President’s Newsletter — March 2020

This newsletter from Bob Jones University’s president Steve Pettit 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

Message from the President

President Steve Pettit preached the opening service of BJU’s 2020 Bible Conference, Feb. 18, laying out the scriptural basis for the Conference theme, “The God of All Comfort.” Following are excerpts from his message.

2 Corinthians 1:3–7 is the greatest scriptural text on comfort. As he opens this book, the Apostle Paul answers critics—the Judaizers—who contended Paul could not be an apostle because of his many afflictions and sufferings. By acknowledging his sufferings in the first chapter, Paul confirms their observations of his sufferings were right; however, their conclusion was incorrect because they did not understand how God works. God demonstrates His power, wisdom and glory through the weakness, not the power of man.

Effective ministry always comes through suffering. Through our afflictions God comforts us and through this comfort enables us to effectively minister to others.

Praising God in suffering

Paul begins the passage with a celebration of praise, showing we are to be praising God even in our afflictions. He knew devoted Jews prayed three times a day, appealing to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Paul not only praises God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, he acknowledges God is the source of mercy and comfort. Our reaction should be praise.

Description of comfort

A comforter is one who stands beside strengthening, encouraging, supporting and advocating. God is the source of all comfort. There is never a time when He is not joyous, comforted and encouraged or when His comfort is not available to us. God comforts “in all” our tribulation—through the entire time we suffer the affliction. Paul felt daily affliction and burden for the churches. God’s comfort was sufficient.

What is the intention of God’s comfort?

By comforting us in affliction, God enables and empowers us to effectively minister to others. He doesn’t comfort us for our personal benefit but does something in us so He can do something through us. God opens a new level of opportunity for ministry—we become enablers and comforters.

Other Bible Conference speakers included Dr. Marty Herron, Rev. Cary Schmidt, Dr. Morris Gleiser, Dr. Bob Jones III, Carol Anne Clemons and Cheyenne Cottrell. Their messages may be accessed through the webcast archives on

Go to top

BJU Launching Public Health/Global Health Program

In response to growing market demand, this fall BJU will offer a new Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health/Global Health. While we have offered a Public Health/Global Health concentration for several years, this BS degree will prepare students for certification exams required for many positions in the health care field and better prepare them for graduate work.

Health science students work with foreign language students in a multilingual healthcare simulation

Photo by Hal Cook

Focusing on the health and wellness of large communities and countries, this new program emphasizes areas of public policy; education; research; disease identification, transmission, progression and prevention; emergency preparedness and community outreach programs. Students also will analyze the impact cultural, social and economic factors have on the health practices of both individuals and populations.

Each student will complete a summer internship perhaps in an international setting or in the U.S. with a department of health, a health care facility, a non-profit or—in conjunction with a faculty member—in a community intervention program. Where possible students will be able to customize their internships according to their specific interests.

Students completing this degree will find a myriad of opportunities in the public and private sector as well as non-profit agencies and academic settings. Representative positions could include medical and health services manager, health education, community health worker, health department administrator, government policy analyst, global infectious disease analyst or member of an international disaster relief response team.

According to Dr. Amy Hicks, head of the new program, BJU’s emphasis in the new major represents the current shift in how health care is implemented in the U.S. Traditionally, health care has focused on treating the sick. Today’s emphasis is keeping people healthy through health education and preventive programs. The goal of health care today is to reduce costs, improve health outcomes and improve patient satisfaction.

For students who want to make a difference in their community or on a global scale, Public Health/Global Health may be an ideal major. With its community focus, Public Health is known as the intersection of health care and social work, and BJU already offers students numerous opportunities to get involved in community health initiatives. For example, in one Greenville neighborhood students and faculty are holding weekly one-hour health education classes followed by another hour of group exercise.

