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 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


Bryan Unveils New Mascot, Leo

Leo AnnouncementMarch 6, 2017 –  Bryan College announced today the naming of its new mascot, Leo, after hosting a naming contest on social media open to students and alumni.

“We are so glad to have Leo, because of how he adds engagement at events between the fans and the game and the fans and the athletes,” said Janice Perron, Cheerleading coach at Bryan College. “He also puts a face on Bryan Athletics and will be an ambassador to Bryan College and the community.”

Leo will appear at Bryan College athletic events and occasional appearances at campus and community events.

The mascot’s name is a nod to the Latin word “leo,” which means “lion” in English.

Written by Curtis Jolley, Social Media and Communications Coordinator

Stacey Gates and Allyson Underwood Awarded Staff Members of the Fall

DSC_0034-2March 3, 2017 – During Wednesday’s chapel service, Bryan College President Dr. Stephen Livesay presented the Staff Member of the Fall award for 2016 to Stacey Gates and Allyson Underwood.

“Out of many nominations, Stacey and Allyson were selected for this award because they both exemplify and further the mission of Bryan,” said Dr. Stephen Livesay, President of Bryan College. “Stacey makes it possible for many exceptional high school students to participate in Bryan courses through dual enrollment, and Ally’s work in the financial aid office helps both our traditional and adult students afford a Bryan education. Both exemplify caring and committed Christians living out Bryan’s mission. Thank you, Ally and Stacey!”

Underwood curently works in the Financial Aid office as the AGS Student Financial Aid | Services Counselor. She also serves as an adjunct flute instructor in Bryan College’s Community Music School.

Taken from her nomination form:

“Many characteristics come to mind when I think of this co-worker:  genuine, loving, thoughtful, caring, truthful, hardworking, friendly, and faithful.  She is such a Christian example not only to her students but her co-workers as well.”

Gates currently serves as the interim director of Dual Enrollment and previously served as the Academic Services Manager for Dual Enrollment and the School for Adult and Graduate Studies (AGS).

Taken from her nomination form:

“Stacey is very genuine and considerate of the students she assists with dual enrollment, their parents and her student workers. She is definitely a model of true servanthood.”

Written by Curtis Jolley, Social Media and Communications Coordinator

Steve Green Headlines 10th Annual Bryan Opportunity Program Dinner

2017 BOP Dinner InviteMarch 3, 2017 – The 10th annual Bryan Opportunity Scholarship Program (BOP) Dinner will be held on April 20 at the Chattanooga Convention Center. This year’s featured speaker will be award-winning Christian musician Steve Green.

“These are hardworking students that deserve and appreciate the opportunity to study at a Christian liberal arts college,” said Janice Pendergrass, Director of Advancement at Bryan College. “We appreciate the opportunity to educate them to become servants of Christ to make a difference in today’s world.”

The Bryan Opportunity Scholarship Program helps make Bryan College accessible to academically qualified Tennessee residents with significant financial need. The program guarantees that eligible students will receive scholarship and/or grant funds to meet or exceed the cost of tuition at Bryan College. Since its creation in 2008, more than $1,000,000 has been raised, and 222 students have benefitted from the financial support the program provides.

This year, 50 students are eligible for BOP scholarship funding. Half of these students received other awards and grants in addition to BOP funds. The remaining 25 were fully funded through the BOP scholarship. The recipients are comprised of a diverse representation of majors and extracurricular activities across campus. Two such students are Cullen Royston and Aaron Pendergrass.

“I am so thankful for the blessing that is the Bryan Opportunity scholarship,” Royston said. “It has allowed me not only to pursue my dreams in education but also to thrive and grow in a Christ-centered environment.”

“I’m very thankful for the donors that have made it possible for me to receive the BOP Scholarship,” Pendergrass said. “I would not have been able to pursue my calling to ministry at such a fabulous institution if it weren’t for this scholarship; and I’m thankful for the timeless relationships I’ve built at Bryan due to this opportunity.”

Steve GreenThroughout his years of ministry, Steve Green’s music has been honored with four Grammy nominations, 18 No. 1 songs, and seven Dove Awards, Christian music’s highest honor. With 35 recordings to his credit, including children’s projects and Spanish-language albums, Green has sold over three million albums worldwide.

To purchase your tickets, please visit here. Reservations to attend the dinner are due by April 13.


Written by Curtis Jolley, Social Media and Communications Coordinator