Belhaven University named “College of Distinction”

From the Jackson Business Journal

JACKSON- For a fourth year, Belhaven University was honored as a College of Distinction for the 2013-2014 school year. The College of Distinction designation is given to select schools to honor their excellence in student-focused higher education. Belhaven University was found to excel in all four distinctions: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes.

“We focus on colleges that are the best places to learn, grow and succeed,” said Tyson Schritter, executive editor of Colleges of Distinction. “Schools designated as ‘Colleges of Distinction’ create well-rounded graduates and are among the very best in the country.”

Colleges of Distinction is a web-based guide for high school juniors and seniors seeking a school that is nationally recognized and highly recommended by professionals in the field of education. Colleges and universities are nominated for participation by high school counselors, and then evaluated using qualitative and quantitative research.

Preseason Football Poll Ranks Belhaven 21st

This is the first time since October 5, 2004 we have been ranked in the top 25 in the nation.  Congratulations to Head Coach Joe Thrasher, the full coaching staff, and our team.

The full report and listing of the rankings can be found HERE.

Our first home game will be next Saturday evening, August 31, at 7pm vs. Texas College.  The full schedule can be found HERE.

It should be a fun season ahead.

Go Blazers!

Dr. Ligon Duncan Appointed RTS Chancellor

Belhaven’s dear friend, and former board member, and pastor of our campus church – Dr. Ligon Duncan – has been elected as the next Chancellor of Reformed Theological Seminary.

This is a match made in heaven.

RTS and Belhaven serve many of the same cities – Jackson, Orlando, Memphis, Houston, and Atlanta.  In addition, we are in Chattanooga, and they are in Washington DC. We both have strong online campuses.  There should be many ways we can continue to work together under Dr. Duncan’s leadership as Chancellor of RTS.

We love having him as our pastor to many connected with Belhaven University and will miss that greatly, but we rejoice that in this new role he will be pastor to the whole world.

Here is the full news release from RTS:

(JACKSON, MS) – August 18, 2013 – The RTS Board of Trustees has elected Dr. J. Ligon Duncan, III, as chancellor and CEO of Reformed Theological Seminary. Duncan is currently the John E. Richards professor of systematic and historical theology at RTS in Jackson, Miss., and the senior minister of historic First Presbyterian Church (1837), where he has served for the past 17 years. He is the president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and served as President of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals from 2004-2012. Click here to visit the RTS chancellor Web page.

Duncan will continue to teach systematic and historical theology for RTS, and will serve as senior minister at First Presbyterian Church until the end of this year. His appointment as chancellor and CEO of RTS follows his good friend Dr. Michael Milton, who retired as chancellor in May 2013.

“We are thankful the Lord has answered our prayers for a new chancellor, and that Dr. Duncan has accepted the call to lead RTS.  We began this search expecting it to take an extended amount of time, but we were gratefully surprised at how quickly consensus was reached,” said RTS Chairman of the Board Richard Ridgway. “Dr. Ligon Duncan is uniquely gifted for this important leadership position at RTS. He is a well-known theologian, pastor, preacher and churchman not only in the PCA but across the spectrum of evangelical and Reformed churches, here in North America and around the world. As an RTS professor for 23 years, he knows our institution and our faculties know him as a man who is both a scholar and a pastor. He is an effective communicator with great leadership ability.”

A familiar face to us, Duncan has taught for RTS since 1990. He has lectured for RTS in Jackson, Charlotte, Orlando, Memphis, and for our Global program, as well as in Vienna and Hong Kong. He has delivered lectures and papers at various universities, seminaries and national meetings, and has preached or addressed major conferences as a member of the faculty representing RTS.

He earned the Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Edinburgh, New College (Scotland) in the field of Patristics, or what is now often called Early Christian Studies. His doktorvater was the renowned Reformation and Patristic scholar, David F. Wright. Duncan did both his M.Div. (cum laude), and his M.A. (in Historical Theology) also cum laude, at Covenant Theological Seminary, where he was mentored by the respected church historian, David B. Calhoun. Duncan received his B.A. (History) from Furman University. He has authored, co-authored, edited or contributed to more than 35 books.

Having served on the staff at The Covenant Presbyterian Church of St. Louis (under the late Rodney Stortz), Duncan’s pastoral experience began in his twenties. He was licensed to preach by his presbytery in 1985 and supplied pulpits in churches in the U.K. throughout his time there in the late-1980’s. In 1990 he was ordained in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and joined the faculty of RTS in Jackson, where he was subsequently appointed the John R. Richardson professor of theology.  During this time, he also served as an assistant minister at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Jackson (under his boyhood pastor, Gordon K. Reed) and then as interim pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Yazoo City, Miss. He left his full-time position at RTS to become senior minister of the First Presbyterian Church in Jackson in 1996 (only the twelfth in that congregation’s 177-year history), but continued to teach at RTS as adjunct.

In 2004, Duncan became the youngest minister ever to serve as moderator of the general assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America. He helped co-found Together for the Gospel in 2006, which has become a major catalyst for the young reformed resurgence. He is founder and chairman of Reformed Academic Press and serves on numerous boards/councils including the Highland Theological College, The Gospel Coalition, and the Reformed African American Network. He is the chairman of the RUF Midsouth Joint Committee which gives oversight to university campus ministry throughout the region.

His wife Anne is an RTS alumna with a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy. She is currently on the faculty of Jackson Preparatory School. Ligon and Anne are the delighted parents of two wonderful teenagers and they plan to continue to reside in Jackson.

Clarion Ledger Front Page Story – Moving Into Fitzhugh Hall

We woke up this morning to the Clarion Ledger front page, top story spread across the state, telling of our moving into Fitzhugh Hall.

Below is the story…..and I’ve also added two video stories they posted on their web site about this and one about a science student.

Belhaven University’s Fitzhugh Hall opens as new science, math building

Even though there’s still a couple of weeks before fall semester, a handful of Belhaven University students already were back on campus Tuesday, helping professors prepare new science labs for classes.

The labs are part of a recently finished project on campus, a yearlong $6 million project where the 100-plus-year-old Fitzhugh Hall was partially renovated and expanded following water damage to parts of the building and foundation, said spokesman David Sprayberry.

Sophomore Bethany Savoy of Brandon pitched in Tuesday morning, unpacking boxes in some of the biology labs. “All my classes will be in this building,” said the biology major.

Assisting Savoy was Bianca Key, of Jackson, and Jake Anderson of Phoenix.

“We’re just doing our part,” Savoy noted.

And while the help from students was appreciated, it was the professors in the building that were giddy.

The expansion to Fitzhugh not only meant updated facilities and more space, but it was also a joint effort of different science disciplines to work together, ushering the school’s program into a more modern science, said Reid Bishop, a chemistry professor and chair of the division of science and mathematics.

“One of the main things is the interdisciplinary space,” said Phylip Carlson, a chemistry and physics professor. “Traditional chemistry, biology and physics are in their own separate locations, but modern science doesn’t really work that way.”

The shared space means students can be better prepared for the workforce as well, said Bishop. “If you’re a chemist, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be employed by a biomedical company,” he said as an example.

The labs include computers with microscopes, linked with Wi-Fi for sharing results and findings with the rest of the class. Each new room offers more space, and the building is set up to use ultrapure water — a necessity for many experiments, Bishop pointed out.

“I’m most proud of the behind the scenes kind of stuff,” said Bishop of the technology and equipment installed in Fitzhugh.

With two weeks until students fill up the new site, Bishop and other science professors are itching for the classes to start back up.

“We focus on problems, real-life problems,” Bishop said. “Here we look at how do we use the different science disciplines to attack those problems.”


Video about the move into Fitzhugh

Video about freshman science student Jeremiah Reese