Bryan Students Graduate with Lower Debt, Says Ranking

Lowest Debt BurdenDecember 15, 2015 – In a recent ranking released by Christian Universities Online, Bryan College placed an astounding no. 2 in “Top 50 Christian Colleges & Universities with the Lowest Debt Burden 2016.”

According to Christian Universities Online, this newest ranking “seeks to provide useful data to parents and students who are endeavoring to make an informed decision in choosing the best Christian institution to meet their needs.”

“Understanding that the long term impact which student loan debt can have on a graduate, this ranking attempts to highlight schools that have done an excellent job in caring for their students not only academically, but also financially,” the ranking’s website says.

Vice President of Finance and Enrollment Rick Taphorn noted, “Bryan College is an institution that not only provides students with an excellent education from a biblical worldview, but also does so while empowering students to graduate with a lower debt than many other Christian colleges and universities. We are honored to receive this ranking, which reflects this fact.”

This ranking’s methodology took into account public data from U.S. News & World Report and required schools to be members or member eligible of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). Bryan has been included in Christian Universities Online’s “Most Affordable” ranking for two consecutive years.

Written by Chloe Ann Townsend ’13, assistant director of marketing, 423.775.7206;

Bryan in Review: Sept. 19-23

See what happened on campus this week with this collection of photos, stories, and other highlights from our social media accounts!
Compiled by Curtis Jolley, Social Media and Communications Coordinator

Bryan in Review: Sept. 12-16, 2016

See what happened on campus this week with this collection of photos, stories, and other highlights from our social media accounts!
Compiled by Curtis Jolley, Social Media and Communications Coordinator

Pianist Jerico Vasquez Leads Off Guest Artist Series

PR 1094 Jerico Vasquez-5Performance: September 16 – 7:30 p.m.
Rudd Auditorium

September 8 – Renowned concert pianist, Jerico Vasquez, will lead off Bryan College’s Guest Artist Series presented by the Fine and Performing Arts Department. The concert, held in Rudd Auditorium, starts at 7:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

“This piano recital will be a special treat for lovers of Romantic and Impressionist styles of music,” said Dr. Olivia Ellis, Assistant Professor of Music. “The demanding program of Rachmaninoff and Debussy selections will showcase the range and capabilities of the modern piano.”

Known for his “effortless playing” and “exceptionally clear and bright technique,” Dr. Vasquez has performed as a concerto soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician in the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Philippines. He received his bachelor of music at the University of California at Santa Barbara and earned both his master of music and doctor of musical arts degrees in piano performance from the University of Texas at Houston. Currently, Dr. Vasquez serves as Artist-in-Residence/Associate Professor of Music and Coordinator of the Keyboard Program at Shorter University.

Dr. Vasquez is a winner of the UCSB Concerto Competition and has received career grants from the Pillsbury Foundation, the Santa Barbara Performing Arts Foundation, and the Léni Fe Bland Foundation. He was also a recipient of Ojai Festival’s prestigious Charlotte and Alvin Bronstein Award, Capitol Record’s Nat King Cole Memorial Award, and the University of California Regents Scholarship. He is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honorary Society.

The evening’s program will include Claude Debussy’s Préludes, Book 1 and Sergei Rachmaninov’s Sonata No. 2 in B-flat Minor, Op. 36.


Written by Curtis Jolley, Social Media and Communications Coordinator

Bryan College Earns Several National Rankings

DCIM101GOPROSeptember 6, 2016 – Over the past few months, Bryan College has continued to garner national recognition and make its way onto several prestigious rankings. Here are some recent highlights:

#2 – “Best Online Program in Tennessee” by

“All courses at Bryan are taught from a Christian worldview and are designed to foster growth and spiritual devotion to Christ.”

#7 – “25 Most Beautiful Christian Colleges and Universities in the South” by

“Bryan College is situated on a beautiful, rural 125 acre campus which is nestled in the beautiful mountains of Tennessee. Bryan College’s campus is well planned, lush green lawns and an abundance of deciduous trees.”

#9 – “60 Most Affordable Accredited Online Christian Colleges and Universities” by

#9 – “20 Best College Deals for Conservative Christians” by  

#15 – “25 Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Administration Programs” by

#24 – “25 Best Christian Colleges and Universities in the South” by

#43 – “Lowest Student Loan Debt for 4-Year Colleges and Universities” by

#47 – “2017 Best Value Online Business Degrees” by

“If you want to study at a Christian institution where religious worldviews are incorporated into the curriculum and also earn an ACBSP-accredited degree, the Bryan College Bachelor of Science in Business Administration may be a great fit and value for you.”


Written by Curtis Jolley, Social Media and Communications Coordinator

Bryan Freshman Becomes Youngest Elected Official in Tennessee History

Bailey Hufstetler (2 of 1)September 5, 2016 – Among the many new faces on campus this year, one freshman in particular has been quick to make an impact on campus and a difference in the community. At the age of 18, Bailey Hufstetler was recently elected as Spring City Commissioner and in doing so, became the youngest public office holder in Tennessee history.

