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.”

Changes Coming to FAFSA

Students and their parents may have heard in the news that there have been significant changes made to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. These changes affect students at colleges and universities across the nation, including Belhaven.

Here’s a look at the changes, meant to make the application process more efficient.

Students will be able to submit a FAFSA® earlier.  Students will be able to file a 2017–18 FAFSA as early as Oct. 1, 2016, rather than beginning on Jan. 1, 2017. The earlier submission date will be a permanent change, enabling students to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as October 1 every year.

Students will use earlier income information. Beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, students will be required to report income information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017–18 FAFSA, students (and parents, as appropriate) will report their 2015 income information, rather than their 2016 income information.

The following table provides a summary of key dates as we transition to using the early FAFSA submission timeframe and earlier tax information.



  • Because the FAFSA will ask for older income and tax information, you will already have done your taxes by the time you fill out your FAFSA, and you won’t need to estimate your tax information and then go back into the FAFSA later to update it.
  • It should be noted that students must report the information the FAFSA asks for. If your family’s income has changed substantially since the 2015 tax year, then you should contact the Belhaven Student Financial aid office.
  • If you have any questions, you can contact Belhaven Student Financial Aid at 1-800-960-5940 or 601-968-5933.

Blazenet is Changing! Beginning Today!


What’s New in BlazeNet?

Everything!  We have been working hard to make BlazeNet an even better and more efficient site for you to get to the information you need most! In fact,BlazeNet is now the place to go to check your Belhaven email!  In the coming weeks, we will continue to add new information, announcements, and documents, so keep checking back as new updates are being added each week.

Why is BlazeNet important?

BlazeNet is our online student information system. This is the place where students can find information related to their grades, schedule, account information, making a payment, financial aid, registration, and so much more!   It is also the central site where campus departments post information specific to current students such as student life, campus activities, academics, IT, library databases, etc.  This is where you can read announcements, download forms, read policies, check your email, and access documents from departments across campus.

How do I access BlazeNet?

  • Starting August 1, the Belhaven web site will link to the new BlazeNet.  In the upper right corner of the Belhaven web site, click on My Belhaven and then BlazeNet (which will take you to )
  • A pop up box will appear before you get the home page of BlazeNet.
  • Enter your login information in the box.
    • For current students, log in with the same information you currently use:
      Username is firstnamelastname  (don’t put ‘’)
         Password is either your student ID number, or whatever your most current password is if you have changed it
    • For new students, log in as follows:
      Username is firstnamelastname  (don’t put ‘’)
         Password is your 8-digit birthdate (mmddyyyy)
    • Note: To protect your personal account information, it is strongly recommended that you change your password upon logging in for security purposes. See the attachment for instructions on how to successfully change your password.
  • If you are accessing BlazeNet from your place of employment and you encounter a problem using Internet Explorer, you will need to use either Firefox or Chrome as your internet browser.

How do I access my Email?

  • Starting August 1, you will log into BlazeNet to access your email account.  The link to Belhaven email will removed from the My Belhaven tab on the web site.
  • The first time you access your Belhaven email through BlazeNet, you will be asked to log into your email account with your full email address ( and the same password you used for BlazeNet.

What if I need help?

  • Watch “how to” videos about checking your account information in BlazeNet.
  • If you are unable to log into BlazeNet or have questions, contact

Online Graduate Celebrates Diploma and Wedding at Graduation


Graduation is oftentimes one of the biggest days of a person’s life. Years of sacrifice and studying culminate in the moment that the diploma is received. But what if that milestone were combined with another big life moment? Maybe a wedding?

That’s exactly what happened to recent Belhaven graduate Danielle Lewis. Immediately following her commencement ceremony, where she received a Bachelor of Health Administration from Belhaven. Diploma in hand, she married the love of her life, Joseph.

“My professors at Belhaven were so supportive during my journey, and my husband sacrificed so that I could finish my degree,” said Danielle in a recent interview. I could not think of anyone better to share the moment with.”

Danielle’s journey to Belhaven was unexpected. A 44-year old mother, she worked as a registered nurse in intensive care units and emergency room until 2011, where an injury forced her to leave a career that she loved.

“I was devastated,” recalled Lewis. “After working for 12 years in critical care nursing and building a good life for my daughter, I lost it all.”

Through all of the treatments and pain, Danielle still felt that she had more to give. Being bound to a wheelchair made it impossible to return to her old job, so she began to pray about going back to school. Her faith led her to seek a Christian university, and she enrolled in the BHA program through Belhaven’s online program.

“I loved what Belhaven had to offer,” said Lewis. “Belhaven really values family. From the first conversations that I had with admission counselors, I could tell that Belhaven was for me.”

Her time as a student was also spent having surgeries and receiving physical therapy. Belhaven’s flexible online program allowed her to not fall behind.

“I was doing assignments from hospital beds,” Lewis said. “The online format was key in allowing me to finish the degree.”

In April of 2015, Danielle began intensive physical therapy to help her walk again. Within a year, she participated in her first 5k race, and of course, finished her degree and got married. Her and her fiancée chose to be married at the Atlanta campus graduation by a Belhaven staff member.

