One Thousand Days Transformed - The Campaign for Cedarville
Dixon Ministry Center with fountain spraying water in foreground

Growth Initiatives Highlight Cedarville Trustees Meeting

One Thousand Days Transformed: The Campaign for Cedarville. Learn more »

by Mark Weinstein, Executive Director of Public Relations

Two weeks after Cedarville University announced it had received more than $100 million in commitments toward its One Thousand Days Transformed comprehensive fundraising campaign, its board of trustees met on campus and made decisions that will continue the university on a trajectory of growth, energy, and excitement.

At its annual January meeting last week, the board approved the construction start date of the Scharnberg Business Center, a new Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program, and the 2022-23 budget. In addition, the board approved the hiring of five faculty members and granted tenure or promotion to 16 faculty members.

The trustees also heard reports that total campaign commitments were nearing $103 million as of January 28, and reservation deposits for the fall 2022 freshman class were up 24% compared to the same time last year.

Construction on the Scharnberg Business Center

Construction of the Scharnberg Business Center — one of seven new facilities that are part of the university’s $125 million One Thousand Days Transformed campaign — was approved to begin this fall.

The Scharnberg Business Center will be located between the Stevens Student Center and Dixon Ministry Center near Cedar Lake. When the facility is fully operational, it will become a hub for business, cybersecurity, and free enterprise.

Cedarville’s school of business — one of the largest schools at the university — will be housed in this 65,700-square-foot building. The Scharnberg Business Center will include a 500-seat classroom with three divisible smaller units for breakout meetings and classes, a state-of-the-art trading room for students’ stock acquisition and planning, and the Berry Center for Free Enterprise.  

In addition to business classes and faculty offices, the university’s Center for the Advancement of Cybersecurity will be located on the second floor of the building. Cedarville’s cyber operations program is widely known for its excellence, having been certified as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations (CAE-CO) by the National Security Agency. Cedarville is one of 22 universities in the country to hold this prestigious designation. Also, the university’s computer science program is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, and the computer science program with a cyber operations specialization has ABET cybersecurity accreditation, among the first in the nation to be granted this type of professional-level approval.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

With nurse practitioner positions expected to grow 45% by 2029, university leadership recommended, and the board approved, implementing a Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) degree. According to data provided by the university, D.N.P. applications grew nationally by 39% between 2017 and 2020, and nursing organizations are working toward making the D.N.P. the required degree to enter advanced nursing practice. Cedarville currently prepares Family Nurse Practitioners and Pediatric Nurse Practitioners for licensure at the master’s level.

To provide flexibility for nurses with varying educational backgrounds and interests, trustees approved three entry options for future D.N.P. students. Students in the program can choose the postgraduate model (35-38 credit program), the B.S.N. to D.N.P. program (75-79 credits), or the postgraduate to APRN certificate (70 credits).

Cedarville will also add a Global Public Health Certificate program. The university will now seek the necessary external approvals for these new programs.

2022-23 Budget

Cedarville’s approved budget will increase 5.5% to $111.1 million. This budget is driven by strong enrollment growth, even with declining national trends among private and public universities and amid a global pandemic.  Cedarville has seen continued growth in its undergraduate and graduate programs with 14 consecutive record enrollments. 

Undergraduate students will pay $34,498 for tuition next year, a modest increase of 3.9% driven by inflationary pressures. For students who pursue a professional degree in pharmacy, tuition will rise to $40,018, which is still one of the lowest costs among pharmacy programs at Ohio’s private universities. All other graduate programs will see an increase of 4%.

Prioritizing the importance of the campus experience for personal and spiritual development, the trustees slightly increased annual room charges by $184 and $138 for board. The 2022-23 cost for room and board will be $8,400, which remains one of the lowest room and board rates among Ohio’s colleges and universities.

