President’s Newsletter – December 2023

This newsletter from Bob Jones University Acting CEO Alan Benson is intended to inform BJU’s alumni and friends of student and faculty achievements and campus programs and activities. Communication regarding this newsletter may be addressed to [email protected].

Message from Acting CEO Dr. Alan Benson

Three parallel essential ingredients — biblical thinking, life mentoring and experiential learning — make a BJU education unique.

BJU Acting CEO Alan Benson

These three elements work together to produce a unique synergy present in a BJU education. Removing one of those elements would be like trying to figure out which ingredient to remove from your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. There is no good answer. It is these three elements in combination that allow us to produce more than graduates who receive a diploma. We produce learners equipped for life. Other schools do one or more of these elements well, but BJU is committed to delivering them in a unique combination so that our students receive a life-on-life, hand-delivered, hands-on education that equips them to apply biblical thinking to every challenge in life.

First, we are focused on biblical thinking, delivering a biblical worldview that equips people to view life through the lens of Scripture and then live it in light of the authority of Scripture.

Second, the best way for us to deliver biblical thinking is life-on-life mentoring. We could call it discipleship, and it happens everywhere on our campus from the moment a student arrives. People are touching their lives, walking their educational journey with them, seeing them get their hands dirty while they are developing their skills so that they are equipped to live for Jesus Christ. Intentionally, we have professors whose lives are intertwined with their students beyond the classroom. We have Student Life staff who live and mentor and walk a spiritual journey. We see that our students attend local churches where pastors and church families help to shape them.

Third, a BJU education is about experiential learning that helps students sample what it is that God has called them to do so that they discover and develop their own giftedness and hone their skills to be the very best they can be at that task. We can’t take one of those elements out.

BJU is in a time of presidential transition. Some are asking why they should come to BJU now and are tempted to hit the pause button. If they’ve applied, they hesitate to commit. If they haven’t applied, they want to wait. I’ve had to wrestle through how to answer their concerns in light of our robust, rich, full history; in light of what God is presently doing here; and in light of what we believe God is planning for our future.

I’ve identified four things I think are at the core of who BJU is and what we are doing. First, BJU has a history of being built on philosophy, not personality. This year of transition has reminded us how essential our mission is and that it is needed more today than ever before. As a result, we are more missionally focused than we have ever been.

Second, the strength of BJU for almost a century has been its faculty. During this time of transition, we are blessed that we haven’t lost any faculty. Our faculty are energized and totally committed to the mission. They are engaging in the lives of their students and their subject matter and moving our educational product forward. They are here to stay.

Third, BJU is focused on delivering an unparalleled student experience. Students this year are more enthusiastic and energetic than we’ve experienced in quite some time, as evidenced by the engagement in their societies and campus activities. We have revamped some of our society athletics, and that has brought a level of engagement and enthusiasm we haven’t seen in a number of years, and our student leaders have done an incredible job with events. Our students are having a fantastic experience both in learning and living, and we are committed to preserving and further developing that student experience.

Fourth, BJU is forward-focused. We believe there is no such thing as status quo in higher ed and, in particular, in Christian higher ed. We are developing new programs, enhancing learning experiences and deepening learning outcomes. We are not sitting still. Here are four examples.

  • In the past year, we introduced two new master’s degrees and secured approval to pursue a new bachelor’s degree and a new doctoral program.
  • We’re continuing to develop and refine — by academic discipline — the comprehensive biblical worldview that we want throughout our curriculum and are relocating our Center for Biblical Worldview to accommodate a think tank atmosphere and group projects.
  • This is the first semester in the 12 years of Bruins intercollegiate sports that we have won four national championships. Our Bruin athletes are having an unparalleled experience on their teams and in their competitions, and we are so excited to see the intercollegiate program move forward.
  • Our delegation to the South Carolina Student Legislature recently competed against several of the largest schools in the state — Clemson University, University of South Carolina, College of Charleston, etc. — and won the designation of best overall delegation for the quality of their proposed bills and their debate arguments. A BJU student was also elected governor. This is the type of experiential learning we are providing our students — opportunities for them to sit in the format of a state legislature, propose bills, debate bills, work through the process and excel.

