Graduation cap college logo generic (WEB ONLY)

Piedmont International University in Winston-Salem and John Wesley University in High Point, both Christian colleges, plan to merge next year, officials at both schools said Tuesday.

The merger would take effect June 1 if the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools gives its approval, according to Piedmont International, which is accredited by the association.

Both schools’ boards of trustees have approved their merger.

In May 2015, Piedmont International, whose campus is at 420 S. Broad St. in Winston-Salem, merged with financially troubled Tennessee Temple University, a Christian college in Chattanooga, Tenn. Some of its students came to PIU, which also hired some of TTU’s faculty members and administrators.

PIU’s enrollment of for the 2016-17 academic year was 750, spokesman Devin Purgason said; John Wesley‘s enrollment for the current semester is 150.

The leaders of both universities said the merged school will have far greater influence than either could have realized alone. Both institutions are financially stable, Purgason said.

The merged school will be named Piedmont International University, but PIU’s chapel and School of Leadership will be renamed for John Wesley, Purgason said. Wesley, an English Anglican cleric, helped found Methodism in the 18th century.

Charles Petitt, Piedmont International’s president, said the universities have grown 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 10 years from now,” Petitt said, “but it would be far better to pool our resources and all the great attributes of each school to create something truly special.”

He said John Wesley is bringing a business management school, a nursing partnership, complementary athletics programs and a vibrant student body.

Steven Condon, John Wesley’s president, said the merger is the right approach for both schools.

“Piedmont enjoys a history of high quality curriculum and the momentum in recent years that comes from large enrollment increases,” Cordon said. “They also bring to the table a well-developed set of online programs, a global footprint, and emerging dynamic athletic programs.”

Get today’s top stories right in your inbox. Sign up for our daily newsletter. 336-727-7299 @jhintonWSJ

Recommended for you