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Bryan College

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Bryan College
Bryan College logo
Former names
William Jennings Bryan University (1930–1958), William Jennings Bryan College (1958–1993)
Motto"Christ Above All"
Endowment$6 million
PresidentStephen D. Livesay
Academic staff
204 (48 full-time)
Administrative staff
169 (131 full-time)
Other students
Location, ,
United States

35°29′51″N 84°59′57″W / 35.497574°N 84.999139°W / 35.497574; -84.999139Coordinates: 35°29′51″N 84°59′57″W / 35.497574°N 84.999139°W / 35.497574; -84.999139
CampusSmall town
ColorsRed and gold          
AffiliationsAppalachian College Association, Association of Christian Schools International, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, Council for Higher Education Accreditation, Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association
SportsBaseball, Basketball, Cross-country running, Soccer, Track and field, Volleyball, Softball, Fishing, Golf, Cheerleading

Bryan College is a Christian liberal arts college in Dayton, Tennessee, United States. It was founded in the aftermath of the 1925 Scopes Trial to establish an institution of higher education that would teach from a Christian worldview.


During the Scopes Trial in 1925, William Jennings Bryan expressed the wish that a school might be established in Dayton, "to teach truth from a Biblical perspective".[1] Following his death on July 26, 1925, a national memorial association was formed to establish such an institution in Bryan’s honor.

William Jennings Bryan University was chartered in 1930. Its stated purpose was to provide “for the purpose of establishing, conducting and perpetuating a university for the higher education of men and women under auspices distinctly Christian and spiritual, as a testimony to the supreme glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to the Divine inspiration and infallibility of the Bible,”[2] and its mission statement is "Educating Students to become Servants of Christ to make a Difference in Today's World."[3] In 1958, it was designated William Jennings Bryan College, and the name was shortened to Bryan College in 1993.[4]


Bryan College is a member of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA),[5] the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA),[6] the Appalachian College Association (ACA),[7] and the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI).[8]


The Bryan College campus in Dayton is 128 acres (52 ha) with 20 buildings, 7 of which are residence halls.[citation needed]

Its association with the Scopes Trial has led to its addition as a stop along the Southeast Tennessee Religious Trail.[9]

Accreditation and ranking

Bryan has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools since 1969.[10]

Bryan ranks 71st in the U.S. News & World Report for Regional Universities in the South as of the 2019 rankings.[11] In 2015, the college ranked 22nd[12] and was formerly ranked 4th among the "Up and Coming" institutions in its category by the same publisher in 2012.


Bryan offers the associate's degree, the bachelor's degree in 20 majors with over 60 distinct options,[13] and three master's degrees: the Master of Business Administration degree, the Master of Arts in Christian Studies degree and the Master of Education degree.[14] 77% of their professors hold terminal degrees in their fields of study.[15]

The Adult and Graduate Studies programs are designed for adult learners to attend school part-time. Students can earn degrees online and onsite, and options include associate degrees, as well as bachelor's and master's degrees.[16]

Statement of belief and academic freedom

In February 2014, college administrators supplemented the original statement of belief, which is included in the employment contract of professors, with the declaration that Adam and Eve "are historical persons created by God in a special formative act, and not from previously existing life-forms." Hundreds of students, including the vice president of student government, opposed the change. They petitioned trustees and several professors left the institution. [17]

The same month, the faculty voted 30-2 "no confidence" in the college president, Stephen Livesay. [18]

Two tenured faculty had their contracts terminated after refusing to agree to the revised statement of belief, and filed a lawsuit against the college in May 2014. The college settled out of court in October 2014. [19]

The college cut 20 staff members in May 2014, claiming dwindling enrollment. Two months later, five members of the board of trustees resigned in response to the controversy.

In 2015, Livesay instituted procedural rules that faculty members claimed made it extremely difficult for them to hold meetings. [18][20]


Bryan College Lions logo
Bryan College Lions logo

Bryan College athletic teams, nicknamed athletically as the Lions, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC).[21] Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, fishing, volleyball, and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, fishing, golf, soccer, softball, track & field, and volleyball.


Bryan Life is the college's alumni magazine and is published twice a year.[22] Illumine is a publication of the Bryan Institute for Critical Thought and Practice.[23] E-Lumine is an e-newsletter for alumni and friends of Bryan, and is published each month except July.[24] The Triangle is a bi-weekly student newspaper containing articles and stories written by Bryan College students. It also includes stats and updates on the college's sports teams. It is available in print on campus and electronically.[25] In 2015, Vice President of Academics, Kevin Clauson, imposed censorship restrictions on the Triangle.[20]

Presidents (1930–present)

  • George E. Guille (1930–1931)
  • Malcolm M. Lockhart (1931–1933)
  • Judson A. Rudd (1933–1955)
  • Theodore C. Mercer (1956–1986)
  • Kenneth G. Hanna (1986–1992)
  • William E. Brown (1993–2003)
  • Stephen D. Livesay (2003–present)

Notable alumni


  1. ^ "College History". Archived from the original on 2012-09-18. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
  2. ^ iPad iPhone Android TIME TV Populist The Page (1930-08-18). "Education: Bryan University". TIME. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
  3. ^ "Mission and Distinctives". Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
  4. ^ From the Heart of a Lion: Thoughts from the Spiritual Journey of the Bryan College Family (Dayton, TN: Bryan College Press, 2000) p. 367.
  5. ^ "TICUA". TICUA. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
  6. ^ "Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) (2012)". CHEA. 2012-09-14. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
  7. ^ "Appalachian College Association – Member Institutions". Retrieved 2012-11-07.
  8. ^ "ACSI". ACSI. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
  9. ^ "Southeast Tennessee Tourism Association". Archived from the original on 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
  10. ^ "Commission on Colleges". Retrieved 2019-02-25.
  11. ^ "Bryan College - Profile, Rankings and Datas | US News Best Colleges (2019)". Retrieved 2019-02-25.
  12. ^ "Regional College South Rankings | Top Regional Colleges South | US News Best Colleges". Retrieved 2015-06-15.
  13. ^ Programs offered at Bryan College Archived June 16, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Graduate Programs". Archived from the original on 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
  15. ^ "Faculty". Archived from the original on 2012-02-19. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
  16. ^ "Adult and Graduate Studies Programs". Archived from the original on 2012-10-01. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
  17. ^ Alan Binder (May 20, 2014). "Bryan College Is Torn: Can Darwin and Eden Coexist?". The New York Times. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  18. ^ a b Kendi Anderson (October 11, 2015). "Professors, president clash at Bryan College". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved February 25, 2019. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |newspaper= (help)
  19. ^ Kendi Anderson (October 8, 2014). "Bryan College, professors settle lawsuit". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved February 25, 2019. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |newspaper= (help)
  20. ^ a b Scott Jaschik (October 12, 2015). "Bryan College Restricts Faculty Meetings". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  21. ^ Appalachian Athletic Conference
  22. ^ "Bryan Life – Fall 2012". Archived from the original on 2012-07-17. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
  23. ^ "Illumine". Archived from the original on 2012-11-08. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
  24. ^ "e-Lumine Newsletter". Archived from the original on 2012-02-19. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
  25. ^ "Triangle". Archived from the original on 2012-02-19. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
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