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September 9, 2019

Asbury University graduates celebrating and taking a selfieAsbury University’s unique combination of academic excellence and spiritual vitality has made it a premier institution in the state of Kentucky for decades, and once again the private, Christian university has been recognized for its excellence at the regional level with a Top-10 ranking.

With scores near the top of the rankings in graduation rates, retention rates, student/faculty ratio and more, it’s no surprise that Asbury was hand-picked as a top university in the annual U.S. News & World Report Best College Rankings. For 2019-20, Asbury moved up in the rankings, coming in at No. 9 on the list of more than 150 Regional Universities (South) — the only Christian (CCCU) institution to make the top 10 and the highest-ranked school from Kentucky in any category.

Asbury University outpaces larger in-state public schools such as Murray State (No. 24), Morehead State (No. 43) and Eastern Kentucky (tie, No. 54), and other members of AIKCU (Assoc. of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities) in its category: Thomas More (tie, No. 61); Midway (No. 73); Campbellsville and Lindsey Wilson (tie, No. 92).

Some other Kentucky colleges in the rankings include: University of Kentucky (tie, 132); University of Louisville 192; Bellarmine 197; Western Kentucky, Cumberlands and Spalding 290+ (National Universities category); Berea 46; Centre 53; Transylvania 72 and Georgetown 157 (National Liberal Arts category); Kentucky Wesleyan 16; Alice Lloyd 21; Brescia 29; Kentucky State 31 and Kentucky Christian 53 (Regional Colleges, South).

cap and mortarboard during commencement ceremonyU.S. News & World Report ranks schools on multiple criteria within each category including outcomes (retaining and graduating students); social mobility (graduating students with various family incomes); faculty resources (faculty/student ratio, full-time faculty); accreditation, peer evaluation, study abroad programming, student excellence and more.

Dr. Kevin J. Brown, who became president at Asbury this year, 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.

“At Asbury University, we aim to provide a rigorous, relevant 21st-Century education in tandem with a spiritually formative community experience,” Brown said. “Students are prepared to add value to the professional environments they go on to inhabit after college, but we also want them to be the best version of themselves – experiencing fulfillment by living into the fullness of who God created them to be.”

Employers and other universities across the nation and world corroborate with Brown’s statement about student preparation at Asbury, as the university’s outcomes are amongst the best in the United States year after year (98 percent or more of Asbury’s graduates are in the workforce or pursuing advanced study – such as graduate school – within six months of graduation).

Asbury has long been recognized in national rankings as exemplary in Kentucky and nationally. Prior to joining the larger 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. It has been ranked no lower than 14th even in the larger categories and moved up five spots this year.

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 2020 rankings put Asbury at No. 13 in “undergraduate teaching” and here are just a few of the characteristics that earned Asbury a Top 10 overall in the rankings:

  • Asbury classes encourage collaborative learning through extensive discussion and active scholarship with more than 70 percent of classes having less than 20 students. Asbury’s class sizes are small and personal; no Asbury classes have more than 50 students.
  • 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.

With annual high national rankings for its combination of academic excellence and spiritual vitality, Asbury is also an amazing value for prospective students. In addition to the high percentage of graduates entering the workforce and pursing advanced degrees, Asbury also offers scholarships to every incoming freshman and 99 percent of all Asbury undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid. The 2020 U.S. News & World Report also ranks Asbury as one of the Top 30 “Best Value” and “Social Mobility” Regional Universities in the South.