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;

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


Annual State of the College Overview

Dr. Livesay - State of the CollegeAugust 18, 2016 – As the new school year approaches, faculty and staff gathered together Tuesday afternoon for the annual State of the College luncheon and presentation by President Livesay. The President spoke about several of the accomplishments made by Bryan College students, faculty, and staff over the summer as well as his vision for the school for 2017 and beyond.

“I’m so thankful for Bryan College and all of our wonderful faculty and staff who make this school a light to proclaim God’s goodness and faithfulness,” said Dr. Stephen Livesay, president of Bryan College. “We continue to be in great position to fulfill our mission of educating students to become servants of Christ to make a difference in today’s world.”

Here are some of the highlights from the President’s presentation:

Campus Renovations:

The Operations department was certainly busy this summer with multiple renovation projects completed throughout campus. Projects include: new fitness center on the third floor of Latimer, new flooring and Starbucks kiosk on the first floor of the library, upgrades to Brock Hall, new weightlifting equipment and turf in the practice gym, Polyclinic repairs, LED lighting conversion, and new garages for the fishing team’s boats.

Technology Upgrades:

The Information Technology (IT) department implemented several technology upgrades that will benefit students, faculty, and staff. Upgrades include: Windows 10 operating system for all campus computers, rewiring of Huston Hall, server improvements, and backend work that will allow for a new campus phone system.

Class of 2020 Statistics:

Dr. Livesay shared his enthusiasm for the incoming Class of 2020 and the impressive achievements they’ve already made in high school. Eight students were recognized as Presidential Merit Scholars and received the highest academic merit scholarship available from Bryan. Other statistics include:

Total number of students: 255

Average high school GPA: 3.67

Average ACT/SAT conversion score: 24

States represented: 20

Countries represented: 5

International Service Ministries:

Several students from Bryan spent their summer serving at various international ministries to make a difference in today’s world and put their faith into action. Fourteen students served as part of the Acts Project in 10 different countries including: Ireland, Jordan, Moldova, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Spain, Cambodia, Israel, Italy, and India. Another group of 14 students participated in the Center for International Development at five project locations in Central Europe. These included: the Central European Entrepreneurship Project (Slovakia), the Central European Women and Children’s Issues Internship Program (Slovakia), the Raiffeisen Bank International Internship Program (Slovakia), the Austrian Red Cross (Austria), and the Pro Mente Burgerland (Austria). All students had the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of their faith and share the Gospel through word and deed.

Fort Bluff Camp Acquisition:

Dr. Livesay announced that Bryan College is now the official owner of the Fort Bluff Camp property located in Dayton, just six miles away from campus. Under the new agreement, Bryan College will own all of the land and building assets while leasing the camp’s day-to-day management and operation to the National Association of Christian Athletes (NACA), which is headquartered at Fort Bluff and hosts several athletic tournaments and events at the camp.

The property is used year-round and includes a wide array of facilities such as an air-conditioned gymnasium, 600-seat auditorium, 250-foot water slide, four football fields and housing for more than 800 campers which includes a beautiful 250-bed lodge. Fort Bluff is seated on Dayton mountain overlooking the Tennessee River Valley and located roughly six miles from Bryan’s campus.

“This is an exciting day and opportunity for Bryan College,” Livesay said. “With this comes responsibility to faithfully continue the camp’s mission of sharing the Gospel through many venues.”


Written by Curtis Jolley, social media and communications coordinator



Trio of Students Participate in Service Internship in Central Europe

Rebecca McConkey (far right)

Rebecca McConkey (far right)

August 9, 2016 – While some students used their summer break to catch up on sleep and relax, three students from Bryan College traveled to Bratislava, Slovakia in central Europe to serve Christ and Make a Difference in today’s world.

Paige Mishler, Peter Hodgson, and Rebecca McConkey participated in a two-week internship program working with organizations such as the Women’s Safe House, Duha Crisis Center, Vrakuna Children’s Club, and the Slovak Ministry of Labour. The students had the opportunity to meet and share their faith with many people they met along the way, including several children.

“The children I worked with were inspiring, because they appreciated the small things in life and didn’t take them for granted,” Mishler said. “Even though there was a language barrier, we were still able to communicate by showing them the love of God.”