With the Homeless Alliance in Greenville, faculty and students are looking into homeless intervention, especially barriers standing in the way of overcoming homelessness. The homeless population has a higher rate of chronic disease and mental health issues, generally die younger, and go to high-cost emergency rooms. Helping them overcome homelessness is a significant step toward helping them improve their health.

Under the direction of Dr. Hicks, 10 to 15 students each summer are involved in a long-term project at a Christian school in a small village in Ghana where they screen for malnutrition and provide nutrition education.

BJU’s new program also will focus on research, providing students a scientific background needed for local and global research opportunities.

To round out their program students might consider a minor in political science or psychology if they want to pursue social work or communications if they are interested in advocacy or public policy.

Go to top

CoRE Conference Explores Addiction

BJU Seminary will host the 2020 CoRE Conference—“New Life: Hope & Help for an Addicted World”—March 9–10 in Rodeheaver Auditorium on the BJU campus. This year’s conference will seek to educate and equip pastors, youth pastors, Christian school administrators and teachers, lay people and university and seminary students to detect and deal with addictive behaviors among those to whom they minister.

Although typically not openly, people in local churches are struggling with pornography, opioid use, drunkenness, eating disorders and even an obsession with social media. Young people are experimenting with these addictive behaviors often in response to peer pressure. CoRE will help attendees better understand how to respond biblically to issues of addiction and minister to those held captive by it, many of whom feel they have no hope.

Conference speakers are top professionals in biblical counseling and experts on addictive behaviors. John Street is president of the board of trustees of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors and is the chair of the Master of Arts in biblical counseling and professor of biblical counseling at The Master’s University and Seminary in California.

CoRE conference graphic

Mark Shaw is the founder of The Addiction Connection and a leading authority on biblical counseling for addiction. Julie Lowe is a faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation and a top women’s speaker on helping children and adolescents with addiction issues.

BJU President Steve Pettit, BJU Seminary Dean Sam Horn and biblical counseling professors Jim Berg, Greg Mazak and Steve Cruice will also speak at the conference.

Conference attendees will receive a wide variety of free resources—a free book as they enter each plenary session and a super workshop. In addition, the Book and Ministry Connection will offer additional resources for purchase.

Visit to register and for the full conference schedule and information about the speakers.

Go to top

BJU Launches Capital Campaign for School of Health Professions Facility

Bob Jones University has launched the public phase of a capital campaign to renovate the first floor of Mack Library into a new facility to house the School of Health Professions.

Health care occupations are forecasted to grow 19% by 2024, and BJU’s School of Health Professions has seen a 20% enrollment growth in its accredited health care programs in the past five years. The new facility will provide room for further growth. It will also enable the School of Health Professions to co-locate BJU’s 15 health-related programs, creating synergies and collaboration among the various health care functions that students will experience in the health care workplace.

Through the leadership phase of the capital campaign, the University’s Board of Trustees, alumni and friends have given or pledged over 70% of the $5.75 million needed to open the facility this fall. To help meet the remaining $1.7 million needed to complete this key project that will continue to grow both the School of Health Professions and BJU, visit or send your donation marked “Capital Campaign” to the Office of Advancement, Bob Jones University, 1700 Wade Hampton Blvd., Greenville, SC 29609-9971.

See Also: Opening the Doors to Investment in Health Care Future

Go to top

President Steve Pettit’s Speaking Schedule

March 8, Sun. a.m.
Parkway Baptist Church
Lakeland, Fla.

March 8, Sun. p.m.
Beacon Baptist Church
Jupiter, Fla.

March 10, Tues. 1:30 p.m.
CoRE Conference
Bob Jones University

March 15, Sun. a.m.
Berean Baptist Church
Darlington, S.C.

March 15, Sun. p.m.
Lighthouse Baptist Church
Lexington, S.C.

April 5, Sun. a.m.
Whitneyville Bible Church
Alto, Mich.

April 5, Sun. p.m.
Calvary Baptist Church
Ypsilanti, Mich.

