University of Mobile: Ignite Your Why

University of Mobile: Ignite Your Why

What you do with your life matters. What matters even more is why you do it.

The University of Mobile exists to help students ignite their why in a Christ-centered academic community dedicated to preparing them for a lifetime of serving God in everything they do. With the partnership of Alabama Baptists, we want our students to distinctively transform the world for Jesus Christ.

“We stress the ‘why’ aspect,” said Dr. Lonnie Burnett, University of Mobile president. Burnett is a 1979 UM graduate who has served on the faculty of his alma mater for over 14 years prior to becoming president in May.

“Students are here to get an education, but why get an education?” Burnett said. “It’s not just to gain knowledge. C.S. Lewis once said education without values only leads to more clever devils. At the University of Mobile, we want our students to take their knowledge and Christ-centered focus to the world, and apply that to society for its betterment.”

The ABCs of UM

At UM, it’s all about the ABCs.

“A” stands for academics. 

“At this university, we pride ourselves on offering the very best academics, from our world-class faculty to our many programs to our high-tech facilities,” Burnett said.

“B” is for background.

The university is intentional about creating a background for students to thrive where Christ-centered community happens through local and foreign missions opportunities, on-campus events and activities, intramural sports, chapel and Focus Fridays when students have a free day without class.

“C” is the most important — Christ-centered. It’s the Christ-centered mentoring aspect of the University of Mobile that creates opportunities for students to gain more than simply a college degree.

“The University of Mobile, to me, means family. The faculty and staff here work together for one common purpose: that is, to educate and mentor students. In this atmosphere, the students are part of that family. We take each student and pour ourselves into their lives as we mentor in this Christ-centered environment. The ‘Know and Be Known’ motto of the university is something we take very seriously,” Burnett said.

New degrees

The university’s rapidly expanding academic program is growing again with the addition of nine new degrees, giving students even more options as they enroll for fall semester classes that begin Aug. 19.

The university has added bachelor’s degrees in pre-health biology, financial mathematics, sports administration and exercise science. New master’s degree programs have started in ministry, education instructional design and technology, early childhood development, nursing executive leadership and nursing education. In addition, a new Master of Athletic Training will start summer semester of 2020, pending approval by CAATE, the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education.

Additional degree programs are in process. The university has nearly doubled the number of academic programs since 2016, started two doctoral programs, expanded facilities, added technology, and focused on “Prac-ademics” experiences that allow students to take classroom knowledge into practical learning experiences like a student-run marketing agency, professional recording studio, international travel and more.

New spaces

The Phase I renovation of the J.L. Bedsole Learning Commons has created a new library space along with a central gathering space, honors room, research area and makers room. Phase II will consist of a game room and student lounge offices for student life staff.

New scholarships

Six new endowed scholarships are: the Sharon Emmons Performance Scholarship and Eileen Emmons Performance Scholarship, both to benefit students majoring in the performing arts: the Judy Johnston Memorial Scholarship Fund for students majoring in Christian studies and licensed for gospel ministry; the Dr. and Mrs. Phillip Shouppe Scholarship for student-athletes; the Wilcox Piano Endowed Scholarship Fund for students majoring in piano performance; and the Sullivan Family Endowed Scholarship Fund for students majoring in education or communication.

UM news

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My Why

By Olivia Moore
Sophomore, Pre-Health Biology

A few years ago, my mom was diagnosed with cancer. I became very involved in the health care system while she was going through that and decided then that I wanted to be an oncologist to help others going through that same thing. I saw how important my mom’s oncologist was to us, and I want to be that for somebody else.

The University of Mobile has helped me with dual enrollment in high school so I can reach this goal quicker and move to medical school faster. UM’s newly renovated health and science labs have given me an opportunity to get more hands-on experience that most students wouldn’t get until they are already in medical school.

My favorite part of UM’s science program is that they incorporate Christ in everything they do. Not many schools teach from a Christian worldview, and that is what I wanted from my school.

Read more My Why stories at (UM)


Hobby Lobby founder set for Scholarship Banquet

Hobby Lobby founder David Green is keynote speaker at the annual University of Mobile Scholarship Banquet on Oct. 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center in downtown Mobile. Proceeds support scholarships for UM students. Tickets and information are at 251-442-2222 or (UM)