Asbury University
Former names
Kentucky Holiness College (1890–1891)[1]
Asbury College (1891–2010)
MottoEruditio et Religio (Latin)
Motto in English
Learning and Religion
TypePrivate university
EstablishedSeptember 2, 1890; 132 years ago (1890-09-02)
Religious affiliation
Academic affiliations
Christian College Consortium
Council for Christian Colleges and Universities
Endowment$53.1 million (2020)[2]
PresidentKevin J. Brown
ProvostSherry Powers
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Location, ,
United States

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.[4] Although it is a non-denominational school, the college is aligned with the Wesleyan-Holiness movement.[5] 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.[3] The campus of Asbury Theological Seminary, which became a separate institution in 1922, is located across the street from Asbury University.


The Old Asbury Building (in white) was the first building, serving as the single schoolhouse for education. It is now used for prayer and meditation.
The administration building.
The Kinlaw Library
Miller Center for Media Communications.
The Student Center.

Asbury College was established on September 2, 1890 by John Wesley Hughes in Wilmore, Kentucky.[6] It was originally called Kentucky Holiness College, but the following year was renamed after Bishop Francis Asbury, a circuit-riding evangelist known as the "Father of American Methodism". Bishop Asbury had established the first Methodist school in the United States west of the Appalachians, Bethel Academy, in 1790; its site lies near High Bridge, only about four miles (6 km) south of Wilmore.[7]

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.[8]

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.[9]

The college's immediate past president, Sandra C. Gray, was inaugurated as the seventeenth president of Asbury on October 5, 2007.[10] She was the institution's first female president.

On March 5, 2010, Asbury College became Asbury University. The current president is Kevin Brown, a former faculty member of the university's Dayton School of Business.[11] He was inaugurated as the eighteenth president on March 6, 2020.[12]


Presidents of the institution include:[13]


Academic rankings
U.S. News & World Report[14]9
Master's university
Washington Monthly[15]221
THE / WSJ[17]601–800

Students come from 44 states and 43 countries. Admission to the university is considered "Competitive". For 2023, the average enrolled undergraduate had a 3.65 high school GPA, and an SAT score of 1135 or an ACT score of 25. A required essay or personal statement and letters of recommendation are considered for admission.[18] 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 has 59 undergraduate majors and multiple minors and emphases.[19] Internships, exchange programs, study abroad, cross-culture opportunities, missions, and community service opportunities are available and are part of the curriculum in nearly every major.[20] Asbury has a large general education liberal arts requirement ranging from 39 to 57 semester hours.[21] The university also has an Honors Program[22] and online programs.[23] The university has a 12:1 student to faculty ratio and a retention rate of 82 percent on average.[24]

Programs are divided into five units:

Graduate degrees include: Master's in Business Administration, Graduate Education degrees, Master of Arts in Communication, Master of Arts in Digital Storytelling, Master of Arts in Instructional Design, Innovation & Leadership, Master of Fine Arts in Film/TV Production, and Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting.[26]


The Asbury athletic teams are called the Eagles. The university is a member of the NCAA Division III, primarily competing as an NCAA D-III Independent under provisional/reclassifying status since the 2021–22 academic year.[27] It is 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 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:[28] 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 university's most recent varsity program and will begin competition in the 2023–24 academic year.[29]

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, 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.[30]

Notable alumni

There are more than 20,000 living alumni who live in all 50 US states and at least 80 countries.[31] Notable alumni include:

See also


  1. ^ "History: 1890-1899". Ashbury University. Retrieved December 28, 2022.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "Asbury University –". Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "History: 1890-1899". Asbury University. Retrieved February 21, 2020.
  7. ^ Thacker, Joseph A., Jr. Asbury College: Vision and Miracle. Nappanee: Evangel, 1900, 19.
  8. ^ "John Wesley Hughes". Asbury University. Retrieved February 21, 2020.
  9. ^ "About the Library". Asbury University. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
  10. ^ "Asbury University". Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  11. ^ "Asbury University Announces Brown as New President". Asbury University. Retrieved February 21, 2020.
  12. ^ "Presidential Inauguration". Asbury University. Retrieved February 21, 2020.
  13. ^ "Past Presidents". Asbury University.
  14. ^ "Best Colleges 2021: Regional Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  15. ^ "2020 Rankings -- Masters Universities". Washington Monthly. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  16. ^ "Forbes America's Top Colleges List 2022". Forbes. Retrieved September 13, 2022.
  17. ^ "Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings 2022". The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. Retrieved July 26, 2022.
  18. ^ "Asbury University Requirements for Admission". PrepScholar. Retrieved February 16, 2023.
  19. ^ "Undergraduate Majors, Minors & Emphases". Asbury University. Retrieved February 16, 2023.
  20. ^ "Global Initiatives & Programs". Asbury University. Retrieved February 16, 2023.
  21. ^ "Foundations: Liberal Arts Learning at Asbury University". Asbury University. Retrieved February 16, 2023.
  22. ^ "Asbury University Honors Program". Asbury University. Retrieved February 16, 2023.
  23. ^ "Online Undergraduate Degrees". Asbury University. Retrieved February 16, 2023.
  24. ^ "Asbury University". us news. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  25. ^ "Schools". Asbury University. Retrieved February 16, 2023.
  26. ^ "Graduate degrees". Asbury University. Retrieved February 16, 2023.
  27. ^ Quick Facts - Asbury University
  28. ^ Asbury University - Official Athletics Website
  29. ^ Asbury University to Launch Track & Field in 2023-24 Academic Year
  30. ^ "NCAA Approves Division III Provisional Membership for Asbury University". Asbury University. March 25, 2021. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  31. ^ "Asbury University profile". Retrieved June 24, 2008.
  32. ^ "Palau National Congress Wikipedia"
  33. ^ "National Library of Australia"

Further reading