Houghton College and Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on November 18, 2013, indicating their intention to explore a partnership that would draw on each other’s strengths for their mutual benefit. While this move reflects a growing trend within higher education, it is the first such formal agreement among the educational institutions of the Wesleyan Church.
The partnership, signed by both Shirley Mullen, president of Houghton College, and David Wright, president of IWU, takes into consideration both the similarities and differences between Houghton College and Indiana Wesleyan University.
Houghton and IWU each have a long history of providing the opportunities of a high quality Christian education to those who can most benefit from that education and who leverage that education to impact the church and the world.
Together, they bring the strengths of a comprehensive university, nationally recognized for its pioneering work in adult and online education, and a nationally ranked liberal arts college with a long established track record in integrating public service, co-curricular programming and global engagement into a transformative educational experience.
IWU is known for both its robust and successful adult education, and an online degree program that has an average of 7,000 students annually. IWU and Houghton will explore opportunities for IWU to assist Houghton in their development of adult and online programs throughout New York and the region.
Houghton has a longstanding tradition of incorporating service, global engagement and curricular programming into the fabric of a transformative education. Houghton will assist IWU in the further development of its service learning, international, and student services efforts.
“Our proposed partnership with Indiana Wesleyan University reflects one of the ways institutions are preparing for the changing environment in higher education,” stated President Mullen. “Working together, both institutions will be better able to address the range of needs in our constituencies.”
Exploratory conversations are expected to outline plans for implementation, pending approval of their respective boards of trustees. This cooperative venture will strengthen the impact of each institution both inside and outside the Wesleyan Church, and hopefully inspire larger cooperative efforts within the world of Christian higher education.