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;

Steve Green Featured at 10th Annual Bryan Opportunity Scholarship Program Banquet

BOP Dinner RecapApril 25, 2017 – On April 20, a total of 540 alumni and friends of Bryan College attended the 10th annual Bryan Opportunity Scholarship Program Dinner at the Chattanooga Convention Center. The dinner was hosted by the college and Host Co-Chairs Bob and Nan Coddington and Leighton and Jan LeBoeuf, to raise funds for scholarships for low-income Tennessee students.

Featured at the dinner was acclaimed Christian singer and songwriter Steve Green, who has been honored with four Grammy nominations, eighteen no. 1 songs, and seven Dove awards. Green has sold over three million albums worldwide.

Green performed many beloved songs over the course of the evening, including “Total Praise,” “I Can See (The Emmaus Road),” “What Wondrous Love Is This,” “In Christ Alone,” and “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise.” The Bryan College Chamber Singers (under the direction of Dr. David Luther) had the unforgettable opportunity to accompany Green during four of his songs.

“We are here this evening as ones who support what God is doing around the world, particularly in the lives of these students,” said Green. “What a great testimony to hear of God raising up the next generation of young people who will serve for God’s glory wherever He places them! If we are here, we are here by the grace of God.”

Current Bryan student Cullen Royston, a sophomore exercise health science major and baseball player, gave his moving testimony to God’s provision through the Bryan Opportunity Scholarship Program. He said, “Because my mother was a full-time stay-at-home parent and teacher, my siblings and I had a fun-filled childhood with her constant support and guidance. However, this also made our lives more difficult financially as the only source of income was from my father, an independent contractor.” Finances tightened even more when his beloved little brother, Caleb, was diagnosed with a serious heart condition.

“These events in my life have taught me to rely completely on God and to trust that He will always provide, and this Opportunity scholarship has become yet another example of His provision,” Cullen told the attendees. “I am grateful to those who have given financial donations, and it is moving to see the hearts of those who genuinely care about providing a way for me to further my education at Bryan College and fulfill my plans of attending pharmacy school after graduation. This scholarship has opened many doors for me, and I am looking forward to one day sitting in one of these seats as a donor.”

Since the program’s inception in 2008, over $2,000,000 has been raised to make a Bryan education a possibility for over 200 students whose total annual family income is less than $35,000. The donors at this year’s dinner raised nearly $215,000, making a Christ-centered college experience possible for students in the 2017-2018 academic year.

Vice President of Advancement Chuck Baker remarked, “We are truly grateful for God’s provisions and the generous support of our alumni and friends for the Bryan Opportunity Scholarship Program. As Cullen reminded us in his testimony tonight, this scholarship continues to help deserving students with the financial assistance needed, often in the midst of a family crisis. Only time will reveal the eternal impact of this scholarship as we educate these students to become servants of Christ to make a difference in today’s world.”



Written by Chloe Ann Townsend

Bryan College Selected as a Best Value School Award Recipient

Landes WayApril 17, 2017 – Bryan College was recently honored with the distinction as a Best Value School out of nearly 8,000 eligible postsecondary schools. The award is issued by University Research & Review (URR), a company dedicated to improving the process of how a student selects a postsecondary.

“We hope current students and alumni take pride in this honor, and anyone searching for a quality, reasonably priced college education strongly considers Bryan College,” said Joseph Schmoke, founder of URR.

The committee that reviewed eligible schools was made up of former university presidents, CEOs, provosts and professors. Schools cannot pay to receive the award; it must be earned through the nomination and committee evaluation process. Bryan College was chosen by the committee because it passed rigorous standards including a combination of cost, accreditation, variety and quality of school programs, and student satisfaction with the institution.

“Our committee prides itself on combining our extensive experience, knowledge of postsecondary education and insight into what provides students with good value when selecting a Best Value award recipient,” Schmoke said.

Bryan College will retain the Best Value School designation for one year. Award recipients must re-qualify every year.

Annual Service Day Makes a Difference in Local Community

Washing Windows (72 dpi)April 11, 2017 – On March 30, more than 700 students, faculty, and staff from Bryan College rolled up their sleeves and set out to help make a difference in the Dayton community and surrounding areas.

In total, there were 46 project sites that ranged in skills from painting and picking up trash to playing with children and landscaping. Highlights of this year’s projects included work at the First Christian Community Church, Dayton Library, Dayton City School, Life Care Center of Dayton, and many others. Several projects were also completed in nearby Spring City and Athens, Tenn., at businesses and residential homes.

“We want to make a difference just by bonding with the kids and being good role models. We also want to promote healthy habits for them in the future,” said Helen Cannon, a student who worked with children at the Dayton City School field day.

This annual event serves as a meaningful way for students, faculty, and staff to live out Bryan College’s mission to make a difference in today’s world. Service Day also provides a way for Bryan to build and maintain relationships with the local community.

“I love Service Day every year, because it gives us a chance to connect with where we live, what we’re about as a College, and we also always meet great people. We’re so thankful to be able to do this.”

