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 College Welcomes New Trustee

Mr. and Mrs. Leighton LeBoeuf at the 2016 Bryan Opportunity DinnerApril 20, 2016 – Bryan College is honored to welcome new trustee Mr. Leighton LeBoeuf to the College Board of Trustees. Mr. LeBoeuf has been a long-time friend and supporter of Bryan College and has served as chairman of the President’s Roundtable.

In addition, Mr. LeBoeuf and his wife Jan served as co-chairs of this year’s Bryan Opportunity Dinner. President Stephen Livesay took the opportunity to introduce Mr. LeBoeuf to an audience of 545 guests. The Bryan community looks forward to having Leighton and Jan join the Bryan College family in this new role.

Leighton LeBoeuf

Mr. LeBoeuf is the retired general manager of broadcasting for Moody Radio WMBW and WFCM. He has served on numerous community board and committee leadership roles, including; AMG International; Bethel Bible Village; Chattanooga Area Leadership Prayer Breakfast; Chattanooga Health, Education, and Housing Facilities Board; Men’s Ministry Network; the American Policy Roundtable; and the Optimist Club.

Written by Britney M. Wyatt, Director of Marketing, 423.775.7327,

Photo by Victoria Mason of Victoria Mason Photography

New Graduate Programs Announced

New Master's Degree Specializations AnnouncedApril 18, 2016 – Bryan College is expanding its graduate academic programs with the announcement of four new specialization opportunities. Each specialization allows students to tailor their graduate degree to their career goals and interests.

The new graduate specializations include:

The new specializations will be available beginning in the 2016 – 2017 academic year. All courses are offered completely online, providing the flexibility for students to continue working full-time from almost anywhere in the world. All graduate programs at Bryan College are competitively priced, and students can earn their degree in as little as 18 months.

Bryan developed the new specializations to meet the needs of students and the marketplace. “When we surveyed students in the Fall about graduate programs they’d like to see Bryan develop, we identified several areas of interest where we had capabilities to offer programs that better met some of the career goals of students,” said  Paul Rickert, Ph.D., Dean of Adult and Graduate Studies. “We are still working toward developing other programs at the graduate level because it not only allows us to meet our students’ and potential students’ needs but also to meet the needs of employers”.

All programs at Bryan College are regionally accredited, and some programs hold additional accreditations and approvals including IACBE and ACSI.

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 5 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,


Bryan Opportunity Program Dinner 2016 A Great Success

BOP1 April 15, 2016 – Last night over 545 alumni and friends of Bryan College attended the ninth annual Bryan Opportunity Program Dinner at the Chattanooga Convention Center. This event was hosted by the college and Host Committee Co-Chairs Leighton and Jan LeBoeuf, to raise funds for scholarships for low-income Tennessee students.

Singer, storyteller, humorist, author, and songwriter Mark Lowry and pianist Stan Whitmire were the featured guests at the event, which proved to be the single best-attended Opportunity Program event since the program began.

Lowry regaled attendees with witty stories from his childhood and heartfelt songs, including the celebrated Christmas classic he co-wrote with Buddy Greene, “Mary, Did You Know?” He spoke on God’s love for and delight in His children and encouraged his audience to remember the importance of story. “Your life is a story, and you have a lot of chapters,” Lowry said, noting that the best way to fill those chapters is to trust the Lord and embrace change.

BOP2Also speaking at the program was student Noah Lee, a recipient of the Bryan Opportunity Program’s funds. Lee – a junior integrated marketing communications major, athlete, musician, and member of the Worldview Initiative – shared the story of the Lord’s clear guidance in his coming to Bryan and the influence of the program on his life.

“The Bryan Opportunity Program gave me the chance to attend a school that is biblical and Christ-centered and focused on shaping students to make a difference in the world around them,” Lee said. “God has used the professors and the community at Bryan to love me and change my heart as I continue to study at this institution and grow. What I want for future students is that they would have the exact same opportunities I did, regardless of their background and financial circumstances.”

Since the program’s inception in 2008, a total of over $1,770,000 has been raised to make a Bryan education a possibility for 222 students whose total annual family income is less than $35,000. The inspiring generosity of the donors at the dinner, who raised an estimated $247,000, will make a Christ-centered college experience possible for students in the 2016-2017 academic year.