April 19, Sun. a.m.
Northwest Valley Baptist Church
Glendale, Ariz.

April 19, Sun. p.m.
Tri-City Baptist Church
Chandler, Ariz.

April 21, Tues. 5 p.m.
Christian Learning Centers Banquet
Greenville Convention Center
Greenville, S. C.

April 26, Sun. a.m.
First Baptist Church
Gallipolis, Ohio

April 26, Sun. p.m.
Florence Baptist Temple
Florence, S.C.

May 3, Sun. a.m. and p.m.
Friendship Baptist Church
Raleigh, N.C.

Go to top

BJU Students Raise Over $185,000 for Pro-Life Medical Unit

Each year, BJU’s Bible Conference offering is a fundraiser for an on-campus project or an off-campus ministry. This year, the BJU community raised over $185,000 to purchase and equip a Save the Storks mobile medical unit for the Carolina Pregnancy Center in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Stork van in front of Rodeheaver Auditorium

Photo by Derek Eckenroth

Save the Storks is a leading national pro-life organization that partners with pregnancy care centers to deploy buses that provide free ultrasounds, pregnancy and STI testing along with confidential counseling to abortion-vulnerable women. Since 2012, over 50 buses have been deployed across the United States, over 8,000 babies have been rescued from abortion, and many parents once considering abortion have come to know Christ as Savior.

See Also: Save the Storks: Inviting a Conversation

After 1993 BJU grad and president of Save the Storks, Paul Isaacs, spoke in chapel last spring, students expressed their strong desire to purchase and outfit a Stork Bus. They conducted over 50 fundraisers, ranging from the International Student Organization’s food festival to mini-golf in the Alumni Building to the annual Usher’s Auction to Alpha Omega Delta’s sponsored bike ride from Greenville to Charleston. Using a variety of creative initiatives, student-led fundraisers generated over $73,000. Faculty, staff and alumni also rallied around the cause and, with several sizable donations, the university community exceeded the original $150,000 goal. Funds beyond the original goal will be used to purchase the ultrasound equipment and support initial startup costs for the bus.

Go to top

Employers Recruit BJU Students

Throughout the academic year, BJU welcomes recruiters to interview students for employment and graduate school. Two major recruiting events took place in February.

Photo by Kayla Romeiser

The Career Fair—Feb. 11 and 13—featured 80 employers and graduate schools including BMW, the FBI, Answers in Genesis, the Clemson University MBA program, the South Carolina Department of Social Services and the University of South Carolina School of Law. Available opportunities included internships; full-time, part-time and summer employment; and graduate school programs.

The 2020 Christian School Recruitment Conference, Feb. 17 and 18, reached capacity this year with 72 domestic and international schools and ministries attending. Recruiters provided job opportunities for teaching, computer/IT staff, business managers, office staff, librarians, custodial/maintenance, summer day camp staff, youth pastors and more.

Both the Career Fair and Christian School Recruitment Conference are annual events open to students from all academic programs. Students are encouraged to bring copies of their resume and prepare for the possibility of on-the-spot interviews. BJU’s Career Services Office holds workshops prior to these events to help students with networking and interview skills and creating professional resumes and cover letters.

“Employers love our students,” says Shawn Albert, BJU’s Career Services director. “We have found many times that once an employer hires a student for an internship or a full-time position, they come back to us asking for more BJU students.”

In addition to participating in annual recruiting events, individual employers connect with BJU students throughout the year both on-campus and online. Employers schedule individual dates with Career Services to speak with students. Career Services also manages its own internal job board called CareerCentral for employers who specifically reach out to BJU to recruit our students and alumni.

Visit to learn more about how Career Services works to prepare students for today’s workforce.

Go to top

Living Gallery Scheduled for April 9-11

A work of art comes to life in Living Gallery

Photo by Hal Cook

Bob Jones University and Museum & Gallery will present Living Gallery, a must-see part of any Easter celebration, April 9–11. This year’s drama is titled “A New Creation.”

