Downtown will soon increase its educational holdings as Hamline University locates a campus at Loring Park's Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church.
Beginning this fall, St. Paul-based Hamline will offer three Master's Degree programs in Downtown -- a master of arts in management, a master of arts in liberal studies and a master of arts in education with an emphasis on urban teaching.
"We're excited about this," said Hamline provost Jerry Greiner. "We think it's going to be a great opportunity for students in that part of the city and another alternative for them to consider when they think about advancing their education."
According to Greiner, Hamline staff chose the three masters programs Downtown based on research.
"Last year we finished a marketing study; we looked at a sampling of all people in the western metro and found there is considerable interest in these three programs," he said. "We found that the people who are interested in these programs would be interested in taking these degrees from Hamline, but would not be interested in traveling to our St. Paul campus. We didn't want to have a situation where we simply took our standard market area and had people transfer from here over there."
Hennepin Avenue United Methodist, 511 Groveland Ave., was a natural option for Hamline's campus, because the university is a United Methodist Church-related school.
"There has been a good relationship with the pastors and some of the other parishioners at the United Methodist Church," Greiner said. "The current senior pastor is a member of our board of trustees."
Hamline's campus will be housed in the church's educational wing. Greiner calls Hennepin Avenue United Methodist an ideal location.
"It's easy on and off the expressway -- both 35 and 94. It's very easy to get to it. They also have a nice parking lot that is going to be open and free to our students," Greiner said.
Hennepin Avenue Hamline classes will be offered mainly at night and on Saturdays. The same faculty who teach these classes in St. Paul will teach at the Hennepin Avenue campus and hold evening office hours there.
Students will not have their own library at the Hennepin Avenue campus, but will be supported through distance-learning systems.
"While students are there, there will be complete access to Hamline's database and library system. We'll also have the opportunity for complete use of technology within the classroom space," Greiner said. "Students, from their home, will be able to access our library and all of our holdings that are available online. They will also be able to request items through the network."
Hamline's fall classes begin Sept. 2.