With that, people may say, “So, in light of those four things, where is the presidential search and how will it impact those things?” With every ounce of confidence, I can say we have a Board determined to find a president committed to these four things: committed to our philosophy and mission, committed to the fact that our strength is in our faculty and in our classrooms, committed to the fact that we are driving an unparalleled student experience, and committed to the fact that we are forward facing and looking to develop and grow for the glory of God.

This is not a moment to hit the pause button, to sit and wait, or to worry. This is a moment for us to share what God is doing here. We are seeing daily the blessings of God, and it is time for us to talk about why we believe the blessing of God is on and will continue to be on this place for His glory into the next century.

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BJU Named Best Overall Delegation to S.C. Student Legislature

Bob Jones University Delegation to the South Carolina Student Legislature

The Bob Jones University delegation to the South Carolina Student Legislature (SCSL) was awarded the Palmetto Award for the best overall delegation. The fall session was held November 15–17 at the South Carolina State House in Columbia.

Preparation for SCSL helps students learn the intricacies of representative government and provides an opportunity for them to hone their skills by debating with their peers on a host of issues. The organization is run entirely by students.

This session, Charleston Southern University, Clemson University, Coastal Carolina University, Presbyterian College, the University of South Carolina and Bob Jones University fielded delegations.

The BJU delegation was chaired by Camden Gearhart, a junior social studies education major from Greenville, South Carolina, and comprised of junior Abigail Bergmann and sophomore Gretchen Bradley, both political science majors from Greer, South Carolina; sophomore Dillon Harris, political science major from Lexington, South Carolina; Audrey Huffman, senior political science major from Acworth, Georgia; sophomore English major Kate Huffstutler of Tallmadge, Ohio; sophomore social studies education major Hudson Knight from Clayton, North Carolina; Paul Kamibayashiyama, senior social studies education major from Greenville, South Carolina; junior communication major AnnaGrace Leszkowicz of Findlay, Ohio; and senior political science major Sarah Whiteley of Camas, Washington.

During the session, all the bills proposed by BJU passed, and several members of the delegation were honored by their peers with individual awards or distinctions. Abigail Bergmann won best oral argument and was elected governor. Kate Huffstutler won best-written legislation. The delegation was also selected as the best medium-sized delegation and best overall.

“This was a tremendous learning experience for our delegates, and we learned much about the legislative process,” said Camden Gearhart, BJU delegation chair. “I am proud of how we performed as a group, and this was reflected by us receiving the Palmetto Award for best overall delegation.”

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BJU Hosts Annual Christmas Celebration

2023 Christmas Lighting Ceremony

Bob Jones University held the 33rd annual Christmas Celebration on Friday, December 1. 

Throughout the morning, students were treated to cookies and hot cocoa and the opportunity to participate in an Ugly Sweater Contest, the Elf on the Shelf scavenger hunt, and a special Christmas chapel. 

Pre-show Carol Sing and Lighting activities began at 3 p.m. with a performance by the Bob Jones Elementary School Choir in the Student Center Mall. Afterward, the Christmas Village for children opened, featuring free interactive booths, including cookie decorating, a magic show, storytelling, crafts, face art, s’mores and games. 

Other activities included popular Christmas markets hosted by students and Alumni Relations, the radio show produced by journalism and mass communication students, “Down the Chimney: An Evening of Christmas Classics” with Dr. Lonnie Polson, and the Alumni Giving Tree. Last year’s Giving Tree fundraiser yielded a record-breaking $25,702. To read about this year’s recipients, David and Bethany Wallace, click here.

Due to inclement weather, the choirs, Greenville Youth Chorale and BJA High School Choir, sang in Founder’s Memorial Amphitorium before the Carol Sing. Thousands gathered to sing Christmas classics led by the University Singers under the enthusiastic direction of Dr. David Parker. Acting CEO Dr. Alan Benson read the Christmas story from Luke 2 and gave a brief message about Jesus’ birth being the culmination of God’s providential working throughout history and the implications of His arrival for all mankind. 

Afterward, the crowd gathered in front of Rodeheaver Auditorium to watch Dr. Benson and State Rep. Adam Morgan (2011 graduate), along with his family, turn on the campus Christmas lights. Adam Morgan represents House District 20 in the South Carolina House of Representatives and is president of Majesty Music, Inc. The Christmas display of over 70,000 lights will remain in place through January 2, 2024. 

The Symphonic Wind Band and the University Chorale and Concert Choir performed “Carols and Classics” in Rodeheaver Auditorium following the Lighting Ceremony.

