Asbury University
MottoEruditio et Religio (Latin)
Motto in English
Learning and Religion
TypePrivate university
Established1890; 132 years ago (1890)
Religious affiliation
Academic affiliations
Christian College Consortium
Council for Christian Colleges and Universities
Endowment$53.1 million (2020)[1]
PresidentKevin J. Brown
ProvostTimothy T. Wooster
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Location, ,
United States

37°51′49″N 84°39′54″W / 37.8636°N 84.6649°W / 37.8636; -84.6649Coordinates: 37°51′49″N 84°39′54″W / 37.8636°N 84.6649°W / 37.8636; -84.6649
Colors   Purple & white
Sporting affiliations

Asbury University is a private Christian university in Wilmore, Kentucky.[3] Although it is a non-denominational school, the college is aligned with the Wesleyan-Holiness movement.[4] The school offers 50-plus majors across 17 departments. In the fall of 2016, Asbury University had a total enrollment of 1,854: 1,640 traditional undergraduate students and 214 graduate students.[2] The campus of Asbury Theological Seminary, which became a separate institution in 1940, is located across the street from Asbury University.


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Asbury College was established in 1890 by John Wesley Hughes in Wilmore, Kentucky.[5] It was originally called the Kentucky Holiness College, but was later renamed after Bishop Francis Asbury, the "Father of American Methodism" and a circuit-riding evangelist. Asbury was instrumental in Methodist education in central Kentucky, having founded the state's first Methodist school, Bethel Academy, in 1790; its site lies near High Bridge, only about four miles (6 km) south of Wilmore.[6] After being pushed out as President of Asbury College in 1905, Hughes went on to found another college, Kingswood College, in Breckinridge County, Kentucky. Kingswood College no longer exists. Despite his disappointment over being removed at Asbury, Hughes wrote in his 1923 autobiography: "Being sure I was led of God to establish (Asbury College), it being my college child born in poverty, mental perplexity, and soul agony, I loved it from its birth better than my own life. As the days have come and gone, with many sad and broken-hearted experiences, my love has increased. My appreciation of what it has done, what it is doing, and what it promises to do in the future, is such that I am willing to lay down my life for its perpetuation." In 1928, Hughes was invited to break ground for Asbury College's new chapel, Hughes Auditorium, which is still in use today.[7]

In 2001 The Kinlaw Library was completed. It was named in honor of Dennis F. Kinlaw and his wife Elsie. It contains over 150,000 items in several collections. There are three floors and most of the collections are on the main and top floors.[8]

The college's immediate past president, Dr. Sandra C. Gray, was inaugurated as the seventeenth president of Asbury on October 5, 2007.[9]

On March 5, 2010, Asbury College became Asbury University. The current president is Dr. Kevin Brown, a former faculty member of the Howard & Beverly Dayton School of Business.[10] Dr. Brown was inaugurated as the eighteenth president on March 6, 2020.[11]




Rankings and reputation

Academic rankings
U.S. News & World Report[13]9
Master's university
Washington Monthly[14]221
THE / WSJ[16]601–800

Students come from 44 states and 43 countries. Nearly 90 percent of the university's students live on campus. Eighty-two percent of the school's faculty hold terminal degrees in their field of study. The university offers master's degrees in education and alternative certification programs. Internships, exchange programs, missions, and community service opportunities are available and are part of the curriculum in nearly every major.[17] Asbury has a large general education requirement ranging from 39 to 57 semester hours. The college has a 12:1 student to faculty ratio. The school has a retention rate of 82 percent on average.[18]

Undergraduate majors are divided into three distinct schools, while the School of Graduate and Professional Studies houses all graduate majors:[19]


The Asbury athletic teams are called the Eagles. The university is a member of the NCAA Division III ranks, primarily competing as an NCAA D-III Independent under provisional/reclassifying status since the 2021–22 academic year.[20] They are also a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA), primarily competing as an independent in the Mid-East Region of the Division I level. The Eagles previously competed competing in the River States Conference (RSC; formerly known as the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) until after the 2015–16 school year) of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) from 1971–72 to 2020–21.

Asbury competes in 17 intercollegiate varsity sports:[21] Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field and volleyball; and co-ed sports include cheerleading. Club sports include roundnet, disc golf, and pickleball.

Track & field is the school's most recent varsity program and will begin competition in the 2023–24 academic year.[22]

Move to NCAA Division III

On March 25, 2021, Asbury announced it had been approved to begin an expedited three-year transition into NCAA Division III from the NAIA. During this transition it will be allowed to compete in Division III competition but will not be eligible for any NCAA post-season play. The school also announced it would compete in post-season competitions of the NCCAA during this time of transition.[23]


Notable alumni

There are more than 20,000 living alumni, who live in all 50 US states and at least 80 countries.[17]

Notable alumni include:

See also


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c As of fall 2016. "Student headcount by level: All independent institutions (2006-16)" (PDF). Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. Commonwealth of Kentucky. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  3. ^ "Asbury University –". Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  4. ^ Winn, Christian T. Collins (2007). From the Margins: A Celebration of the Theological Work of Donald W. Dayton. Wipf and Stock Publishers. p. 115. ISBN 9781630878320. In addition to these separate denominational groupings, one needs to give attention to the large pockets of the Holiness movement that have remained within the United Methodist Church. The most influential of these would be the circles dominated by Asbury College and Asbury Theological Seminary (both in Wilmore, KY), but one could speak of other colleges, innumerable local campmeetings, the vestiges of various local Holiness associations, independent Holiness oriented missionary societies and the like that have had great impact within United Methodism. A similar pattern would exist in England with the role of Cliff College within Methodism in that context.
  5. ^ "History: 1890-1899". Asbury University. Retrieved February 21, 2020.
  6. ^ Thacker, Joseph A., Jr. Asbury College: Vision and Miracle. Nappanee: Evangel, 1900, 19.
  7. ^ "John Wesley Hughes". Asbury University. Retrieved February 21, 2020.
  8. ^ "About the Library". Asbury University. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
  9. ^ "Asbury University". Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  10. ^ "Asbury University Announces Brown as New President". Asbury University. Retrieved February 21, 2020.
  11. ^ "Presidential Inauguration". Asbury University. Retrieved February 21, 2020.
  12. ^ "Past Presidents". Asbury University.
  13. ^ "Best Colleges 2021: Regional Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  14. ^ "2020 Rankings -- Masters Universities". Washington Monthly. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  15. ^ "America's Top Colleges 2021". Forbes. Retrieved September 9, 2021.
  16. ^ "Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings 2022". The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. Retrieved July 26, 2022.
  17. ^ a b "Asbury University profile". Retrieved June 24, 2008.
  18. ^ "Asbury University". us news. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  19. ^ "Asbury University Academics Page". Archived from the original on April 4, 2010. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  20. ^ Quick Facts - Asbury University
  21. ^ Asbury University - Official Athletics Website
  22. ^ Asbury University to Launch Track & Field in 2023-24 Academic Year
  23. ^ "NCAA Approves Division III Provisional Membership for Asbury University". Asbury University. March 25, 2021. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  24. ^ "Palau National Congress Wikipedia"
  25. ^ "National Library of Australia"

Further reading