Campbellsville University

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Campbellsville University is a private institution of higher learning in Campbellsville in Taylor County in central Kentucky, founded in 1906 as Russell Creek (Baptist) Academy. The university has more than twelve thousand students, full-time and part-time, who represent various church denominations. "CU," as it is commonly called, offers associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees.[1] In the fall semester of 2020, CU had an enrollment in excess of 13,500.[2]

The university was formerly known as Campbellsville Junior College and then Campbellsville College, a four-year institution. With the addition of new graduate programs, CU in 1996 achieved university status.

In 2014, CU ended its covenant agreement with the Kentucky Baptist Convention. Trustee chairman Dr. Joseph L. Owens explained that the change "will allow us to select our own trustees, but these decisions in no way change the mission or the character of Campbellsville University. … CU will continue working with the KBC and its churches in areas of joint mission and ministry in the spirit of the Great Commandment and in following the command of the Great Commission."[3]

CU maintains eight residence halls; half of students live on campus​. Fields of study include religion, business administration, professional education, art, music, sciences, mathematics, and liberal arts.

The current president of the university, Michael V. Carter, assumed his position in 1999. The preceding past president from 1988 to 1999 is Kenneth W. Winters, a Republican former state senator for District 1 based in Murray in southwestern Kentucky. Before Winters, the president from 1969 to 1988 was W. R. Davenport, who retired in Campbellsville​.

Forest Shely, a physician in Campbellsville, graduated in 1943 from the then Campbellsville Junior College and served as a trustee of the college and university for fifty-six years from 1954 until his death in 2010.[4]Attorney Fuller Harding, a former state representative from Campbellsville, served on the CU board of trustees for five years. His father, Abel Turner Harding (1881–1966), had raised money for the former Russell Creek Academy.[5]

See also


  1. Academics/ Campbellsville University. Retrieved on August 16, 2015; no longer on-line.
  2. Ariel C. Emberton, "Campbellsville University final enrollment for fall semester reaches over 13,500," The Campbellsvillian, Vol. 18 (Fall 2020), p. 13.
  3. Campbellsville University and Kentucky Baptist Convention leaders join together in discussing new partnership agreement. Campbellsville University (February 9, 201). Retrieved on October 17, 2019.
  4. Joan C. McKinney, "Campbellsville University Board of Trustee member since 1954, Dr. Forest F. Shely dies," The Campbellsvillian: The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of Campbellsville University, Vol. 9, No. 2 (November 2010), p. 12.
  5. Calen McKinney, "CU Board of Trustees member, Fuller Harding, dies Jan. 10 at 94," The Campbellsvillian, Vol. 8 No. 2 (June 2010), p. 19.