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Cross Country Teams Win National Championships

At the NCCAA DII Cross Country National Championships in Warsaw, Indiana, on November 10, both the BJU women’s team and the BJU men’s team emerged as national champions — the men for the eighth straight year and the women for the fourth straight year.

For the men’s 8k race, BJU lined up against 55 runners from 11 other schools: Maranatha Baptist University, Ozark Christian College, Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary, Crown College, Boyce College, Grace Christian University, Campbellsville University Harrodsburg, Emmaus Bible College, Barclay College, Welch College and Dallas Christian College.

Five BJU Bruins runners remained in the top-ten throughout the course. Sol Shafer, a senior nursing major from Lexington, South Carolina, finished first for the Bruins and second overall with a time of 26:45.80. Marc Johnson, a junior Spanish education major from Pensacola, Florida, crossed the finish line next for the Bruins at 28:16.20. Other Bruins finishing in the top ten were Joseph Grassmid, a senior business administration major from Menno, South Dakota; Trenton Goldsmith, a senior journalism and mass communication major from Macomb, Michigan; and Levi Gerbitz, a freshman communication disorders major from Knoxville, Tennessee. The team finished in first place with 24 points and a team time of 2:21:25. 

For the women’s 5k race, BJU lined up against 54 runners representing 12 other schools — nine of which competed in the men’s race, plus Moody Bible Institute, Alice Lloyd College and Trinity Bible College. Liesl Heinz, senior nursing major from Clarks Hill, South Carolina, came in second overall at 20:18.60. Joanna Lain, junior health sciences major from Lakeland, Florida, stopped the clock at 21:04.80 with teammate Lauren Jones, sophomore biology major from Rockwall, Texas, close behind at 21:14.50. The Bruins finished with 39 points and posted a winning team time of 1:47:01.

Following the race, Levi Gerbitz, Trenton Goldsmith, Joseph Grassmid, Marc Johnson, Sol Shafer, Lauren Jones, Joanna Lain and Liesl Heinz earned All-American honors, which are awarded to the top-ten finishers at the National Championships.

The National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) also named eight BJU runners as Scholar-Athletes for 2023 — a recognition given to junior, senior and graduate students with at least a 3.40 GPA: Joy Hast, junior English major from Kremmling, Colorado; Courtney Jones, junior health sciences major from Rockwall, Texas; Kate Nutzhorn, junior nursing major from Toulon, Illinois; Joanna Laing, Liesl Heinz, Sol Shafer, Marc Johnson and Evan Seaman, a junior accounting major from Lexington, Kentucky.

In addition, the NCCAA named Bob Jones University cross country coach Ken Roach as the 2023 National Coach of the Year for Division II. This is the third time in his career that Coach Roach has earned the honor.

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Global Challenges Class Works on Food Security Project

Bob Jones University Global Challenges Class

Each year, the Bob Jones University global challenges class takes on a large real-life project. The interdisciplinary team of science, engineering, business and other students design a long-term solution to a global challenge and launch a business that can contribute to solving this problem on an ongoing basis.

The 2023–2024 challenge is food security in the developing world. The “dry corridor” region of Central America faces food shortages during an annual dry season. This year’s global challenges class is researching aquaponics — the raising of fish and vegetables together in a closed system — as a possible solution to the food shortage problem.

The 14 students in this year’s class are Sara Cassady, senior engineering major from Chester, South Carolina; Matthew DalPorto, senior biblical counseling major from Easley, South Carolina; Shouyu Du, senior engineering major from Nanjing, Jiangsu, China; Daniel Haase, senior actuarial science major from Fort Mill, South Carolina; Nicole Hardin, graduate student in intercultural studies from Crossville, Tennessee; Sven Loeffler, junior business administration major from Piedmont, South Carolina; Shane Lott, senior engineering major from Mint Hill, North Carolina; Lexa Moser, junior chemistry major from Ramseur, North Carolina; Matthew Parker, senior engineering major from Fayetteville, Georgia; Maddy Thomas, senior engineering major from Muncy Valley, Pennsylvania; Paul Vosburgh, senior business administration major from Susquehanna, Pennsylvania; Kathryn Waycaster, junior biochemistry and molecular biology major from Peoria, Arizona; Dylan Winnberg, senior engineering major from Southgate, Michigan; and Sarah Zimmer, senior engineering major from Easley, South Carolina.

