Bryan College listed as 2019 ‘Best College’ by U.S. News and World Report

September 10, 2018 – Bryan College was honored by being named to two different rankings released today by U.S. News and World Report, a respected organization that thousands of families depend on to make an educated choice regarding important college and university decisions.

#40 in “Best Value Schools” (Regional Universities South): According to this ranking’s website, “Only those schools ranked in the top half of their 2019 Best Colleges ranking categories [. . .] were considered for the Best Value Schools list. [. . .]The ratio of quality to price accounted for 60 percent of the overall score; the percentage of all undergraduates receiving need-based grants accounted for 25 percent; and the average discount accounted for 15 percent.”

#68 (tie) in “Best Regional Universities South”: According to a recent U.S. News article, this ranking’s methodology takes into account “up to 15 indicators of academic excellence.” These are then “scored, normalized and assigned weights that reflect U.S. News’ judgment about how much the measures matter.” Moreover, “U.S. News chooses to only publish the individual overall ranks of schools placing within the top 75 percent of their categories.”

“We are honored to be ranked a ‘Best College’ by U.S. News and World Report” said Rick Taphorn, vice president of finance and enrollment at Bryan College. “Our faculty and staff continue to work hard to ensure that Bryan provides a high-quality, Christian education at an affordable price.”


Faculty Friday: Dr. Jamie Summerville

September 7, 2018 – Bryan College welcomes Dr. Jamie Summerville as the new professor of mathematics. Summerville earned a bachelor of science in applied mathematics with an emphasis in computer science from Murray State University in Murray, Ky. He earned a master of science in mathematics from Murray State as well. Summerville completed his doctor of philosophy degree in mathematics at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss.

Summerville began his career in higher education as a graduate teaching assistant at The University of Mississippi in 1993. He enjoys working with college students and college level mathematics, which led to many other roles in higher education. In 2004, Summerville was awarded the President’s Teaching Excellence Award at Mid-Continent University, where he served as the department of mathematics chair and later the dean of the Baptist College of Arts and Sciences. He was also part of the writing team for the accreditation Assurance Argument at Hannibal-LaGrange University in 2018.

Summerville loves working with others to see and discover the mathematics in our Father’s world. He is looking forward to working at Bryan College and meeting students who enjoy learning and giving their best. “There are many things that influenced my decision to want to work at Bryan College,” said Summerville. “The people I met, the academic programs, the emphasis on that all truth is in Christ, the emphasis on discipling, and the scenic area are among the top reasons.”

Summerville grew up in a variety of locations including Toledo, Ohio, Big Rapids, Mich., and Wingo, Ky. He was named the Most Valuable Player of his high school baseball team in both his junior and senior years. Summerville said, “my gray hair always causes people to think that I am older than my true age. They are surprised that I can still run, jump and play sports.” Perhaps a friendly baseball game between faculty and students will be in store in the near future.

Please join us in welcoming Summerville, his wife Debbie, and their children to the Bryan College family. To learn more about Summerville’s experience, visit his faculty profile.


Bryan College groundbreaking ceremony held for new Stophel Center

Jackie and Glenn Stophel

September 6, 2018Bryan College hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Stophel Center on, Wednesday, September 5. Glenn and Jackie Stophel were joined by Bryan trustees, faculty, staff, and students for the commemorative ceremony.

Numerous state and local officials, as well as, friends and family of the Stophels attended the ceremony. Speakers included Senator Ken Yager, whose daughter is a Bryan College alumnus; State Representative Ron Travis; the chairman of the Bryan College Board of Trustees, Delana Bice; and Leslie Stophel Maclellan, daughter of Glenn and Jackie Stophel.

Dr. Stephen Livesay said, “We are thrilled that our vision for the welcome center will soon become reality. With the groundbreaking of the Stophel Center, we are taking great steps in the right direction towards Bryan’s future. We are pleased to honor both Glenn and Jackie Stophel and look forward to welcoming visitors to our campus at the center that bears their name.”

Construction of the Stophel Center is anticipated to be completed by July 2019. The two-story building will encompass 18,000 square feet and will be located at the top of the new entrance, making it the first building to greet arriving guests.

The building will house 25 offices including Admissions, Advancement, Marketing and Executive Offices, as well as, a medium-sized banquet facility. The Stophel Center is among the first of several capital projects funded through Bryan’s ‘2018 to 2020 Making a Difference: Vision to Reality’ initiative and is estimated to cost $3 million.

In April, Bryan College leadership surprised long-time supporters Glenn and Jackie Stophel by announcing that the welcome center will be named in their honor. The announcement came during the 11th annual Bryan Opportunity Scholarship Program fundraiser attended by more than 500 friends and supporters of the college.

