WINSTON-SALEM, NC (September 18, 2017)— In a move to connect the rich heritages of two historic Christian universities located only twenty miles from each other, the Trustee Boards of John Wesley University (JWU) in High Point, NC, and Piedmont International University (PIU) in Winston-Salem, NC, voted to move forward with a merger of the two. The merger will officially take effect on June 1, 2018, pending the approval of the Transnational Association of Colleges and Schools, which accredits PIU.

The leaders of both universities believe that the merged school will have far greater influence together than either could have realized alone. JWU’s president Dr. Steven Condon said, “There has never been a better time for this partnership. Both universities enjoy a vibrant student body, dynamic evolving curriculums, great campus locations, a historic legacy of service, over 175 years of combined Bible-based instruction, and a passion and love for the Lord. Piedmont enjoys a history of high quality curriculum and the momentum in recent years that comes from large enrollment increases. They also bring to the table a well-developed set of on-line programs, a global footprint, and emerging dynamic athletic programs.”

PIU’s president Charles Petitt said, “Both universities have enjoyed recent growth and are the two largest evangelical universities in the Triad area. We could continue on separately as we are for the foreseeable future and be pretty much the same ten years from now, but it would be far better to pool our resources and all the great attributes of each school to create something truly special. John Wesley is bringing so much into the merger including a Business Management school, a nursing partnership, complementary athletic programs, and a vibrant student body. The marriage of these great universities should create a wonderful family that will be a blessing to many for years to come.”

The Boards of the two universities have concluded that Piedmont will be the surviving entity, but that the John Wesley heritage and name will be prominently featured in the merged University. Dr. Condon said, “John Wesley was a strong Christian leader who is deeply admired by both schools. He was not only a man of God and a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but he was also a champion for the downtrodden and a man who stood up against slavery across the British empire. His last letter, written just days before his death, was to encourage William Wilberforce to use his influence as a force against slavery in the British empire. We are happy to know that Piedmont’s leaders are eager to honor this great man and JWU in a number of ways including the naming of a building, an academic school, an endowment, and a special scholarship.”

Trustees from JWU will be joining the PIU Board, and both presidents will work together in the combined University. Charles Petitt will continue as President providing overall leadership, and Steve Condon will serve as Chancellor, managing the day-to-day operations of the University, shaping vibrant student life, building a strong team, instilling esprit de corps, advancing athletics, developing the campus, overseeing Development, Marketing, and Enrollment Services, and preparing for a credible SACS accreditation application.

PIU and JWU have been nationally accredited for decades, and both universities have been strategically planning to seek regional accreditation. Dr. Condon said, “The strength of a merged University will poise PIU to take this step sooner rather than later, and regional accreditation will open more doors for our students and advance their future opportunities. Students deserve the best education we can provide, and this alliance will enhance our ability to ensure that. It is a great time to pull these two together and build one powerful biblical school in our area. JWU brings two degrees in business management ready for additional students. If you add in PIU’s education partnerships and our nursing program agreement, this merger brings all these forces together with an emerging study body; all in the name of our Lord. PIU already enjoys a variety of state and national rankings that this merger should only enhance, and students are the big winners.”

The leaders of both universities believe that this merger should set a good example of what can happen through collaboration. Dr. Petitt said, “This alliance between Piedmont International and John Wesley universities is an example of two very good schools joining into one great Bible-based entity in the Triad. Previously, we were competing for the same students, faculty, and resources and had almost endless duplication. Now we will share all of those things and have zero duplication, and the combined enrollment will form the largest biblical university in the state and likely the fastest growing one in the country. With similar missions, parallel passions, and shared goals, this is a great time for this merger.”