2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jul 17, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [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, for its churches and schools, and for 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.

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.

Commitment to Liberal Arts

In the belief that freedom is the result of respect for truth and concern for humanity, University of the Cumberlands attempts to foster in its students a heightened awareness and sensitivity to the search for truth and a deepened responsibility toward mankind. The University seeks to graduate men and women with Christian values derived from spiritual and intellectual experience within the University community, as well as from the traditional academic disciplines. Moreover, the University pursues these endeavors of a Christian liberal arts institution with an appreciation of the various resources and media available in contemporary higher education. Thus, the University is committed to nurturing the relevance of its established curricula, to developing new programs in service of its mission and to deploying coursework as appropriate in online, blended, and traditional formats.

Growth through Service and Work

The Mission Statement of University of the Cumberlands clearly states the University’s position on the value of work and service to others. The Community Service Program illustrates UC’s deep commitment to leadership and community service as a moral task and ethical responsibility. The Community Service Program is centered in service and leadership. The goal of this program is to empower students to become compassionate agents of change, to use their knowledge and abilities to help others, to inspire responsibility, and to stimulate service as a life-long commitment.