Over 100 Majors, Minors, and Academic Programs
Milligan is one of the South's premier Christian liberal arts universities. Our faculty are among the best in their fields, and our academic programs are lauded by accrediting agencies and national organizations. The university offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees, and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs.
Our faculty are among the best in their fields. More than 80 percent have earned the highest degree in their field. While their primary role is teaching and mentoring, many are also involved in on-going academic research, publishing articles and books, serving national organizations, and consulting for corporations and non-profits. They do not see themselves as professors who happen to teach at a Christian university, but rather as Christians who have the opportunity to serve Christ as scholars and educators.
The term "liberal arts" is a way of describing a broad education that seeks to prepare students to think, to inquire, and to analyze. At Milligan, a unique interdisciplinary Humanities Program lays a common foundation for learning, as students learn about the historical, philosophical, literary, and artistic basis of our modern society. Learning from a liberal arts perspective prepares students for an ever-changing world.
Community: The Good Life
Students soon discover what makes Milligan stand out from other colleges and universities — it’s a Christian community that is genuine and real. We’re not perfect, but we’re a real place, with real people, all learning and serving a real God. Our students come from all over the country and world to discover students with interests similar to their own, as well as those of different cultures, backgrounds, and views. It’s a place with fun traditions, great athletic programs, and lots to do. We are also a community where real friendships are made that last a lifetime. That’s the Milligan difference.
More than 70 percent of our traditional students live on campus in one of 11 residence halls. This is where much of the community life and social involvement on campus occurs. Milligan’s residence halls are designed to encourage greater independence as our students progress through their college years. At the same time, there is a strong focus on learning to live in a community with others. It’s a journey to independence!
The Milligan experience is flavored with fun, time-honored traditions that are enjoyed by generations of Buffs. These are the moments that connect students and alumni, and are never forgotten. Like any good tradition, there is a story behind every one. You can become part of these stories and traditions that make Milligan such a memorable—and fun—place!
Begun in 1969 as a day to ease the normal pressures of spring fever, the tradition of this annual surprise “holiday” has continued. Day classes are cancelled one day each April and replaced by a variety of social activities planned by Social Affairs.
This tradition goes back to the 1950s. The tables are turned and the women are encouraged to ask the men out, as “The Woman Is Required to Pay!”
One Acts & Film Festival
Fine arts are a core part of the Milligan liberal arts tradition. Student-directed one act plays and films are shown each evening.
This tradition goes back to the old Pardee Hall, when the “Pardee Rowdies” would create a fun and cooling diversion for students on hot spring days. Now the waterslide appears near Buffalo Creek for various events throughout the year.
A definite “must” for couples who get engaged — or friends just looking to have fun. Everyone ends up wet!
A time for the entire Milligan family — current students, alumni, faculty — to come together for a weekend of reunions, activities, and memories. The annual Homecoming parade features floats from student and alumni groups.
Faith & Worship
As our vision statement proclaims, Milligan is a place where Jesus Christ is exalted. We believe God has a unique plan for each of our lives — for our hearts as well as our minds. Together we can form a new generation of Christian leaders who are intellectually and spiritually prepared to change lives and shape culture.
Milligan is a Christian liberal arts university that encourages our students to be thinking and acting Christians. Part of the educational process is to provide students with a working knowledge of diverse subjects and viewpoints and to encourage students to think through these issues from a Christian worldview. Read more »
The Christian faith is truly about serving others, and Milligan encourages students to put their faith in action by participating in mission and service projects in our own backyard and around the world.
Milligan University also seeks to foster faith development through small groups. Students are encouraged to participate in various kinds of small groups. Some small group experiences may include: Bible studies, accountability partners, prayer groups, men’s/women’s studies, couples groups, discipleship groups, as well as small groups offered by local churches. The Campus Ministry Team is responsible for initiating many small groups on campus.
Sunday evenings are set aside for Vespers, an informal, student-led time of worship, teaching, and fellowship. Open to the entire student body, Vespers is a vital part of spiritual life at Milligan University.
Location & Region
Milligan’s 235-acre picturesque campus is located in beautiful Northeast Tennessee, minutes from Elizabethton and Johnson City in the dynamic Tri-Cities region (Johnson City / Kingsport / Bristol, TN/VA). We’re also only an hour from Asheville, NC, and less than two hours from Knoxville, TN.
The Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia region is an area of natural beauty and rich history. The National Civic League named the Tri-Cities the first All-America Region, where you can enjoy historical locations, theaters, parks, restaurants, shops, and more! There are also many recreational opportunities in this part of Southern Appalachia, including boating, water skiing, snow skiing, white water rafting, fishing, jogging, and hiking. See our list of “Things to Do” in our region and our Activity Guide.
The Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) where Milligan is located has a population of around 500,000. It ranks in the top 20 percent of 354 metropolitan areas, based on cost of living, job outlook, climate, crime, transportation, education, the arts, health care, and recreation. It has been named one of the Top 100 Cities for Relocation by Forbes, the Top 40 Hottest Small Cities by Inc., and among the Top Ten Midsized Markets of the Decade by Southern Business & Development magazine.
Things to Do
Within 20 minutes of Milligan’s campus:
- Three minor league baseball teams
- Outdoor concert series and festivals
- Access to a variety of hiking and walking trails for all skill levels
- Multiple shopping centers and mall
- Dozens of chain and local restaurants
- Hip downtown eateries and shops
- Two professional symphony orchestras
- Picturesque views of the Southern Appalachian mountain range
- Coffeehouses and music venues
- Art galleries and studios
- Rails-to-trails walking and biking trail
- Cinemas and historic theatres
- Access to several 5,000+ ft mountain peaks, including Roan Mountain, home of the world’s largest natural Rhododendron Gardens
- Specialty shops and craft stores
- Trails offering 70-foot waterfalls
- Museums and parks full of history and heritage
- Boating, swimming, and trails around Watauga and Boone lakes
- 10-major trail heads for access to the Appalachian Trail (80 miles of AT exists in Carter County alone)
Things To Do Before You Graduate
When you come to Milligan, come prepared to explore, experience, and discover our region.
Download an area activity guide with detailed information about the best hikes, waterfalls, caverns, historic sites, and unique places to visit in the Tri-Cities TN/VA region and western NC!
Our beautiful facilities offer an ideal setting and location for summer programs and conferences looking for a faith-based setting that has convenient access to much of the eastern United States. To request more information or a quote for your event, contact: Mark Fox, 423.461.8784.
Appalachian Treks Blog
A neat website featuring photographs, information, and directions to local parks, historical sites, and recreational opportunities.
Bays Mountain Planetarium and Park
Bays Mountain is home to the Milligan telescope. There is an observatory, wild animals and beautiful scenery here. It's a great place to go to relax and enjoy nature.
If you're looking for the perfect place to relax and enjoy all of the beauty and splendor of the North Carolina Mountains, then you should visit Beech Mountain!!
Bristol Motor Speedway
Have a need for speed? Check out the Bristol Motor Speedway website. Not only is it the home of the NASCAR Sharpie 500, but it's also home to all the drag racing you can handle.
Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce
People around here say Elizabethton/ Carter County, Tennessee, is "Naturally Nice."
Go Tri-Cities Network
GoTri-Cities.com offers you a very good look at what is going on in this area at any given time. You can find out information and times for historical sites, arts and craft shows, local church events, entertainment, outdoor recreation and so much more!
Historic Jonesborough is the place you want to be if you like history. Even if you aren't looking for a blast from the past it is a beautiful town full of shopping, local arts and crafts stores, and lots of great restaurants!
Johnson City Chamber of Commerce
Lots of new things are happening in this city, and the Johnson City Chamber of Commerce will help you to stay informed about the community.
JohnsonCity.com offers you news and information about local events!
Roan Mountain State Park
Roan Mountain is one of the taller mountains in our area. The mountain offers something different during each season. Roan Mountain is great for hiking and picnics. The view from the summit is breathtaking, and well worth the hike!
State Street, Bristol, VA/TN
Looking for a something to do? Have you ever been in two places at the same time? State Street divides Bristol, TN and Bristol, VA. Come on out to State Street and enjoy a great selection of restaurants, coffee houses, shopping and much more!
With its 1,200-foot vertical, Sugar Mountain Resort is the largest ski area in North Carolina, and one of few resorts breaking a 1,000-foot vertical south of New England.
Tour Carter County
Find the hidden gems that are exclusive to historic Elizabethton/ Carter County. Create a memory. Discover something new. Explore the past and present. Visit Elizabethton/Carter County, TN!
Tri-Cities Online is a website that tells you virtually anything you would like to know about the Tri-Cities. Find everything from movie listings to local weather.
Tri-Cities Regional Airport
The Tri-Cities Regional Airport is the official airport for the Tri-Cities region. American Airlines Connection, Delta Airways Connection, Northwest Air Link, and US Airways Express all service this airport.
Hundreds of miles of shoreline and thousands of acres of water await the fisherman, hunter, boating enthusiast, camper, and nature lover.
USA Raft specializes in Canoes and guided whitewater raft trips. They are open March through October.
Watauga Kayak is a local Whitewater Rafting, Lake and River Kayaking Outfitter in Elizabethton, TN. They are open year round for tours and rentals.