To view photos from this year’s Service Day, please visit here.


Written by Curtis Jolley, Social Media and Communications Coordinator

Bryan Hosts Service Day March 30

Service DayMarch 22, 2017 – Bryan College will host its annual Service Day on March 30 as students, faculty, and staff go out into the Dayton community to complete various service projects. The event supports the college’s mission of making a difference in today’s world through Christian service.

“Bryan College cancels classes for Service Day to provide the students hands on experience working alongside their mentors to make a difference in the community we live in,” said Mariah Goodwin, a senior at Bryan and coordinator of this year’s Service Day.

Highlights of service projects slated for this year include:

  • Field Day at Dayton City School
  • Richland Creek Clean-up
  • Work at Blazing Hope Ranch
  • Painting and landscaping at Cedine Camp Missions
  • Teaching students about the concepts of money at Rhea County High School

To stay connected with updates on Service Day, follow Bryan College on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (@bryancollege), and Snapchat (bryancollege).

Written by Curtis Jolley, Social Media and Communications Coordinator

Bryan to Host Red Back Hymnal Sing Event April 9

Red Back HymnalMarch 21, 2017 – Bryan College will host a Red Back Hymnal sing-along event April 9 at 6 p.m. The free event will be held on Bryan’s campus in Rudd Auditorium and be open to local churches and the community.

“We are excited to host this event because it provides an opportunity for our community to come together in giving praise to our God,” said Dr. Stephen Livesay, President of Bryan College.  “Voices united singing timeless hymns ladened with theological truth will provide an unforgettable and inspirational evening.”

All songs sung during the evening appear in the Red Back Hymnal, a collection of beloved hymns used by church choirs and congregations for more than 60 years. The music will be led by Cleveland, Tenn., musician Jack Clark and feature a number of local musicians.

Guests are encouraged to bring their own copies of the Red Back Hymnal to use during the evening. For guests that do not own a copy, a limited number of hymnals will be available to use.

For more information about the event, contact Margie Legg at To learn more about the Red Back Hymnal, please visit here.


Written by Curtis Jolley, Social Media and Communications Coordinator


Bryan Fishing Earns No. 1 National Ranking

Bryan Fishing Team 2016-17March 20, 2017 – For the first time in program history, the Bryan College fishing team is ranked No. 1 in the country. The prestigious ranking comes on the heels of a strong performance in the recent Cabela’s Collegiate Big Bash held on Kentucky Lake.

“I am extremely proud of these guys,” said Mike Keen, head coach of the fishing team. “They have worked very hard to reach this milestone. This is the reward of a total team effort. Now we move our focus to placing high in each tournament in order to protect our No. 1 spot.”

The Lions continue their season as they head to the Cabela’s College Open on Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, Ark. on March 25.

“We are all excited about the honor to become the leader in the running for School of the Year,” said Nathan Bell, a senior on the team. “It’s entirely a team effort, and the cool thing is it takes all of us to outlast these large colleges and universities since there are no divisions. The strong finish in the Big Bass Bash sets us up really good for the top-10 in School of the Year, because all of the other schools close to us in the race have already participated in their regional tournament. We haven’t fished our BASS regional, which will provide us with even more points.”

Keep up with the Bryan Lions Fishing Team on Facebook and Instagram @bryanlionsfishing.


Written by Wesley Sanders, Sports Information Director

Special Screening of “I’m Not Ashamed” Set for April 2

Im Not AshamedMarch 15, 2017 – Bryan College will host a special screening of the film “I’m Not Ashamed” on April 2 at 6:30 in Rudd Auditorium. Immediately following the screening, there will be a Q&A with film producers Nise Davies and Benny Proffitt and two of the lead actors, Massey McLain (Rachel Joy Scott) and Ben Davies (Nathan Ballard).

“I’m Not Ashamed” is based on the inspiring and powerful true story and journal entries of Rachel Joy Scott – the first victim in the tragic Columbine High School shooting on April 20,1999. The story displays Scott’s faith and her commitment to God in the midst of a troubling world.

“As the director of Plugged In, I see approximately 140 films per year,” said Bob Waliszewski,, Director of Plugged In for Focus on the Family. “If I could get every teenager in the country to watch just one of the 140 films I’ve viewed in the last 12 months, hands down it would be “I’m Not Ashamed. The ex-youth pastor in me can’t help but see how this story of Rachel Scott will challenge and strengthen believers, and bring non-believers to Christ.”

To learn more about the film, please visit here.

Admission is free, and guests are invited to bring friends and family.


Written by Curtis Jolley, Social Media and Communications Coordinator

New ASL Center Dedicated to Ruth Heflin Cofer

DSC_0157-2March 10, 2017 – On Thursday, a group of Bryan College faculty, staff, and students gathered for a dedication ceremony of its new American Sign Language (ASL) and Interpretation Center named in honor of Ruth Heflin Cofer.

“Bryan College is pleased to honor Mrs. Cofer’s life of service in the Chattanooga community with the dedication and to recognize the significant contributions of the Foundation to the growth of our ASL program,” said Chuck Baker, Vice President of Advancement.

