(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
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
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
Mars Hill College
Location — Mars Hill
Founded — 1856
President — Dan
Motto — “Pro Christo Adolescentibusque”
(For Christ and Youth)
Contact info — P.O. Box 370,
Mars Hill, NC 28754