Samford University


September 22, 2008

Our Story

Carolyn Maull McKinstry was 14 years old in September of 1963 when a bomb exploded at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, killing four of her friends.  She was steps away from the bomb.  Carolyn says, “The explosion sounded like rumbling thunder.  I remember thinking there must be a storm outside.  As soon as I thought that, the windows started shattering.” 


In recent years, Carolyn joined forces with friends in Birmingham to restore and refurbish the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, so that the transforming of message of Christ will continue to be made known—and future generations will remember that hate will not triumph. 


This past August, Carolyn completed the requirements for her degree from the Beeson Divinity School.  The world is better because of Carolyn McKinstry.      




Our Mission

The mission of Samford University is to nurture persons in their development of intellect, creativity, faith, and personhood. As a Christian university, the community fosters academic, career, and ethical competency while encouraging social and civic responsibility, and service to others.

Our Core Values

The Samford community values lifelong:

  • belief in God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.
  • engagement with the life and teachings of Jesus.
  • learning and responsible freedom of inquiry.
  • personal empowerment, accountability, and responsibility.
  • vocational success and civic engagement.
  • spiritual growth and cultivation of physical well-being.
  • integrity, honesty, and justice.
  • appreciation for diverse cultures and convictions.
  • stewardship of all resources.
  • service to God, to family, to one another, and to the community.

Our Vision

Anchored in Christian understanding, Samford University will be a diverse community, stressing vigorous learning and personal faith, in the Baptist tradition. Within that commonality, the Community will be innovative in teaching, learning and research; sensitive to global issues; aggressive in self-assessment and continuous improvement. Faithful to its mission, Samford will be known and acknowledged worldwide by holding to its core values. The world will be better for it.

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