University of Mount Olive Ignites Career for Fire Chief

WILMINGTON – Dorian Flowers, Fire Chief for the City of Hendersonville, North Carolina, has a wonderful testimony he likes to share. “University of Mount Olive transformed my life by providing me the opportunity to go back to college and earn a four year degree, which I may not have had the opportunity to complete otherwise. In fact, because of the success I experienced at University of Mount Olive, I decided to pursue my master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in fire service administration.”
Flowers attended University of Mount Olive at Wilmington, where he studied in an accredited academic program designed for working adults. MOC at Wilmington uses an innovative approach to provide the college experience—small classes meet only one night each week, and most are only five weeks in length. “Like me, many adult learners that are currently working a full-time job sometimes feel that they cannot return to college to earn a degree,” explained Flowers. “I was in the same boat. It was not until I found University of Mount Olive that I truly felt like it was possible for me to return to college.”
Flowers’ transformational journey began simply by word of mouth. “My friend and coworker, Chris Johnson, told me about MOC, explained how the program worked and encouraged me to check it out. Once I realized how well it was designed for the working adult, I decided to apply.” Johnson and Flowers graduated together in December 2010.
Flowers, a 37 year old Wilmington native, majored in business administration with a concentration in management and organizational development.  After graduating, he applied for the prestigious position of Fire Chief for the City of Hendersonville. “There were more than 100 applicants who applied for the position,” said Flowers. “The education I received helped me tremendously. First, it helped me to compete successfully in an executive assessment process for the position of Fire Chief. Secondly, it gave me the skills and knowledge to be successful in upper level management. The program was a perfect fit with my career.”
Flowers has recently been accepted into the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program. It is a four year program that requires two weeks of on campus study per year and a research paper for each of the four years.  He also recently completed his Fire Officer IV certification.
Flowers and his wife Michelle have one child, Leah. Flowers will set a proud example for his daughter when he earns his master’s degree in December. “To me, University of Mount Olive provides the opportunity; you just have to accept the challenge. If I can complete my degree while working full-time, sometimes more than 60 hours a week and balancing family obligations including raising a seven year old daughter, anyone can.”
At University of Mount Olive at Wilmington academic programs leading to a bachelor’s degree include the following:  Criminal Justice and Criminology, Business Management, Early Childhood Education (licensure and non-licensure option),  , Human Resource Management and Health Care Management. For the adult with little or no college credit, the Associate in General Studies offers the core courses needed for an associate’s degree.
Because members of the non-traditional programs at University of Mount Olive are considered full-time students, if they qualify, they can receive a significant amount of financial aid. “Our goal is to help students find adequate financial resources to attend University of Mount Olive,” states Katrina Lee, director of Financial Aid. “By combining institutional scholarships and grant programs with federal and state assistance and installment payment options, MOC makes college possible for deserving and qualified students.”
 “It’s all about packaging our programs to meet the needs of our students,” states Dr. Marna McMurry, director of the University of Mount Olive at Wilmington.  “Just because students have passed the ‘traditional’ age of going to college, shouldn’t mean they have burnt their bridge to a degree.  At University of Mount Olive, we have been successful by working strategically to offer an exceptional student experience, being flexible to their needs and providing more diverse program options.”
For more information, contact Marna McMurry at 1-855-MOC-Goal or email
University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The College, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Goldsboro, Research Triangle Park, Washington and Jacksonville.  For more information, visit