Living Gallery is a dramatic presentation of sacred masterworks depicting Christ’s ministry and passion. The paintings come alive in life-size recreations as choirs, instrumentalists and costumed actors re-create scenes from the Lord’s earthly ministry.

Performances are scheduled for Thursday, April 9, and Friday, April 10, at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.; and Saturday, April 11 at 2, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. All performances are in Rodeheaver Auditorium on the BJU campus.

Visit for campus and parking information and related M&G exhibits and events. Tickets may be purchased at this site or in person at the Box Office in Rodeheaver Auditorium Monday–Friday, 12–5 p.m.—adults and teens, $18.50 and children 6–12, $16.85.

Go to top

The American Prize Recognizes BJU Performing Arts Excellence

On Jan. 1, The American Prize named Darren Lawson, dean of the School of Fine Arts and Communication, an Honored Artist for sustained excellence over several years of the competition.

“The Honored Artist award is really a shared award for all those in the performing arts at BJU,” says Lawson. “It was all of the University’s American Prize-winning play, opera and music performances of the past several years that led to this award.

“By entering and winning competitions in the college/university category, we’re raising awareness of the arts at BJU,” says Lawson.

Portrait of Darren Lawson

Photo by Derek Eckenroth

Conductor and award-winning composer David Katz established The American Prize in 2009. “Discovering the exceptional artistic quality of the musical and theatrical activities of Bob Jones University has been one of the delights for me as chief judge of The American Prize,” says Katz. “Under Darren Lawson’s visionary leadership, BJU productions are always welcomed here with real anticipation and excitement. They exhibit a wonderful sense of professionalism, remarkable production values and committed performers. Bob Jones University is obviously a very special place for the arts to thrive. I am pleased that the contests of The American Prize have been able to bring the artistry of BJU’s performing ensembles and faculty to national attention.”

Since 2012, The American Prize has recognized BJU with a number of key awards.

  • 2012—Michael Moore—3rd place, conducting, for Richard III
  • 2014—Darren Lawson—2nd place, directing, for Aida
  • 2015—Michael Moore—2nd place, conducting, for La Cenerentola
  • 2017—Erin Naler—2nd place, stage direction, for Trip to Bountiful
  • 2019—Michael Moore—1st place, conducting, for Lucia di Lammermoor
  • 2020—Michael Moore—national semi-finalist for conducting Titanic
  • 2020—Darren Lawson—national semi-finalist for directing Titanic
  • 2020—David Schwingle—national semi-finalist for directing King Lear
  • 2020—Darren Lawson—Honored Artist

Go to top

BJU to Begin BS in Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity as a career field is growing approximately 28% a year—among the highest for all occupations. For this reason, building on its already strong and successful computer science and information technology programs, BJU will offer a BS in cybersecurity beginning in fall 2020.

The new program is a good match for students looking for careers in offensive and defensive cybersecurity, system administration and secure software development. It can lead to jobs in security architecture, secure software development, digital forensics, security administrator, security analysis and auditing or as a member of a cybercrime unit. The majority of cybersecurity positions are available in any country of the world, allowing BJU grads to hold these jobs while supporting ministries in rural areas, large cities or limited-access countries.

BJU computer science programs enjoy strong support in the employer community and among BJU graduates. In fact, BJU computer science graduates already working in the cybersecurity field provided valuable input in the development of the new program.

Earning a cybersecurity degree at a liberal arts institution like Bob Jones University gives students the advantage of courses such as technical writing, communications and ethics—skills valued by employers in this field. “Our graduates have the characteristics that employers in this field are looking for,” says Jim Knisely, cybersecurity program coordinator. “BJU’s emphasis on character means that our graduates are highly valued particularly in fields that require well-developed ethical standards, passing background checks and obtaining security clearances.”

