Belhaven Alum Starts Christian Activewear Company

When Joanna Weaver came to Belhaven from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma in the fall of 2004, she had no idea what to expect. What she found was a caring environment, lifelong friendships, academic rigor and a Christian setting that would prepare her for something she could not imagine as a freshman business major on the Blazers’ women’s soccer team.

“The network of friendships and relationships with staff, professors, coaches and fellow students was one of the most valuable parts of my Belhaven experience,” said Weaver. “Each of these relationships helped to educate me, encourage me and brought opportunity.”

Today, Joanna is the CEO of Glory Active, a premium activewear brand that proudly supports Christian faith. The company’s mission is to inspire Christian women to wear clothing that reflects who they are and what they stand for.

“Glory Active existed as a dream I had growing up as a competitive athlete,” Joanna said. “I always dreamed to work in a sports apparel company with athletes and those with active lifestyles where I could lead and build relationships to share my faith.”

In an early morning devotion in March of 2017, the big idea hit Joanna. She felt God’s call to start building a women’s activewear business targeted to Christian women – with inspiring messages and designs. Her business background provided her the expertise and experience to get the idea off the ground and the brand officially launched six months later.

“It honestly scared me a little to take that plunge,” added Weaver. “I realize the risks of starting a business in the competitive sphere of retail apparel, but I am fully excited to see what is going to happen for God’s glory.”

Beyond offering premium quality apparel and faith-based messaging, Glory Active also gives back a portion of its profits to Christian charities and organizations.

“My hope is Glory Active continues to help remind women, including myself when struggling, feeling like giving up, fearful, not good enough, or stuck on thinking you just can’t, to let them all know they can when God is with you, because all things are possible through Christ who gives us strength. And know that he makes no mistakes.”

Belhaven Dance Faculty, Students Working to Help Parkinson’s Patients

Dancers are described as many things. Graceful. Beautiful. Creative. Artistic. All are certainly true, but at the heart of it, professionally trained dancers are movement experts. For the 10 million people worldwide that are living with Parkinson’s disease, dancers can provide a unique form of therapy.

A dancer’s expert knowledge about balance, sequencing, rhythm and aesthetic awareness is useful for those with Parkinson’s disease. Founded in 2001 in New York City, Dance for PD provides specialized dance classes to people with Parkinson’s, as well as their families, friends and care partners.

In 2013, trainers from the New York program came to Jackson to lead a teacher training course. Krista Bower, Chair of the Belhaven University Dance Department, was able to get involved and helped launch an affiliate class in Jackson.

“Our participants come from all over the Jackson metro area and some of them have been dancing with us since the beginning of the program,” said Bower. “Our students range from the newly diagnosed to those using canes, walkers or even wheelchairs. All dance phrases are modified by a co-instructor so that everyone can participate and fully enjoy the class.”

The classes are held on Monday evenings on the Millsaps campus. Faculty and students from Belhaven, Millsaps and the University of Mississippi Medical Center are highly involved.

“Dance is a wonderful activity for all people, and specifically for people with Parkinson’s disease because it instills grace, confidence, freedom and fluidity of movement while also building creativity and a sense of community,” added Bower.

Mariah Henry, a senior dance major at Belhaven, chose to research and participate in the Dance for Parkinson’s classes as part of her senior project. She choreographed and printed a dance work that involved Belhaven dance students as well as members of the Dance for Parkinson’s class. Junior dance major Andi Knudson filmed and edited a documentary on the program for her Choreography for the Camera coursework last spring.

“Through this program, students from Belhaven and Millsaps have had the opportunity to engage with community members and to use their gifts to serve others,” said Bower. “They learn about new ways to apply their knowledge from the fields of dance and neuroscience in service to the community.”

For more information on Dance for Parkinson’s, visit www.danceforparkinsons.org . The local program is sponsored by the Millsaps College Community Enrichment Program

BELHAVEN HOSTS PASTOR SOCIAL MEDIA CONFERENCE, INTRODUCES MASTER OF MINISTRY LEADERSHIP DEGREE

As part of the Institute for Ministry Leadership’s commitment to empower pastors, church staff, parachurch organizations and other ministry leaders with information to help them succeed, Belhaven University hosted a Pastor’s Social Media Conference earlier this month.

