New degree programs to launch summer, fall 2016

As times change and more students attend John Brown University, programs undergo revision and majors get dropped or added. Beginning this summer and fall, several new changes will affect undergraduate, graduate and degree completion students.

One new addition to the University’s list of undergraduate majors is the Bachelor of Science in Christian ministry and formation in the department of Bible, religion and philosophy. The new major will be available next semester and will replace the child and family studies major and youth ministry major.

The Christian ministry and formation degree will allow people “passionate about ministry to have more options and prepare them better for ministry,” explained Jason Lanker, associate professor of youth ministries.

The new major grew out of students’ requests for a degree where they could learn about ministry without going into ministry as a career.

“What you [millennials] have said is ‘I can serve the Kingdom as a teacher just as well as a pastor,’” Lanker explained. “People who want to be in this degree should have a heart for ministry.”

The degree provides nine different concentrations, including chaplaincy, child and family, leadership, cross-cultural and youth.

In addition to the new undergraduate degree, two new degrees are coming to the degree completion program: a fully online liberal arts degree and organizational leadership. The latter is an updated version of the former organizational management degree. The organizational leadership program is still pending final approval from the board, but both programs are slated to go into effect come July.

“Not every student can come to JBU, and we want them to have that experience,” Stacey Duke, academic dean of degree completion, said of the new online courses. “We are creating programs that fit the mission of JBU.”

There are also several changes being made in the masters programs, including changes to some M.B.A. programs and a new master of arts in higher education.

Richard Ellis, Dean of the Graduate School, said that the M.A. in higher education has been a program in the works for about a decade.

“There’s been a lot of expressed interest lately,” Ellis said. The new program will be fully online and is modeled after similar programs at other universities like Taylor University in Indiana. It is a combination of business and education, and is geared toward students interested in working in residence life, a registrar’s office or other administrative positions in higher education environments.

Professors will include staff from the University’s own administrative staff including Kim Hadley, Vice President for Finance and Administration, and Andre Broquard, Dean of Student Life.

Kai Togami, head of the Ggraduate business department, said the various changes to the graduate business programs have been in response to focus group feedback and the changing market.

“We are keeping the core of what we do really well and adapting to the market changes,” Togami said. “We’ve talked to the students and businesses to see what’s attractive. They want people who know what they’re doing, with ethic and integrity.”

Similar to changes in the other programs, they are structured for online. The most significant change will be the requirement for students in the program to take their core business courses before those in their concentration. Other changes will include reduced hours in the M.B.A. in market research and consumer insights, M.B.A. in organizational behavior and the M.S. in leadership and ethics, which is undergoing heavy redesign.

For details about programs and course requirements, visit