Messiah College gains approval for university status

MECHANICSBURG — Messiah College will soon become Messiah University.

On Friday, the board of trustees announced that it approved the college for university status which goes into effect July 1, 2020.

“Messiah College becoming Messiah University is an important next step for our campus community,” said Messiah College President Kim Phipps. “In many ways, university status is a much more accurate reflection of how Messiah has functioned for several years now. With our comprehensive offering of undergraduate and graduate programs in both the liberal arts and applied sciences—including our expansion to master’s and doctoral programs—Messiah’s educational profile is already well-positioned with the academic distinction of a nationally recognized, private Christian university.”

In addition to Messiah’s academic programs, the board of trustees agreed that other factors affirmed its advancement to university status, including:

  • Current multi-school structure with interdisciplinary centers and public educational programs
  • Expansion of educational facilities and academic research opportunities for students
  • Participation in international and other off-campus programs
  • Increase in Messiah’s visibility—both nationally and outside the U.S.—particularly with recent student recruitment inroads in China and Malaysia

Becoming a university also creates new opportunities for Messiah’s future, according to George Parmer, chair of the board of trustees.

“The board sees this move as paving the way for even greater educational innovation and expanded academic, corporate, community and ministry partnerships,” he said. “And because university status is more widely understood by international, graduate and non-traditional students, we also expand our recruitment among those populations. Ultimately, we think that university status will strengthen our international reputation and open new doors for us to globally connect more people with Messiah’s distinct institutional mission.”

President Phipps noted that key aspects of the college will remain the same, including Messiah’s commitment to it’s Christian educational mission, the promise of academic excellence, dedication to outstanding teaching and student learning and the fostering of a strong and supportive campus community.

“The Messiah community is energized by the chance to tell its story in new and visible ways from a university platform,” Phipps stated. “Our journey from a small missionary training school with 12 students—to a nationally ranked, comprehensive Christian college now educating nearly 3,400 undergraduate and graduate students from 38 countries—is worth sharing.”

“It’s a story of transformation—not only from college to university—but also the transformation that takes place in the lives of our students and the positive impact that Messiah graduates make for the common good in Church and society.”

Messiah currently enrolls 3,375 undergraduate and graduate students, and awards undergraduate bachelor’s degrees in more than 85 majors and offers more than 35 graduate degrees and certificate programs.

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