The event, held in conjunction with the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism, took place at the Dr. Billy Kim International Center on the Belhaven University campus.  This event, the first of its kind, attracted around 100 ministry leaders. Dr. Roger Parrott delivered the keynote address, challenging attendees to utilize social media as a tool to advance the kingdom.

Nine other sessions, with topics ranging from the basics of social media to hands-on demonstrations of Facebook Live, were held throughout the day. Photos from the event can be viewed on the official Belhaven University Facebook Page.

“I was inspired to use social media to minister to the world,” one attendee wrote. “I now see it as a tool the church can use to spread the gospel and as a way to encourage believers.”

Marketing is just one of the skills being taught through the Master of Ministry Leadership (MML) program, a new, unique degree program aimed for pastors and other ministry leaders looking to enhance their business skills.

The delivery of this 33-hour MML allows you to stay in your current role and complete your coursework. The program kicks off with an ‘iron-sharpens-iron’ intensive, face-to-face seminar, followed by 18 months of online teaching from some of the world’s leading experts. Each class tackles projects that are applicable to your ministry right now. The Graduate Certificate in Ministry Leadership is available for students wishing a shorter program.

For more, visit the Master of Ministry Leadership web page or contact Rev. Wallace Henley at whenley@belhaven.edu.

BLAZENET MOBILE LAUNCHES TO BELHAVEN STUDENTS

Last year, Belhaven launched a brand new Blazenet system to its students. The reviews are positive and we are continuing to improve the system.

Today we launched Blazenet Mobile powered by ellucian. This innovate app allows Belhaven students to access some of the most popular features of Blazenet in an environment designed for mobile-friendly viewing.

Students will be able to check schedules, grades, financial information, as well as have access to a campus directory. Faculty and staff have access to the directory, and those enrolled in classes at Belhaven will have access to the student information as well.

If you have not done so already, download the Belhaven University app from the Apple App store or Google Play store. To access Blazenet Mobile, simply open the Belhaven University app and click on the Blazenet icon. You will be prompted to download the ellucian app. Once downloaded, select Belhaven University and login using your Blazenet credentials. You must be logged in to access most features of Blazenet Mobile.

When signing in, you can choose to “stay signed in” to avoid having to login each time you access the app. Alternatively, mobile devices using fingerprint technology such as iPhone’s Touch ID will allow you to set up easy touch access.

We hope that you enjoy these great new features to Blazenet. If you need assistance, contact the Help Desk at helpdesk@belhaven.edu

Global Studies Minor Now Available For Belhaven Students

Belhaven University’s Department of International Studies recently launched a minor in Global Studies, and it is quickly becoming a popular option for students across a broad range of majors.

The minor consists of 15 credit hours in six courses, which are offered every year can be taken in any order. Students who choose this minor study communication, global trends, cross-cultural immersion and are encouraged to serve outside the United States as part of a service-learning practicum.

“I am excited about the addition of the Global Studies minor at Belhaven,” said Dr. Kirsten White, Assistant Professor and Chair of the Department of International and Intercultural Studies “It is a value-added option for every major. The campus wide faculty were quick to embrace it.”

The global studies minor gives students a chance to see what their field looks like in a global context.

“Whether its Psychology, Business, Nursing or Sports Administration, the program is designed for students who want the opportunity to expand the kingdom on a global scale.”

Dr. White added another valuable benefit of the program – it’s a resume builder.

“Employers that see the international experience are usually impressed,” said Dr. White. “Students with these skills are great problem solvers and communicate well with people of diverse cultures.”

Belhaven Campus Life Releases Spring Semester Activities Schedule

 

Intramural Sports, Laser Tag, Kayaking and Tubing trips and the first annual Highland Games highlight the spring semester student activities schedule at Belhaven University. The full activities schedule is available on the Campus Life website.

Campus Recreation will host a Video Game Night on Thursday, January 19 to kick off the semester, and students are invited to serve the Jackson community in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King on Saturday, January 21.

“The genius behind each event is that it is created, planned and executed by students for students,” said Drew Gardner, Coordinator of Student Leadership and Recreation. “We find that this is the best model for student leadership, that students would use their gifts and talents to lead and serve other students.”

