by Halle Johnson, Student Public Relations Writer
As the Cedarville University Graduate School continues to experience exponential growth, Dr. Brian Shook, who was named assistant vice president for graduate enrollment in the fall of 2022, is preparing the program for the future.
Shook, a 2001 Cedarville music graduate, went on to earn both a master’s (2003) and doctorate (2006) in music from Arizona State University. Although moving from trumpet performance to academic administration may seem like a strange jump, Shook felt God’s leading in taking a job that allowed him to have influence on university students.
“I had worked at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, for 13 years, serving as the chair of the music department and then assistant dean of the college of fine arts and communication,” said Shook. “I had carefully, and prayerfully, been looking for a job closer to my hometown in Mansfield, Ohio. When I noticed this position at Cedarville, I became immediately interested in the opportunity to return to my alma mater and be a part of a university that had such a profound impact on my life and career. I love the role of a being facilitator and feel uniquely equipped to serve the university and graduate school.”
Cedarville’s graduate school began in 2002 and has expanded over the last two decades to offer 25 graduate programs, including the residential Master of Divinity, Doctor of Pharmacy, Master of Athletic Training, and Master of Medical Science in PA Studies. Along with residential programs, the graduate school also offers fully online master’s degrees in business, innovation, leadership, ministry, nursing, and worship. The graduate school also offers six online graduate certificate programs.
Most recently, the graduate school has expanded into two unique programs in partnership with the International Center for Creativity (ICC). In 2019, in coordination with Cedarville’s Plaster School of Business, the graduate school launched the innovation and entrepreneurship concentration in Cedarville’s M.B.A. program and welcomed the first class into the Master of Arts in Innovation program in the spring of 2022.
The graduate school currently serves almost 540 students, both online and residential, and has experienced 29% growth in enrollment over the last six years.
To aid the expanding enrollment and graduate programs, Shook stepped into his new role with the aim of continuing and capitalizing on the recent growth in the graduate school. Shook believes the rapid growth comes down to the three core values: Christ-centered education, excellence in teaching, and affordability.
This coming spring, the graduate school plans to enroll its first cohort of 30 students into the physician assistant studies program, recently provisionally accredited by the ARC-PA. Cedarville is now the only evangelical Christian university in Ohio to offer a Master of Medical Science in PA Studies program.
“This is a significant milestone for the university. We are looking forward to welcoming our first cohort of PA students to campus next May and equipping them to serve their patients with skill and compassion as a ministry for Christ,” said Dr. Thomas White, President of Cedarville University.
Looking forward, Shook projects an annual enrollment of 700 students within the next five years.
“We are preparing for continued growth,” said Shook. “It is exciting and a blessing to be a small part of what God is doing in the lives of our students, faculty, and staff!”
For more information about Cedarville graduate programs, visit cedarville.edu/offices/graduate-school.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 5,082 undergraduate, graduate, and dual enrolled high school students in more than 175 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, high graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and the #4 national ranking by the Wall Street Journal for student engagement. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu.