Samford University


April 18, 2011

Our Story

Exercise and Sports Medicine Assistant Professor Chris Gillespie discovered a vocation as he recovered from a terrible accident.  On April 30, 1986, as he was running along Lakeshore Drive, he was hit from behind by a sheet of plywood, thrown from a passing truck.  The board crushed the sacrum in his lower back, and for more than two hours he could neither feel nor move his legs.  Chris regained his mobility, but was told he could never run again.  Against all odds, he has now finished more than 100 full and half marathons.   


Motivated by Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," Chris has organized TEAM 413, Grace Runner Ministries, and more than 40,000 runners around the world wear TEAM 413 shirts in competition.  To raise awareness and funds, Chris will embark next month on a mammoth task as he runs 413 miles in 10 days and nine cities, from Birmingham to Fargo, North Dakota.  To learn more about TEAM 413 and to support Chris, go to 


The world is better because of Chris Gillespie and those who race toward fulfillment. 




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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