Mr. Stophel served as a member of the Bryan College Board from 1978 to 1986 and again from 1992 to 2010. He served as Chairman of the Board from 1996 to 2003 and later served as Legal Counsel to the College from 2010 to 2015. Presently Stophel serves as Trustee Emeritus in honor of his valuable service to Bryan College.


Faculty Friday: Alexis Landry

August 31, 2018 – Bryan College welcomes Alexis Landry as the new instructor of Performing Arts on the residential campus. Landry graduated from Bryan College in 2013 and earned two bachelor’s degrees in theatre and piano performance. Following her graduation from Bryan, Landry earned her master’s degree in theatre from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, La.

Landry’s experience as a student at Bryan, specifically studying under the previous theatre professor, Mr. Bernard Belisle, influenced her decision to work in a college setting. “Mr. Belisle showed me the immense value of being able to mentor, direct and teach college students who already have an interest in theatre and want to pursue it more diligently,” said Landry. “My college professors at Bryan were among the most influential in my life, and I hope to be the same one day for my students.”

Landry’s passion for her field began with her time at Bryan. Her desire to share that passion with current and future Bryan students is clear. “I believe theatre is an important and influential part of our culture in today’s world,” said Landry. “We can use it not only to entertain, but to affect change and impact society. Having the opportunity to train and shape future artists to use their craft, and their Christian faith, in meaningful and innovative ways is definitely something I’m passionate about. Not to mention I get to do it in the very same place where I grew as an artist and performer.”

The decision to return to Bryan College to teach was an easy one for Landry. “I think it is so important for Bryan alumni to have the opportunity to give back and to show current students how much a Bryan education can do for them and their futures,” said Landry. “I learned so much here, and it’s beyond exciting to continue the legacy that I experienced as a student.”

This summer, Landry returned to the Dayton area with a bang. She took on one of the most popular theatre projects in the area. During the annual Scopes Festival, Landry served as the director for Front Page News, a play about the infamous Scopes Trial.

Landry is originally from Appomattox, Va., and she is excited to return to her second home in Dayton, Tenn. Some interesting facts about Landry include that she is left handed, and her favorite animal is much more exotic than a cat or dog. The llama holds a special place in her heart.

Please join us in welcoming Landry to the Bryan College family. To learn more about Alexis Landry’s experience, visit her faculty profile.


Faculty Friday: Meet Dr. Thomas Marshall

August 24, 2018 – Bryan College welcomes Dr. Thomas Marshall, the new dean of engineering, along with the first class of students to the new Vogel School of Engineering. Dr. Marshall comes to Bryan College from an extensive background in industry, academics, and mission most recently serving on the mission field in Central America.  He received his bachelor of science degree in biological engineering from The Ohio State University, master of science in civil engineering from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and his doctorate in environmental engineering from Oregon Graduate Institute. Dr. Marshall later obtained his master’s of divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.  

Dr. Marshall has worked as a tentmaker serving as a church planter, pastor, worship leader and missionary while working as an engineer. Dr. Marshall is a registered professional engineer having engineered over $1 billion worth of water and energy related infrastructure projects around the world, most recently running his own engineering and construction company.  One of Marshall’s most interesting projects was working with the Southern Baptist Convention International Mission Board as an engineer in Nepal. The project was part of earthquake relief efforts and was leveraged to take the Gospel up into the Himalayan Mountains.

Dr. Marshall is the Director of the Engineering the Great Commission Center and has a passion for missional engineering, which he defines as “leveraging the marketplace discipline of engineering to spread the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth.”  He see teaching in higher education as a ministry calling to equip the next generation with a Biblically grounded engineering education to carry out the Great Commission. He is thankful the Lord has led him to and his family to Bryan College, and we are excited for him to lead the engineering program.

Dr. Tom and his wife Sue own and operate a farm and mission center in Mt. Liberty, Ohio and are in the process of relocating to Dayton. They have five daughters. Three are married and two, Hannah and Leah, still live at home. If you see Dr. Tom around campus, you might want to ask him for a music lesson. One of the most interesting facts about him is that he use to be a professional lead guitarist for an Indie band.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Marshall and his family to the Bryan College family. To learn more about Thomas Marshall’s experience, visit his faculty profile.


Bryan College ranked a top online MBA program in Tennessee

Top online MBA Programs in Tennessee Online MBA Today (ranking badge)August 22, 2018 – The Bryan College School of Adult and Graduate Studies is again being recognized in a recent ranking published by OnlineMBAToday.com, home of the latest online MBA news and reviews.

