Agreement could be an issue in Montreat merger

mcBy Julie Ball

MONTREAT — An agreement between Montreat College and the association that runs the Montreat Conference Center could play a role in the college’s plans to merge with Georgia-based Point University.

Montreat and Point officials announced in July that the two schools had agreed to pursue a merger. The combined school would be called Point University.

Montreat has struggled with finances during the economic downturn, laying off 29 full-time employees last year. But the merger announcement sparked some criticism from alumni who have questioned whether the college considered all other options.

The merger still needs approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, which has accredited both schools.

The Montreat Conference Center, which is governed by the Mountain Retreat Association, is the largest conference center related to the Presbyterian Church, according to Tanner Pickett, with the Montreat Conference Center.

The college has long had ties to the conference center, and both are affiliated with the Presbyterian Church.