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The faith-filled community at SWU is comprised of students, faculty and staff who are passionate about learning and growing, both inside and outside of the classroom.

History of SWU

Southern Wesleyan University was originally established in 1906 as the Wesleyan Methodist Bible Institute whose mission was to develop Christian character in its students while giving thorough intellectual training. Now, as a four-year, private, liberal arts college, SWU’s structure and name have changed, but our mission—to be a Christian community of learners that recognizes God as the source of all truth and wisdom—has remained.


October 15, 1906

The school is established as Wesleyan Methodist Bible Institute with three instructors. It is one of five colleges and universities sponsored by The Wesleyan Church.


The school is chartered as Wesleyan Methodist College.


The school becomes a junior college offering a four-year theological degree.


The high school academy and junior college at the institution are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Re-organized as a four-year liberal arts institution and named Central Wesleyan College.


The Leadership Education for Adult Professionals program—now called SWU Online—is established.


The college is renamed Southern Wesleyan University.


SWU begins offering master’s degree programs in business administration and in education.


SWU celebrates its centennial.


SWU begins offering fully-online programs nationwide.


SWU is accepted into the NCAA Division II membership process.


SWU is accepted as a full member in the NCAA Division II.


SWU receives SACSCOC approval to offer an online Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Curriculum and Assessment, the first doctoral program at SWU.


SWU receives CCNE accreditation for its online RN to BSN program.


SWU receives SACSCOC approval to offer an online Doctor of Business (DBA) in Management and Instruction, the first doctoral program to be offered by the Benson School of Business.