Cofer dedicated her life to helping physically challenged and other special needs children. In addition to her activism for ASL education, Cofer served as an active volunteer and member of the Hamilton County Nursing Home for 30 years, until 1995. She also served as president for the Nursing Home Auxiliary for a total of 17 years.

She was a very dedicated Christian who gave God the praise for so many opportunities to help those around her, especially the elderly and forgotten, truly living a life following the example of Jesus Christ. Cofer passed away in 2008, leaving behind a powerful legacy of Christian service and witness.

Since 2014, the Fred J. and Ruth Heflin Cofer Foundation has awarded significant grants specifically for Bryan College’s ASL program to help fulfill its mission and equip students to use sign language skills to make a difference in today’s world. ASL is currently the second most studied language by students at Bryan.

Representing Cofer at the ceremony were her brother, Keith Heflin, and her nephew, Steve.

“What we are here for today is the result of a life well lived that will continue to go on and impact others,” said Dr. Stephen Livesay, President of Bryan College. “God placed the desire to serve others in her heart, and we are so thankful for everything her foundation continues to do to honor her life.”

The new ASL and Interpretation Center is located in Mercer Hall, room 243.


Written by Curtis Jolley, Social Media and Communications Coordinator

New Partnership with Regent University School of Law Announced

Regent AnnouncementMarch 9, 2017 – Bryan College and Regent University recently entered into a new partnership that will allow qualified Bryan College graduates a 25 percent scholarship on tuition to Regent Law’s J.D., M.A. (Law), and LL.M. programs.

Bryan College is excited to partner with Regent University School of Law to provide our graduates with a reduced tuition opportunity,” said Dr. Kevin Clauson, Vice President of Academics at Bryan College. “The law school has developed an excellent reputation for quality legal education in the context of a Christian worldview.”

To receive this scholarship, applicants must be a graduate of Bryan or a dependent (one who can be legally claimed as a dependent on the qualified person’s tax return pursuant to IRS guidelines for the tax year for which the benefit is requested) of a Bryan graduate.

Bryan College is hopeful the scholarship will open opportunities for students interested in law to continue their education at the graduate level. Samuel Gilbertson, a 2013 Bryan graduate, recently earned his Juris Doctor degree (J.D.) from Regent University in 2016. Gilbertson now works as an attorney at Willis Law, a well-respected law firm in Kalamazoo, Mich.

“My time at Bryan College greatly benefited my law school career at Regent University School of Law,” Gilbertson said. “The cases that I had to brief at Bryan and the study of legal theory and analysis laid a strong foundation for law school.” Regent Law prepared Gilbertson with excellent advocacy skills, as evidenced by his job placement.

Regent University’s School of Law currently offers graduate law programs at its campus in Virginia Beach, VA. The M.A. in Law program is also completely available online, the J.D. and LL.M. programs are available partially online.  For more information about Regent University School of Law, please visit here.

“Regent also provided many opportunities to develop practical skills while learning the law,” Gilbertson said. “Most importantly, both schools were true to their professions of faith-based education, and the wonderful faculty and staff at both institutions were always there to help and encourage me in my endeavors.”

Written by Curtis Jolley, Social Media and Communications Coordinator

Bryan College Earns Two National Rankings

JT-161104-622March 7, 2017 – Bryan College was recently named in two national rankings conducted by These included No. 4 “20 Best Value Small Colleges for a Christian Studies Degree” and No. 9 “Best Value Small Colleges for a Business Administration Degree.”

“We are appreciative of the recognition of Bryan’s Department of Business & Economics on a national scale,” said Dr. Adina Scruggs, Associate Professor of Business. “Our Business Advisory Board has been instrumental in broadening our course offerings and strengthening the robustness of a Bryan College business degree.”

From the article “20 Best Value Small Colleges for a Christian Studies Degree”

Bryan College’s motto, “Christ above all,” succinctly summarizes the very qualities that make it a top small college for Christian studies majors. Within the Christian Studies program itself, students can choose from a straightforward theology program (the Bible Option), a ministry program (the Ministry Option), and a liberal studies program (the Philosophy and Culture Option). Although the upper-level coursework is distinct in each program, all three share a solid foundation of general studies and scripture-based classes. Outside the classroom you’ll find boundless opportunities for spiritual engagement and service learning – not least of which is Devotion, a traveling worship team that brings music, prayer, and testimony to communities around the state.

From the article “30 Best Value Small Colleges for a Business Administration Degree”

For students of faith who are looking to enter the corporate world, there are few better places to earn an affordable undergraduate business degree than Bryan College at Dayton. Bryan’s BS in Business Administration integrates Christian values with principles of economics, management, finance, and more to provide a truly well-rounded education at a fair price. Classes like “Advertising and Promotion,” “Managerial Economics,” and “Principles of Investing” are just a few of the opportunities undergraduates at Bryan will have to examine the principles of the free market through a Biblical lens.

Written by Curtis Jolley, Social Media and Communications Coordinator