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 Christian university grounded in the liberal arts tradition, affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention. Founded as the Baptist College at Charleston in 1964 upon the principle that students should have an opportunity for a quality education under the guidance of Christian faculty, the institution changed its name to Charleston Southern University in 1990 to reflect the offering of graduate programs. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.
Charleston Southern University’s vision is to be a “Christian university nationally recognized for integrating faith in learning, leading and serving”; the university’s mission is “Promoting Academic Excellence in a Christian Environment.” That excellence is demonstrated throughout the curriculum. Each undergraduate degree program is built upon a comprehensive liberal arts foundation which develops and strengthens the student’s skills in critical thinking and reasoning. Through their majors students are prepared to enter professions or graduate studies. In the master’s programs, students are exposed to the significant research of their professions and are educated in current trends and developments in their chosen fields. Doctoral students engage in their fields of study at the highest levels, participating in research or intensive clinical placements to develop and demonstrate expert knowledge of their professions.
Faith Integration: Strengthen the culture of the university by making biblical faith 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 by expanding academic programs and employing a variety of delivery methods
Athletics: Improve the competitive status of CSU’s Division I athletic program
Resource Development: Generate financial resources to accomplish the university’s goals and objectives
Financial Stewardship: Maximize university financial, technological and physical resources
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.
The 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 3,600.
In 1984 Dr. Jairy C. Hunter, Jr. became the second president. The university’s first graduate program, the master of education, was accredited in 1986.
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.
Dr. Dondi E. Costin became CSU’s third president in July 2018. The physician assistant program began its first cohort in January 2018, and the first cohort of the doctor of education with an emphasis in leadership began in January 2019.
From its beginning the university has sought to provide not only excellent academic opportunities but also, in all its planning, has 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.
Located at the back of campus, the building houses studio spaces for design, drawing, painting and printmaking classes.
Ashby Hall houses classrooms, labs, computer labs, an auditorium and faculty offices for math and computer science. Named for H. E. Ashby.
The Athletic Center has locker rooms for the football and track and field teams and an athletic training space. The football and men’s & women’s track & field/cross country teams utilize the athletic training facility.
Athletic Field House:
The Field House contains the basketball arena, athletic training facilities, classrooms and athletic department offices. The Field House Athletic Training Center services the baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, softball, volleyball, tennis, men’s and women’s golf and cheerleading programs.
Athletic Performance Center:
The facility is adjacent to the Field House and houses the Angie and Sam Kelly Strength and Conditioning Center, a nutrition center, space for football meetings and office facilities.
Athletic Training Education Lab:
Located next to the Field House, the lab houses the master of athletic training program and office space for athletic training faculty.
Athletic Training Program Lab:
The building serves as a classroom for kinesiology courses and labs and also the office of the program director for physical education.
The facility includes a wellness center, fitness studio, a multifunctional gym and a lounge area with ping-pong, pool and air hockey tables. Offices for campus recreation and student activities are housed in the Brewer Center. Named for Jimmie, Patricia and Brad Brewer.
Buccaneer Field, Bagwell - Settle Track & Whitfield Stadium Center:
Buccaneer Field added field turf with CSU’s athletic logo at midfield and a navy background in the end zones with BUCS in large, white lettering in 2015. Buccaneer Plaza features an entryway, wrought-iron fencing, ticket booths and landscaping at the front of the stadium complex. Bagwell-Settle Track was resurfaced in 2015 and named for longtime athletic personnel and CSU Hall of Fame members, Howard Bagwell Sr. and James C. Settle. The Whitfield Stadium Center provides broadcast areas for the media, pregame and halftime social gathering rooms, a concession sales area and restroom facilities. Named for W. Floyd and Shirley Whitfield.
The building houses CSU’s undergraduate and graduate degree programs in healthcare, including the physician assistant program and public health. An addition is currently under construction to house the future physical therapy program.
Designed as a one-stop shop for prospective and current students, the center houses offices for enrollment, financial aid, student accounts, student employment, veterans’ services and the registrar. Named for Dr. Jairy and Sissy Hunter.
Jones Hall houses the offices of the president, the vice president for academic affairs and the College of Business. Named for Clif S. Jones.