Dr. Bill Lovegrove, of the BJU engineering faculty, leads the global challenges course. He is supported by Dr. Adele Dunn, business faculty; Dr. Robert Lee, chemistry faculty; and Dr. David McKinney, biology faculty. Dr. Lovegrove is also the director of experiential learning at BJU.

Global challenges coursework this semester included researching improved ways to build small, inexpensive aquaponics systems. The students built a test system in a greenhouse on the BJU campus, where they grew beans and tilapia in tanks. In addition, the class made contact with those in Honduras who are interested in the aquaponics project. The entire project team raised money to enable Maddy Thomas, Daniel Haase, Nicole Hardin and Shane Lott to visit Honduras in November to make a public presentation of the class research. They also traveled to a remote mountain village to meet with local farmers to discuss their situation and needs.

To help prepare the global challenges students for their trip to Honduras, 11 students from Dr. Miriam Patterson’s Business and Legal Spanish course translated a 74-page technical report on the topic of aquaponics for family food security from Spanish to English. Reading this report gave the global challenges students important background information on the situation in Honduras. Students Gabrielle Baer, Julia Brazeal, Ron Burget (staff), Ava Cathey, Robert Daulton, Cheri Escalante, Miguel Tapuy, Sofia Hortta, Marc Johnson, Matthew Lehman and Ana Sampaio Costa did the translation services work.

“The Business and Legal Spanish students demonstrated skills in research, critical thinking and intercultural fluency, as well as strong command of Spanish grammar to complete their translation work in a timely manner,” says Patterson. “The project was quite challenging and required them to work effectively as a team to transfer cultural information and keep the terminology and tone consistent throughout the document.”

Global challenges students are currently making plans to launch a business that will promote aquaponics in the United States and generate income to support aid efforts in Honduras and other countries in Central America.

“The global challenges class is at the forefront of experiential learning at BJU,” says Lovegrove. “The students did not just study aquaponics in the classroom, they built a working aquaponics system on campus. They didn’t just read about people in Honduras, they spent time with them in person. Regardless of the success or failure of their upcoming business venture, they all received a great education in how to approach real-life problems.”

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School of Business to Create New Business Lab

Experience Business at BJU

BJU’s School of Business has announced a new exciting project to designate specific space on the east end of the second floor of the Alumni Building as the home for business education. The goal is to create a School of Business space that reflects excellence, distinctiveness and innovation.

Phase I includes the conversion of a large classroom — Room 216 — into a business lab specifically equipped for business classes in finance, accounting and marketing. The room will include state-of-the-art technology such as applicable software, screens, whiteboards and the ability to remote in experts — grads and others — from around the world to speak and interact with students. One wall will feature clocks showing the time from four global business centers. A stock ticker will be located in the hall outside the lab. The area will be branded “Experience Business at BJU.”

Phase I of the project, including the business lab and the stock ticker, will be completed this summer.

Phase II will include a student collision or collaboration area — a space where business students can informally engage in group projects or individual study. It will include an open seating area plus a glassed-in conference room appropriate for meetings of business-related academic groups such as the University Business Association, the University Marketing Association, the Entrepreneurship Association, the University Human Resource Association and the University Investment Association. The School of Business is seeking to raise an additional $300,000 to also complete Phase II this summer.

Additional classrooms will be branded and equipped for business classes in the future.

Currently, 400 students are enrolled in BJU’s School of Business. The goal is to grow the School of Business to 600 in the next four years. The School of Business offers two bachelor’s degrees in accounting and business administration — with concentrations in entrepreneurship, finance, human resources and marketing — and three associate degrees in business, culinary arts and paralegal studies.

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BJU Team Places 2nd at 2023 CCSC Southeastern Conference

Garrett Jones, Kevin Kuhn, Ethan House, Joshua Hammet,
Ethan Collins, Ryan Moffitt, David Goff and Edward Taylor

A Bob Jones University intercollegiate computer programming team placed second in a competition associated with the Consortium for Computing Sciences, Southeastern Conference (CCSC-SE). The competition was held at Coastal Carolina University on November 3 and 4. The 18 teams participating in the competition came from 12 institutions.

