Four new graduate programs announced in hot career areas from high-tech to counseling

By Janel Shoun-Smith on 5/7/2012


Lipscomb University announces the creation of four new master’s programs, all in rapidly emerging fields in the Tennessee job market.

The new masters of Science in 1.) Information Technology Management, 2.) Engineering Management, 3.) Biomolecular Science and 4.) Marriage and Family Therapy will all begin classes in the fall 2012 semester and are currently enrolling students.

All four programs will offer accelerated, non-traditional course delivery, making it convenient for working adults and several will hold at least some classes at Spark, Lipscomb’s new off-camnpus site in Cool Springs. Spark will offer graduate students a technology-rich environment that promotes collaborative learning and innovative problem-solving.


Master of Science in Information Technology Management

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The information technology management degree, the third master’s program to be offered by the new School of Computing and Informatics, is the first of its kind in Tennessee, integrating technology, leadership, information security and health care informatics in one master’s program.

“The pervasiveness of information technology brings with it increasing complexities of the digital economy and challenges to enterprises,” said Fortune Mhlanga, director of the School of Computing and Informatics. “The master’s program is designed to equip executive, managerial and computing and information technology professionals with the skills to create, plan, organize, lead and control the information technologies in their organizations.

“What we are doing is creating a true technocrat,” he said, “an information technology professional who can move up the management level and have strong skills both technically and managerially. It is also an excellent program for entrepreneurs.”

Industry response to the program has been positive, said Mhlanga, who has worked closely with the Nashville Technology Council to develop new offerings that will meet specific workplace needs.

The 36-hour program will hold classes every other weekend with two weekends required for each course. The first cohort, of 20 to 25 students, will begin in August, and classes will be held exclusively at the Spark Cool Springs location. A graduate certificate in information technology management will also be offered beginning in August.

For more information on the program, contact Fortune Mhlanga at 615.966.5073 or or visit


Master of Science in Engineering Management

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The engineering management program, offered by the Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering, will not only provide advanced technical training for engineers and business management strategy, but will include civic leadership components to prepare a new generation of opinion leaders and influencers who hold valuable engineering knowledge and background, said David Davidson, the coordinator of the new program and the former president and COO of Barge Waggoner Sumner and Cannon Inc. for eight years.

“With the economic problems and aging infrastructure our society is struggling with today, it is more important than ever that talented, innovative engineers have the management and civic leadership skills to step up and make positive changes in our housing, bridges, public transportation and manufacturing,” said Davidson. “Lipscomb’s strong history of teaching ethical business practices and its new programs highlighting collaboration and civic leadership will be a great combination with the excellent technical education provided by the engineering college.”

The 36-hour program will offer accelerated courses, some offered on the Lipscomb main campus in Nashville and some offered at Spark. Course offerings will be guided in part by the interests of the students. The college is already recruiting to fill a cohort of 15-20 students.

The college plans to develop continuing education options in engineering management that will also count as credit toward the engineering management master’s degree, Davidson said.

For more information on the program, contact Fort Gwinn at 615.966.6144 or at or David Davidson at 615.966.5071 or at


Master of Science in Biomolecular Science

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From paternity testing to DNA forensic evidence, from cancer research to infectious diseases, the master’s program in biomolecular science will prepare graduate students to work in some of the hottest areas in laboratory science today. The program prepares students to work in research hospitals and research laboratories in both the public and private arenas. 

“Tennessee ranks sixth in the nation in biotechnology jobs,” said Kent Gallaher, chair of Lipscomb’s biology department. “It’s a rapidly growing sector of the economy. The skills learned in this master’s program – which has a unique emphasis on laboratory techniques common in the biotech sector – will allow anyone with a biological sciences background to move into a number of growing career fields.”

The program consists of 18 hours of courses in biostatistics, ethics and biomolecular lab technique, along with selected course work in areas such as cancer biology, genetics, immunology and infectious disease.

The master’s program is now recruiting its initial cohort of 15 students to begin classes in June. The program is a 30-hour, non-thesis graduate degree. Courses are offered on the main Lipscomb campus in a block format, with each block running for eight weeks. Students enrolling in two courses per block can complete the program in one calendar year.

For more information on the program, content Kent Gallaher at 615.966.5721 or by e-mail at


Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy

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According to a 2010 report in U.S. News and World Report, marriage and family therapy ranks among the top 50 professions in the nation. The new degree at Lipscomb provides eligibility for licensure in this growing segment of therapy, a more relational therapy approach that is widely accepted in both secular and faith-based circles.

“The marriage and family therapy license, versus the counseling license, is becoming very popular among young graduates or professionals in faith-based ministry or counseling,” said Jake Morris, chair of the psychology department in the College of Arts and Sciences. “The concept of helping a whole family through a problem is very appealing to a person of faith.”

Lipscomb’s graduate counseling program, offered since 2007, has grown to 130 enrolled students, the second biggest graduate program at the university after pharmacy.

The first cohort in the marriage and family therapy graduate program will receive a 25 percent discount on their tuition rates, Morris said.

The two-year, 60-hour program is currently recruiting for a cohort of 10 to15 students to begin in August. “Classes will generally be held one night a week, at Spark in Cool Springs -- located much closer to many of the sites for the 500-hour required practicum,” Morris said. Some weekend and online classes will also be required.

For more information on the program, contact Jake Morris at 615.966.6652, or log on to