Lightsey Chapel Auditorium & Lightsey Music:
The chapel seats 1,500 and is a multipurpose facility equipped with a modern stage and support equipment. The Margaret Kelly Hamrick Prayer Room is located at the front of the building. Named for W. Norris and Nell Peeples Lightsey.
The music building, located behind Lightsey Chapel, houses faculty offices for the Horton School of Music, music practice facilities and the theatre program’s Black Box Theatre. Named for Nell Peeples Lightsey.
Nielsen Field & Singleton Baseball Complex:
Nielsen Field features covered batting cages, a concession stand, ticket booth, press box, premium seating around the backstop and down both baselines, as well as grandstand seating behind home plate. The addition of a plaza was included next to the third base dugout to allow fans to watch the game in a picnic-style seating area. Named for Roger ‘74 and Joyce Nielsen.
The Singleton Baseball Complex houses a locker room, training room, the Sharonda Coleman-Singleton Enrichment Center, a memorial plaza recognizing outstanding baseball alumni and the Love is Stronger memorial dedicated to the victims, survivors and families of the Emanuel AME tragedy. Named for Sharonda Coleman-Singleton.
Norris Hall houses classrooms for the humanities, computer labs and faculty offices for the department of English. Named for Fred K. Norris Jr.
The library provides traditional print and nonprint resources, reading rooms, study rooms and offices for library personnel. The lower level houses classrooms, faculty offices and the graphic design studio. The library is a selective depository in the Federal Depository Library Program. On the first floor, the South Carolina Room houses items related to South Carolina’s history, literature and the arts. Java City, a coffee shop, is located at the entrance to the building. Named for L. Mendel Rivers.
The building houses the department offices, carpentry and electric shops and storage areas for campus equipment and supplies and is located at the back of campus.
The Suites, the newest residence hall, is set up in apartment style suites and has multiple gathering spaces. All other halls, Russell East & West, Women’s North & South and Quads I, II and III, are arranged in suites containing two rooms with a connecting bathroom. Student lounge areas are located in all residence halls.
The building houses chemistry, biology and research labs, faculty offices and classrooms. A greenhouse is located adjacent to the science building. The greenhouse contains more than 50 different varieties of orchids: both hybrids and species. There is also a bog garden with more than 30 different species of carnivorous plants.
The complex features a natural grass playing field and capacity for 250 spectators in grandstand seating. There is an expanded press area between the covered team benches.
The complex includes two covered batting cages, a team facility and locker room, coaches’ offices and the natural grass softball field. Seating capacity is 250, and field lights were added in 2018.
The eight-court facility was completely resurfaced in 2015, and seating is available for 200 spectators.
The center houses the dining hall, Gold Room, a student lounge, the President’s Dining Room, the bookstore, offices for the dean of students, marketing and communication, development, business affairs, CSU online, a faculty suite of offices, the Career Center and the Student Success Center. A Chick-fil-A Express is located on the first floor. Named for J. Strom Thurmond.
University Park & Pool:
Located at the back of campus, the park includes a paved basketball court, a beach volleyball pit, Morley Pool, pool house and swings. Named for Patsy Morley.
The building houses music classrooms, a rehearsal hall, music practice rooms, a music technology lab and faculty offices. Named for Jeff and Bernice Whittington.
Whitfield Center for Christian Leadership:
The facility includes classrooms and conference space, including the Drew Conference Center, which accommodates 200, and faculty offices for the College of Christian Studies and College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Named for W. Floyd and Shirley Whitfield.
Wingate by Wyndham:
An award-winning hotel is conveniently located on the campus of CSU and features 97 guest rooms and has several meeting spaces for small to medium groups.
Wingo Hall houses classrooms for the humanities and education and faculty offices for the College of Education. Named for Henry C. Wingo.
Derry Patterson Wingo Hall:
The building houses College of Nursing classrooms, an auditorium, labs and faculty offices.
The nursing building expansion houses classrooms, computer, nursing, clinical and skills labs, conference rooms, faculty and student lounges, skills work rooms, simulation labs, debriefing rooms, a home health suite and faculty offices. Named for Derry Patterson Wingo.
All buildings at Charleston Southern University are architecturally barrier free. There are elevators in all major buildings, with the exception of some residence halls. The residence halls provide for handicapped facilities on the first floor of each building.