Bryan ranked no.5 in “Top Online MBA Programs in Tennessee,” beating out state school Tennessee State University (no.13) and nearby Union University (no.9), Tennessee Wesleyan University (no.14) and Lee University (no.15).

The value of an MBA degree continues to be a strong credential in the marketplace,” said Dr. Adina Scruggs, Dean of Adult and Graduate Studies. “Our dedicated faculty have both the credentials and experience to provide an academically sound and professionally relevant graduate degree 100% online, rooted in a strong context of faith and worldview.”

This ranking takes into consideration four areas of evaluation. According to the Online MBA Today website, “by evaluating the tuition cost, accreditation, average base salary, and prestige, this ranking helps prospective students find the highest quality online MBA programs in Tennessee.”

The online MBA at Bryan College has been recognized in several recent rankings. “We are proud of the recognition that this brings to Bryan College and the BC online MBA,” said Dr. Douglas Mann, provost and academic vice president. “We are committed to continuing to bring high quality academic programs that prepare graduates to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing marketplace.”

The Bryan College online MBA has also been ranked in the following lists by OnlineMBAToday.com.

Bryan College offers graduates the opportunity to earn a free master’s degree. Learn more about the Bryan Difference Maker.


Bryan College move-in day a success

August 20, 2018 – Last week faculty, staff and students helped over 200 students and their families move in across campus. Vehicles began arriving at 8:30 a.m. and were greeted by blue t-shirts and smiling faces. Students descended on arriving vehicles and had most unloaded within minutes of the doors opening.

Helping new freshmen unload and move into their dorm rooms is an exciting event for many individuals on campus. Students enjoy serving others and getting to see incoming students and their families smile.

“I love people, and I want to make them feel welcome,” said junior Blake Bates, when asked why he was helping students move in. “It’s just fun to be out here with everybody else serving.”

Senior Lydia McNeil shared the same sentiment. “Just getting to meet the new students and welcome them and just say hey. I like getting to see how excited they are to see us all helping them move in. We’re setting a precedent of servant leadership, so I really like that.”

The appreciation was visible on the faces of many parents. Surprise was evident in the eyes of parents and students alike, when they were greeted by groups of students, faculty and staff who all pitched in to help. “It’s been great,” said mother, Colleen Howell. “Everybody’s been friendly, and there are lots of people out helping us.”

Following move-in, the dining hall was packed with new families and students. The excitement of arrival day filled the room as faculty, staff and returning students shared lunch with the newest members of the Bryan College family. The 2018-19 school year is off to a great start.


Faculty Friday: Meet Lynn Russell

Bryan College welcomes Lynn Russell as the new instructor of English on the residential campus. Russell graduated from Bryan College in 2016 with bachelor degrees in English Literature and Music: Piano Pedagogy. Following her graduation from Bryan, Russell earned a master’s degree in English Literature from the University of South Florida.

Russell enjoys the intellectual conversations and rigors of teaching in a college setting. Her desire to work at Bryan College is rooted in the ability to be open about her beliefs in the classroom. The Bryan College community’s inclusion of family and support for one another also drew her to return to Bryan and invest in the lives of students.

In 2017, Russell worked on a research team at the University of South Florida that datamined 17,000 college freshman essays, drawing conclusions about how student vocabulary, syntax, analysis etc. affect student grades, improvement, and college success. She also helped code the university’s online writing program where professors can now compare first and second drafts of papers to give a percentage of how much (or how little) a student had changed from each draft revision. In addition to this work, Russell also was the project leader on grade norming in the 2017-2018 school year.

Russell will soon have a chapter published by the esteemed Edinburgh Press, considered one of the leading university presses in the UK. This chapter on John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress argues for a historic reading of the novel because Bunyan’s fantasy world is the literal road of England, including its Great North Road, fair systems, toll gates, and failed bog systems. She argues for this historical reading because it brings further allegory and Bunyan’s own commentary of Early Modern politics and religion.

Russell is originally from Sarasota, Fla. and recently relocated to Dayton, Tenn. after her marriage to her husband, Chad, on June 2, 2018. She is most excited about teaching Introduction to Literature this fall. One of the most interesting facts about Russell is that she has tent camped across the country from Florida to California. When asked who she would want to take a trip around the world with she responded, “My husband because I love him”.

Please join us in welcoming Russell to the Bryan College family. To learn more about Lynn Russell’s experience, visit her faculty profile.


President welcomes faculty and staff back to campus in 2018 State of the College address

August 16, 2018 – On Tuesday, Bryan College President Stephen Livesay welcomed faculty and staff back to campus during the State of the College address. The President focused on three key areas during his talk, where we are going, how we are getting there and how we are doing, encouraging faculty and staff along the way.

