Lenoir-Rhyne University: Offering graduate degrees in the heart of Asheville

October 16, 2018

Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Asheville Center is located downtown and offers a wide variety of graduate programs in addition to a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree, which is available to traditional students and adult learners.

With a mission of building a community that passionately embraces the unknown, the Asheville Center produces graduates who engage the world in bold new ways. Students grow personally and professionally as they pursue graduate degree programs taught by highly qualified and experienced faculty. Coursework offered through the Center is designed with the working professional in mind and can be completed through innovative delivery models, including distance and fully online instruction.

“I appreciated the flexibility of Lenoir-Rhyne’s University Leadership program,” said Nora Boerger `18, assistant women’s lacrosse coach at Grand Valley State University. “I was able to interact with my professors and peers through various platforms including Zoom and Voice Thread. I felt that I was learning leadership traits and skills, as well as becoming more comfortable with online tools and techniques.”

While the Asheville Center offers a variety of online programs, it also provides degrees unique to the area such as a Master of Business Administration in Non Profit Management, a Master of Business Administration in Social Entrepreneurship, and a Master of Science in Sustainability Studies among others.

“Lenoir-Rhyne is committed to being a true part of Western North Carolina’s fabric,” said Michael Dempsey, Ed.D., dean and director of LR’s Asheville Center. “Our academic programs exemplify the University’s objective to offer the types of degrees that mesh with the ethos and workforce of Asheville.”

LR’s Asheville Center is also home to the Thomas Wolfe Center for Narrative, which offers a Master of Arts in Writing degree and Certificate in Narrative Healthcare. Daniel J. Waters is an actively practicing cardiac surgeon and a graduate of the Writing program, who recently published his first novel titled “Surf City Confidential.”

“Writing has helped me in more ways than I can count,” Waters said. “I think writing is an excellent way for physicians like myself to prevent burnout and to focus on the deeper meaning of what we do and how we can enhance care for our patients.”

Like Waters, many graduates of the Asheville Center obtain degrees which elevate their current career or propel them into new employment and a higher-level of responsibility. Lisa Riggsbee ’17, was recently promoted to Association Director of Community Health at the YMCA of Greater Charlotte. She graduated from the Center’s Master of Public Health program in December 2017, and says the program’s curriculum helped strengthen her connection to the community she works to serve. “Being able to study the epidemiology of some of the chronic diseases that I work very closely with helped deepen my understanding of the individuals and communities impacted by them,” she said. “I perceive my community in a new and better way because of the program.”

LR’s Asheville Center entered its sixth year of operations in January 2018. Other programs offered through the Center include a traditional Master of Business Administration, Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Master of Arts in School Counseling, Dietetic Internship, Master of Arts in Teaching, and Master of Arts in Leadership. Before the spring 2018 semester, the Center opened a newly renovated 6,900 square feet of space, a $2.3 million-dollar project that added two classrooms, one seminar room, an entrepreneurship mentoring space, and seven offices. Over 60 students received degrees during the May 2018 commencement ceremony, the Center’s largest graduating class since opening.