Hufstetler, a Politics and Government major and Class of 2016 Rhea County High School graduate, took office on September 1 – just 10 days after attending his first college class. Some of his daily responsibilities include: signing checks, approving budgets, and responding to citizen complaints.

“What really convinced me to run for this office was that I wanted to show young people that we can make a difference,” Hufstetler said. “One of my goals is to get more young people involved in local government and voting. It was tough running at such a young age, however once the community saw what I stood for, they became confident in having a young person involved.”

When not in class, you can often find Bailey working in the Admissions Office as the Campus Visit Coordinator Assistant, a job he started over the summer. He also volunteers at the Tennessee Valley Theatre and the non-profit corporation Angels and Heroes — a child abuse prevention organization he founded while still in high school.

“Bailey represents a generation of young Americans who can choose to make a difference,” said Joshua Hood, Director of Admissions. “Serving in public office is a great way to enact positive change in one’s community, and I’m proud of Bailey for pursuing this position at such a young age. Bailey has already proven himself to be an invaluable asset to our team. I’m excited to see all the opportunities God brings his way as a student at Bryan College.”

When asked how he manages juggling his wide array of responsibilities, Hufstetler replied, “with a lot of praying and a lot of organization.”

After graduating from Bryan, Hufstetler has his sights set on going to law school and pursuing a career as an attorney. He also hopes to continue his career in politics and run for other public offices along the way.

“I think that Bryan College will help me achieve my goals by preparing me not only academically, but also spiritually,” Hufstetler said. “By helping me develop a more in-tune relationship with God, I can use that to help guide me with decisions I make as I sit on the governing body of the city.”

Written by Curtis Jolley, Social Media and Communications Coordinator

Upcoming Events for Prospective Students Offer Glimpse into Bryan Life

IMG_1077September 1, 2016 – Making a college choice can sometimes be a stressful task and one that’s hard to base off information alone. Thankfully, Bryan has several upcoming events in September designed to give prospective students an immersive experience of what a day in the life as a Bryan student is like. You’ve read the brochures, now step on campus to see it come to life for yourself!

Labor Day on the Hill | Sept. 5, 2016; 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

This event allows students the opportunity to sit in on actual Bryan classes, a chapel service, talk with an admission representative, and eat lunch in the dining hall. Students will also have the chance to interact with professors and current students. You can register here. Registration closes on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016.

Homeschool Visitation Day | Sept. 15, 2016; 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

At this event designed specifically for homeschool families, students will have the opportunity to attend special workshops taught by Bryan College faculty and staff to give them a glimpse of what a Christ-centered liberal arts education is like. Tim Echols, founder of TeenPact, and homeschooling father of a Bryan alum, will be the guest speaker. Students can also sit in on regular Bryan classes, eat lunch in the dining hall, and experience a campus tour. Bonus activities include a screening of the film The Freshman (1925) at 4:30 p.m. and cheering on the Bryan women’s volleyball team at 7 p.m. Families are welcome to attend; however, please reserve the formal registration for students who are 15 years old or older. You can register hereRegistration closes on Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. For more information, please contact Pat Wesolowski, Homeschool Specialist.

The Mane Event | Sept. 29; 4 p.m. – Sept. 30; 2 p.m.

The Mane Event is an overnight event where high school students arrive in the afternoon, enjoy dinner in our dining hall, and participate in campus life that evening (overnight student guests must be at least 16 years old). The following day, they attend classes, tour campus, meet faculty, and learn more about admissions and financial aid. Other activities are included for both students and parents. You can register here.


All events are free and available for high school students.


Written by Curtis Jolley, Social Media and Communications Coordinator


Class of 2020 Poised to be Difference Makers on Campus

IMG_3603August 30, 2016 – As the Bryan College Class of 2020 begins a new chapter in their lives, their arrival also marks a new chapter in the history of the school. This group of students is the first to have The Bryan Difference Maker program in place as they made their college choice as incoming freshman.  

“We are so excited to have the Class of 2020 on campus and to see how The Bryan Difference Maker will allow them to further make a difference in today’s competitive workforce after they graduate,” said Rick Taphorn, Vice President of Finance and Enrollment.

The Bryan Difference Maker, which was introduced in the fall of 2015, offers students the opportunity to earn a master’s degree tuition-free after earning their bachelor’s degree on campus. Students must graduate from Bryan with a minimum 3.5 GPA in order to qualify.

For many students, this unique incentive heavily influenced their decision to attend Bryan in the fall over other schools. One such student is Hope York, who switched her decision to Bryan over the summer after learning about The Bryan Difference Maker and the school’s heralded biology program.

Another such student is Rumbi Mchargue, a Central City, Neb., native currently majoring in psychology.