Director of Advancement Janice Pendergrass, who coordinates all Opportunity Program dinners, remarked, “I’ve read somewhere that there are few activities which are immensely valuable. Laughter and singing are two of those, and we did both last night. It was refreshing and energizing to sit in a room with over 500 people laughing and enjoying the evening while gathered together for such a serious and worthy cause.”

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

Hilltop Players Present OKLAHOMA!

Rogers and Hammerstien's OklahomaApril 14, 2016 – Bryan College’s Hilltop Players will present Rodgers and Hammerstein’s OKLAHOMA! April 21 – 23. This fun and spirited musical is set in the American West during the turn of the century and highlights the rivalry between cowboys and farmers and the love story of Curly and Laurey.

Directed by Bernie Belisle, the cast of the musical includes sophomore Kaitlyn Couch of Spring City, seniors Brandon Lawrence of Chattanooga and Andrew Warren of Athens, and incoming freshman Bailey Hufstetler of Spring City with choreography by alumna Joanna Hill. This will be the debut performance for the new music director, Dr. Vaughn Cordona. He will be leading a 10 to 12 piece orchestra consisting of both students and community members.

OKLAHOMA! will be presented in Rudd Auditorium Thursday, April 21 through Saturday, April 23, at 7 P.M.

Tickets On Sale Now!

  • Adults: $11
  • BC students, faculty, and staff: $7


Bryan College Service Day

Bryan College Service DayApril 8, 2016 – Thursday was a special day at Bryan College. Classes were canceled and offices were closed so that a total of 540 students, faculty, and staff could participate in various service projects around the Dayton and Chattanooga communities. This yearly event is called All-College Service Day, and this year, while various service projects were carried out across the area, an extra special ministry was held right on the Bryan College campus.

The Luke 14 Fun Day on the Hill was designed to provide students with severe intellectual and physical disabilities who are unable to attend mainstream classes with a day full of fun and special attention. The Luke 14 event started bright and early Thursday morning with a 7am breakfast in the campus dining hall. Peter Mckechnie, from the Knoxville Area Joni and Friends organization, led a volunteer training program for 150 Bryan College student, faculty, and staff volunteers.

The students and teachers from the Rhea County Public Schools’ Comprehensive Developmental Class Program arrived to a welcome tunnel full of excited volunteers and each child was partnered with a Bryan student buddy for the day. The students and teachers were treated to a carnival filled with booths and prizes and outdoor games, while the parents enjoyed a time of relaxation and pampering held in the campus library. Everyone then came together in the college dining hall for a special lunch and entertainment provided by magician Mitch Gravitte with Marvel Ministries and balloon creations by Caleb Gravitte with the Red Balloon Company. The day wrapped up with a fun balloon brigade sendoff.

The Luke 14 Fun Day on the Hill was made possible by the numerous volunteers and generous donors and sponsors who provided funding and a wide variety of goods and services for the event. Bryan College would like to provide a special thanks to Volunteer Energy Cooperative, and the VECustomers Share Foundation, in addition to the City of Dayton Utilities and Project Hometown Help for the grants that helped make this event possible.

Additional off-campus service projects this year included working with students in the Rhea County School system, bathing pets and general cleaning at the Save My Tail Animal Rescue, reorganizing and cleaning at the Women’s Care Center, visiting the residents of Life Care Center, providing yard work and maintenance for various community members and organizations, and many more.

Written by Britney M. Wyatt, Director of Marketing, 423.775.7327,


Will Tholken Awarded Staff Member of the Fall

President Stephen D. Livesay presented Will Tholken with the Staff Member of the Fall 2015 award
President Stephen D. Livesay presented Will Tholken with the Staff Member of the Fall award.

April 5, 2016 – The Staff Member of the Fall award for 2015 has been presented to Will Tholken, Coordinator of Athletic Operations. Supervisors and colleagues nominate staff members who have modeled exemplary service to the college. Nominees display characteristics that enhance the Bryan College mission. Will Tholken was selected as the award recipient for his outstanding service to the Athletic Department and Bryan College as a whole. He lives out the College’s mission day after day, consistently putting the needs of students and colleagues ahead of his own.