“I will never forget the faces of those children at the crisis center,” McConkey said. “The children were radiant with joy, but underneath that was a brokenness that could only be healed with the love of Jesus Christ that we were sharing.”

In addition to service opportunities, the students had the opportunity to explore some of beautiful central Europe and experience some of the local culture. McConkey took a 15 km hike along the Slovak/Polish border with a Bratislava church group that took them through three different mountains.

Bryan College has had a long relationship with the Duha Crisis Center that allows Bryan interns to work at the center while Duha employees can come to the United States to train with agencies that deal with domestic violence.

Written by Curtis Jolley, social media and communications coordinator


Bryan College Ranked Among Most Beautiful Campuses in the South

Photo by Curtis Jolley

Photo by Curtis Jolley

August 2, 2016 – If you’ve ever stepped foot on Bryan College’s 125-acre campus, you quickly realized what beautiful and breathtaking scenery the school has to offer. certainly thought so as they recently ranked Bryan the no. 7 “Most Beautiful Christian Colleges and Universities in the South” for 2017.

From the article:

“Bryan College is situated on a beautiful, rural 125-acre campus which is nestled in the beautiful mountains of Tennessee. Bryan College’s architectural style is more contemporary, favoring clean lines; the College’s signature chapel building (featured in the logo) features three large arches with tall glass windows. Bryan College’s campus is well planned, has lush green lawns, and an abundance of deciduous trees. Located next to Chickamauga Lake, Bryan College also borders the Dayton Municipal Park. The campus fits in well with its natural surroundings.”

The ranking was based off criteria that included: continuity of campus, architectural style, signature building, and natural setting. The scores in each category were standardized and combined to rank the top 25 schools. Many other schools from Tennessee made the list including Carson-Newman University, Union University, and Travecca Nazarene University.

“The Lord has blessed us with a beautiful location in a wonderful part of the country and a quality staff that is truly committed to making our campus the best possible living and learning environment for our students,” said Tim Hostetler, vice president of student services and ministries. “I am glad to see the results of their efforts recognized by those outside the Bryan College community.”

To take a virtual tour of Bryan’s campus, visit here.

Written by Curtis Jolley, social media and communications coordinator


Best online business administration program

July 25, 2016 – Bryan College was recently ranked the no. 15 Best Online Program for its online bachelor’s degree in business administration by This is the fourth of similar rankings that Bryan College has received in the past two months.2016 Best Online Bachelor's in Business Award assembled the list based on schools that “have demonstrated a commitment to academic excellence, positive learning outcomes, diverse course offerings and a positive online classroom experience for web-based students.”

Benton Jones, director of Bryan’s online bachelor of business administration program, contributes the Christian worldview teaching style for the program’s national recognition, even though the list was not specifically created for Christian institutions.

“It is an honor to be recognized as a leader in online business education,” Jones said. “We have students from all industries who see the value in an accredited degree taught from a Christian worldview.”

The online bachelor’s in business administration at Bryan College was started in 2011 and consists of a six-week accelerated class schedule that allows working adults to focus on one subject at a time while juggling a busy schedule. The program also allows students to increase their earning potential, qualify for the next promotion opportunity and develop an ethical framework while integrating Christian principles into the workplace.

For more information about the bachelor’s degree in business administration or other online programs, please visit our Adult and Graduate Studies

Written by: Drew Morrison, marketing communications coordinator

25 Best Christian Colleges and Universities in the South

25-Best-Christian-Colleges-and-Universities-In-The-South-2017-223x300July 8, 2016 – Christian Universities Online has ranked Bryan College in the top 25 Best Christian Colleges and Universities in the South. This is Bryan College’s first ranking for the year 2017, and it comes in the wake of receiving two other rankings, for #2 Best Online Program in Tennessee and #9 Best College Deals.

Bryan College has made the list alongside much larger schools such as Liberty University and Carson Newman University, despite any size dissimilarity. Christian Universities Online says the schools that made the list “are the best of the best when it comes to overall quality, affordability, and student satisfaction.”

“I think it’s unique,” says Bryan College sophomore, Hannah Ledford. “It’s different because it’s smaller and more intimate with a family aspect, a quality that a lot of bigger colleges don’t have. It’s the best hybrid between the two.”

