John Brown University, New Life Ranch form Community Partnership Scholarship

John Brown University has formed a community partnership scholarship with New Life Ranch, providing full-time employees and members of their immediate families with the opportunity to receive a tuition scholarship of up to $2,500 per year for up to four years.

Tom Graney, New Life Ranch executive director, said New Life Ranch and John Brown University have been synonymous with one another for many years, so it’s only natural for both of them to finally have more of an official connection.

“We’re only seven miles apart, New Life Ranch’s board has been made up of JBU faculty and alumni, New Life Ranch staff have taught classes at JBU, and we have many students who have been on summer staff and worked at camp during the school year. Many campers have considered JBU because it’s so close to New Life Ranch – their favorite place as a kid,” said Graney. “With all of that, the real glue that holds it all together is that we have the same Gospel of Jesus Christ focus with what we do. I look forward to many years of fruitful partnership between both organizations.”

Joe Walenciak, dean of business development and strategic partnerships, said the partnership will allow New Life Ranch and JBU to better connect and empower students to succeed.

“New Life Ranch and JBU share a similar core mission and have been great partners for many years,” Walenciak said. “We are very happy and proud to deepen our partnership with this great ministry.”

This scholarship will apply to any degree program offered at JBU, including students in traditional on-campus undergraduate, online undergraduate and graduate programs. 

Learn more about JBU’s community partnerships at jbu.edu/community-partnerships/newliferanch/.

Arkansas Press Women recognizes 2020 contest winners including John Brown University representatives

Arkansas Press Women recognized eight John Brown University students, a faculty member and an alumna among the winners of the organization’s professional communications contest during an online presentation on April 25. The awards were presented in a virtual ceremony in light of social distancing requirements to help stem the spread of COVID-19. 

Catherine Nolte, junior at John Brown University and managing editor of The Threefold Advocate, received three first-place awards in the collegiate education division of the contest. Her firsts were in design (print or electronic) for “The Life of Christ in Words and Images,” writing — news for “Brexit delayed for a third time, pushed to January 2020,” and writing — opinion, editorial, reviews for “Mental illness is not a sin.” Nolte also placed second in the professional portion of the communications contest for specialty articles — religion for “Upperclassmen confront faith crisis at CCCU schools.”

A team of six students — Rachel Ball, Claire Brownlee, Hannah Lawrence, Jessica Oldenettel, Natalie Rogers and Andrea Sosso — received a first-place award in the collegiate division for public relations campaign. The students prepared a social media/communication plan for Saving Grace, a Rogers-based nonprofit organization. The campaign was their final project in a Public Relations Writing and Technology class.

JBU’s Maria Aguilar, opinions editor for The Threefold Advocate, also was honored. Aguilar’s article, “Bentonville citizens protest to relocate Confederate statue” was entered in the professional division of the contest and received an honorable mention in the specialty articles — social issues category.

Debbie Miller, an assistant professor at JBU, received a first-place award in the collegiate division in the category of faculty adviser of student publication, station, or site for advising The Threefold Advocate. Miller also received awards for work done in her previous job in development at Ozark Guidance. She received first-place awards in specialty articles — personal essay and in communications program or campaign and second in public relations materials — brochures.

Jamie (Brunk) Smith, a 2000 graduate of JBU, placed first in web and social media — blogs, corporate or for-profit for “The Day Facebook Died (and why it shouldn’t have been your website in the first place).” She also placed second in web and social media — website edited or managed by the entrant (nonprofit, government or educational) for “GiveCamp NWA website.” Chris Whittle was a co-entrant on Smith’s website entry.

All awards are for work completed during 2019.

First-place winners in the APW contest advance to the National Federation of Press Women competition if the winners are NFPW members. This year, 30 Arkansas first-place winners competed at the national level. National awards were scheduled to be presented at the NFPW conference in Little Rock in June 2020. To protect the health of its members, the NFPW board has decided to postpone its conference in Arkansas until 2021 and will present the 2020 national awards online.

JBU Online Expands to Four-Year Bachelor’s Degree Program

John Brown University announced that the JBU Online program has expanded to a full, four-year online bachelor’s degree program with no minimum requirement for prior college credit at a new lower tuition rate.

Beginning fall 2020, tuition will be reduced to $300 per credit hour with the same high-quality, personalized online educational experience.

JBU Online offers Bachelor of Science degrees in business administration, liberal arts, organizational leadership and psychology. Minors are available in business (non-MBA and Pre-MBA), communication, leadership, managerial accounting, politics and ethics, and psychology.

