Why Community Isn’t Just a Buzzword at Bryan

July 8, 2019

When you ask someone why they love Bryan College, they’ll probably bring up the great community. But to someone who’s only considering Bryan, the word “community” can be vague. And the truth is, you’ll find community at any place you attend. You’ll find friends and professors that you love, and you will find your place there.

Still, community is a topic that comes up so frequently when people talk about Bryan College, so we asked people how they have personally experienced community at Bryan. If you’re wondering why it’s such a buzzword on campus, here are the characteristics of our community – and what sets it apart.

Your interactions with your professors

    1. You’re not just another face in the classroom.

You won’t connect with every single professor at Bryan, but you will connect with many. And it’s  more than just a quick interaction after class or in the hall –  professors often join groups of students for lunch in the cafeteria, or face them in a ping-pong match.  And when professors at Bryan ask you how you’re doing, they want to know the real answer. They care about your mental, physical, and spiritual well-being, and they’ll give you wise advice.

2. Your relationships with them will continue after you graduate.

Bryan professors aren’t afraid to keep in touch. They don’t forget you as soon as you receive your diploma. They’ll ask you to stop by their office the next time you’re on campus – and actually be glad when you do. You can email them about that TedTalk you watched recently, and they’ll respond. They’ll send you articles that they think you would enjoy. Your relationship with them doesn’t stop just because you’re not their student anymore.

Dr. Newman and Dr. Gates playing chess in the cafeteria

3. They know how to have fun.

Dunk tanks. Chess games. Fundraisers to make your favorite professor dress in a banana costume for a day. Economics taught through burrito examples. A podcast discussing rap albums with students. An awesome band made up of faculty and staff. It’s never dull around campus.

4. You will be challenged here – and you will grow. 

Several of the alumni that responded mentioned how they were challenged by their professors and friends. Sarah, an alumni, stated that she was “shaken to [her] spiritual core thanks to some amazing Bible professors…[who] helped me learn to stand up for my own faith.”

5. They might be your mentor – literally.

Several of our male and female staff and faculty volunteer their time to mentor students. You can sign up for a mentor and meet with them at regular intervals to talk about life, motivation, accountability, and spirituality.


Your relationships with other students.

1. Small size = lots of friendly faces

You may not know everyone, but having a lot of acquaintances makes it easier to find a friendly face in the cafeteria, at an event, or before class starts.

2. You’ll find lifelong friends

One of the most common responses from our alumni was that they still keep in touch with their close friends from Bryan – even decades after their graduation.

3. You’ll serve together

All-College Service Day, 2019

There are so many service opportunities at Bryan – from All-College Service Day to individual PCI (Practical Christian Involvement) groups. PCI groups usually serve the community once a week, going to areas around the community such as the therapeutic riding center, assisted living homes, and more. One of these groups is Pals, where students are one-on-one mentors with students from local schools. One of our survey participants remarked how much of an influence his Pals mentor had on his life as he grew up in Dayton.

4. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to get involved

Various clubs, PCI groups, and events on campus bring students of different class years, backgrounds, and personalities together. Clubs span a variety of interests – from the Board Students Club (which meets once a week to play board games) to the swing dancing club to the radio club. And if you don’t find a club that fits your interests, you can start your own.

The biggest reason “community” isn’t just a buzzword is because we have an intentional community.

Aaron, a 2017 graduate, said, “I am grateful for the people that are near and dear to my heart from Bryan as a result of the communal culture which was so intentionally fostered there.” The relationships formed at Bryan aren’t limited by the amount of time you spend on campus, what your major is, or your social status. Faculty, staff, and students are focused on creating an intentional community with relationships that last longer than the time you spend on campus.