While students in cybersecurity programs in a number of other schools do not become immersed in courses in the field until their junior year, students in BJU’s program will begin related courses their freshman year when they learn two programming languages: a scripting one, Python, and a curly brace one, Java. Demand for skilled programmers in these languages is strong. In addition, students are given overviews of various software development skills such as web applications, GUI programming and team programming. Penetration testing and ethical hacking are introduced in the sophomore year and are used to explain and motivate the study of networking, operating systems and databases.

Upper level juniors and seniors will be exposed to areas such as computer security, cyber operations, applied cryptography and reverse engineering of hardware and software. Seniors also will do a cybersecurity internship.

BJU’s primary cybersecurity faculty average 30 years of experience in information and computer-security research and development and have worked for companies such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and Raytheon. The newest member of the faculty, Jim Yuill, holds a PhD in cybersecurity from North Carolina State University and previously worked for Lockheed Martin.

Go to top

Pizza with the President

BJU invites high school students to a night of pizza, door prizes and games with President Pettit—plus an opportunity to win a $1,000 scholarship to BJU. Parents are invited. For information and to register, visit or call (864) 242-5100, ext. 1151.

March 9, Mon. p.m.
Westgate Christian School
1990 Old Reidville Road
Spartanburg, SC 29301

March 16, Mon. p.m.
Westwood Christian School
5801 SW 120th Ave.
Miami, FL 33183

April 6, Mon. p.m.
Vandalia Christian School
3919 Pleasant Garden Road
Greensboro, NC 27406

Go to top

Culinary Arts Students Team with Local Chefs

Each spring, second-year Culinary Arts students present a series of five or six Fine Dining Dinners in which they prepare and serve a different gourmet meal at each dinner.

This spring, Culinary Arts instructors Rob Hansen and David Miller are teaming the students with some of Greenville’s best-known chefs. A guest chef plans each menu which students prepare in collaboration with that chef.

Left to right: Chef Instructor Rob Hansen, Carson Corneil, Megan Green, Chef Rodney Freidank of Table 301, Sarah Severson, Johnie Wallen (Photo by Bradley Allweil)

Guest chefs for the remaining Fine Dining Dinners include:

  • March 13—Judi McRae, Swamp Rabbit Café and Grocery
  • March 19—Beau Owens, The Lazy Goat
  • April 3—Russ Moore, Slightly North of Broad, Charleston, South Carolina
  • April 10—Greg Teal, The Avenue

Reservations are required and can be made by emailing or visiting

Go to top

Registration Open for BJU Summer Camps

Looking for a Christian camp that will provide your student opportunities to discover new interests and develop their skills this summer? Check out BJU’s broad range of week-long summer camps for students from kindergarten through grade 12.

Photo by David Ruiz

For high school students, 27 camps cover topics from aviation and astronomy to criminal justice, computer programming, health sciences, and robotics to music and theatre. These camps allow students to experience potential college majors or delve into totally new areas. Most are offered more than one week and are concentrated primarily in July.

EDUcamp Scholar, a three-week Art + Design camp for students in grades 11 and 12, June 28–July 17, provides students opportunity to earn two college credits.

In addition, BJU offers 10 junior camps, 15 Bruins Sports Camps and 8 Jr. Sports Camps.

Registration for all camps is now open, and traditionally some camps reach capacity early. For a complete listing of camps and the dates they are offered and to register, visit

Go to top

BJU Golf Coach to be Inducted into Hall of Fame

Dr. Dennis Scott, coach of BJU’s men’s and women’s intercollegiate golf teams, will be inducted into the National Christian Athletic Association’s Hall of Fame at the NCCAA national convention May 28, 2020, in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Portrait of Coach Denny on a golf course

Photo by Derek Eckenroth

Scott began his coaching career at Grace Baptist Church and Heritage Hall Christian School in Muncie, Indiana, in 1980. In 1991, he joined Northland International University where he served in a number of roles including athletic director; coach of men’s basketball, men’s golf and women’s soccer; and for his last six years there, director of sports ministries.

