Graduate Catalog 2023-2024 
    Jul 17, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

About University of the Cumberlands

A Brief History

In 1888, a group of Baptist ministers founded a small college in Kentucky known as the Williamsburg Institute for the purpose of preparing young adults for lives as servant leaders. In 1913, following the acquisition of Highland College, Cumberland College was born. The school became University of the Cumberlands in 2005.

Undaunted by wars, economic depressions, social unrest, and natural disasters, University of the Cumberlands has continuously served students primarily, but not exclusively, from the beautiful Appalachian mountain regions of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, and Alabama. Now, thanks to the welcome addition of online learning, the University’s doors are open to students from all over the world.

The school’s vision for providing higher education in an underserved area caught the eye of men like John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, both of whom supported the institution. Cumberlands has produced two governors, five military generals, an admiral, five college and university presidents, a Congressman, ministers, missionaries, legislators, judges, and more. Ten presidents have served Cumberlands, including William James Johnson, E. E. Wood, John Newton Prestridge, Gorman Jones, A. R. Evans, Charles William Elsey, James Lloyd Creech, J. M. Boswell, James H. Taylor, and Larry L. Cockrum, current President.

The Campus

Williamsburg, Kentucky, the location of University of the Cumberlands, is in the southern part of the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. It is about two hundred miles south of Cincinnati-about an equal distance from Louisville and about eighty miles north of Knoxville. It is on Highway 25W and Interstate 75. The business section of the city lies in a small valley of the Cumberland River; the college and chief residence section are situated on the surrounding hills. It is a place of natural beauty and healthful surroundings.

Williamsburg is one of the older cities of the state. It has long been known for its large number of beautiful residences, its churches and schools, and the hospitality of its people. Cumberlands’ main campus is situated on three hills which divide it into three distinct parts and afford a magnificent view of the surrounding area. The College’s thirty-four buildings are situated on these hills, and a viaduct, spanning the south and middle hills, provides an easy and pleasant passageway to each part of the campus.

Off-Campus Instructional Sites

University of the Cumberlands has two off-campus Instructional Sites that are approved to offer over 50% of a degree program.

University of the Cumberlands Northern Kentucky Campus
410 Meijer Drive
Florence, KY 41042

  • Physician Assistant Program
  • Coursework supporting Executive Programs (less than 50% of a degree program)

University of the Cumberlands Palla-Institute
406A, 4th Floor, Imperial Towers Ameerpet
Hyderabad, Telangaga-500016

  • Coursework supporting Executive Programs (Less than 50% of a degree program)

Mission Statement

The mission of University of the Cumberlands is to provide a quality, affordable education to students from all backgrounds through broad-based academics. The institution is grounded in Christian principles and leadership through service.

Vision Statement

The vision of University of the Cumberlands is to be a university of distinction that encourages professional and intellectual growth in a student focused community.

To do so, Cumberlands will:

  1. Ensure access to underserved student populations.
  2. Pursue excellence in teaching and learning.
  3. Foster faith in action through a student focused community.
  4. Innovate to improve student learning outcomes and career preparedness.

Institutional Academic Purpose Statement

The purpose statement for University of the Cumberlands is congruent with its mission in offering quality academic programs with Christian values to students of all backgrounds.

The foundation of all of our programs at University of the Cumberlands is our desire to nurture an increased awareness of the pre-eminence of the spiritual dimensions of human life through an appreciation of our historic Christian heritage, as well as through an understanding of Biblical truth and religious values as they apply to daily life. The University’s mission to offer “a broad-based liberal arts program enriched with Christian values” is evidenced in our graduate program.

Along with the University’s other programs, these curricula attempt to foster in students “a heightened awareness and sensitivity to the search for truth and a deepened responsibility toward humankind.” Collectively, the University’s graduate programs are intended to provide a breadth of information, an understanding of critical concepts, and a mastery of skills to support a life-long pursuit not only of professional achievement but also of “responsible service and leadership.” These endeavors are rooted in an open exchange of ideas within and among academic disciplines and are framed by a Christian sense of responsibility toward self, toward society, and toward God.

Purpose and Plan of the Graduate Program

The Board of Trustees of Cumberland College, on January 8, 1981, voted to approve the establishment of a Graduate Program in Teacher Education. The original charter of the college, as approved by the Kentucky Legislature on April 6, 1888, gave the College the authority to confer the degrees of Master of Arts in Education - Elementary, Middle Grades, Secondary Education, and Special Education. Rank I offerings were approved in 1986, with the Master of Arts in Teaching degree approved in 2005.

In 2008, the Commission also authorized the granting of the M.B.A. degree, the Ed.S. degree, as well as the institution’s first doctoral degree, the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. Since being granted SACSCOC Level VI designation, their highest category, UC has created a host of new graduate programs that are responsive to the needs of the workforce. A full listing of available programming can be found Programs - University of the Cumberlands (


University of the Cumberlands’ offers degrees and experiences that suit the needs of learners across the continuum of professional careers. All masters level degrees are a minimum of 30 credit hours in length. Doctoral level degrees are a minimum of 60 credit hours in length. Graduate courses begin with courses numbered in the 500, which are generally masters level courses. As coursework raises in number to the 600, 700, and 800 level and beyond, so will the complexity and difficulty of the content and student learning outcomes.