Location & Contact Information

1658 Kings Road
Jacksonville, Florida 32209
Main Phone: (904) 470-8000
Main Contact: Edward Alexander

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Edward Waters University

     Edward Waters University is a private college located in Jacksonville, Florida. It was founded in 1866 to educate freed former slaves and is the oldest historically black college in Florida. It is affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and is part of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida.

Quick Facts

Undergrad Population: 769
Graduate Population: 0
Student Body: Coed
In State Tuition: $10470
Out of State Tuition: $10470
Room & Board: $6474
Applications Due: Jun 30th ($25)
Conference: Gulf Coast Athletic Conference/ NAIA
Mascot: Fighting Tigers
Accreditations: SACS,
Online Classes: no
Percent Men: 58%
Percent Women: 42%

Online Admissions Application:

Majors Offered

Bachelor of Arts
- Criminal Justice
- Psychology

Bachelor of Science
- Accounting
- Biology
- BSN in Nursing
- Business Administration
- Communications
- Computer and Information Science
- Forensic Science
- Public Health
- Social Work
- Sports Management

Master of Science
- Business Administration
- Cybersecurity
- Education Policy and Advocacy
- Public Administraion

Sports & Extra Curricular Activities
Choral Groups, Concert Band, Dance, Fraternities, Intramural Sports, Jazz Band, Pep Band, Sororities
College History
Founded in 1866 by members of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, Edward Waters University (formerly Edward Waters College) is the state of Florida’s first independent institution of higher learning, and Florida’s first institution established to educate African Americans. Edward Waters College (EWC) is an institution founded by African Americans for African Americans. In 1865, following the Civil War, the Reverend Charles H. Pearce, a presiding elder of the AME Church, was sent to Florida by Bishop Daniel Alexander Payne. Observing the fast-paced social and political changes of the Reconstruction Era, Rev. Pearce immediately recognized the need for an education ministry. No provision had yet been made for the public education of Florida’s newly emancipated African Americans. Assisted by the Reverend William G. Steward, the first AME pastor in Florida, Pearce began raising funds to build a school.

In 1866, EWC, initially named Brown Theological Institute by Rev. William G. Steward. In 1874, the institution’s name changed to Brown University. The school experienced financial difficulties and was forced to close for nearly a decade. In 1883, the school reopened under the name East Florida Conference High School, and later, East Florida Scientific and Divinity High School under the direction of Rev. William Preston Ross. Within a decade, the educational program was extended and in 1892, the school’s name was changed to Edward Waters College in honor of the third bishop of the AME Church. Through the years, the school has withstood the test of time. In 1901, when the City of Jacksonville was destroyed by fire, EWC was reduced to ashes. However in 1904, the Board of Trustees purchased the present site of the school on Kings Road with the imperative from Bishop M. B. Salter that the college should be rebuilt. Edward Waters College was first accredited as a junior college in 1955 under President William B. Stewart, and by 1960 the school restored its four-year curriculum. In 1979, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) accredited the College as a four-year institution, and it today remains accredited by SACSCOC.

In 2021, EWC became Edward Waters University.
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