Cumberland University

Master of Public Service Management (MSP)

The Master of Public Service Management (MSP) degree is offered as a part of Cumberland University’s institutional outreach to provide opportunities for advanced study in fields appropriate to the needs of the community.  The program seeks to provide individuals who have attained the baccalaureate degree, in any field, with an opportunity to acquire advanced expertise while continuing to work full-time during the period of enrollment.

The program-of-study was instituted in 1996 with the first graduates receiving the Master of Public Service Management degree at the May, 1998, graduation.  Enrollment in the (MSP) degree program is limited.  Students who enter the two-year program will attend classes for five (5) consecutive semesters usually sequenced fall-spring-summer-fall-spring. 

Primarily, students are admitted for the incoming class during the fall semester, but other admitted students may become part of the program, on a space available basis, in other terms.

History of Program

The history of Cumberland University reflects the desire on the part of those who have guided the institution through long years of service to meet the changing educational needs of students. Over the years, Cumberland has continued to follow the spirit of its founders by preserving the institution as a small, co-educational, liberal arts based entity.  The University believes that a broad base of education constitutes the best foundation for learning to live in today’s complex world.

The Early Period

John Tyler was President of the United States in 1842 when a group of outstanding leaders, which included the Governor of Tennessee, the district’s representative in the Congress of the United States, and a Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court, founded Cumberland University.  By 1860, the alumni of Cumberland had begun to fill significant places of importance in the rapidly expanding country.

As other happenings in the past had influenced the development of Cumberland, the Civil War also touched it profoundly.  It is reliably said, though perhaps it cannot be proven, that every male student at Cumberland marched away to war.  Most of them followed their “math prof,” A.P. Stewart (later General Stewart), into the Confederate Army, but some followed the principal of the preparatory school, W.J. Grannis, to the Union Army.

After the War Between the States, Cumberland rose again, with the help of distinguished educators, loyal alumni, students, and especially the people of Lebanon.  Before the end of 1866, all of the departments were in operation, in churches and residences for a while, then in scattered buildings along West Main Street.  Memorial Hall was built on the main campus in 1892, and remains the center of the University today.

The Graduates

The University is proud of the accomplishments of the institution in the arena of higher education.  Students have come from every state in the nation and from many foreign countries.  From the thousands of Cumberland alumni who have done the “worlds work,” some could be counted among the “honor roll.”  There have been fifty (50) college and university presidents, over one hundred (100) higher education professors, eighty (80) United States Senators and Representatives, thirteen (13) governors, scores of judges of both the state and federal courts, three (3) United States ambassadors, two (2) Justices of the United States Supreme Court, a Secretary of State of the United States (who also was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize) and numerous ministers and missionaries who carried civilization to the far corners of the world.  Contemporary graduates include top-ranking military officers, corporate leaders, teachers, civil servants, and those who hold professional degrees in law, pharmacy, optometry, dentistry, and medicine.

Cumberland University has a rich and proud heritage and has positioned itself for a dynamic future.  The leaders of tomorrow are being educated at Cumberland today.