Center for Outdoor Leadership

th outdoor

The Center for Outdoor Leadership (COL) provides experiential education programs utilizing outdoor adventure recreation, challenge course facilitation, and co-curricular programs. Our focus is to create and inspire new leaders in a modern society. COL furthers the liberal arts education of students, faculty, and greater Pfeiffer community through opportunities designed to promote personal growth, social interaction and environmental stewardship.

COL Outdoor Adventure Experiences are designed to utilize local natural resources; past experiences have included backpacking, sea kayaking, caving, canoeing, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and a variation of service projects. Each experience is led by student leaders and professional staff members trained to provide each participant, from beginner to advanced, with a safe and memorable adventure. For a complete list of scheduled Outdoor Adventure Experiences, please click on Upcoming Events.

Our Experiential Education & Leadership Development programs are custom designed to meet the developmental goals of each organization (student, athletic, academic, nonprofit, as well as corporate). Activities used in our programs maybe incorporated on our low ropes challenge course, located on the Misenheimer campus, or by our portable activities that can be utilized in the classroom or conference center. For more information, please contact Matt Lattis – Director of the Center for Outdoor Leadership, about or Experiential Education & Leadership Development Programs, located in J. L. Stokes Building at Pfeiffer University’s, Misenheimer campus.

Confucius Institute at Pfeiffer

th confuciousThe Confucius Institute at Pfeiffer University promotes understanding of the Chinese language and culture through education, cultural exchange and consultation services. One of 64 nonprofit Confucius Institute sites in the U.S. (and 325 worldwide) established over the past decade by the Chinese government's Office of Chinese Language Promotion, the site at Pfeiffer was introduced in 2006 in response to the increasing need for learning Chinese in the Charlotte region. Pfeiffer University's Charlotte campus hosts one of two Confucius Institute sites in North Carolina; the other is at North Carolina State University.

The Chinese Language Council International (also known as Hanban) began Confucius Institutes throughout the world to promote the teaching of Chinese as a foreign language and to coordinate exchanges in the educational and cultural fields. Most U.S. partners are institutions of higher learning, but they also exist with local school districts and community organizations.

Services offered usually include Chinese language teaching, training Chinese language instructors, providing Chinese language teaching resources, administering the HSK examination (Chinese proficiency test) and tests for the certification of Chinese language teachers.

To learn more, visit the Confucius Institute at Pfeiffer University website or call (704) 237-3366. You can also visit the Institute in person at 4701 Park Rd., Charlotte, N.C. 28209-3217, .

Center for Deacon Education

ImageIn partnership with Wesley Theological Seminary

To provide deacon education and ordination for people of the United Methodist faith in the Carolinas, Pfeiffer University in conjunction with Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., established in 2006 a Center for Deacon Education, an intentional resource for those called to the ministry of the deacon.

Courses offered through the Center for Deacon Education are specifically designed to prepare persons for ministry as deacons. In the United Methodist Church, the Order of Deacon leads the congregation in its servant ministry and equips and supports all baptized Christians in their ministry alongside the order of elder, which focuses on word, sacrament and order.

To learn more, visit the deacon education page on the Wesley Theological Seminary website.

Francis Center for Servant Leadership

The Francis Center for Servant Leadership helps Pfeiffer University fulfill its mission to prepare servant leaders for lifelong learning by coordinating service activities and programs on its various campuses.

Dr. Ashley Oliphant is the faculty fellow for the Francis Center. The faculty fellow and the director of service scholars oversee a wide range of service and civic engagement activities for students, faculty, staff and community members and manage two service scholarships. The Francis Center also coordinates with faculty members to facilitate effective service-learning experiences in Pfeiffer classes.

The University's Bonner AmeriCorps and Francis Scholar programs offer educational awards for students who are committed to long-term engagement in service. Director of Service Scholars Kelly Misiak helps place students in meaningful community partnerships with groups and organizations in surrounding counties and develops service projects for Pfeiffer's campuses. In conjunction with the North Carolina Campus Compact, the Francis Center staff members organize conference opportunities in the fall and spring for students in order to promote the development of civically engaged graduates.

Francis Center staff members coordinate campus-wide educational programs such as Campus Week of Dialogue and Hunger and Homelessness Week in the fall and Servant Leadership Week in the spring. Additionally, the Francis Center sponsors or co-sponsors four free or low-cost alternative break trips each year.