The Bryan Difference Maker is a remarkable idea and actually what hooked me into coming to Bryan,” Mchargue said. “I made a goal in 7th grade to graduate college with no debt. When I applied to Bryan I was going to be a psychology major and getting my master’s degree was a must. I had no clue about the value of money, so when I got to the end of my senior year and really looked at the cost of college, it hit hard that I most likely wouldn’t be able to achieve my childhood goal. Then two days before my high school graduation, I got a call from my admissions counselor, Maggie, and she told me about The Bryan Difference Maker, bringing hope back to my dream. Many people told me it was impossible, but I have seen the Lord work in marvelous ways.”

The Class of 2020 features 209 freshmen, a 25 percent increase from the year before. The College is hopeful to see these numbers continue to rise as more prospective students learn about The Bryan Difference Maker and how it distinguishes Bryan from other schools in the area.  

The Class also features students from 20 states and two countries outside of the United States. Eight of the students received the President’s Merit Scholarship, the highest merit-based scholarship the school offers. Other statistics for the new Class include an average ACT score of 24 and an average high school GPA of 3.67.

For more information about Bryan’s master’s programs, please visit here.


Written by Curtis Jolley, Social Media and Communications Coordinator

Bryan College Ranked in the Top 10 of Most Affordable Online Christian Colleges

IMG_0323August 25, 2016 – Bryan College continues to earn national recognition and acclaim for its online Adult and Graduate Studies (AGS) program. The latest honor ranks Bryan no. 9 in a list of the “60 Most Affordable Accredited Online Colleges and Universities” by

“This ranking reflects Bryan’s continued commitment to our online program and the goal to make the program as accessible as possible to working adults,” said Rick Taphorn, Vice President of Finance and Enrollment. “We understand that paying for college can be a daunting task, but our program allows for financial flexibility while providing a top-notch, Christ-centered education.”

From the article:

“The Adult and Graduate Studies sector of Bryan offers three fully online undergraduate programs: an associate of business; BS in applied psychology, and a BS in business administration. As for the online graduate degree programs, Bryan offers an MA in Christian ministry, an MBA, a master of education, and numerous graduate certificates.”

An estimated 95 percent of Bryan students receive financial aid to help fund their education. Many of them also receive merit-based scholarships from outside sources.

“This list is for students seeking a well-rounded, affordable Christ-centered education online,” said Gabrielle Gibeily, researcher and author, in a news release.

Written by Curtis Jolley, Social Media and Communications Coordinator


Retraction: [Psychology 3+2 Program with Richmont Receives Accreditation]

August 25, 2016 – It was recently brought to the attention of Bryan College that an article published recently by the college might have contained misleading or unintentionally inaccurate statements. We apologize for the inconvenience of the inaccuracies contained within the original publication. The official news release published by Richmont Graduate University may be read on Richmont’s website. More information about CACREP can be found at Below are clarifications to the statements made within Bryan College’s original article.

·      The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP) is a graduate-level counseling program accrediting agency. The Richmont Graduate University Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate program is the specific program that received CACREP accreditation. The Psychology program at Bryan College was not part of the accreditation review and is not included in the CACREP accreditation status.

·      The Marriage and Family Therapy and any additional programs offered by Richmont Graduate University are separate from the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, and were not included in the CACREP review process.  The Marriage and Family Therapy and School Counseling programs are not included in the CACREP accreditation.

·      The article indicated that the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program prepares students to meet professional standards set by the psychology profession. CACREP Standards are representative of the counseling profession, not the psychology profession.

·      The article misstated CACREP’s retroactive recognition policy. The terms of the policy for retroactive recognition of program graduates applies to graduates of Richmont Graduate University’s CACREP accredited version of Clinical Mental Health Counseling program going back 18 months from accreditation; specifically to January 7, 2015.

·      The article mistakenly stated that graduates will earn a “CACREP-certified degree.” Accreditation and certification are different processes overseen by different agencies. Certification generally applies to individuals, whereas accreditation applies to academic programs. CACREP accreditation does not provide or include certification of any kind to graduates.

Written by Britney Wyatt, director of marketing

Fitness Center Installed in Latimer

The new fitness center offers a spectacular view of the mountains while students exercise.

August 19, 2016 – When students aren’t in class this coming school year, you may find them working out at the new fitness center located on the third floor of the Latimer Student Center.

The repurposed space features brand-new exercise equipment including: five treadmills, three elliptical machines, two stationary bikes, a rowing machine, and a lateral trainer, and various other exercise machines. The area also includes an aerobics room with ample floor space, medicine ball tower, and an on-demand video kiosk featuring hundreds of instructional exercise programs available for free.

“Our goal for this project was to provide an optimal experience for students while they’re on campus, which includes their physical well-being as well as their spiritual and academic well-being,” said Tim Hostetler, Vice President of Student Services and Ministries.

Renovations took place over the summer and were finished in time for the arrival of students in August. The idea for the fitness center stemmed from a request proposed by the Student Government Association (SGA) to provide students with a space to better promote an active lifestyle on campus.

The center is open to all students, faculty, and staff during Latimer’s posted hours of operation. Students will continue to be able to use the workout facilities located on the upper level of the Summers Athletic Complex.

Funding for the project was provided through generous donations from the Board of Trustees.


Written by Curtis Jolley, Social Media and Communications Coordinator