“It was very special to exchange our vows in front of everyone that contributed to my success,” said Lewis. “It was certainly a blessed day to graduate and get married to someone who stayed by my side through everything I went through.”

Shortly after the big day, Danielle updated her Linkedin profile to reflect her graduate status. Within a few days, she received a call from one of the largest internal medicine groups in North Carolina, where she now works as the practice manager. She has also enrolled in the Master of Health Administration program through Belhaven Online.

“It’s amazing how God pulled everything together,” said Danielle. “I have come so far in such a short amount of time, and I have to thank Belhaven for their important role in my life.”

Q&A with Rick Negron, Belhaven’s new Film Production Department Head


Belhaven recently announced the creation of a new Film Production major. This exciting endeavor allows the School of the Arts to expand its offerings into one of the fastest growing career fields. Veteran filmmaker Rick Negron was hired to lead the program, and sat down with Belhaven.NOW to introduce himself to students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni.

Welcome to Belhaven! Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m married with three young daughters, and most of my free time goes to happily chasing them around. Everyone we’ve met has been very warm and inviting, so my family is excited about relocating to the Jackson area.

I’m a fan of good storytelling, whether it be in film, television, novels, comic books, etc. I look forward to exploring the film and the performing arts community in Mississippi.

Film Production is becoming a very popular major at colleges across the nation. What are some career opportunities for majors?

You’re right. Not only is it more popular in colleges, but it’s taking off in high schools as well. The interest has always been there, but I think the main reasons for the current trend are that videos and films are such an integral part of our every day life, and the technology involved with the process is relatively inexpensive.

In terms of career opportunities, students will learn specific technical skills and develop their creative abilities. Therefore, they will be poised to work in film, television, advertising, ministry, and numerous other fields that incorporate film and video. There are so many different paths that students can take, and part of their time at Belhaven will be spent exploring what areas are the best fit for them.

How will a Film Production degree from Belhaven be different?

First, this is one of the few Christian-based film programs in the Southeast United States. Secondly, students at Belhaven will make films; not just study how to make them, but actually make them.

Every semester. As a result, employers will find that our graduates are as comfortable and confident with the filmmaking process as any 22 or 23 year old could be. To achieve this, the curriculum is project-driven and rigorous, but also a lot of fun. Since students work closely with each other and their professors, the process fosters a collaborative, family-like atmosphere.

How will the Christian worldview be integrated into the program?

Filmmaking is basically using a specific medium to tell a story; so storytelling is the foundation of all we do. I believe that our goal as Christian filmmakers is to tell stories that reflect Biblical truth as well as our personal journeys of faith. Every student is different, so Belhaven’s entire discipleship model will inform and influence their work. My role is to challenge and help students wrestle with how to tell their faith-based stories in an original and captivating way.

How can an interested student get started?

Pray and ask questions! Seriously, if this where God wants you to be, he’ll confirm it through seeking information and feeling his peace of assurance. Prospective students can start with the film production program description on the website and then contact me or admissions personnel for more information. For current students, take a class; see if it’s a good fit. For any student, come see me! I’d love to sit down with students and families and talk about the program.


New BlazeNet in Process of Being Launched


Dear Students,

We are working hard to make great improvements to BlazeNet, our intranet system designed to provide you valuable personalized information. We will be releasing the improved BlazeNet in stages throughout the next year.

Starting today, you can log in to  On the log in box, you will type in your user name (FirstNameLastName) and password (what you are already using to log into BlazeNet/Canvas, typically the last 6 digits of your ID unless you already customized it).

Once you enter the “new” BlazeNet, you will be able to do the following:

  • Find a financial aid award letter and documents under Self Service
  • See your unread e-mail messages
  • Read campus announcements and news
  • Link to the “current” BlazeNet under Quick Links

After you complete your FAFSA, you will receive notification from the Office of Financial Aid regarding how to use BlazeNet to access your required documents and your award letter.

We will be working hard throughout the summer to add more information and features to the new BlazeNet, and we will continue to communicate those changes with you.

If you have trouble with your password, contact: / 601-968-8777

If you have trouble with your financial aid documents, contact: / 601-968-5933

Sports Administration Students Study Abroad in London


Sports Administration students from Belhaven University recently had a chance to see the inner workings of major sports – in London!

Students met with and learned from professional sports leaders across the host city of the last Summer Olympics. They visited Wimbledon, Wembley Stadium, Kingston and Cambridge Universities as well as the offices of NFL Europe and the British Olympic Training Center.

“The success of the London Trip provided a great experience for our faculty and students in our department to see the world of sports abroad”, said Dr. Howard Bartee Jr., Chair/Assistant Professor of the Sports Administration Department. “It is my hope that this experience will set the foundation for future opportunities, as we continue seeking to expand our reach of servant leadership through the academic discipline of sports administration, both locally, nationally, regionally, and internationally.”