Senior Olivia Kezer, the 2016-17 Student Body President, also commented, “People recognize and appreciate the things that make Bryan distinct. They see the community, the education, the professors’ open door policy, and the school’s commitment to its motto–all clear testaments to the heart of the college. These things, tangible and intangible, are reasons why BC stands out. It’s a special place for so many reasons, and it’s exciting to see those reasons recognized by others.”

The college is honored to receive another ranking and looks forward to continue to live out its mission statement “Educating students to become servants of Christ to make a difference in today’s world” in the years to come.

Written by Drew Morrison, Communications Coordinator

English Professor Publishes First Textbook

"American Literature" first textbook published by Dr. Whit JonesJuly 1, 2016 – Dr. Whit Jones has been working at Bryan College for over 24 years and has taught a wide array of English classes from freshman to senior level courses. 4 years of teaching high school English and homeschooling his four children round out Dr. Jones’ evident desire to instill the passion for respecting and understanding literature to everyone he teaches. This unique blend of credentials is why he was approached by Apologia, a respected publisher of widely used textbooks for Christian homeschool students, to write a Literature textbook.

American Literature, the first published literature textbook by Apologia, is 844 pages full of vivid written imagery and deep analytical thought. One of the main reasons Dr. Jones wanted to publish this book, was to combat the idea that Christians are unable to learn anything from non-Christian authors.

“Good literature fleshes out biblical truth,” says Jones. “The nice thing about how literature fleshes out truth is it doesn’t just tell us the truth abstractly, it gives us a picture of it. It makes learning the truth fun because we are learning it through stories and characters that we are drawn into. It makes the connection between the head and the heart, because we not only understand the truth, but we feel it in our gut.…and are then motivated a lot of times to carry out that truth and live it.”

Designed for high schoolers in tenth or eleventh grade, American Literature organizes the study of great literary works by historical ages, enabling the reader to travel through time and easily analyze the changes throughout history. At the end of each literary work there is also a series of questions that Dr. Jones says apply the Socratic Method to help the student carefully analyze and interpret the work, ideally ending with the student examining the work’s meaning and statement about life, from a Christian perspective. Students are also given access to the correct answers for all of the questions at the end of each work, giving students the ability to compare their answers. Additionally, the book comes with a student notebook that is filled with chapter and semester tests as well as instructions on how to cultivate a deeper level of literary analysis.

American Literature can be purchased on the Apologia website.

Written by Drew Morrison, Marketing Communications Coordinator

Edited on July 5, 2016

Great College Deal For Conservative Christians

Great College Deal 2016 SealJune 22, 2016 – Bryan College was recently ranked the #9 Great College Deal for Conservative Christians by Bryan College was selected based on its low net price and faith-based focus. The Christian worldview, Bible and Christ-centered academics, numerous campus groups dedicated to worship and the balance of liberal arts education and spiritual growth opportunity earned Bryan College the #9 spot on this competitive list. The list is made to be a guide for students of Christian faith in search of the best return on investment in their education.

This award joins several other rankings earned by Bryan College in 2016, including three additional rankings in the top 10. named Bryan the #2 Lowest Debt Burden and #9 Best Value out of the top 50 Christian colleges and universities of 2016. In addition, Bryan’s online program was ranked the #2 Best Online Program in Tennessee by These recognitions, in addition to the numerous rankings and awards of previous years, illustrate Bryan College’s dedication to high-quality Christian education.

“It’s exciting to see Bryan College recognized for not only the lowest debt and some of the best online programs, but now to have our entire program recognized as a great value for students,” said President Stephen Livesay. “It evidences the expertise of our academic offerings as well as the overall benefit of a Bryan education. As a Christ centered college, I have no doubt that Bryan College offers an exceptional education for people who are serious about their faith and doing well in their academic disciplines and vocation that God has called them to.”

Bryan College, located in Dayton, TN, has over 1500 online and residential students and offers 25 majors with 49 unique fields of study and 3 graduate programs with 8 options and 2 certificates. The college mission is “Educating students to become servants of Christ to make a difference in today’s world.”