He joined the BJU coaching team in 2013 to start the men’s and women’s golf programs. According to Jonny Gamet, BJU Bruins sports information director, during his time as head coach of the golf programs, Scott has coached two All-Americans, two Dan and Kelly Wood award winners, and led the men’s team to an NCCAA South Region Championship as well as two national tournament appearances.

“Scott has fostered in his teams a spirit of excellence,” says Gamet. He is known for “the passion he has for Christ and the way he selflessly pours his life into people around him.” He is not focused on wins and losses, but on training men and women to use sports for the glory of God.

Scott holds a BA in Bible and Secondary Education for Maranatha Baptist University and earned both a Master of Sports Science and an EdD in Sport Management from the United States Sports Academy. In addition, he has completed the Professional Series coaching certification program offered by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. He maintains a USGA GHIN handicap index with the Carolinas Golf Association and has completed Pro1 level certification with Hank Haney Golf as an associate instructor.

Go to top

BJU Film Students Win iNRB Awards

In the spring of 2019, eight BJU cinema production students submitted their senior projects to the iNRB Student Production Awards. At the beginning of 2020, all eight were notified they placed in the competition.

Intercollegiate National Religious Broadcasters is comprised of students from NRB member colleges and universities who have an interest or major in broadcasting, journalism or media communications.

In the Short Film category, Bradley Hamilton of Moorestown, New Jersey, won 1st place; Nathaniel Wolfe of Milan, Pennsylvania, was awarded 2nd place; and Chris Boshinski of Greenville, South Carolina, earned 3rd place.

For Documentary, 1st place went to Jamie Gelzleichter from Easley, South Carolina; 2nd place to Ian Nichols, Greenville, South Carolina; and 3rd place to Ethan Reagan, Columbus, Ohio.

In addition, John Surrett of Clayton, North Carolina, was awarded 1st place for Music Video and Becky Lloyd, Moore, South Carolina, 1st place in the PSA/Commercial/Promo category.

Go to top

Dr. Sam Horn’s Speaking Schedule

March 15, Sun. a.m.
Grace Baptist Church
West Columbia, S.C.

March 15, Sun. p.m.
Northside Baptist Church
North Charleston, S.C.

April 5, Sun. a.m. and p.m.
Bible Baptist Church
Matthews, N.C.

April 16, Thurs.
Lighthouse Christian School
Antioch, Tenn.

April 19, Sun. a.m.
Westpointe Baptist Church
Goodyear, Ariz.

April 19, Sun. p.m.
Continental Baptist Church
Tucson, Ariz.

April 26, Sun. a.m.
Grace Baptist Church
Wilmington, N.C.

April 27, Mon.
Wilmington Christian Academy
Wilmington, N.C.

April 29, Wed.
Heritage Christian Academy
Maple Grove, Minn.

Go to top

Women’s Basketball Wins Region Championship

The Bruins women's basketball team with the championship flag

Photo by Derek Eckenroth

Feb. 29, BJU Bruins women’s basketball team upset #1 seeded Pensacola Christian College 78–62 to win the NCCAA DII South Region Championship. The Bruins came into the tournament as the #2 seed having advanced to the title game with a victory over #6 seeded Trinity Baptist College in the semifinal.

“I’m very proud of our team and especially our seniors,” says Bruins Head Coach Mike LeViere. “We knew our game plan and knew we could compete with Pensacola and our team came out and executed that game plan. For these seniors to be key in our first region championship their freshman year and then to cap off their career by winning a second region championship is remarkable.”

As South Region Champion, the Bruins will compete in the NCCAA DII National Tournament March 11–14 in Joplin, Missouri.

The Bruins men’s basketball team ended its season, falling to #2 seeded Johnson University (Florida) 68–66 in the South Region Championship game, also Feb. 29.

Go to top