President Stephen D. Livesay expressed his honor to present the Staff Member of the Fall award to Will and said “Will Tholken lives out Bryan’s mission statement every day, educating students to become servants of Christ to make a difference in today’s world. Will administrates a large athletic program with skill, expertise, and a humble servant’s heart.”

Bryan College is grateful to Will for his dedication and service.

Written by Britney M. Wyatt, Director of Marketing, 423.775.7327,

Lions Excel In Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Open, Ranking 2nd Nationally

Bryan College Fishing Team PhotoApril 1, 2016 – As the sport of competitive bass fishing has exploded in popularity, the young Bryan College Lions Fishing program has managed to stay at the forefront of top collegiate fishing programs in the nation. In their first season, the Lions earned a remarkable 18th place finish in the running for Cabela’s School of the Year. This year (their second year) the Lions have steadily worked their way up as a challenger for the Cabela’s School of the Year race, but the difference maker has come in the month of March when Bryan jumped from the 6th spot to the 2nd ranked team in the nation after impressive performances in the Cabela’s Big Bass Bash on Kentucky Lake in Paris Landing, Tenn. and the recent Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Open (Dardanelle Derby) on Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, Ark.

Head Bryan Fishing Coach, Mike Keen, has explained that the Lions have been fishing three of the most popular trails possible because of the exposure they provide and the opportunity to present Bryan College on a major stage (Cabela’s, FLW, and B.A.S.S). The 334 schools that are in the Association of Collegiate Anglers are from all across the country, stretching as far west as California. The small Christian Liberal Arts College tucked away in Dayton, Tenn. is facing off against some of the largest colleges and universities in the country. SEC powerhouse, University of Alabama (1,282), leads Bryan (1,263) by 19 points. Mississippi State (1,261) rounds out the top-3.

The School of the Year competition reflects consistency throughout the entire season, and that is what Coach Keen has his team striving to do with teamwork acting as the driving force.

There are 14 anglers on the Bryan roster, including two Rhea County High School graduates, Dylan Pritchett, and Jalen Smith.

“I’m very proud of these guys, because of the continuous hard work they have put forth,” said Keen. “The results reflect the hard work they have given since it’s them doing all the fishing… I haven’t caught a fish in any of these tournaments.”

When asked about the playing field and some of the intimidating schools they go head-to-head with, Keen explained, “They may have fancier boats and trucks, but when we cast out in the water, the fish have no idea who’s on the other end of the line.”

Keen mentioned another key to success was, “The way our school and athletic program treats our fishing team just like any other team makes it a whole lot easier to go out and compete. Not only am I really proud of our guys, but I’m really proud of our school.”

The timing looks to play in Bryan’s favor as they have one more obstacle in the FLW College Open (Apr. 1-2) on Kentucky Lake where several top teams will be on their home turf, but then the Lions head to Guntersville Lake in Guntersville, Ala. for the FLW S.E. Conf. (May 21) where the tables are turned and Bryan has home-field advantage.

Follow the Bryan Anglers and their chase for the Cabela’s School of the Year title by visiting, liking their Facebook page – Bryan College Fishing Team, follow on Twitter @BryanAnglers, and follow on Instagram @bryanbassteam.

To read the full story, click here.


Written by Wesley Sanders ’15, Sports Information Director

Edited by Britney M. Wyatt, Director of Marketing


Dr. Terry Mortenson To Speak About Creation

Answers In Genesis speaker, Dr. Terry Mortenson, will speak in chapel on April 20.

by Britney M. Wyatt, Director of Marketing

March 24, 2016

Dr. Terry Mortenson, a historian of geology, theologian, author and researcher from the Answers In Genesis organization, will be speaking as part of the 2016 Bryan College chapel series next month. Dr. Mortenson will also host an additional speaking engagement at Grace Bible Church the same evening. Both events are free and open to the public.

His morning presentation, “Genesis, the Gospel, and the Collapse of Biblical Authority,” will be during at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 20, in Rudd Auditorium on the Bryan College campus. The public is invited to join the faculty, staff and students.

His evening presentation, “Ape-men, Adam and the Gospel,” will also be open to the public. The event will be held at 7 p.m. at Grace Bible Church in Dayton, TN. Dr. Mortenson will speak about the great debate of human evolution and the truth of Genesis, a topic highly valued by the college.