Written by Drew Morrison, Communications Coordinator

Bryan College #2 Best Online Program in Tennessee

#2 Best Online Program in Tennessee 2016June 6, 2016 – Bryan College was recently named the #2 Best Online Program in the state of Tennessee by The college offers 3 undergraduate online programs with 6 options, 3 graduate online programs with 8 specialization options, and 2 graduate certificates. All online programs are accessible from anywhere in the world and taught from a Christian worldview.

Bryan College is more than just an online school. The Bryan College campus can be found in the beautiful hills of Dayton, TN and was founded in 1930. As a result, students can have confidence in an online education backed up by a long history of excellence in on-campus Christian education. The college mission is “Educating students to become servants of Christ to make a difference in today’s world”. This mission is emblazoned across campus and is central to every aspect of the college.

Students in the online program are able to attend all of their classes from the convenience of their own home or office, while still having access to resources traditionally offered to on-campus students. Resources include academic advisement and support, tutoring, library and more. In addition, online students have the opportunity of attending school plays, recitals, concerts, homecoming and sporting events, and walking across the stage in front of friends and family to receive their degree.

To celebrate this prestigious ranking, Bryan College is offering an application fee waiver to students who apply to an online program before Friday, June 10. Simply enter the code BestOnline when submitting an application.

About Bryan College

Bryan College is a private, non-profit, Christian liberal arts institution located in Dayton, TN. Bryan College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and offers 25 majors with 49 unique fields of study and 3 graduate programs with 8 options and 2 certificates. The Bryan motto, “Christ Above All” can not only be found emblazoned on the college logo but also pursued in the lives of Bryan faculty, staff, students, and alumni. To learn more, visit

Written by Britney M. Wyatt, director of marketing, 423.775.7327,

Class of 2016 Graduates May 14

Grad2May 16, 2016 — On May 14, a day of balmy temperatures and abundant sunshine, the Class of 2016 finally turned their tassels and beamed as Bryan College conferred upon them their well earned degrees. College president Dr. Stephen D. Livesay charged them to honor and live out their alma mater’s motto of “Christ Above All”: “As you honor and live out that motto, you honor Bryan College and all who have gone on before you representing Bryan throughout the world.”

The morning ceremonies featured Bryan Alderman ’16 as the senior commencement speaker. He inspired his fellow graduates to trust their futures to the Author of history. Special guest Dr. Al Mohler of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, who was honored with the Doctor of Laws degree at commencement, said that moral instability and darkening of the current times will serve to show the world what true Christianity looks like. A total of 99 degrees were bestowed in the School of Arts and Sciences, including 68 Bachelor of Science degrees and 31 Bachelor of Arts degrees.

Grad1During the afternoon commencement ceremony for the School of Adult and Graduate Studies, 32 graduates received their Master of Business Administration, 46 received their Bachelor of Science, and 4 received their Associate of Science. Dr. Cecil Swetland, the regional director for the Association of Christian Schools International (California-Hawaii), addressed the graduates. He inspired them to strive for humility in every aspect of life, for it is through humility that they can truly make a difference.

Commencement weekend also saw the return of several alumni from the Class of 1966, who were honored as “Golden Grads,” robing up from cap to gown for the ceremony and receiving commemorative diplomas from Dr. Livesay. The Golden Grads were treated to a special honorary dinner Friday night before all praying the Lord’s blessing over the soon-to-be new alumni gathered in Rudd Auditorium for Vespers.

Grad3Alumni Director Paulakay Hall ’84 remarks, “It was an incredible blessing to welcome back our Golden Grads to the Hill for their 50th reunion. Seeing their heart for our new grads was an inspiration and a reminder to us all.”

Videos of the ceremonies can be viewed at this link.


P.A. Boyd Prizes: Awarded to the seniors whose principles and character have secured for them the highest degree of influence over their fellow students.

  • Bryan Alderman ’16 and Michael Sherrill ’16

Highest Scholastic Record:

  • Bryan Alderman ’16 (4.0 GPA) and Michael Sherrill ’16 (4.0 GPA)

Most Progress:

  • Christopher Maye ’16 and Daria Sharova ‘16

Faithfulness and Loyalty Award:

  • Daniel Cadiz ’16 and Kristin Hall ‘16

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