Mars Hill offers ‘tranformational’ education
    September 8 2010 by Mars Hill College

    (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 adults. 

    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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    9/8/2010 6:12:00 AM by Mars Hill College | with 0 comments

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