Photo of Lee Cousin Building as it is today
Lee Cousin Building

About Edward Waters College

Edward Waters College is a private, historically black college whose future is lined with pride, growth, and success. Founded in 1866, it is the oldest private institution of higher education in the state of Florida. 

Located on the Kings Road corridor, in close proximity to downtown Jacksonville, FL, Edward Waters College continues to build upon its solid foundation of teaching, research, and community outreach. The College’s current enrollment is 839 students, with approximately 51% of the student body is male, 49% female, and over 90% of the students rely on financial aid. The College has also expanded its land and continues to experience positive growth.  EWC was highlighted in The Florida Leader Magazine “The Best of Florida Schools 2004” as having the “Biggest Growth for Private Colleges”. The Music and Fine Arts Department was also featured as the “Best Music for Private Colleges” which highlighted the world renowned EWC Choir and the Triple Threat Marching Band.

Football returned in 2001 after a 34-year absence with the program becoming a championship team. The Tigers were named 2004 SEAC Champions. Along with football, the marching band returned. The Triple Threat Marching Band has continued to make waves and has performed during halftime for the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Purple Thunder Dance Squad, the group of plus-sized ladies who perform with the band, was highlighted in “The Best of Florida Schools 2005” as the “Best Non-Traditional Dance Squad”. The Lady Tigers Basketball Team claimed its second EIAC Championship in 2005 as well as the Tigers Volleyball Team. The Baseball and Softball teams also clinched the 2005 EIAC Region 14 Championship.

Today the College stands as a beacon of hope for many young people who might not otherwise have an opportunity to enter higher education. Edward Waters College prepares students for careers in teaching, technology, research, religion, politics, and other leading fields of today and in the future. Edward Waters College is moving forward!

Our Mission, Vision and Core Values

Our Vision

Edward Waters College will become a national model for a dynamic, globally diverse learning center community that champions academic excellence through innovative teaching and learning strategies under-girded by a spirit of servant leadership.

Our Mission

Edward Waters College is a small, Christian, Historically Black, urban liberal arts college that offers quality baccalaureate programs. The College strives to prepare students holistically to advance in a global society through the provision of intellectually stimulating programs, and an environment that emphasizes high moral and spiritual values in keeping with the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Edwards Waters College seeks to develop excellence in scholarship, research and service for the betterment of humanity.

Our Core Values

Edward Waters College values sustain the principles of academic excellence, scholarship, research, and community service by exemplifying integrity and accountability in our scholarly and human service pursuits. We dedicate ourselves to sustaining values that uplift and ethical principles that edify as demonstrated by the following directives:

Christian Principles
Ethics and doctrines predicated on the AME Church theology, “GOD our Father, CHRIST our Redeemer, MAN our Brother”.

Superiority, eminence, distinction, and quality in scholarship, leadership as a citizenship.

Social Responsibility
Embracing a burden of obligation to collective society, both the immediate as well as the global.

Civic Engagement
Dedication to addressing issues of public concern.

Fostering the concept of teamwork as a means to success.

Customer Service
Employing the Biblical tenant Matthew 7:12, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

Practicing proficiency, skill, and expertise in all that we undertake.

Student Engagement
Cultivating within our students a thirst for education, a desire for higher level thought processes, and a willingness to persevere despite challenges.

Creating a culture of erudition through a nurturing spirit.

Endeavoring to celebrate the uniqueness of all cultures with appreciation and understanding.



Edward Waters College, located in Jacksonville, Florida, is the oldest historically Black institution of higher education in the state. Edward Waters College is a four-year liberal arts, co-educational institution, and is affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The College is governed by a Board of Trustees and each member serves a three-year term. The current composition of the board consists of one student, one faculty representative, and six lay persons. The remainder of the board is comprised of representatives from the Eleventh Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church from the Jacksonville, Florida area, the state of Florida, and the southeastern United States.

The Presiding Bishop of the Eleventh Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees selects the president to guide Edward Waters College and carry out its mission. In addition, the President employs the Provost and four Vice Presidents (Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Business and Finance, and Institutional Advancement) to assist with planning and implementation. Further guidance comes from the President’s Senior Staff including the Provost, Vice Presidents, Associate Provost, Director of Human Resources, Athletic Director, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, Director of Institutional Planning, Research, and Effectiveness, Director of Security and Institutional Technology, and Assistant Vice President for Business and Finance. The Senior Staff meets weekly to plan and discuss issues regarding teaching, research and community development.

Meet the Board of Trustees



Edward Waters College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award the baccalaureate degree. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Edward Waters College.


Edward Waters College has received specialized accreditation for its business programs through the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) located at 11374 Strang Line Road in Lenexa, Kansas, USA. The business programs in the following degrees are accredited by the IACBE: Bachelor of Business Administration



Edward Waters College is licensed by the State Board of Independent Colleges (SBIC), and is approved for training veterans under Public Law 94-502 and the Florida Department of Education. Further, EWC maintains formal membership with the following professional organizations:

  • National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU)
  • Florida Association for Colleges of Teacher Education (FACTE)
  • Florida Association for Colleges and Universities (FACU)
  • Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida (ICUF)
  • United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
  • National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO)
  • American Council on Education (ACE)
  • Council for Independent Colleges (CIC)
  • Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)
  • National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)
  • National Association for Academic Advising (NACADA)
  • Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences (CCAS)
  • International Association of Colleges of Business Education (IACBE)