The second-place team comprised junior Garrett Jones of Rockwall, Texas; senior Kevin Kuhn of Simpsonville, South Carolina; senior Ethan House of Baxter, Minnesota; and sophomore Joshua Hammer of Seneca, South Carolina. BJU Team 2 placed sixth overall and was composed of senior Ethan Collins from Greenville, South Carolina; junior Ryan Moffitt from Greenville, South Carolina; senior David Goff of Greer, South Carolina; and junior Edward Taylor of Dorchester, South Carolina. Jim Knisely, the head of BJU’s Computer Science Department, co-directed the CCSC-SE competition this year along with Andy Digh of Mercer University.

In addition, three BJU teams competed in the IEEE Xtreme 17.0 competition this fall. More than 4,400 teams from around the world earned points in the 24-hour competition. The BJU team of Garrett Jones, Kevin Kuhn and David Goff finished fourth in the U.S. out of 117 teams, while the team of Ethan Collins, Joshua Hammer and Ethan House finished 11th in the U.S.

During the spring 2024 semester, BJU will compete in the South Conference of the ICPC USA Regional Programming Contest on February 24 in Macon, Georgia.

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Inkwell Literary Magazine Becomes Official Student Organization

Inkwell Literary Magazine

BJU’s academic deans’ council recently approved Inkwell Literary Magazine as an official student organization under the auspices of the Division of English Language and Literature.

Inkwell Literary Magazine provides writers in the Bob Jones University community a place of artistic collaboration and review and a platform to share their works. It is open to students of all majors, with leadership positions available to English majors or students with a sufficient amount of English or writing credits. Current members are majoring in such programs as English, journalism, theatre, English education, computer science, early childhood education and graphic design.

The roots of Inkwell Literary Magazine go back to 2020 when a journalism student approached English faculty member Emma Stephens with a proposal to create a literary magazine. Her reasons were compelling, including the fact that few Christian universities have an outlet outside the classroom for student writers.

From the beginning, Inkwell Literary Magazine has been student run. Students formed their organizational structure, wrote their charter and built their website. They recruited fellow students to join their staff.

Today, this staff is comprised of 18 students. They publish each month in three genres: short stories, poetry and creative nonfiction — all focused on a monthly theme. Three or four staff writers are assigned to each genre. The students publish electronically, and the magazine is accessible at

In addition to providing an outlet through which writers can share their works, another goal of the magazine is to offer students opportunities to work with a literary publication as content and copy editors, designers, social media coordinators and in other roles required to produce a monthly publication. The desire is to give students experience in the specific functions of the publication process that they can include on their resumes.

University approval as an official student organization gives Inkwell Literary Magazine credibility and enables the staff to function like any other student organization. They are now positioned to conduct special events such as poetry readings and overall foster a literary climate on campus. They can also advertise the benefits of the organization and fundraise for key events.

Since 2020, the students have remained passionate and dedicated to the magazine. They are producing high-quality literary work that demonstrates their creativity to a broad audience and provides an outlet for them to create beautiful things without the pressure of a grade. 

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Bruins Capture Sixth National Soccer Championship in Double Overtime

The Bruins women’s soccer team capped off a successful season November 18 in Kissimmee, Florida, as the team defeated Southwestern Adventist University 2–0 in double overtime in the NCCAA DII National Championship match to capture their sixth national title. The win also marked the 150th Bruins win for Coach Chris Carmichael and the BJU women’s soccer teams.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this team for their determination to finish this game,” said Coach Carmichael. “We have worked incredibly hard all season, and not only did we win a national championship, we achieved a huge milestone in soccer in winning our 150th match at the same time. This is a victory for both our current team and every single Bruins player that has participated in our program since our inaugural year in 2012.”

The season for the men’s soccer team came to an end two weeks earlier. The men’s team entered the NCCAA DII South Regional Tournament as the #1 seed. After a 5–0 win over Johnson University Florida in the semifinals, the Bruins fell to Pensacola Christian College in the title match.

The NCCAA has named nine Bruins soccer players as Scholar-Athletes: Gabriela Gonzalez, senior political science major from Antioch, California; Esther Young, senior business administration major from Greenville, South Carolina; Caroline Hartzler, post-graduate student studying kinesiology from Greenville, South Carolina; Rylee Johnson, senior biblical counseling major from Greenville, South Carolina; Sarah Ward, junior child development major from Taylors, South Carolina; Matthias Baladi, junior biochemistry and molecular biology major from Pooler, Georgia; Dallas Albert, junior business administration major from Newark, Texas; Jake Provenzano, junior health sciences major from Taylors, South Carolina; and Miguel Rivas Giraldo, senior journalism and mass communication major from Greenville, South Carolina.