Pfeiffer University is a proud member of the North Carolina Campus Compact and the Bonner Foundation of Princeton, N.J. The University has received the Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement and is a multiple-time recipient of the President's Higher Education Honor Roll award.

Ashley Oliphant web

Kelly Misiak
Dr. Ashley Oliphant
Faculty Fellow
Kelly Misiak
Director, Service Scholars

For more information about scholarship opportunities, service events, community partnerships and faculty development, contact Dr. Ashley Oliphant, faculty fellow of the Francis Center for Servant Leadership and assistant professor of English at (704) 463-3123 or


Wick S. Sharp Learning Center

th wickNamed for a former Pfeiffer president especially committed to the notion that higher education be available to all students with a desire to learn and who are willing to work, the Wick S. Sharp Learning Center, located a 1/2 floor above the cafeteria, offers a variety of academic and support services to help students achieve success in college.
This commitment continues today. Dedicated to honoring the innate value of all learners, the Learning Center provides academic support to assist in traditional students' transitions from high school and the same for nontraditional students as they arrive from community colleges or the workplace. The Learning Center provides academic support throughout the entire "Pfeiffer Experience” as students prepare for graduate and professional schools.

Programs that reinforce basic skills, supplement classroom instruction, and allow students to pursue areas of personal interest  help students ease the academic transition from high school to college by helping them find an efficient approach to studying; sharpen writing skills; increase reading comprehension, vocabulary, and speed; manage math and test anxiety; and improve class performance.

Resources offered:

• Learning specialists to provide counseling and instruction in reading, writing, math, and study skills
• Free tutoring services by certified tutors
• Videotape instruction for basic algebra
• Supplemental Instruction (S.I.) for high risk courses
• English Proficiency Exam review
• Graduate exam preparation; i.e., Praxis, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, GMAT
• Workshops on time and stress management, test taking, study skills, study abroad and other topics
• Special needs assistance (Kurzweil reading system available for visually impaired, international, and learning 
  disabled students)

About Wick S. Sharp

Throughout the economic despair of the Great Depression, Wick S. Sharp, who was President of Pfeiffer Junior College 1933-43 and considered by many to be the “Father of Pfeiffer College," maintained faith that the doors of higher education should remain open to all students who desired to learn and were willing to work to further their dreams. Through creative and far-sighted cooperative work and academic programs, Pfeiffer College helped students overcome often formidable obstacles to continue their academic progress.

Pfeiffer Institute for Marriage and Family Therapy

th pinstThe Pfeiffer Institute for Marriage and Family Therapy (located in Charlotte, N.C.)  and the Pfeiffer Institute for Marriage and Family Therapy Reach (Located in Raleigh, N.C.) are community-based therapy and training clinics that offer qualified and confidential counseling services to individuals, couples and families.

While serving to uphold Pfeiffer University's commitment to community service, the Institute provides valuable opportunities for qualified Pfeiffer University graduate interns of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program, who work with clients in the clinic as a practical part of their graduate training.

In Charlotte, graduate students work under the supervision of Institute Director Jenny Haines and Laura Bryan, PhD, LMFT, AAMFT in Raleigh. Drs. Haines and Bryan are approved supervisors, who help coordinate counseling, education and outreach services and makes sure students complete the required 500 hours of face-to-face clinical field experience before graduation.

Through the application of a variety of therapy approaches and techniques, the Pfeiffer Institute strives to help clients realize and understand longstanding behavior patterns or negative perceptions that may be preventing them from experiencing a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

For more information about the Pfeiffer Institute for Marriage and Family Therapy email or call (704) 945-7324, or visit the Pfeiffer Institute website

For more information about Pfeiffer Institute Reach, located in Raleigh, email or call (919) 941-2900, or visit the Pfeiffer Institute Reach website.

Additional Contact Information (Charlotte)

Pfeiffer Institute for Marriage and Family Therapy
4805 Park Road
Charlotte, N.C. 28209
(704) 945-7324

Monday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Tuesday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Wednesday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Thursday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Additional Contact Information (Raleigh) Hours
Pfeiffer Institute Reach
600 Airport Boulevard, Suite 600
Morrisville, N.C. 27560
(919) 941-2900

Monday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Tuesday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Wednesday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Thursday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.