“Students deserve to have access to a quality Christian educational experience from a university they trust, and by expanding our program and lowering tuition we can serve more students than ever before,” said Josh Price, director of enrollment of JBU Online. “We hope the lower tuition rate gives students a little bit of extra breathing room, especially during this time of uncertainty because of COVID-19.”

Previously, students were required to have 45 credit hours to be accepted into JBU Online. While previous transferable college credit is no longer required, JBU Online accepts credits for transfer students that have earned their associate’s degree, dual-enrolled high school students or students who have credits from multiple universities.

JBU Online students can receive an additional discount on 2020 summer courses, which JBU is offering at $249 per credit hour. The courses will be divided into two seven-week sessions (May 11-June 26 and July 6-August 21) and students may take up to three courses per session. The classes are asynchronous so students can view online lectures at a time that works for them each week and complete the weekly assignments.

For more information, visit jbu.edu/online or call (800) 528-4723.

John Brown University is a leading private Christian university, training students to honor God and serve others since 1919. Arkansas’ top-ranked university (The Wall Street Journal) and top-ranked regional university (U.S. News Best Colleges, 2019), JBU enrolls more than 2,300 students from 36 states and 59 countries in its traditional undergraduate, graduate, online and concurrent education programs. JBU offers more than 40 undergraduate majors, with top programs including engineering, nursing, family and human services, biology, graphic design and construction management. Sixteen graduate programs are available in the areas of business, counseling, cybersecurity, education and higher education.

JBU Makes 60 Summer Courses Available at Reduced Tuition

John Brown University announced today the creation of “JBU at Home” – a schedule of more than 60 JBU classes that students can take during the summer at a steeply reduced tuition rate.

The courses, which include both core and major-specific classes, cost $249 per credit hour, a 70% discount over traditional face-to-face classes.

“We recognize that a lot of JBU students have had their summer plans disrupted, so we’ve created JBU at Home to help them redeem that time and make significant progress toward their degree,” said Ed Ericson, vice president of academic affairs. “We also hope it will help them remain connected to their professors and friends during this extended time of isolation.

JBU At Home courses are also open to incoming JBU freshmen. Students in the Early Commit program can register for classes beginning April 20 and all other incoming freshmen can register beginning April 27.

High school juniors and seniors are eligible to take the courses through JBU’s dual enrollment program. The courses are also open to non-JBU college students. Registration for these two groups begins April 27.

JBU At Home is divided into two seven-week sessions (May 11-June 26 and July 6-August 21) and students may take up to three courses per session. The classes are asynchronous so students can view online lectures at a time that works for them each week and complete the weekly assignments.

The discounted tuition rate also applies to those enrolled in JBU’s Online Undergraduate degree program.

For more information, visit www.jbu.edu/jbu-at-home.

John Brown University is a leading private Christian university, training students to honor God and serve others since 1919. Arkansas’ top-ranked university (The Wall Street Journal) and top-ranked regional university (U.S. News Best Colleges, 2019), JBU enrolls more than 2,300 students from 36 states and 59 countries in its traditional undergraduate, graduate, online and concurrent education programs. JBU offers more than 40 undergraduate majors, with top programs including engineering, nursing, family and human services, biology, graphic design and construction management. Sixteen graduate programs are available in the areas of business, counseling, cybersecurity, education and higher education.

JBU Adds Criminal Justice Program

John Brown University announced the addition of an undergraduate criminal justice degree, beginning in the fall of 2020. The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice will provide students with an academic and experiential program in the various fields that comprise the discipline of criminal justice.

The program will prepare students to work in local, state or federal law enforcement, public safety and law, including administrative positions in those fields. The major is intentionally structured to give students access to experts in criminal justice as well as the related fields of political science, psychology and more. 

“In recent years, criminal justice has become one of the most sought-after courses of study in the nation. We’re excited to leverage the expertise of our faculty with the resources of an innovative partner institution to train and equip future leaders in this field,” said Daniel Bennett, associate professor of political science. “JBU’s criminal justice graduates will stand out not only for their professional preparation but also for their integrity and character.”

The new degree offering features a partnership between JBU and Bluefield College, a fellow member of the Coalition of Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) in Bluefield, Virginia. JBU students will take 12 of the required 42 credit hours of criminal justice courses through Bluefield’s online classes.