Faculty Hires

The hiring of the following four faculty members was approved:

  • Genna Fusco, M.Ed., ATC, assistant professor of athletic training. Fusco earned her master’s degree in kinesiology from Bowling Green State University and a bachelor’s degree in athletic training from Heidelberg University. Prior to joining Cedarville’s faculty, she was an athletic trainer with P.T. Services Rehabilitation, Inc., in Tiffin, Ohio. Fusco will be a part of the teaching team for Cedarville’s new master of athletic training program, which will enroll its first cohort in June.
  • Nathan Harris, M.Div., assistant professor of biblical studies. Harris earned his Master of Theology and Master of Divinity degrees from Midwestern Seminary. His bachelor’s degree in youth ministry is from Malone University. Prior to joining Cedarville’s faculty, Harris was the director of institutional relations at Midwestern Seminary.
  • Faye Hodgin, M.P.A., associate professor of physician assistant studies and director of clinical education for the PA program. Hodgin earned a Master of Physician Assistant Studies from the Arizona School of Health Sciences at A.T. Still University. She earned a pair of bachelor’s degrees — sports medicine and physician assistant — from Trevecca Nazarene University. Prior to joining the Cedarville faculty, she was a health consultant at Sullivan Consulting in Glendale, Arizona. Cedarville’s developing PA program is slated to enroll its first cohort in May 2023.
  • Ronni Kurtz, Ph.D., assistant professor of theology. Kurtz earned his Ph.D. in systematic theology from Midwestern Seminary. He also earned a master’s degree in pedagogy and Master of Divinity from Midwestern and a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies from Southwest Baptist University. Prior to joining Cedarville’s faculty, Kurtz was an assistant professor of Christian studies at Midwestern Seminary.
  • Hema Jayaseelan, Ph.D., P.E., assistant professor of civil engineering. Jayaseelan earned her Ph.D. and master’s degree in civil engineering from Oklahoma State University. Her undergraduate degree in civil engineering was earned at Anna University in India. Prior to joining Cedarville’s faculty, Jayaseelan was a structural engineer III at Freese and Nichols in Fort Worth, Texas. She has also held engineering positions at companies in the United Kingdom and Kansas City, Missouri.

The following faculty members were granted tenure:

  • Jeffrey Bates, Pharm.D., associate professor of pharmacy practice and dean of the school of pharmacy
  • Justin Cole, Pharm.D., associate professor of pharmacy practice and director of the Center for Pharmacy Innovation
  • Joshua Kira, Ph.D., assistant professor of philosophy and theology and Bible minor coordinator
  • Michael Mendel, Ph.D., professor of zoology
  • Rebekah Priebe, M.F.A., assistant professor of theatre
  • Nina Sekerak, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry

The following faculty members were granted promotion:

  • Jeffrey Bates, Pharm. D., to professor of pharmacy practice
  • Melissa Burns, M.D., to associate professor of biology
  • Aleda Chen, Pharm. D., to professor of pharmacy practice
  • Daniel Clark, M.A., to professor of English
  • Daniel DeWitt, Ph.D., to professor of applied theology and apologetics
  • Glen Duerr, Ph.D., to professor of international studies
  • Joshua Kira, Ph.D., to associate professor of philosophy and theology
  • Rebekah Priebe, M.F.A., to associate professor of theatre
  • Nina Sekerak, Ph.D., to associate professor of chemistry
  • Kirsten Setzkorn, M.L.I.S., to assistant professor of library science
  • Keith Shomper, Ph.D., to senior professor of computer science
  • Andrew Straw, Pharm. D., to associate professor of pharmacy practice
  • Thomas Thompson, Ph.D., to senior professor of mechanical engineering
  • Thomas Ward, Ph.D., to professor of mechanical engineering

The following faculty members received Emeriti Status:

  • Barbara Loach, Ph.D., senior professor emerita of Spanish, at Cedarville since 1978, effective May 2022
  • J. Murray Murdoch, distinguished professor emeritus of history and government, at Cedarville since 1965, effective January 2022

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,715 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio and is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit


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