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Gabriele Gonzalez Named Joe and Q Harding Award Recipient

Gabriele Gonzalez

The NCCAA announced that BJU women’s soccer player Gabriela Gonzalez, senior political science major from Antioch, California, is the 2023 Joe and Q Harding Award Recipient for Division II Women’s Soccer.

As a Bruins soccer player, Gabriela has been an offensive threat, recording 39 goals and 21 assists. This year alone, she tallied 17 goals and assisted on six others. She is a two-time NCCAA Region Player of the Year — DI 2022 and DII 2023 — and last year was named an NCCAA DI All-American. Off the field, she has earned several academic honors, including Dean’s List and NCCAA Scholar-Athlete.

Gabriela lives and leads by example with love and honesty and shows this in the way she interacts with her teammates. While at BJU, she has served as a resident assistant as well as a discipleship leader in the residence hall. In the community, she helps at the Carolina Pregnancy Center and volunteers with Valiant Player, an organization that enables college athletes to connect with and show love to children suffering from serious illnesses at the Prisma Children’s Hospital.

Women’s soccer Head Coach Chris Carmichael said, “Gaby has been an impact leader for us since her freshman year and it has been amazing watching her develop into the player she is today … a selfless leader that puts her teammates first. She is a very hard worker and demands nothing less than excellence from her teammates while always keeping their best interests as a top priority.”

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Donation Leads to Hands-on Learning Experience for Music and Art Students

A recent gift of a 16th-century artifact has provided a focal point for a new interdisciplinary course at BJU titled Artistry in Action. Mr. Bill Clarke, a Greenville-area attorney, donated the artifact to the Division of Music at BJU. 

“The document was delivered in a nice frame, and we considered finding a spot on the wall in an office for it,” said Michael Moore, chair of the Division of Music. “But the more I thought about it, the more I was convinced it held a great deal of potential as a catalyst for an interdisciplinary learning project.” 

In consultation with other faculty and staff, Emily Waggoner, assistant chair of the Division of Music, proposed a collaborative class structure that would combine music students and art and design students in the same class to complete several goals surrounding the artifact.

“Professor Waggoner’s pioneering work with this course gave us a robust but flexible framework for meaningful collaborative learning across academic disciplines,” said Moore. “The course title ‘Artistry in Action’ reflects our mission of empowering redemptive artistry and our efforts to equip students with the mindset, skills and opportunities to connect and extend their musicianship beyond the concert stage and classroom and into our extraordinary day-to-day human experience.” 

“In Artistry in Action this semester, we intentionally sought skills that were beyond the realm of typical performance settings, including critical thinking, leadership, communication and project management,” said Waggoner. “As a team, the students created a class charter to produce three specific deliverables. First, our research team delved into the history and relevance of the artifact from a music history perspective. We had a lot of questions to answer – what is this type of music meant for, what does this piece mean, and why is studying it useful? Our art and design team investigated the artifact’s materials, lettering and layout on the page. They designed and fabricated a unique, museum-quality display to install in our Music Library. And our composition student studied the original sixth-century plainchant depicted on this artifact and then created his own original setting of the plainchant.”

On November 29, an Artistry in Action Forum provided the platform for a performance of the new musical setting along with a research presentation and display reveal by students Lydia Scroggins, Matthew Lehman, Brynn Lytell, Macayle McMullin and Lucas Sparrow. 

In January 2024, the Division of Music will release the students’ final research paper, a video documenting the collaborative process and a professional recording of the new musical setting, all posted at The document is available now for viewing in its new display in the Gustafson Fine Arts Center Music Library.

“Future iterations of the Artistry in Action course will feature partnerships with other departments built around project-based experiential learning,” said Waggoner. “We are particularly excited about next semester’s collaboration with our kinesiology students in the School of Health Professions to produce strength-training and endurance exercises tailored specifically for performing musicians.”

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BJU Students Earn Biliteracy Credential

Last spring, 26 BJU students in the Division of World Languages and Cultures earned the Global Seal of Biliteracy, a microcredential that recognizes the achievement of language proficiency suitable for employment in entry positions or higher. Seven students earned the credential for functional fluency in German, nine in Spanish, six in French and three in Chinese. One student achieved working fluency in Spanish.