Another highlight of the January schedule is a High Heaven Night on January 26. Students will take over the nearby High Heaven Trampoline Park for a night of extreme air sports.

Local churches and community organizations will gather in the Billy Kim International Center on January 29 for a Worship Night and Community Connections. A leadership fair is scheduled for February 1, giving students the opportunity to explore opportunities to serve on campus and beyond.

“Get connected” is our motto,” added Gardner. “The hope behind that motto is that students would find community as a result of a campus event or activity and experience life change.”

Campus Recreation will be busy throughout the semester, with intramural soccer, badminton, pickleball, basketball and flag football on the slate. Yoga, Pilates, Zumba and an 80s-style workout is also on the schedule.  Campus Rec will also host a Super Bowl Watch Party on February 5 in the Belhaven Bowl on the 30-foot high definition video board.

New to this year’s activities is the first annual Highland Games on March 22-23. This is a chance for students to get in touch with the school’s Scottish Highland heritage by competing in traditional and not-so-traditional games, food, music, and fun.

Off-campus activities also dot the schedule, beginning with a Smith Robertson Museum trip on February 11 and Horseback Riding on February 18. On March 4, students can take part in the Trailblazer Hike at Red Bluff Canyon. Kayak the Pearl River on April 1 and Tube down the Bogue Chitto River on April 29.

The highly anticipated Spring Formal is scheduled for April 7 at Duling Hall. On April 20, one of the most requested events takes place with Movie Night in the Bowl.

“This semester is rather unique. It is the most programming we’ve ever planned for a single semester,” said Gardner. “Events range from horseback riding to service projects, laser tag to cultural history museums, worship nights to lip sync battles. Our hope is to provide a variety of events and activities that would appeal to our diverse student body.”

 

Why A Well-Rounded Liberal Arts Education Matters

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By Mr. Daniel Shaw, Belhaven University Professor and Admission Counselor 

I’m an accounting major—why do I have to study literature? So runs the common question. In fact, a student of mine posed it to me just last week. Every honest student asks this question in one form or another—even those who love literature. I’m not shocked by it because, even after earning two degrees in English, I continue to ask myself the same thing. Aren’t there more productive ways to spend one’s time?

The difficultly in answering the questions is simply deciding where to start. But first there is usually a bit of pride that needs exposing, and I have no qualms in turning the question around: “Why shouldn’t we study literature?” Why shouldn’t we have to grapple with the fundamental questions of our own humanity?  Why shouldn’t we be forced to recognize that we are part of a much larger story?

Literature has, among many others, a humbling effect. It shows us that we are not the center of the universe and, happily, that we are not the first person to experience triumphs or confusion or loss. I say “happily” because there is sympathy to be had and self-pity to be lost. But ultimately it leaves us longing for one who can truly “sympathize with our weaknesses, […] who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”

Good literature asks, “What is man?”  Scripture poses the same inquiry. However, it does not stop there but adds, “that you are mindful of him.” Literature shows us that, in one sense, we are indeed small and insignificant. That is reason enough to read. But the good news is that there is a God, all-powerful and transcendent, who nevertheless remains very much mindful of us.

Alumni Invited to Participate in 84th Singing Christmas Tree

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The 84th edition of the Belhaven University Singing Christmas Tree is scheduled for December 2-3 at 7:30 p.m. in the newly completed Belhaven Bowl Stadium.

The event, which is billed as the nation’s oldest outdoor singing Christmas tree, has been a staple on campus since 1932. Thousands of students have participated over the years, and this year, they are being invited back to relive the joy of singing on the tree!

The brand new Belhaven Bowl Stadium gives the University an opportunity to expand the number of voices heard during the singing Christmas tree. Seats around the tree can comfortably accommodate up to 250 alumni singers.

The Belhaven Singing Christmas Tree began 84 years ago

The Belhaven Singing Christmas Tree began in 1932.

Interested alumni can participate by simply completing this form and let us know which of the following rehearsal times you can attend.

Day rehearsals are at 12 p.m. on November 28 – December 2 
Night time rehearsal are at 7 p.m. on November 28 – December 1

Thousands of students have sang on the tree over the years.

Thousands of students have sang on the tree over the years.

