Diversity at Milligan

Commitment to All People

“As members of the Milligan University community and in faithfulness to the teaching of Scripture, we commit ourselves to honoring and broadening the diversity of our community and to treating every person with respect, dignity, and love. By reflecting the diversity of God’s kingdom, the University bears witness to that kingdom and equips students to serve in a diverse and interdependent world.” 1

Diversity at Milligan

Milligan University believes that diversity in our student body, faculty, and staff, whether by race, color, ethnicity, disability, multicultural background, sex, or age, is important for us to fulfill our primary mission: to provide a quality education where men and women are prepared as servant-leaders. We believe that:

  • Diversity enriches the educational experience.
    We learn from those whose experiences, beliefs, and perspectives are different from our own, and these lessons can be taught best in a richly diverse intellectual and social environment.
  • Diversity strengthens communities and the workplace.
    Education within a diverse setting prepares students to become good citizens in an increasingly complex, pluralistic society; it fosters mutual respect and teamwork; and it helps build communities whose members are judged by the quality of their character and their contributions.2
  • Diversity promotes personal growth and a healthy society.
    Diversity challenges stereotyped preconceptions; it encourages critical thinking; and it helps students learn to communicate effectively with people of varied backgrounds.
  • Diversity reflects God’s kingdom.
    The University’s view on diversity is shaped by its Christian faith. The Gospel’s call is always to move beyond our culture-imposed, self-imposed boundaries and to understand that people whom we may have previously labeled “others” are created in God’s image.3


  • foster a commitment to diversity
  • create a welcoming University environment
  • provide curricular and co‐curricular strategies that help all students develop intercultural competencies
  • recruit and retain a diverse student body and workforce
  • prepare students to engage a diverse world in a Christ-like manner


Because of these beliefs and goals, Milligan University desires to reach out and make a concerted effort to build a healthy and diverse learning environment appropriate to our mission. The University relies on academic programs, educational services, and scholarships to recruit and retain a diverse student body. Current initiatives include:

  • Multicultural Education Resource Team (MERT)
  • The Betty Goah Scholars Program
  • Multicultural Engagement Office
  • Multicultural Affairs Student Organization
  • Ethnic Studies requirement (see the General Education Requirements in the Catalog)
  • Diversity Advisory Committee

Statement of Care and Support

Milligan University is committed to providing students, faculty, staff, visitors, and all other members of the university community with a positive, healthy environment conducive to the promotion of the university’s core values of scholarship, community, and faith. Milligan University expects members of the campus community, including students, faculty, and staff, to comply with the standards of conduct outlined in the student, personnel, and faculty handbooks.

Due to the university’s commitment (see Notice of Nondiscrimination) to an educational atmosphere free of racial and ethnic discrimination, harassment, or violence, and in accordance with the requirements set forth in federal, state, and local laws, all forms of racial or ethnic misconduct are prohibited and will not be tolerated at Milligan University.

The University will investigate and address known or suspected instances of discriminatory misconduct following the policies and procedures of the student and employee handbooks. Potential violations should be reported to the following:

Campus Resources and Support
Along with trusted faculty and staff, the following offices are equipped and available for members of the Milligan community to seek support and discuss questions or issues about racial and ethnic diversity:

  • Milligan university Counseling Center
  • Campus Minister
  • Office of Multicultural Engagement
  • Student Development staff

In situations where individuals do not feel physically safe on campus, please immediately contact Campus Security at 423.461.8911 (8911 on campus). For general safety and security concerns, contact the Director of Property and Risk Management at 423.461.8740.

Tony Jones
Vice President for Student Development and Dean

Chase McGlamery
Director of Student Success & Disability Services

Brent Nipper
Director of Property & Risk Management (Campus Safety & Security)

Director of Student Engagement

Rich Aubrey
Vice President for Academic Affairs; Dean

Human Resources Director

1 Milligan University Commitment to Non-Discrimination, Milligan University Catalog.
2 “On the importance of diversity in higher education.” Farleigh Dickinson University.
3 Higgins, Susan, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology and Missions, Milligan University.

Multicultural Education Resource Team (MERT)

Serve as a source of direction and guidance regarding ethnic diversity discussions, collaborative programming, and support of campus initiatives. The goal is to help all Milligan community members better understand and appreciate the ethnic diversity of the kingdom of God both in academic as well as extra-curricular settings.

The Multicultural Education Resource Team (MERT) discusses and makes recommendations on how Milligan can best fulfill the following goals:

  • foster a commitment to diversity
  • create a welcoming college environment
  • provide opportunities and strategies that help all students, faculty, and staff develop intercultural competencies
  • prepare students to engage a diverse world in a Christ-like manner
  • recruit and retain a diverse student body and workforce

Subgroups meet regularly throughout the year to review current practices, data and research, best practices at peer/aspirant schools, and literature and current guidance in order to develop strategies in support of these goals.

For more information about MERT, email Tony Jones.


In 2007, ethnic minority students made up only 5% of the Milligan University student body.  By 2010, ethnic minority students made up 14% of the student body. The 2019-20 student body includes 12% U.S. minorities and 7% internationals for a total of 19% ethnic minorities.

This dramatic increase was no accident. It began in prayer and was energized by a deep commitment to the idea that diversity is God’s intention and desire, that Milligan University needed to take a proactive role in bringing about diversity, and that a multi-pronged approach would be necessary.

“We will be a strong, vibrant, and diverse Christian collegiate community” was part of the Long Range Plan approved by the Milligan University Board of Trustees. Strategic goals included creating a welcoming and diverse environment, increasing the level of cultural competency of all students, increasing multicultural classroom experiences, and increasing multicultural social and co-curricular experiences.

These goals translated into specific actions, under the direction of then Vice President for Enrollment Management, Dr. Lee (Fierbaugh) Harrison. The president appointed a Multi-Ethnic Resource Team, including faculty, administrators, staff, and students. The university hired a Director of Diversity and established an Office of Diversity Services in 2007.

Milligan’s first Director of Diversity Services, Nathaniel Moultrie, had the vision and the ability to generate a great deal of local interest in Milligan’s diversity initiatives, and both he and then-president Don Jeanes met with local ministers and other community leaders from the African American community to seek their advice about how the University could best live out its commitment to diversity.

Faculty development, curricular development, increasing diversity of the faculty, facilitating greater multicultural understanding—all these remain important goals as the University continues to pursue a diverse community that provides a living picture of the Kingdom of God.

Nondiscrimination Notice

As members of the Milligan University community and in faithfulness to the teaching of Scripture, we commit ourselves to honoring and broadening the diversity of our community and to treating every person with respect, dignity, and love. By reflecting the diversity of God’s kingdom, the University bears witness to that kingdom and equips students to serve in a diverse and interdependent world.  In accordance with the Age Discrimination Act, Title IX, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Milligan University admits students of any race, color, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at Milligan. Milligan does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school administered programs.

Concerns relating to sex discrimination should be addressed to the University’s Title IX Coordinator:

Brent Nipper, Director of Property and Risk Management
PO Box 750
Little Hartland Welcome Center
Milligan, TN 37682