All students completing a fourth-semester language course at BJU are encouraged to complete the AVANT 4S Assessment, a three-to-four-hour language test in reading, writing, speaking and listening to verify their proficiency in their target language. Students who attain an intermediate-mid-level of proficiency or higher in all four skills are eligible for the Global Seal of Biliteracy.

Learning to communicate in another language develops valuable communication skills and intercultural competence that better enable students to serve God and others in a linguistically and culturally diverse world. Multiple language proficiency has tremendous value in today’s global economy. The vast majority of employers are increasingly demanding language skills, and a second language can open career opportunities.

The fact that fourth-semester students are able to achieve employable language skills underscores the quality and value of a BJU education. BJU encourages students in high-demand fields such as business, education, health care, criminal justice, human services and paralegal studies — to name a few — to take advantage of the opportunity to advance their language skills.

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Bruins Volleyball Team Captures Sixth National Championship

The BJU volleyball team brought home another national championship, defeating Manhattan Christian College 3–0 on November 18. This is the sixth straight National Championship win for the Bruins volleyball team. They ended their season on a nine-game win streak, including regular and postseason, to finish 35–5 on the year.

“The seniors have led this team so well all season, and I am thrilled that they could go out with their fourth national championship,” said Head Coach Vickie Denny.

Senior Katelyn Landkrohn, a child development major from Crown Point, Indiana, said, “I am so thankful for this team and the work everyone put in this year. We came in ready to compete as a team against a strong Manhattan team. But more than that, I am thankful to God for being so good and gracious to us this season. This is the best way to go out as a senior.”

Coming in big time for the Bruins in the championship match was Victoria Glaze, senior interior architecture and design major from Twin Falls, Idaho, and Emily Lewis, sophomore biblical counseling major from Bumpass, Virginia, who both finished with 10 kills. Kiersten Hoopes, sophomore health sciences major from Mount Vernon, Arizona, led the team with 33 assists, and Katelyn Landkrohn kept up the defense with 17 digs.

“The match against Manhattan was a great example of our team coming together with everyone contributing to the final championship win. Our offensive attack was spread out, and we made some great defensive plays. Everyone had a solid match, which contributed to our 3–0 sweep over a very talented and tall Manhattan team,” said Coach Denny.

Following the championship match, the NCCAA named Victoria Glaze and Kiersten Hoopes as 1st Team All-American and Katherine Hoopes as the 2nd Team All-American.

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Denny Reaches 1,200 Career Wins

BJU’s women’s volleyball coach Dr. Vickie Denny

BJU’s women’s volleyball coach Dr. Vickie Denny recorded her 1,200th career victory as the Bruins defeated Carolina University 3–1 on October 12 in Greenville. Denny is just the sixth coach in collegiate women’s volleyball history to reach this milestone.

Denny came to BJU after coaching and teaching for over 30 years at Clearwater Christian College and Maranatha Baptist University. She has led BJU’s volleyball program since its inception in 2016, and throughout her time at BJU, has amassed six NCCAA national championships, seven regional championships and three NCCAA South Region Coach of the Year Awards.

She is an inductee into the NCCAA and Clearwater Christian College Halls of Fame.

“When I think of the 1,200 wins, I think of all the many athletes I’ve been able to coach over the years,” said Denny. “They are great women who have gone on to serve the Lord. It has been a blessing and an honor to coach so many fine Christian women during my coaching career. Praise the Lord, and I’m looking for a few more before I’m done.”

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Spencer Cable Named Golf Scholar Athlete

Spencer Cable

At its national golf tournament on October 24, the NCCAA named BJU’s Spencer Cable as a 2023 men’s golf Scholar-Athlete. Caleb is a senior biblical counseling major from Arden, North Carolina. The recognition requires at least a 3.40 GPA and an upperclassman or graduate student status.

The NCCAA Scholar-Athlete award is equivalent to an academic All-American Award, said BJU’s golf Head Coach Denny Scott. “It is a high honor and Spencer is certainly deserving of it. His work ethic on the course and his diligence in the classroom have been a model for the entire team to follow. It is a blessing to coach a young man like Spencer who excels academically and athletically. He is also a godly young man and has a strong spiritual influence on the team.”

On September 25, Cable posted his career-best round with a score of 76 with four birdies at Round 1 of the NCCAA South Region Championship.

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