Greenville University: Committed to Life-long Learning & Driven by Christian Values

Greenville University empowers students for lives of character and service through a transforming Christ-centered education in the liberal arts, sciences, and professional studies.

Located at the heart of Greenville; Illinois and 45 miles away from St. Louis, Greenville University emboldens students to be life-long learners. The brand story of this university begins right after its inception Founded by the lay leaders of the Central Illinois Conference of the Free Methodist Church in the late 1880s, the university had envisioned of preparing young people with a blend of broad learning while underlining the Christian faith.

Focusing on this vision, the university authorities had purchased the Almira College in Greenville, Illinois in the year 1892. A building in the “old main” style and several acres of land were the only things that the college had at that time. Ultimately they had   reincorporated as an independent institute under the name of Greenville College Corporation.  Apart from just educating the young minds they also aimed to shape the character of young women and men and preparing them for service. The school which remained “Greenville College” until 2017 was later it transitioned to “Greenville University.  At present, the university averages 450 graduates each year. Its alumni serve with distinction in government, business, medicine, education, ministry, technology, financial services, science and music.

Seasoned and Devout Educator

Dr. Ivan Filby, the twelfth President of Greenville University added new wings to the university. It was under his leadership that the university developed new programs. His educational background includes a doctorate in Philosophy and Management. He also holds bachelor’s degree of Science in Managerial and Administrative Studies from the prestigious Aston University, United Kingdom. He also completed his Master in Arts from the University of Dublin, Ireland and Master of Arts in Evangelism Studies from University of Sheffield, United Kingdom.

He began his teaching career as a lecturer in Business Studies at the University of Dublin: Trinity College (1989-1996).  There, he also created and oversaw 30 international partnerships. After Later, he was promoted as the director of International Student Affairs (1996-2004), and managed the university’s 150 exchange partnerships.

However, Filby followed the God’s call and decided to shape the lives of Christian college students. He joined the Greenville University on July 1, 2013. Along with developing new programs, Filby also directed the University’s AgapeFest, and served as faculty assembly moderator. He was awarded with the G.U.’s W. Richard Stephens Outstanding Faculty Award in the year 2010.

Pious and Value-based Education

The university and Free Methodist Church are committed towards the   Wesleyan theological tradition and have maintained a rich legacy of mutual support since the university’s inception.. The belief that nothing is ever known properly until it is known in relation to Jesus Christ persists. The prayer often repeated at convocation each fall—“Be Thou my vision, oh Lord of my heart”—echoes the prayers of the school’s founders. Greenville University’s past continues to shape its future. Learning informed by faith in Jesus Christ remains relevant.

The university believes that God has created each of its students to uniquely shape the world. Working towards fulfilling this vision of the university, it focuses on:

  • Offering a transformational Christ-centered educational experience that empowers, enriches, and endures
  • Overall development of the whole person so that each student thrives spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, relationally, and physically
  • Inspiring students to embrace God’s call, and
  • Worships its work and welcoming the presence of the risen Christ to fill, equip and send.

The work of the institute has been guided by several values and still continues to fuel its decisions some of which included; the Wesleyan Christ-centered focus, integrated learning, innovation, character, service, thriving, and community.

Inclusive and Vibrant Campus

Offering the best of both worlds, Greenville University has a safe and small town environment with access to a major metropolitan area just 45 minutes away from St. Louis, Missouri. The campus today is hosted by 50 acres of land. The campus is well furnished with all the modern and technical amenities needed by the students. The university’s campus space facilitates learning, computing, performance and practice, art exhibition, athletics, science, and research. However, it is its “virtual” community that has holds a worldwide recognition.

Greenville University has incorporated Justice Ministry coursework, the Mosiac Student Association, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion as a mere attempt to acknowledge its commitment to diversity and inclusion.

MOSAIC Student Association ; works to bring people of all races, genders, and creeds together as one in order to increase the awareness and celebration of diversity on campus and beyond. MOSAIC creates programs, aids the academic development of minority students, recruits and offers scholarship opportunities to students from minority backgrounds, and celebrates diversity through music, awareness campaigns, and forums.

Office of Diversity and Inclusion; develops programs and services necessary to enhance, promote, and support diversity at Greenville University. This includes enhancing multicultural and cross-cultural awareness, cross-cultural training and educational resources, support of student leadership from students of all backgrounds, and appreciation of the rich cultural heritage of diverse populations.