“Partnering with a CCCU sister institution like Bluefield College provides JBU students with our holistic residential experience combined with even broader content knowledge in criminal justice,” said Ed Ericson, JBU vice president of academic affairs. “This partnership will provide our students with new opportunities that we are tremendously excited about.”

The major will help students articulate a Christian worldview in recognizing, understanding and applying ethical reasoning skills in the domain of criminal justice. Students will also learn data and methods of social science research to respond to contemporary issues in criminal justice. 

For more information about the program, visit jbu.edu/majors/criminal-justice/ or email Daniel Bennett at DBennett@jbu.edu.

John Brown University is a leading private Christian university, training students to honor God and serve others since 1919. As Arkansas’ top-ranked university (Wall Street Journal, 2020), JBU enrolls more than 2,100 students from 36 states and 59 countries in its traditional undergraduate, graduate, online and concurrent education programs. JBU offers more than 40 majors, with top programs including engineering, nursing, family and human services, biology, graphic design and construction management.

JBU Launches Cybersecurity Degree Program

John Brown University announced today the addition of an undergraduate cybersecurity degree beginning in the fall of 2020. Students can select to pursue either a Bachelor of Science degree or a Bachelor of Arts degree which allows students to pursue an interdisciplinary program with other academic areas such as entrepreneurship and innovation.

According to Cyberseek, a project under the U.S. Department of Commerce, there are nearly 1,400 unfilled cybersecurity positions in Arkansas alone and the supply-demand ratio for cybersecurity is nearly double the national average of all positions. Nationally, there are over 500,000 unfilled cybersecurity openings.

“Digital data infrastructures are storing massive amounts of data that must be protected,” Ted Song, JBU associate professor of engineering, said. “With a critical shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals, JBU sees this as an important opportunity to provide graduates with the technical knowledge, soft skills and the foundation of Christian ethics to meet this vital need.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 32% growth rate in the cybersecurity industry between 2018-2028 with a median salary of $98,350.

The new program offering features a partnership between JBU and Bluefield College, a fellow member of the Coalition of Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) in Bluefield, Virginia. JBU students will take 26 of the required 47 credit hours of cybersecurity courses through Bluefield’s online classes.

“Bluefield is a great CCCU sister institution with significant expertise in cybersecurity and related fields,” Ed Ericson, JBU vice president of academic affairs, said. “Partnering with Bluefield provides our students with a great holistic residential experience at JBU combined with amazing content knowledge in this discipline — all of from a biblical perspective. We are truly excited about the new opportunities this partnership will provide to our students.”

Students can elect to follow an accelerated 4+1 program which allows them to finish both their bachelor’s degree and master’s in cybersecurity from JBU in five years.

For more information about the program, visit jbu.edu/cyber or email Ted Song at tsong@jbu.edu.

John Brown University is a leading private Christian university, training students to honor God and serve others since 1919. As Arkansas’ top-ranked university (Wall Street Journal, 2020), JBU enrolls more than 2,100 students from 36 states and 59 countries in its traditional undergraduate, graduate, online and concurrent education programs. JBU offers more than 40 majors, with top programs including engineering, nursing, family and human services, biology, graphic design and construction management.

JBU Announces Lowest Percent Increase for Undergraduate Tuition, Room & Board

The John Brown University Board of Trustees announced this week a 1.93 percent blended increase for 2020-2021 undergraduate tuition, fees, room and board. The 1.93% increase is the lowest percentage rate increase in more than 30 years and amounts to $718.

To help with the increase, the university will make an additional $425,000 budget available for need and merit-based institutional scholarships and work-study positions. For the 2020-21 academic year, JBU expects to award $16 million in scholarships with 90 percent of JBU students receiving some form of institutional aid, including approximately $2.3 million in endowed scholarships that benefit more than 460 students.

“The board of trustees and administration of JBU are committed to controlling operational costs so that we can keep tuition increases as low as possible,” Dr. Kim Hadley, vice president for finance and administration, said. “We are grateful for the many faculty, staff, alumni and friends who generously give each year to scholarship endowments and the annual fund to help our students attend JBU.

In September, The Wall Street Journal announced its 2020 college rankings and named JBU the #1 university in Arkansas. JBU also continues to advance and is now No. 11 in the 2020 U.S. News & World Report Best Regional University rankings and, for the fourth year, was the top-ranked Arkansas school in its cohort. Forbes named JBU one of America’s Top Colleges, and Money ranked JBU the top school in Arkansas. 

