Strategic Plan - FAQs


Frequently Asked Questions

The Greenville College Board of Trustees approved a vote to change the name of the institution from Greenville College to Greenville University, effective September 20, 2017. The change is being made to recognize the academic programs and degrees already offered by the institution.

The following is a list of questions and responses regarding the transition from college to university. If you have additional questions, please complete a question and comment form or email

Why did the College undertake this name and status change?

Greenville College already functions as a university. Its organization already incorporates various schools including the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education, and the School of Professional Studies. It already offers advanced degrees through various graduate programs including several masters of arts options in education, a masters in management and a masters in business administration. “Greenville University” more accurately reflects what we already do.

Why was Greenville University chosen as the new name?

After much prayer, consultation, and careful thought, we believe we will more effectively extend our rich heritage to new generations of students and expand our reach if our 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.

Hasn’t Greenville College always reached out globally, even as a college?

Yes it has. Expanding our reach to serve graduate and undergraduate students on campus, online, and abroad naturally flows from our heritage steeped in the education- and missionary-minded Free Methodist Church. In today’s global conversation, however, “college” translates into something of lesser value than “university."

  • To students in the Spanish-speaking world, “college” translates into “high school.”
  • To students in the Far East, “university” surpasses “college.”
  • To prospective employers in China who consider our growing number of Chinese graduates for positions, “university” on a transcript invites further conversation; “college” closes the door.

At first glance and upon first hearing, to today’s international audience, “university” more clearly communicates our capabilities and credentials.

Does the change from college to university mean a larger, more impersonal school?

Greenville College’s unique strength has always been its personal, student-centered approach. When we recently updated our vision statement, we clearly stated up front that we believe that God created each of our students to uniquely shape the world.

What else will change now that we are Greenville University?

Accompanying our name change is a plan to cultivate innovation and agility, strengthen community engagement and focus on the future. This includes developing new academic programs, facilitating shorter degree completion times, emphasizing learning beyond the classroom, delivering a transformational first year experience for students, and increasing our international reach.

Will current students be graduates of Greenville College or Greenville University?

Students graduating before July 1, 2017  will graduate from Greenville College. Those graduating after July 1, 2017 will be graduates of Greenville University.

Will campus e-mail addresses change?

No. Campus email addresses and website will remain the same (

When will the name change be official?

We will continue to use the name Greenville College until July 1, 2017.

Can alumni request new Greenville University diplomas?

Yes, a new diploma can be ordered for a fee.

Should I put Greenville College or Greenville University on my résumé?

You can list “Greenville University” on your resume after July 1, 2017 . Or, if you prefer, you can list “Greenville University, formerly Greenville College” or a variation.

If I’m applying to graduate school, what name will appear on my transcripts?

All transcripts ordered after July 1, 2017 will say Greenville University, with a specification that the institution was Greenville College from 1892-2017.

Will Greenville University maintain its connections with the Free Methodist denomination?

Yes. Just as our sister schools – Seattle Pacific University, Spring Arbor University, and Azusa Pacific University – maintained their connections to the Free Methodist denomination upon name changes, we will stay connected to the Free Methodist denomination.

Will Greenville University continue to offer Christian higher education?

Yes. Our mission to empower students for lives of character and service through a transforming Christ-centered education will remain the same.

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