Justice Ministry courses ; Facilitated by Professor Lisa Sharon Harper, Founder the President of Freedom Road, LLC, in collaboration with G.U. professor, Dr. Ben Waymen, address pressing social, ethical, and theological matters including topics such as race and immigration policy. The courses are open to senior-level college students, pastors, justice ministers, worship leaders, non-profit leaders, justice advocates, social workers, and others interested in the topic. This program helps bridge the narrative gap within the church with meaningful conversation and faithful action surrounding current issues. It also strengthens the capacity of faith leaders and communities to build a more just world.

Academic Programs

The academic programs offered at Greenville University are very effective and comprehensive. Education, Digital Media Majors, Music (BA and Majors), Biology, Business, Engineering Majors , English Majors, Accounting. Criminal Justice Major are some of the various academic programs offered by G.U University

90 percent off students who opt for the Education at the university secure work in the field of education within the first year of graduation. Also, the G.U. students have a 99 percent pass rate for the edTPA.

G.U’s Digital Media course is an inclusive program that nurtures students and help them polish their skills of graphic design, video, animation, photography, game design, programming and inter net development. The students later develop an impressive portfolio through projects, student publications, and internships.

Music, under this program, the university offers worship arts, commercial music, audio engineering, music education, music business, and general music degrees.

The university’s Biology department engages students in environmental, research, and molecular studies. Mainly focusing pre-med students, the university has a high per cent
(85-90) of students getting admitted to medical schools.

The various business programs conducted by the university give first-hand experiences to students. The students   are given an opportunity to collaborate with local businesses and solve “real world” problems. Apart from giving students enough experience, the university takes every step needed to cultivate skills such as; confidence, leadership quality and problem solving knacks.

Sating at par with the industry requirements and needs in the marketplace, the university has included four-year engineering program and a fully accredited social work program in its curricula. It has also advanced its Education course. These revamped programs in education prepare teachers to work in early childhood education and the middle grades. Taking advantage of its close proximity to the headquarters of world leaders in agribusiness, the University now has a new added agribusiness to its academic program.

Accomplished Alumni

Though the academic curricula, facilities and other infrastructure of an institute attract the student population, it is the success story of the alumnus that popularizes the institute. As proudly as Greenville University offers its unique academic programs, it is the notable alumnus of it that has made this university globally recognisable.

Howard Zahniser, architect of the Wilderness Act, Coleman Griffith, the “father of sports psychology”, Ernest Boyer, former U.S. Commissioner of Education, Robert “Ish” Smith, former President of the International Baseball Federation and recording artists Jars of Clay are some of the celebrated and globally renowned alumnus of this University.

Nick Marrow and Seth England are the two recently graduated alumnus of this university. Marrow, the linebacker for the Oakland Raiders gained notoriety in September 2018 as an undrafted free agent. He played all 16 games of his rookie year. He studied biology from the university; where faculty and coaches recognized his talent and strong work ethic both on and off the field.

Seth, a creative director at Big Loud Shirt Industries; the nation’s top ten publishing companies as listed by Billboard Magazine found success in Nashville’s music industry. He is also the founding partner of the Big Loud Mountain record label, which launched one of country music’s hottest bands, Florida Georgia Line.

Winning Grammy in 2017 for the remix of “Tearing Me Up” by Bob Moses, Andre Anjos is the solo artist behind RAC; which has produced more than 200 remixed songs. His work has been featured in advertising for high-profile companies such as Apple, Facebook, Google, Citibank, and others.

Scholarship Programs

Greenville University offers many institutionally funded scholarships to students, including, but not limited to:

  • Mosiac Diversity Scholarship–The Office of Diversity & Inclusion proudly offers the MOSAIC Diversity Scholarship to 15 students each year. These students demonstrate exemplary academic performance and eagerness to promote diversity awareness and cultural celebration. Recipients may renew these scholarships annually if they maintain a 3.0 college GPA and membership in the MOSAIC Student Association.
  • The McAllaster Schoarlarhip–The McAllaster Scholars honors program accepts approximately 30 new students each year. To qualify, students must have a composite ACT score of 27+ and a high school GPA of 3.5 or higher.
  • Panther Preffered Scholarship–Greenville University values students who overcome obstacles. The Panther Preferred Scholarship awards students with exceptional character. G.U. aims to award 100 Panther Preferred scholarships each year.

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