As the college looks to the future, Livesay acknowledged the significant progress that has already been made in regards to the strategic plan. As 2020 draws near, the need for a specific and targeted goal became clear. In light of the College’s mission of preparing difference makers, a strategic goal of producing 320 graduates by 2020 was set.  The President noted specific objectives to reach this goal include increasing the freshman class size, increasing retention rates, increasing the average ACT score of incoming freshman and increasing student life coaching experiences per year.

The President identified people, projects and programs as significant aspects of accomplishing the College’s strategic goals. Livesay recognized the significant achievements of several faculty members in various departments across campus. Five faculty members were celebrated for successfully defending their theses and earning their doctoral degrees since August of 2017. In addition, Dr. Jonathan Newman and Dr. Neal Doran were recognized for their contributions of articles and papers to various academic publications. Five new faculty members were introduced.

The Professional Development Program was highlighted. This program is providing people across campus vital management and professional development training. The program will continue to provide access to new training and development opportunities in the 2018-19 academic year.

Many campus improvement projects were completed over the summer. Projects include repurposing existing campus spaces to improve the student experience. The President also recognized the IT staff, and many of their accomplishments. The new lecture capture system was installed in two test classrooms, providing professors the ability to record their lectures for various purposes.

Many student programs were reviewed, revealing the incredible number of opportunities students have taken advantage of over the last year.  Bryan College impacted the world for Christ through more than 20 service projects and internships across the globe.

The many accomplishments of the various athletic teams were celebrated, with eight NAIA Scholar Teams maintaining a 3.0 GPA or higher. For the spring semester, 44% of student athletes earned a 3.3 GPA or higher including 20 earning a 4.0 GPA.

The Bryan College Institute of Leadership, Business and Marketing, a partnership with East Hamilton Middle High School, was highlighted as a significant achievement for the college.  The partnership is one of the many ways the college is furthering its mission.

Adult and Graduate Studies (AGS) was recognized for numerous achievements and partnerships established over the last year, positioning AGS to make significant advances in the online and adult education market over the next year.

The President concluded the gathering by reviewing the theme verse of the year for 2018-19.

“Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

The verse is already emblazoned across campus in banners, serving to remind faculty, staff, students and visitors that we are strong in the Lord, that we shall remain immovable and that our work as servants of Christ will be rewarded.


Bryan College partners with Hamilton County Department of Education in bringing Future Ready Institute to East Hamilton Middle High School

Dr. Bryan Johnson, Superintendent and Dr. Stephen Livesay, Bryan Collge President, sign the MOU at East Hamilton Middle High School

August 13, 2018 – Bryan College has partnered with the Hamilton County Department of Education to announce the Bryan College Institute of Leadership, Business and Marketing at East Hamilton Middle High School. The Future Ready Institute program begins this fall and focuses on making students work force ready.

“Bryan College is proud to be a part of such a promising new program,” said Dr. Stephen Livesay, President of the College. “Preparing students to be ready for the next chapter in their lives is a natural role for us and we look forward to how the Institute of Leadership, Business and Marketing will do just that. We have a long-term commitment to this program and are eager to meet our first classes of students.”

Future Ready Institutes provide students with learning opportunities around a career theme, this one being leadership, business and marketing. The goal of the program is to provide students with continued opportunities after high school.

Students of the Bryan College Institute of Leadership, Business and Marketing will be part of a learning community of peers with similar career interests. The curriculum includes business, marketing, accounting, management and entrepreneurship.

As part of the partnership, business professors from Bryan College will serve as guest lecturers throughout the curriculum. Additional opportunities include school to college summer bridge programs, student externships, student leadership training, access to scholarships and more.

The three key elements to Future Ready Institutes are Engaging Instruction, Partnerships and Post-Secondary Jumpstart. There are 20 Future Ready Institutes located in 14 schools throughout the district.

Dr. Adina Scruggs, Dr. Johnathan Newman, Dr. Daniel Gates, and Vaughn Berger of Bryan College with students from EHMHS.

“A big focus for us is making sure our graduates are ready for the challenges of the future they will face after high school,” said Blake Freeman, director of Future Ready Institutes of Hamilton County Schools. “Partners such as Bryan College are helping pave the way to achieving this goal.”

An official signing of the memorandum of understanding took place between Bryan College and East Hamilton Middle High School on Friday, August 10. After the ceremony, East Hamilton students had the opportunity to engage with Bryan College business professors, setting a strong example for the launch of the partnership.


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