Mars Hill offers ‘tranformational’ education
Mars Hill College
September 08, 2010

Mars Hill offers ‘tranformational’ education

Mars Hill offers ‘tranformational’ education
Mars Hill College
September 08, 2010

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Each North

Carolina Baptist college was invited to submit an article for a feature package

in the Sept. 11 issue of the Biblical Recorder. Scroll to bottom to find links

to all the stories.)

The Mars Hill College

experience creates a transformational education, through rigorous academics,

civic engagement, and a Christian worldview. At Mars Hill, students benefit

from personal attention from faculty and staff, demanding intellectual

experiences and an atmosphere which encourages service to one’s fellow

man. Together, these elements are the building blocks of character and

well-rounded education.

Mars Hill College was

founded by Baptist families of the region in 1856. Its name is taken from

Acts 17, in which Paul ascended the Aeropagus (or Mars’ hill in the King James

Version) to proclaim Christ to the intellectuals of Athens through reason and

persuasive logic. “Mars Hill,” then, represents more than a location or a

point in history. The name is a metaphor for that place where reason and

faith intertwine and lay a foundation for nurturing intellect and character.

Total enrollment at Mars

Hill in 2009-2010 was 1,237 students. Of that number, 1,002 were

traditional students while 230 were students in ACCESS (Accelerated Credit,

Continuing Education, Summer School), Mars Hill’s degree program for working


Mars Hill photo

Around 41 percent of Mars HIll students are athletes in one of 19 NCAA Division II sports, including football.

In recent years, diversity

has become a hallmark of the Mars Hill traditional student body. Approximately

23 percent of the traditional student body last year was composed of minority

students, including African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, Asian

Americans and foreign students. Last year, 59 percent of traditional

students were from North Carolina, 35 percent were from 33 other states, and 6

percent were from 22 other countries. Approximately 31 percent of last year’s

traditional students self-identified as Baptists, while 30 percent

self-identified simply as “Christian” or as other Christian denominations.

Around 41 percent of Mars Hill students are athletes in one of 19 NCAA Division

II sports or a young, but very successful, NCCA cycling team.

Mars Hill College offers a

wide variety of majors, including several that are unusual for an institution

of its size. This summer, Mars Hill became one of only two institutions of

higher learning in the state to offer an Integrated Education major, allowing

graduates upon completion of a single major to be fully certified in both

general elementary education and special education.

In all, Mars Hill offers 31

majors, with 61 concentration areas. Those include majors in the core

subject areas like math, history and English, but also those hard-to-find

majors, like fashion and interior merchandising, athletic training, musical

theatre and zoology.

In addition to the

intellectual challenges offered in the classroom, Mars Hill College offers its

students various venues for deeper spiritual study and worship.

Three Christian ministry

organizations give students opportunities for worship, service and

fellowship. Christian Student Movement (CSM) is sponsored and directed by

the Campus Ministry Office at MHC. CSM, as well as Fellowship of Christian

Athletes and Blueprint are designed to provide students with encouragement,

support, and knowledge in living a Christ-centered life. Ethos is Mars

Hill College’s only interspirituality club. The group participates in

weekly dialogues on various topics concerning the connection between

spirituality and social justice.

As members of the campus

community, MHC students may participate in on-campus community events, like the

second annual Church Youth Day, planned this year for September 25. Guest

speaker will be Will Graham, grandson of Billy Graham, and son of Franklin

Graham. The Annie Moses Band will provide music for the event.

Civic engagement and service

are integral aspects of life at Mars Hill. Freshmen will learn that

quickly when the year begins with “Service September.” This event provides

an opportunity for Mars Hill students to become involved in service activities

in their new community. Integrating civic engagement and service into the

life of the campus is the role of the LifeWorks Learning Partnership. Through

LifeWorks, individuals can participate in short-term service experiences, or become

connected to service learning opportunities.

An inescapable part of the

“Mars Hill College Experience,” is its beautiful location. Situated in the

Blue Ridge region of the Appalachian Mountains, Mars Hill College affords its

students one of the most stunning locations in the eastern United States.

That beautiful Appalachian

location is also home to a wealth of rich musical and cultural history.

Celebrating and preserving the history of the region is the work of the Liston

B. Ramsey Center for Regional Studies, named for long-time N.C. Speaker of the

House and MHC alumnus Liston Ramsey.

The Ramsey Center houses the

Southern Appalachian Archives, and plans and implements such events as the

annual Bascom Lamar Lunsford Festival, now in its 43rd year. This year, the

Ramsey Center will do the crucial planning as Mars Hill hosts a traveling

Smithsonian Institution Exhibition Sept. 25-Nov. 6, called New Harmonies:

Celebrating American Roots Music. Mars Hill is one of only six sites in the

state, and the only institution of higher learning chosen to host the

exhibition, which examines the roots music which forms America’s unique

cultural soundtrack.

Mars Hill College

Location — Mars Hill

Founded — 1856

President — Dan

Lunsford (2003-present)

Motto —Pro Christo Adolescentibusque

(For Christ and Youth)

Contact info — P.O. Box 370,

Mars Hill, NC 28754


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