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September 10, 2018

View of sidewalks and campus buildingsWith affordable, quality education and a unique combination of academic excellence and spiritual vitality, it’s no surprise that Asbury University was once again hand-picked as a top university in the annual U.S. News & World Report Best College Rankings. For 2018-19, Asbury moved up in the rankings, coming in at No. 14 on the list of 165 Regional Universities (South) — one of only three Christian (CCCU) institutions to make the top 15 and the highest-ranked school from Kentucky in its category.

Asbury University outpaces much larger in-state public schools such as Western Kentucky (No. 34), Murray State (tie, No. 34), Morehead State (No. 65) and Eastern Kentucky (No. 76), and leads CCCU member institutions in its category, including Milligan University (No. 23), Lee University (No. 47) and Carson-Newman University (No. 76).

Asbury also ranks highest in its category for AIKCU (Assoc. of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities), ahead of Bellarmine (No. 17), Campbellsville (100+) and Midway (100+) in Regional Universities and Alice Lloyd (No. 16 in Regional Colleges). Other Kentucky schools include Centre (46), Transylvania (76) and Georgetown College (No. 203) among National Liberal Arts Colleges, and the University of Kentucky is No. 147, Louisville No. 171 and Cumberlands No. 303 in the National Universities category.

Dr. Bonnie Banker, who serves as Asbury provost, notes that the ranking speaks to the unique qualities of an Asbury education — an education that gives graduates the tools needed to continue whole-person cultivation after leaving campus.

“Beyond accomplishing a degree, an education rooted in a Christian context provides the added dimension of knowing God’s truth which can speak into the development of the whole person,” Banker said. “Asbury University is intentional about providing a quality education amidst a vibrant expression of Christian faith. If we capture that intricate connection between faith and learning, we have established a strong platform to prepare students for service to God and the community for a lifetime.”

Asbury has long been recognized in national rankings as exemplary in Kentucky and nationally. Prior to joining the larger, more competitive Regional Universities category in 2016, Asbury merited a spot in the Top 5 of the U.S. News Regional College Category for five years in a row, even earning a No. 1 ranking in 2014-15.

In scoring some of the highest marks in the rankings for healthy retention and graduation rates, modest class sizes and more, Asbury carries on its practice of academic excellence. These are just a few of the characteristics that earned Asbury a top-spot in the rankings:

  • Asbury classes encourage collaborative learning through extensive discussion and active scholarship with 70 percent of classes having less than 20 students. Asbury’s class sizes are small and personal; zero percent of Asbury classes have 50 students or more.
  • Asbury’s student/faculty ratio is impressively low, at 12:1, which provides opportunities for specialized attention and hands-on learning in the classroom.
  • Asbury’s retention and graduation rates remain strong — stronger, in fact, than many of the larger colleges and universities in its category and all of the Kentucky public schools.

“Asbury is known for a quality educational program delivered with integrity in a community of faith,” Banker said. “We have highly qualified faculty who contribute to their professional communities beyond the institutional borders. This national and international visibility from committed Christian educators brings high regard for the institution. We have many Asbury graduates who are highly esteemed in their professions and are proud to express their joy with their Asbury preparation. I believe this ranking acknowledges that well-founded regard for Asbury University across the globe.”