be named. The building was officially dedicated in 1967 in the name of Fred Keating Norris. His son, Fred K. Norris Jr., was a member of the first Board of Trustees and served numerous terms. The building was renovated in 2006. Norris Hall houses classrooms, labs, computer labs and faculty offices for the department of English.
H. C. Wingo Hall: Wingo Hall, named for Henry C. Wingo of Kline, S.C., was dedicated in 1981 and was renovated in 2006. Wingo Hall houses classrooms and the School of Education.
H. E. Ashby Hall: Ashby Hall was dedicated in 1968. H.E. Ashby was a member of the founding board of the university, was on the Landsite Committee to find the best location for the college to be built and served on the initial fundraising committee to help build the college. The building was renovated in 2006. Ashby Hall houses classrooms, labs, computer labs, an auditorium and faculty offices for math, computer science and science.
Hunter Center: Named for Dr. Jairy C. Hunter Jr., current president, and constructed with donations from Dr. Hunter’s friends and family from his hometown of Lancaster, S.C., the Hunter Reception Center was dedicated in 1991 and expanded in the summer of 2013. Jairy and Sissy Hunter Center was recently expanded by an additional 5400 square feet. It now provides a number of functions for students in the same location- enrollment, registration, financial aid and student accounts. Prospective students and their families may now be greeted by enrollment counselors here before taking a guided tour of campus. Incoming and returning students and their families may meet with financial aid counselors and apply for scholarships, grants, and federal work-study and student loans in the same place where they enroll for classes and pay tuition and fees for the upcoming semester. The Jairy and Sissy Hunter Center expansion makes all facets of enrollment easy and convenient for students.
Lightsey Chapel Auditorium and Music Building: Named for W. Norris and Nell Peeples Lightsey, the dedication of the Chapel took place in 1984. Mrs. Lightsey was a member of the founding board of trustees. The building is a multipurpose facility and serves as a focal point for religious, cultural and academic activity. The Chapel is equipped with a modern stage and support equipment for dramatic performances. The auditorium seats 1,500. The pipe organ in the auditorium was a gift of the Rev. Roy McClain. The Margaret Kelly Hamrick Prayer Room is located at the front of the building and is named in honor of the first president’s wife. The altar in the Prayer Room is an exact replica of one in Jerusalem. The spire light was donated by Julia Yost in 1985, in memory of her husband, Oliver J. Yost, chair of the music department.
L. Mendel Rivers Library: Dedicated in 1968, the Library was named for former Congressman Lucius Mendel Rivers. In addition to traditional print and nonprint resources, the Library provides access to more than 50,000 electronic journals, approximately 300,000 e-books, and more than 170 electronic databases. The Library also serves as a selective depository for U.S. Government Documents. The Bibliographic Instruction and Library Technology (BILT) Center, located on the third floor, is a hands-on classroom for library courses and instruction sessions. Computers for student use are located in the Library Lobby, the Reference/Reading Room and in the BILT Center when not in use for classes. Wireless Internet access is available throughout the building. Additional features are the Java City coffee shop, located at the entrance to the Library, and 12 student group study rooms on the top floor. During major academic sessions the Library is open more than 91 hours per week, with extended hours during exams. Remote access to online resources is available 24/7. Located on the lower level of the building are University Archives, classrooms, faculty offices, the campus communications offices, and the Graphic Design program’s labs.
Physical Plant: This building houses the Physical Plant department with offices, carpentry and electric shops and storage areas for campus equipment and supplies. The building opened in 1967.
Residence Halls: All rooms are arranged in suites with private telephone lines, wireless Internet/email access, cable access and heating/air conditioning in each room. Student lounge areas are located in all residence halls.
Science Building: The Science Building, which opened in 2005, houses chemistry labs, biology labs, research labs, offices, a greenhouse and classrooms. The exterior is brick with cast stone accents and has a copper roof with vaulted dome. A mural of blue sky and clouds graces the interior of the dome.
Strom Thurmond Center: Named for U.S. senator Strom Thurmond, a founder of the university, the building was dedicated in 1972. Thurmond was elected a senator in 1954 and held that office until his death in 2003. The Strom Thurmond Center houses the Gold Room, the Charleston Room, the President’s Dining Room, Dining Hall, Bookstore, Student Services, Career Center, Student Success Center, University Relations, Advancement and the Faculty Suite. An annex was added in 1974.The dining hall was renovated in 2006, when the Charleston Room was added, and a patio was constructed on the pond side of the building.
Whittington Hall: Named for Jeff and Bernice Whittington of Little River, S.C., Whittington Hall was dedicated in 2000 and serves Charleston Southern’s music programs. Whittington Hall houses classrooms, a rehearsal hall, music practice rooms, a music technology lab and faculty offices. Mr. Whittington has served on the Board of Visitors and the Buc Club.
Whitfield Center for Christian Leadership: The Whitfield Center for Christian Leadership, completed in July 2013, anchors the heart of our campus and is the home of our Center for Christian Leadership, the University’s faith integration initiatives and is the primary resource for faculty development, community outreach and Christian service. The facility includes faculty offices, classrooms and conference areas and houses the WCCL director’s office, the office of the dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the School of Christian Studies and the history and political science and criminal justice departments.
Whitfield Stadium Center: Named for Floyd and Shirley Whitfield, the four-story athletic facility was dedicated in 2000. Mr. Whitfield is a member of the Board of Trustees, and Mrs. Whitfield is a member of the Women’s Council. The facility provides broadcast areas for the media, pregame and halftime social gathering rooms, coaches’ offices and meeting rooms. The ground floor is home to a concession sales area and restroom facilities.
All buildings at Charleston Southern University are architecturally barrier free. There are elevators in all major buildings, with the exception of the residence halls. The residence halls provide for handicapped facilities on the first floor of each building.