Charleston Southern University is an independent, comprehensive Christian university grounded in the liberal arts tradition, affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention. Founded as the Baptist College at Charleston in 1964 upon the principle that students should have an opportunity for a quality education under the guidance of Christian faculty, the institution changed its name to Charleston Southern University in 1990 to reflect the offering of graduate programs. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.
Charleston Southern University's vision is to be a “Christian university nationally recognized for integrating faith in learning, leading and serving”; the university’s mission is “Promoting Academic Excellence in a Christian Environment.” That excellence is demonstrated throughout the curriculum. Each undergraduate degree program is built upon a comprehensive liberal arts foundation which develops and strengthens the student's skills in critical thinking and reasoning. Through their majors students are prepared to enter professions or graduate studies. In the master's programs, students are exposed to the significant research of their professions and are educated in current trends and developments in their chosen fields. Doctoral students engage in their fields of study at the highest levels, participating in research or intensive clinical placements to develop and demonstrate expert knowledge of their professions.