Although exact board costs may vary slightly based on selected flexible dining options, the cost breakdown for undergraduate tuition, fees, room and board for 2020-21 is:

  Increase Total
Tuition & Fees  $620 $28,288
Room $0 $4,536
Board  $98 $5,018
TOTAL  $718 $37,842

John Brown University is a leading private Christian university, training students to honor God and serve others since 1919. As Arkansas’ top-ranked university (Wall Street Journal, 2020), JBU enrolls more than 2,100 students from 36 states and 59 countries in its traditional undergraduate, graduate, online and concurrent education programs. JBU offers more than 40 majors, with top programs including engineering, nursing, family and human services, biology, graphic design and construction management.

JBU Appoints New Chaplain, Dean of Christian Formation

Photograph of Mark Irving
Mark Irving

John Brown University announced today the appointment of Mark Irving as University Chaplain, Dean of Christian Formation. Irving will begin the new role on July 1.

“Mark has a heart for college student discipleship, and we look forward to seeing how God will use him to give direction and support to the chapel and ministry programs of JBU’s Office of Christian Formation,” said Steve Beers, vice president for student development.

Irving serves as the executive pastor at Fellowship Nashville in Tennessee and leads a citywide young professional’s ministry through Navigators. Irving is a graduate of Cedarville University and Dallas Theological Seminary. He served in youth ministry on the West Coast and collegiate ministry in the Midwest before moving to Tennessee in 2014. 

“I look forward to serving as the JBU chaplain and walking alongside students in the great adventure of following Jesus,” Irving said. 

Irving and his wife Meredith have three daughters ages 11, 14 and 16.

John Brown University is a leading private Christian university, training students to honor God and serve others since 1919. As Arkansas’ top-ranked university (Wall Street Journal, 2020), JBU enrolls more than 2,100 students from 36 states and 59 countries in its traditional undergraduate, graduate, online and concurrent education programs. JBU offers more than 40 majors, with top programs including engineering, nursing, family and human services, biology, graphic design and construction management.

Chief Judge Lavenski Smith Presents Barnett Civic Leadership Lecture at John Brown University

Photograph of Chief Judge Lavenski Smith
Chief Judge Lavenski Smith

John Brown University will host Chief Judge Lavenski Smith as the 2020 speaker for the Barnett Civic Leadership Series. Smith, who is the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, will present a lecture titled “Without Respect of Persons” on Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. in Simmons Great Hall at JBU.

“In his almost two decades of service on the Eighth Circuit, Judge Smith has demonstrated a firm commitment to the rule of law and a healthy respect for the constitutional separation of powers. But more than that, he is a man of deep faith with a long history of support for John Brown University,” Dr. Daniel Bennett, JBU associate professor of political science and assistant director of Center for Faith and Flourishing, said. “We are grateful to be able to host him for this event.”

Smith was nominated to the federal bench by President George W. Bush and began serving in 2002. He became Chief Judge in 2017. Before joining the federal bench, Smith practiced law in both private practice and public service. He was also a JBU professor and later on the board of trustees.

The event is free and open to the public.

The Ray and Laurine Barnett Civic Leadership Series, established in 2016, is funded by an endowment created with gifts from the Barnett family and donations from more than 20 organizations and individuals. The series, which brings a speaker to JBU each academic year, focuses on Christian leadership and addresses the intersection of faith and public service. Past speakers include Alveda C. King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the director of Civil Rights for the Unborn, the African American Outreach for Priests for Life and the African American Outreach for Gospel of Life Ministries; Shapri LoMaglio, vice president for government relations and executive programs at the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities; former Gov. Mike Huckabee and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

“We at the Center for Faith and Flourishing are thrilled to partner with the Barnett Civic Leadership Series to bring Judge Smith to JBU,” said Dr. James Bruce, JBU associate professor of philosophy and director of Center for Faith and Flourishing. “This year’s lecture continues the great tradition of Barnett lectures, which give JBU students, faculty and staff the opportunity to think and reflect on Christianity, politics and the roles we have to play in our life together.”

John Brown University is a leading private Christian university, training students to honor God and serve others since 1919. As Arkansas’ top-ranked university (Wall Street Journal, 2020), JBU enrolls more than 2,100 students from 36 states and 59 countries in its traditional undergraduate, graduate, online and concurrent education programs. JBU offers more than 40 majors, with top programs including engineering, nursing, family and human services, biology, graphic design and construction management.