New PA program

Physician Assistant (PA) Studies - Applicant Program

In May 2019, the Cedarville University Board of Trustees authorized the development of a Physician Assistant program with a goal to enroll the first cohort of students by May 2022, pending receiving all necessary approvals. This authorization included hiring a program director, initiating the accreditation pathway, securing required faculty and staff, and allocating appropriate funding to ensure successful program development and launch.

Driven by a passion for the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ, the planned PA program at Cedarville will equip graduates personally, spiritually, academically, and professionally to live out their calling to practice medicine competently, ethically, and compassionately in their communities and to those in need.

ARC-PA - Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc.

Cedarville University applied for Accreditation - Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) in May 2019.

Accreditation - Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding accreditation-provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

In the event that ARC-PA withholds accreditation, the Cedarville University PA Program will not accept students or commence with the program. Cedarville will provide a refund for paid deposits to individuals accepted into the program. CASPA application fees are nonrefundable by Cedarville or CASPA.

Jason Grahame

Meet the Inaugural Program Director

Cedarville 1999 alumnus Jason Grahame was hired as the founding director of the PA program. Jason previously was a practicing physician assistant at Jordan-Young Institute in Virginia Beach, and an Associate Professor and Associate Program Director for the Physician Assistant Program at Eastern Virginia Medical School. “This will be a unique opportunity to train and disciple PA students to meet not only the physical needs of patients but also the more critical spiritual needs in a loving, empathetic and discerning manner,” said Jason.

Read more in the Summer 2019 Cedarville Magazine »


More than 20 years ago, Dr. Dee Morris, who currently serves as Professor of Allied Health in the Department of Kinesiology and Allied Health, approached Cedarville University’s academic leadership about the opportunity to start a PA program. At the time, the University had not even launched its first graduate program and priorities were focused in other areas, so the idea was not pursued. In 2014, the possibility of a PA program was revisited and a preliminary proposal was prepared. However, due to transitions at Cedarville and the emergence of a new PA program at the University of Dayton, the idea was again tabled.

In the fall of 2017, as we began to explore future graduate programs for Cedarville, PA professional education again emerged as a high-growth career field with strong alignment to Cedarville’s Gospel-driven mission and our existing healthcare program array. Since December 2017, we have intentionally studied the potential to bring a PA program to Cedarville University, and the following steps have been taken or are planned:

Action Step Timing
Market demand study completed December 2017
Feasibility analysis (phase I) completed April 2018
Meetings with key internal stakeholders (Cabinet, Graduate Task Team, Finance/Operations, Schools of Nursing and Pharmacy, Department of Kinesiology and Allied Health) ongoing
Engaging outside expertise (other university PA program directors, alumni, medical professionals) ongoing
Equipment and facility needs assessment August-September 2018
Preliminary pro forma development August-September 2018
Formation of the PA Exploratory Advisory Council January 2019
Inaugural Meeting of the Council March 29, 2019
Recommendation to and approval by Board of Trustees May 2019
Hired inaugural program director May 2019
Entered accreditation process May 2019
Feasibility study (phase II) September–October 2019
Program Director Begins December 2019
ARC-PA Application Due March 2021
ARC-PA Site Visit June 2021
ARC-PA Provisional Accreditation Application Considered September 2021
Enroll First Cohort, pending approvals May 2022


Overview of the PA Profession

“PAs are medical professionals who diagnose illness, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications, and often serve as a patient’s principal healthcare provider...PAs practice in every state and in every medical setting and specialty, improving healthcare access and quality” (American Academy of PAs). Along with Nurse Practitioners, PAs are advanced practice providers who participate on collaborative healthcare teams and are often responsible for patient’s primary care.

Generally awarding a master's-level degree, PA programs in the U.S. are accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).

The Market Demand Report and Feasibility Study conducted by the University provided extensive data related to PA career growth projections, PA program competitors, and enrollment potential.

  • PA profession projected to grow 37% from 2016 to 2026.
  • Conferrals of PA degrees have increased an average of 10% annually between 2012 and 2016. There were 7,682 degrees conferred nationwide in 2016.
  • Ohio has 12 accredited PA programs in the state. Kettering College and University of Dayton offer PA programs in the Dayton market.
  • Only four Christian universities currently offer a PA program: Trevecca Nazarene; Harding University; Bethel University (MN); California Baptist University

In the News

New PA program

New Physician Assistant Program Planned for May 2022

Alumnus Jason Grahame '99 will serve as the director.

The New Callan Extension to Be Built on Campus

Callan Expansion

As part of the 10-year campus master plan, the two-story Callan Athletic Center expansion will house a new weight room, expanded locker rooms, and office/classroom space for a new Master of Athletic Training and Physician Assistant Program