Spiritual Emphasis, Academics Shape Transfer Students

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Students talk with nursing professor

“Everything we do at BJU seems to point back to Christ in some way,” senior Zach Smisor said while reflecting on his transfer to BJU. He and other transfer students have noticed a stark contrast between BJU and their former colleges.

A Pronounced Spiritual Atmosphere

Smisor, a business administration student, is thrilled to be at BJU after four semesters at a small private local college and one at a state university in Kansas. “I thought about how a secular university might be full of sin while in high school, but it wasn’t until I was actually there attending one that I realized how shockingly ungodly the environment really was,” he said. “There were often days when I would leave school sick to my stomach because of the situations I had encountered or the topics that had been discussed in class throughout my day.”

For the past three semesters, not only has Smisor enjoyed hearing about God in classes, but he has also enjoyed student body activities like Ignite that focus on singing and testimonies about God. “Coming from a state school, nights like these are priceless,” he said.

After studying history for a year at a public university, junior Isaac Perry also transferred to BJU in the fall of 2020 to study ministry and leadership. He said the spiritual atmosphere at BJU is “100 times” better than at his former school, especially because of godly, caring leaders at BJU. “While there are still people who really do not want to be at BJU, most of the student body really enjoys being here,” he said.

Sophomore Taryn Johnson transferred to BJU in the spring of 2021 after three semesters at a community college near her home in Western Canada. She had always wanted to attend BJU, and a fall semester of online classes prompted her to finally make the move. “I was ready to get back into real classrooms,” she said.

On campus, Johnson immediately noticed the difference at BJU compared to her former school. “When my accounting teacher opened my very first class on campus with prayer and encouragement from God’s Word, I was touched by the huge contrast between the environment here and at my last school where the teachers had no religious background at all,” she said.

Edifying Relationships

Relationships with fellow students also impact students who transfer to BJU. In fact, although Smisor knew about BJU because his sister attended graduate school here, he did not consider attending BJU until he met BJU students during the summer of 2018. “It was the people I met while working at the Wilds that really influenced me of the true value there is in BJU,” he said.

Since coming to campus, friends have continued to be a significant part of Smisor’s college experience. “Never before have I had friends who care so genuinely about me and work to point me to Christ,” he said.

Within Johnson’s first semester at BJU, residence hall life surpassed her expectations because of friendships she has made with the girls there. BJU friends have also benefited Perry. “There are a lot of people I know I can talk to and get great biblical advice,” he said.

See Also: Friendships Valuable Benefit of College Years

Quality Academics and Extracurriculars

In addition to having a Christian environment, BJU’s commitment to a liberal arts education and extracurriculars convinced Johnson to transfer. She has especially enjoyed participating in BJU’s music program. “BJU has definitely met my expectations in the area,” she said.

Although transferring during the spring semester was challenging academically, Johnson is thankful for a pursuit of academic excellence. “The faculty are incredibly talented and experienced, and the student body is hardworking and dedicated,” she said.

Smisor has noticed the high quality of a BJU education, as well. “The teachers are much more experienced, and the classes are more difficult, but it has been a growing experience,” he said.

Perry has also benefited from his classroom experience. “I wasn’t totally sure what I was getting myself into with stuff like content, workload, class atmosphere and other things, but my time in my major classes has been extremely enjoyable and profitable,” he said. “I’m learning to do things and think ways that I would never have imagined myself doing.”

Perry finds the educational atmosphere particularly encouraging. “My professors and peers are studying something that is eternal, and the passion and importance that comes with that is very evident,” he said.

Added Johnson: “I am very thankful for the important life lessons God taught me through my time at a secular college, but I love being at a school now where I am surrounded by students, faculty and staff who are united with a common desire to glorify God and who seek to approach life’s biggest questions through a biblical worldview.”

For more information on how to transfer to BJU, visit bju.edu/transfer