Why are an increased number of theologians and Christian leaders adopting evolutionist theory? Why are these leaders now teaching the church that there was no literal Adam or literal Fall? Dr. Mortenson will use scientific evidence in conjunction with the Bible to reveal the consequences of disregarding the literal truth of Genesis.

Dr. Stephen Livesay, President of Bryan College said, “One of the greatest needs of our time is a clear understanding of origins and what it means to be created in the image of God.  Dr. Mortenson’s presentations underscore why believing the Genesis account of creation is foundational to a Christian’s faith.  I don’t know of anyone more qualified to address this topic.”

Bryan College is a private, non-profit, Christian liberal arts institution located in Dayton, TN.

Grace Bible Church is a non-denominational church located in Dayton, TN. For more information about Grace Bible Church or to get directions, please visit

Women’s Soccer Hosts ID Camp Saturday

Womens Soccer CampMarch 15, 2016 — – The Bryan College Women’s Soccer team is hosting an ID Camp this coming Saturday, on March 19th, 2016, from 8:30 A.M. – 2:45 P.M.  The camp will allow prospective students interested in playing soccer to visit the Bryan College campus and experience what it would be like to play for the Lions.

Campers will have the opportunity to showcase their skills while receiving collegiate level coaching. During the camp, prospective student-athletes will participate in two training sessions, have lunch with the coaching staff, take a campus tour, and have a question and answer time with Head Bryan Women’s Soccer Coach Paul Babba.

To register either e-mail Head Coach Babba or Assistant Coach Branley at, or, or download the registration form and return it prior to the start of camp.

Soccer Camp ScheduleI.D. members must bring their own cleats, shin guards, and training gear. Bryan Soccer will provide water, Gatorade, training equipment, and facilities.


Brandon Cole Named CoSIDA Academic All-America Player of the Year

Brandon ColeMarch 15, 2016 – All-time leading scorer and rebounder in Bryan Basketball history, Bryan Lions senior center Brandon Cole has been selected as the 2015-16 Academic All-America® College Division Men’s Basketball Player of the Year, as the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced the College Division Team Monday.

The CoSIDA Academic All-America® College Division basketball teams include student-athletes from NAIA, Canadian, and two-year institutions.

This is the first time any Bryan College student-athlete has been named Player of the Year by CoSIDA.

Hailing from Crossville, Tenn., Cole not only carries an impressive 3.83 G.P.A while majoring in exercise health science, but also has made history on Bryan Hill as the Lions’ all-time leading scorer and rebounder. During his four years he has compiled 2,799 points, 1,235 rebounds, 142 steals, 110 assists, and a remarkable 53.4 shooting percentage (991-for-1,857).

This year, Cole’s efforts gave way to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association recognizing him as the TSWA Men’s Basketball Player of the Week. He also made the cut for the Clarence “Bevo” Francis Award Top 100 Watch List put on by Small College Basketball, which is presented annually to the player who has had the finest overall season within Small College Basketball (NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA Division I, NAIA Division II, USCAA, and NCCAA). He raked in All-Conference First Team honors and was Bryan’s representative to the AAC Champions of Character Team this season.

Cole finished up regular season action this year leading both the conference and nation in a myriad of stats. He ranks No. 1 in NAIA Div. II in points per game (29.1), No. 1 in total scoring (815), No. 2 in offensive rebounds per game (3.92), No. 5 in total rebounds per game (10.92), No. 5 in total rebounds (306), No. 12 in defensive rebounds per game (7.0), and ended as No. 31 in field goal percentage after shooting 54.8 percent. He concluded the season with an AAC-leading 16 double-doubles.

“This award Brandon has won could not be more deserved,” remarked Head Bryan Men’s Basketball Coach, Don Rekoske. “On the court he has led the nation in scoring and rebounding twice. He has an extraordinary 3.83 G.P.A and to do that well in both the classroom and hardwood to receive this incredible honor is nothing less than impressive. But what truly sets Brandon apart is his character. He is humble, coachable, and a great teammate. He is a once in a lifetime young man, and I thank him for how he has represented this school and the Lord most importantly.”

To read the full story, click here.

Written by Wesley Sanders ’15, sports information director.