Mission / Vision / History



Mission: Spartanburg Methodist College is a private residential institution offering associate and baccalaureate degrees within the United Methodist Connection. At SMC, lives are transformed in a values-oriented, student-centered atmosphere in the Christian tradition that encourages academic excellence, intellectual exploration, social awareness, and character development within the liberal arts tradition.

The academic program offers students the option of transferring to a four-year college or university for continued study or entering a career after graduation. The curriculum ranges from the basic liberal arts and transfer program to preparation for immediate entry into the job market through career track and baccalaureate degree options. The College offers to a wide variety of students the opportunity of higher education by providing a competent and dedicated faculty, distance learning options, financial assistance, work-study positions, and special support programs.

Vision: Spartanburg Methodist College will be the college of choice for residential or commuting students who desire the advantages of a church-related education. We will offer motivated students a liberal arts education in preparation for lifelong learning through relevant and challenging academic programs, campus leadership opportunities, and strong athletic programs. We will do this in an environment of community and caring, where each student is respected as an individual with unique needs and is encouraged to achieve his or her fullest potential.

To achieve our vision, we must
1. Continue our ethic of teaching, learning, and caring.
2. Recruit, retain, empower, and reward highly qualified faculty and staff.
3. Improve facilities for academic, athletic, and student life.
4. Grow the institutional endowment to enhance student access through improved student aid opportunities.

Guiding Principles: We value the following principles in pursuit of our vision:

  • Achievement in all areas of endeavor – academic, athletic, leadership, and social.
  • Integrity in all our dealings – with students, families, one another, and all other constituents.
  • Service for the greater good – remaining true to our history and heritage, the College reaches out to students, families, alumni and the community to enrich lives.


Group of students from the early nineteen hundreds

Dr_CamakSpartanburg Methodist College was founded as Textile Industrial Institute in 1911 by Dr. David English Camak, a visionary Methodist minister. At its founding as a work-study cooperative, TII served young adults working in area textile mills by offering high school level courses in preparation for advanced education or employment. In this first cooperative education program in the country, students worked a week  and then took classes for a week. This arrangement enabled the school to provide resources for education and for life.

In 1927, the first two years of college-level work were added to the curriculum to provide graduates with an associate degree in liberal arts for transfer to senior level colleges. The continued relationship between TII and local business and industry led to the development of associate degrees that prepared students for immediate employment.

In 1940, the high school classes were dropped from the TII curriculum. In 1942, Textile Industrial Institute became Spartanburg Junior College and for the next twenty-five years focused its efforts on providing associate degrees designed for transfer into a wide variety of bachelor degree programs. Beginning in 1965, the College began a cycle of growth during which over three-fourths of the present campus buildings were erected or renovated, the curriculum was broadened and strengthened, student enrollment doubled and new expertise was added through faculty growth and development.

In 1974, Spartanburg Junior College became Spartanburg Methodist College.

Since its founding, the College has been affiliated with the mission work of the United Methodist Church and its forbearer, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The relationship between the College and the church has continued across the years through the General Board of Global Ministries and the Board of Global Ministries of the South Carolina Annual Conference. The College's name attests to the pride the institution's trustees, faculty, staff, and student body take in working and studying at a college based on the traditional values of the church and the United States of America.

Today, Spartanburg Methodist College serves a highly diverse student body from several states, as well as from various countries around the world. The College seeks to serve the educational needs of its student body by enabling each student to meet the challenges of a technologically based future. Spartanburg Methodist College offers a variety of educational programs to suit both the needs of the traditional college student and of the non-traditional working adult.

The college is led by a Board of Trustees comprising 24 members, with six clergy members and 18 laity. Terms are staggered on a three-year basis. Scott Cochran has served as the College's eighth president since November 16, 2015.