Mount Vernon Nazarene University Athletics

Last Updated on September 9, 2022 by Alvina Ibe

Mount Vernon Nazarene University (MVNU) is a Christian liberal arts college in Mount Vernon, Ohio, with satellite locations in the surrounding area. It was founded in 1968 by the Church of the Nazarene and offers a variety of Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees to both traditional and non-traditional students. MVNU is also home to Cougar Athletics.

Traditional undergraduate

MVNU’s Eternal Flame
MVNU has programs for traditional students, graduate students, and working adults. 88% of all degrees awarded are bachelor’s degrees[2] and the Fall 2018 acceptance rate for students who applied to the college was 75.8. The student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1, and 68% of full-time professors hold a terminal degree. Many of the faculty members completed their training at one of the other Nazarene institutions of higher education.[11] In 2018, the retention rate was 79% and the average ACT score of MVNU students was 23.

MVNU is organized into six schools: Arts and Humanities, Business, Education and Professional Studies, Theology and Philosophy, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Natural and Social Sciences. Within these six schools the university offers a variety of degree programs for traditional undergraduate students. The five most popular majors on campus are Business, Nursing, Education, Biology, and Engineering.

Graduate and Professional Studies Program
The Graduate and Professional Studies Program (GPS) is for non-traditional students and offers associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Mount Vernon Nazarene University offered its first Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program designed for adults to 22 students at the Mount Vernon campus in 1993. By 1995, MVNU added a second site at Polaris Parkway in Columbus. Today, nearly 1,300 students are enrolled in Graduate and Professional Studies programs (GPS) through several locations around Ohio. Five BBA concentrations are now offered as well as undergraduate degrees in social work, leadership, ministry leadership, public administration, education, and nursing; graduate degrees in business, education, and ministry; general studies courses, and certificate programs in education and ministry. Many online degree programs are also available.

WNZR, operating at a frequency of 90.9 FM MHz, signed on the air in October 1986. The station is owned and operated by Mount Vernon Nazarene University. The station’s studios are located in Founders Hall and are part of the University’s Communication Department and the School of Arts and Humanities. WNZR’s broadcast tower and transmitter building is located off of Glen Road on the east end of the campus. The station serves a dual purpose as a laboratory for radio broadcasting classes and a broadcast ministry of MVNU.

WNZR is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission as a non-commercial educational (NCE) station, and is located in the NCE range of the FM bandwidth. WNZR was originally licensed to operate around 140 watts. In May 2008, the station was approved for a power increase up to 1300 watts and went live with a new transmitter on May 21, 2010. WNZR’s signal now reaches into bordering counties (Licking, Morrow, and Richland). WNZR also streams online at and has a smartphone app available on both the Google Play/Android platform and on the iTunes App Store.

WNZR is funded through support from the university’s general academic budget, donations from listeners, and underwriting support from area businesses and organizations. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, broadcasting primarily an Adult Contemporary (AC) Christian music format, along with a variety of Christian teaching programs and athletic events. Core music artists at WNZR include Natalie Grant, Chris Tomlin, Casting Crowns, Third Day, MercyMe, Toby Mac, Jeremy Camp, Mandisa, Building 429, Steven Curtis Chapman, Francesca Battistelli, For King & Country, and the Newsboys.

Student life
Enrollment in 2018 consisted of 2,243 students, 1,405 of whom were traditional and 838 non-traditional undergraduates.[2] 15% of students represented racial minorities, 92% of students were from the state of Ohio, 23% were associated with the Church of the Nazarene, 63% were female, and 36% were male. 72% of students lived on campus.

While on campus, students participate in student-led small groups, chapel services, mission trips, and community service groups organized and directed by upperclassmen. Counseling, Career Services, and Student Health Services are available to students at no cost.

The Student Government Association (SGA) is responsible for many of the events that take place on campus. It consists of 13 members who are responsible for various aspects of community life, from planning events to influencing policies on important issues. These members are elected yearly by the student body and include a president of each class, social, community and spiritual life, and other areas. Members of the SGA participate in meetings with the board of trustees, faculty, staff, and administration. In past years, the SGA has been responsible for the end of the year Block Party and a change in policy that allowed more open dorm hours for the residence halls and apartment living areas.

