Criminal Justice Program Sees Quick Growth

A student actively investigating the staged crime scene for a criminal justice class.
Freshman Desmond Sales, investigates the permanently staged crime scene on campus.

April 12, 2018 – Among several fields of study seeing exciting changes and growth lately, the criminal justice program at Bryan College is growing by leaps and bounds.

Two years have passed since John Sterling, associate professor of criminal justice and director of college safety and security, was hired to help the college establish a vibrant and relevant criminal justice program. According to Sterling, the program’s purpose is “promoting realistic and relevant training that will accomplish the mission of the college to train leaders for Christ, and also making available to the law enforcement community people who are well trained, people of character, people with integrity.”

And this encompasses more professions than that of a street cop: students in the criminal justice program are also those interested in going into courts, corrections, fish/game/wildlife, etc. “Our goal is to promote integrity within the discipline and to prepare students to be a success as they enter this profession,” Sterling says.

This semester criminal justice students have had the opportunity to learn under a guest instructor who is a special agent with the Department of Homeland Security and a digital forensics expert. He has presented several classes on digital forensics and cyber-crime, a topic on which a new class will be offered this coming fall. These students also have an opportunity few others at their level of education have: the chance to get hands-on forensics experience exploring a permanently staged crime scene set up in an unused dorm room on campus. They have to determine the need for a search warrant and specify facts in an affidavit that must be approved to show probable cause, searching for evidence in the room and digitally on the computer, picking up pieces of evidence in the crime scene.

“This level of instruction is simply not generally available at institutions at this level,” notes Sterling. “We are definitely competitive. I expect great things!”

There is also an online criminal justice degree being offered through the School of Adult and Graduate Studies.

Written by Chloe Ann Townsend ’13, advancement writer and editor.

Bryan College Announces Dean of New Engineering Program

December 12, 2017 – One of the most anticipated new programs to be offered by Bryan College starting in 2018 is one step closer to fruition; the engineering program has officially acquired a program dean.

Dr. Thomas Marshall – who holds a Ph.D. in engineering from Oregon Institute of Science and Technology, a M.S. in engineering from Loyola Marymount University, and a B.S. in engineering from Ohio State University, along with a M.Div. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary – has an impressive range of experience to bring to the table in the new engineering program at Bryan.

According to Academic Vice President Kevin Clauson, “Dr. Marshall has helped two other schools start up engineering programs, at California Baptist University and Mt. Vernon Nazarene University. He has also been a consultant and has been in industry and started his own businesses. He has a passion for ‘missional engineering,’ providing engineering services to peoples and areas in need in the name of Christ, something he wants to instill into Bryan’s program.” Dr. Marshall will lead the engineering program, with specializations in both mechanical and civil engineering, starting in the summer of 2018.

“We are very excited to welcome Dr. Marshall on board as the engineering dean here at Bryan,” remarked President Stephen D. Livesay. “He is a man of great character and experience and has a wonderful vision for this promising new program.”

Learn more about Dr. Thomas Marshall.

The engineering program will be available starting in the fall of 2018, pending SACSCOC approval.

Written by Chloe Ann Townsend ’13, advancement writer and editor.

Bryan College Martial Arts Academy Signs Top Martial Artist Kila Owens

October 19, 2017 – Kila Owens is a senior at Straughn High School in Andalusia, Ala.. She is also a world-class martial artist: a 1st degree black belt in Isshinryu Karate (Okinawan style brought back by the Marines in the 1950s) who competes nationally in point fighting, kata, and weapons kata.

David Holcomb, the director of the Bryan College Martial Arts Academy, said “Kila brings instant credibility to our program starting in Fall 2018. It will be a great opportunity for high school students who want to attend college and train alongside her at the academy. I have been watching her since she won the women’s division at such a young age at the Isshinryu Hall of Fame tournament, the largest national tournament for Isshinryu in the country. Kila has the focus and determination to be a great instructor and trainer throughout her life. We are excited to have her at Bryan College!”

Since July Kila has won additional tournaments throughout the South in point fighting, kata, and weapons kata. “She is the type of person we want at Bryan, she wants to grow as a person physically, mentally and spiritually,” continued Holcomb. “We want Kila to be successful. Being able to give her a scholarship to continue to build on her incredible foundation in martial arts is a blessing that we are honored to provide.”

The Bryan College Martial Arts Academy is one of the new programs that Bryan College has starting in the Fall 2018 semester. The academy is for any student – with or without prior martial arts training. Members of the team will compete through the year, ending with a national tournament. In addition, students will work semester by semester to attain a black belt by the end of their senior year. If they already have a black belt, they will work towards their degree ranks in a partnership with their local martial arts school and Bryan College.

Holcomb said, “We already have recruits joining us from Texas, North Carolina, and all over Tennessee. We want this academy to become the standard in martial arts training at the collegiate level while simultaneously helping these students grow in their faith. We believe in the holistic approach of mind, body, and spirit.”

Kila is looking to major in education while attending Bryan College and helping to be a leader in the academy.

For more information contact David Holcomb at 423.605.1534. If you have a student interested in attending Bryan College and being in the Martial Arts Academy, click here.