Alumni will sing a select number of songs during the concert, and only one rehearsal is required to take part in the singing Christmas tree again. Don’t forget to sign-up for the alumni reception at 6:00 p.m. in the Dr. Billy Kim International Center foyer before each performance. If you need additional information, contact Mr. Christopher Phillips at singingchristmastree@belhaven.edu or 601-974-6497.

Belhaven Bowl Stadium Phase One Complete

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A capacity crowd was on hand for the opening football game in the Belhaven Bowl against East Texas Baptist.

The first phase of the Belhaven Bowl stadium is completed, and the Blazers’ football and soccer teams have begun play in a refreshed landscape on Belhaven’s historic campus.

The Belhaven Bowl Stadium, a $4 million project at the heart of campus, opened in October with a football game against East Texas Baptist. Just a few days later, the men’s soccer team defeated LeTourneau for the first Blazer victory in the new stadium.

The facility features a custom turf playing service, 1,000 chairback seats and a state of he art Daktronics HD video board, which is among the largest in NCAA Division III.

The Blazer football team will face two teams ranked in the national top 10 to end its 2016 home schedule. 10th-ranked Hardin-Simmons comes to Jackson on October 29 and No. 3 Mary Hardin-Baylor is the guest on November 5.

The new Belhaven Bowl Stadium is now surrounded by beautiful landscaping.

The new Belhaven Bowl Stadium is now surrounded by beautiful landscaping.

Both the men’s and women’s soccer squads will end their home seasons on October 29 with a doubleheader against Howard Payne.

Belhaven Opens Dr. Billy Kim International Center, Builds Bridge to South Korea

The Dr. Billy Kim International Center sits in the heart of campus.

Belhaven University opened the doors of its state of the art Dr. Billy Kim International Center earlier this semester. The 18,000- square foot facility sits in the heart of campus, and highlights the importance of global perspective in higher education.

The facility is named for Dr. Billy Kim, a pioneer in Christian broadcasting in South Korea. Dr. Kim built the Far East Broadcasting Company, one of the largest Christian media organizations in the world. The building named in his honor also celebrates Belhaven’s relationship with South Korea.

Classroom in the Dr. Billy Kim International Center

Classroom in the Dr. Billy Kim International Center

Cliff McArdle, director of International Relations at Belhaven, was instrumental in the effort to build the Dr. Billy Kim International Center and he now occupies an office in the beautiful facility where he works to attract more students from outside the United States, particularly Asia.

“The emphasis on Asia will involve continuing efforts to recruit international students and develop strong relationships with other universities and partners in that part of the world,” said McArdle. “The Dr. Billy Kim International Center gives us a great facility to accomplish these goals, and Dr. Kim’s enormous influence in Korea combined with his friendship with Belhaven will help open new doors and opportunities as we move forward.”

The lobby of the Dr. Billy Kim International Center features a beautiful mural of Dr. Kim and Billy Graham at an Asian crusade.

The lobby of the Dr. Billy Kim International Center features a beautiful mural of Dr. Kim and Billy Graham at an Asian crusade.

 

McArdle spends time traveling to Korea to build these key relationships, and has already made the trek this semester, where he had several opportunities to speak to large audiences about Belhaven and recruit potential students. He met with the leadership of Busan University of Foreign Studies, a thriving university in South Korea’s second largest city, and preached in eight churches across the country.

“We had opportunities to present Belhaven and talk about the new Center in each church,” added McArdle. “One of the highlights of the trip was joining Dr. Kim and over 50 other American and Korean ministers in a mass baptism of South Korean Army soldiers. We baptized 4,700 soldiers in a large swimming pool!”

The facility allows for multifunction events, including banquets.

The facility allows for multifunction events, including banquets.

 

The Dr. Billy Kim International Center will serve as a multifunction facility, enabling Belhaven to meet the needs of many types of groups – from small group meetings to large banquet-style functions. The facility also features classrooms with state of the art media presentation equipment that will be a benefit to current students at Belhaven. There is a Korean-style prayer room that is being used regularly, and it offers a quiet and beautiful retreat for students and faculty.”

“Given my history and relationship with Dr. Kim, serving as Director of the Center is a wonderful blessing to me.” said McArdle. “The location of the facility at the heart of the campus speaks to our commitment to international students, a global perspective and growth of intercultural studies.”