New Partnership Provides Path for Mars Hill University Students To More Easily Pursue Graduate Degrees at Lenoir-Rhyne University

Pictured left to right: Donna Parsons, Ph.D., MHU Dean of Professional Studies and Social Sciences and of Adult and Graduate Studies; Tracy Parkinson, Ph.D., MHU Provost; Gary Johnson, Ph.D., LRU Provost; Amy Wood, Ph.D., LRU Assistant Provost and Dean of The Graduate School.

Mars Hill University (MHU) students and  graduates who want to continue their education with a master’s degree from Lenoir-Rhyne University (LRU) now have a direct pathway to do so. The two institutions recently signed a memorandum of understanding that creates a partnership intended to decrease the cost of graduate education, while allowing students the opportunity to pursue their studies in the beautiful mountains and foothills of Western North Carolina. Qualifying students would receive tuition discounts for select graduate programs.

MHU Provost Tracy Parkinson, Ph.D., called the signing a “win-win” for both institutions. “This agreement makes graduate education more accessible to MHU students by complementing the Mars Hill suite of programs,” he said. “It creates seamless pathways, makes the programs more affordable, and has been crafted with a partner who shares a student-centered philosophy of education.”

“We are excited to enter into this relationship with Mars Hill University,” said LRU Provost Gary Johnson, Ph.D. “Our similar institutional missions and geographic proximity through LR’s Asheville Center make this a natural fit. Both Mars Hill and Lenoir-Rhyne are deeply committed to student access and student success; this partnership clearly demonstrates that commitment.”

The agreement allows current students and graduates of Mars Hill to receive discounted tuition for the following Lenoir-Rhyne programs:

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Master of Arts in Christian Ministry
  • Master of Arts in Counseling
  • Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
  • Master of Divinity
  • Master of Science in Exercise Science
  • Master of Arts in Human Services
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Public Health
  • Master of Arts in Religious Leadership
  • Master of Science in Sustainability Studies
  • Narrative Healthcare Certificate

LRU and MHU both plan to promote the program which they hope will be the beginning of a fruitful relationship between the two universities that will extend into other curriculum areas in the future.

The agreement represents direct cooperation among two of the eight colleges and universities that are part of the Land of Sky Educational Attainment & Workforce Collaborative, a newly formed entity that is dedicated to aligning educational achievements with the skills that Western North Carolina employers are seeking. In addition to LRU and MHU, the Collaborative includes Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, Blue Ridge Community College, Brevard College, UNC Asheville, Warren Wilson College, and Western Carolina University.