Strategic Plan


Extending Our Heritage, Expanding Our Reach

Transitioning to Greenville University

President's Welcome

Greenville College will soon mark its 125th Anniversary, and we have much to celebrate! For a century and a quarter, we have delivered a high quality, Christ-centered educational experience. Generations of our graduates have channeled the salt and light of the gospel across the United States and around the world. They have lived purposeful lives and carried out meaningful work in fields such as business, medicine, education, ministry, technology, financial services, science, and music.

For a century and a quarter, we have forged a history of innovation and academic excellence, faith and learning, worship and hope. Upcoming celebrations of this remarkable story have prompted us to consider how we can effectively extend the benefits of this rich heritage to future generations of students and expand our reach to even broader audiences.  

In some ways, our world is similar to Wilson T. Hogue’s world in 1892 when he answered the call to serve as Greenville College’s first president. Hogue championed a Wesleyan message that addressed improving conditions for the poor and opposing slavery. People today still suffer the despair of poverty and succumb to slavery in its various forms. Many have neither heard the message of God’s saving love nor seen this message lived out convincingly. We must extend our heritage and prepare our students to be salt and light to this world. 

People today are more globally aware, interconnected, and technologically driven than ever before. New channels for salt and light continue to emerge; we are compelled to explore them. New opportunities, many of them international, cross our path; we are compelled to expand our reach and embrace them.

After much prayer, consultation, and careful thought, we are convinced that Greenville College will more effectively extend its heritage and expand its reach if its name more accurately reflects our work today and the work we are poised to embrace tomorrow. At first glance and upon first hearing, “Greenville” recalls our clear footprint in history as an innovative institution that integrates faith with learning. At first glance and upon first hearing, “University” clarifies our expansion with strong graduate programs and a growing global reach. Greenville University provides clarity on both counts, and clarity, we learn from Abraham in the Old Testament, empowers.

Throughout his life, Abram proved to be a man of courage, faith, and worship. Yet, at age 99, he received a new name from the Lord – Abraham. The new name helped him to clearly focus on his mission. Every time he heard “Abraham,” he was reminded of his distinct call to be the “father of a multitude.”

In much the same way, our shift toward clarity from Greenville College to Greenville University will help us to focus on our mission and fulfill the great calling the Lord has placed on us as an institution, a calling that will take us into the future as surely as it has led us through the past. We will move forward as Greenville University, daily reminded of our strong heritage and daily reminded by our extended reach. We will also retain the name of Greenville College for our College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

On September 20, 2017, the 125th Anniversary of Greenville College’s first convocation, we will celebrate our formal identity as Greenville University. Countdown to this historic event begins Christmas Day, 2014. I can’t imagine a more providential day to launch our one thousand-day transition. Even this detail confirms the Lord’s watch over us.

We have divided this document into two broad sections. In the first section, we share our mission, vision, core values, historical identity, and faith commitments that we will preserve and further refine. In the second section, we introduce the three strategic priorities that will guide our transition to Greenville University.

Our agenda to extend our heritage and expand our reach is necessarily ambitious and particularly challenging against the backdrop of this fast changing world. Three realities, however, will not change:

  • The transformational, Christ-centered educational experience that we offer – one that empowers, enriches, and endures
  • Our steadfast determination to not merely sell degree programs, but to invite students into an experience of lifelong transformation, meaning, and purpose
  • Our unique “generations-strong” community that welcomes participation from its members

I am confident that as you read about this faith adventure, you will think of ways to join us. In fact, whether you are a student, a parent or family member; an alumnus, alumna or friend of the College; a faculty member, employee, or financial champion; we invite you to come along. We welcome your words of advice, encouragement and financial support. Most of all, we welcome your prayers.


Ivan L. Filby



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Strategic Plan (.pdf) »

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