Belhaven senior Jonathan Dickson, a member of the Blazers’ men’s soccer team, called the trip the highlight of his time at Belhaven.

“Being a Sports Medicine and Exercise Science major, my goals were to gain an international vantage point in regards to health and wellness,” Dickson said. “We were truly immersed in a culture that upholds a standard of excellence and tradition as well as a culture that celebrates the batty of living a healthy and active lifestyle.”

The trip was the first of its kind through the International Site Observation course taught by Dr. Ed Garrett, Assistant Professor of Sports Administration.

“It is because of Belhaven’s support for this trip that these student’s now have a greater understanding of a Christian Worldview because of their time in London,” said Garrett.

The course is expected to run every other year, allowing every sports administration student the opportunity to take the International Site Observation course before they graduate.

Belhaven’s Partnership with Jackson Zoo Continues



Earlier this semester, Belhaven University announced a year-long partnership with the Jackson Zoo that would allow 300 students in the science program to collect and analyze data vital to the zoo’s conservation efforts and future improvements.

“It’s a real-life science project,” said Belhaven Chemistry student Marjory Clement. “We have the opportunity to go out in the real world, perform real scientific analysis and develop solutions for a real problem.”

As of now, Belhaven students have completed a third of the initial project. Over 100 students from four classes across the Division of Natural Sciences have been deployed to collect data at the zoo. This data includes GPS mapping coordinates, watershed information, thermal temperature data, invasive species and the beginning of a comprehensive water quality assessment which will ramp up in the spring semester.

Students from Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Computer Science and Mathematics are all working on the project. Faculty members are assisting professionals in forming a preliminary report to the Jackson Zoo and its board of trustees in early December.

The partnership has greatly benefited the Jackson Zoo and Belhaven. Almost $30,000 in support funding and equipment has been procured, but the greatest impact has been on the students involved.

“This project has really opened my eyes to the other applications that science has in the community around us,” said Biology student Kaelin Hanson. “I’m extremely motivated to help push this project forward and seeing how this research helps the zoo.”

Belhaven Reboots Computer Science Program

As the fall semester gets underway on campus, there is an all new program for students at Belhaven to take advantage of. Computer Science makes its return as a major at Belhaven, and alumnus Dr. David O’Gwynn ’99 is excited to lead it.

“Computer science has changed dramatically from the academic programs of the past,” said Dr. Roger Parrott, President of Belhaven University. “I’m thrilled that our new major will be on the front edge of what students need to get the best jobs in the computer science industry.”

Classes have already started and students are getting the insight they need to succeed in their field of study. Students are learning and creating web and network-enabled software. The core curriculum of the new program is centered around network services and incorporates concentrations in cyber security and indie gaming. Students pursuing an emphasis in cyber security are studying network defense, cyber intelligence, malware reverse engineering, incident response as well as network intrusion and defense.

“One needs only scan the headlines to understand that our networked world is a very hostile place,” said Dr. O’Gwynn. “Businesses and governments alike are under constant attack in the cyber domain from criminals, extremists and others. We are preparing our students for that world, giving them the tools to protect and defend the systems they will build and maintain.”

Dr. O’Gwynn worked at Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT Lincoln Laboratory where he was a technical staff member of the Cyber Systems and Operations Group.  Dr. O’Gwynn worked on projects dealing with cyber situational awareness and the support of national cyber defense. He received his PhD in computer science from University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2011, his M.S. in computational engineering from Mississippi State University in 2003 and his B.S. in mathematics from Belhaven University in 1999.  His PhD thesis was on a topological approach to shape analysis and alignment.

Family Weekend Set for This Friday-Sunday at Belhaven!

Belhaven University is excited to be hosting its annual Family Weekend this weekend on campus. Parents and siblings are encouraged to register online for a weekend filled with faith, food and fun.

Family Weekend coincides with Belhaven’s Fall Discover Day, which takes place on Friday, September 25. Siblings and family members interested in attending Belhaven can get a first hand look at college life. Those interested in attending Discover Day should contact the Admission office or register for Discovery Day separately.

The campus will be in full swing on Friday, with lunch available in the Dining Commons. The Wynn Kenyon Think Center will host an open house from 1:00-5 :00pm, including a faculty panel – “Keys to Academic Success,” beginning at 3:30 pm.

At 5:30, families are invited to a catfish dinner in the Dining Commons, and at 8:00 pm, students and families are invited to Rec the Night! Belhaven Activities and Intramurals hosts a popular event that includes laser tag, dodge ball, and more in the Lower Practice Field.

Siblings of the same gender are invited to stay overnight in residence halls with their brother or sister. We know that they have missed each other!

Dr. Roger Parrott, President of the University will host a campus update in the Student Center beginning at 10:00 am on Saturday. At 11:30, head on over to Newell Field for tailgating prior to the Blazers’ 1:00 game with Alabama’s Huntington University. There will be a drawing for a family and their student to serve as honorary captains at the game.

Families are encouraged to spend Saturday evening with their students, as well as attend Sunday morning worship services on their own. We look forward to seeing everyone on campus for this great weekend event!