Some campus events and traditions that take place annually are Welcome Week, Oaktoberfest, SonFest, and Block Party. Welcome Week includes activities such as a luau and dime-a-dog for sporting events. Oaktoberfest takes place on the lawn in front of Oakwood Hall and features hay rides, s’mores, and pumpkin carving. SonFest is one of the region’s largest Christian music concerts, with yearly attendance numbering in the thousands. Taking place on the campus of MVNU, the event has previously featured popular artists that include Family Force Five,[24] Plumb, Building 429, Switchfoot, and Lecrae. The Block Party is held to celebrate the end of the year and is hosted by the SGA. Loud music and outdoor games are signature attractions of this event.


MVNU’s soccer team

Mount Vernon Nazarene teams are known as the Cougars. They are members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Crossroads League, formerly known as the Mid-Central College Conference (MCCC). MVNU competes in 20 varsity sports, including men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball, softball, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s track and field, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s bowling, men’s lacrosse, cheerleading and esports. MVNU will add men’s volleyball as a varsity sport for the 2020-21 season, with the sport spending the 2019-20 season as a club.

MVNU hosts most of their sports at on-campus facilities, the newest of which is Ariel Arena. Opened in 2013, the arena was funded by the Ariel Corporation and is named for it. The main arena seats 2,100 for athletic events and 3,000 for concerts, performances and other events. The arena is attached to MVNU’s older gymnasium, formerly known as the Physical Education Center, which provides auxiliary courts for practices. The arena also hosts a cardio center, weight room, athletics offices and classrooms. MVNU also has a baseball field built next to Ariel Arena, and a softball field and tennis courts found west of Martinsburg Road.

In addition to current facilities, MVNU has begun (2019) construction on a new soccer and lacrosse complex on the north side of campus. The new facility will feature a turf field, lights, grandstand seating for 500 spectators, locker rooms and additional amenities. The project is part of a larger community area that will include five grass soccer fields, and is built next to a new indoor facility being built by Mount Vernon High School. MVNU and MVHS will share access to both the soccer and lacrosse stadium and the indoor facility.

In 2018-19, MVNU saw great success on the field. The Cougars’ men’s basketball program returned to the NAIA Division II National Tournament for the first time since 2009, reaching the second round. MVNU also had a number of NAIA All-Americans, most notably Mitchell Soviak, who won the NAIA Men’s Outdoor Track and Field National Championship in shot put.

MVNU also supports a wide variety of intramural sports, such as tennis, softball, sand volleyball, indoor volleyball and flag football.

mount vernon nazarene university tuition


Residential StudentFallSpringTotal
Student Fee$125$125$250
TOTAL Direct Costs$21,055$21,055$42,110
Student Fee$125$125$250
TOTAL Direct Costs$16,432$16,432$32,864


Residential StudentFallSpringTotal
Personal & Miscellaneous$1,450$1,450$2,900
Loan Fee$27$27$54
TOTAL Indirect Costs$2,677$2,677$5,354
Commuter Living w/o ParentFallSpringTotal
Personal & Miscellaneous$1,450$1,450$2,900
Loan Fee$27$27$54
TOTAL Indirect Costs$5,277$5,277$10,554
Commuter Living w/ ParentFallSpringTotal
Personal & Miscellaneous$1,450$1,450$2,900
Loan Fee$27$27$54
TOTAL Indirect Costs$3,027$3,027$6,054

Indirect costs are estimated costs incurred by the student while attending Mount Vernon Nazarene University. These costs are estimated based on data collected from the area surrounding MVNU.


The charge for tuition allows students to carry 12 to 18 hours each semester. A tuition overload fee of $906 is charged for each credit hour over 18 in fall or spring. Students enrolled in less than 12 hours in fall or spring pay part-time tuition of $906 per credit hour. Summer school tuition is offered at a reduced rate.

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