Category Archives: News and Information

SC Technical College System announces partnership with Bethel University

COLUMBIA, SC — The SC Technical College System announced a partnership agreement today with Bethel University that will make it easier for graduates of the System’s 16 colleges across the state to transfer to Bethel to complete their bachelor’s degrees.

Located in Tennessee, Bethel University is a private institution affiliated with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, and master’s degrees.

This partnership is designed to aid students in making a smoother transition from the SC Technical College System to Bethel University. It will help reduce lost time to graduation and relieve some of the added financial burden now associated with transferring. Participating students must graduate from a transfer-oriented associate degree program at a South Carolina technical college with a 2.0 or higher grade-point average.

Bethel University Vice President Dr. Kimberly Martin stated that this academic partnership “demonstrates our commitment to promoting continued education opportunities for all students. By offering bachelor’s degree completion programs that are convenient and designed specifically for adult learners, we are reinforcing the fact that lifetime learning is the key to success,” she said.

“This partnership agreement is a tremendous opportunity for our students,” said Dr. Tim Hardee, president for the System. “Accessibility, affordability and relevance are key tenets of the SC Technical College System. This collaborative agreement works to strengthen those fundamental values by expanding access for our students to a baccalaureate education with a university that has expanded online offerings in high-demand fields.”

“We are very excited about this opportunity to expand our online education partnerships into South Carolina,” said Bethel University President Dr. Walter Butler. “It allows both Bethel and the SC Technical College System to further prepare graduates to thrive in today’s competitive professional environment. We look forward to offering students the personal care and relevant curriculum that Bethel University is known for.”

Bethel University announces partnership with Madisonville Community College

McKenzie, TN, Aug. 13, 2019 — Bethel University Vice President Dr. Kimberly Martin announced today that Bethel University has entered into a partnership with Madisonville Community College (MCC). The partnership will allow MCC alumni to complete their bachelor’s degrees in Organizational Leadership, Criminal Justice, or Emergency Services Management at Bethel University.

Bethel University will accept all credits from students’ associate’s degrees from MCC, permitting students to build upon their previously held degree. Students who have completed an Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, or Associate of Applied Science degree at MMC may enter Bethel University with junior standing. Students will have the opportunity to complete their bachelor’s degree entirely online through Bethel’s Virtual Campus.

Martin stated, “We’re excited to partner with Madisonville Community College to offer MCC graduates the opportunity to complete a bachelor’s degree at Bethel University while staying close to home.”  The online programs provided by Bethel University allow students to complete their coursework from the comforts of home while still maintaining their daily responsibilities. “Our 100 percent online degree programs are designed for working professionals, so we think they will work well for MCC graduates who want to continue their education, but also need to enter the workforce. We’re looking forward to welcoming MCC alumni into the Bethel family,” she added.

A one-time $500 scholarship is available to any MCC associate degree graduate with a 3.0 GPA or higher who enrolls at Bethel University within three years of graduating from MCC. Additionally, the application fee will be waived for any MCC applicant that completes all admission paperwork within two weeks after submitting an application.

“Our university partnerships are nothing but a benefit to our students,” said Madisonville Community College President Dr. Cynthia Kelley. “When you have a good, meaningful online program, students who are place-bound don’t have to leave. Instead, they can transfer directly into a school like Bethel and still be able to remain in one place. We at MCC can still support them with the help of the faculty and staff at Bethel.”

If you are interested in learning more about the programs available at Bethel University’s College of Professional Studies, contact Brittany Morgan at 731-407-7620 or

Bethel University Summer 2019 Commencement

MCKENZIE, TN –Bethel University’s Spring Commencement will be held on Saturday, August 3, 2019 at 10 a.m. in the Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena in McKenzie.

Dr. Brock Martin will be the commencement speaker. Dr. Martin was born in McKenzie, TN and attended Bethel College from 2003-2006 and was a member of the Men’s Basketball team. He completed is a graduate of Logan University in Chesterfield, MO in 2008, attained his doctorate degree at Logan College of Chiropractic and in 2018 he completed the Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician program allowing him to join a group of less than 5% of his chiropractic peers with this certification.

Dr. Martin’s awards and honors include “2016 Rising Chiropractor of the Year” for the Tennessee Chiropractic Association, Jackson Sun’s “40 under 40,” 2016 WestStar Leadership Program graduate, and a 2019 Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy graduate. In 2016, Dr. Martin was appointed to the Bethel University Board of Trustees.

Dr. Martin stays heavily involved within the local community serving the Huntingdon Industrial Board as Treasurer, the Carroll County United Way Board, and current President of the Huntingdon Lions Club, a Tennessee Promise Mentor, serves on the Alumni Council for WestStar, and a volunteer referee for Upward Basketball.

Dr. Martin serves his local and state health care community as a member of the Carroll County Health Council, the Tennessee Chiropractic Association as Chairman of the Opioid Task force and member of the Government Relations Committee. He has Staff Privileges at Henry County Medical Center and is an Adjunct Professor for Logan University. Dr. Martin will become President of the Tennessee Chiropractic Association in January which serves as the governing voice for the 2,100 physicians across the state.

Bethel has played an integral part in Dr. Martin’s life. His mother and father, Barry and Connie Martin, are both Bethel College graduates from the class of 1976. His two younger sisters are both Bethel Alums, with Anna Martin Kilburn graduating in 2009 with a BS in Nursing and Paige Martin graduating in 2013 with a BS in Human Services. Dr. Brock has served as the Chiropractic Physician to the Athletic Department for the past several seasons and has donated back countless services and time to his University in this manner. His office has routinely allowed preceptors from Bethel University’s Athletic Training program. He and his wife have welcomed numerous PA students and Pre-Professional Health Studies students to shadow and intern through their office over the years.

Dr. Brock Martin and his wife, Dr. Krista Martin have own Southern Chiropractic and Acupuncture in Huntingdon, TN. He and Krista reside in Huntingdon with their 3 year-old son, Steele Kurtz Martin.

President Walter Butler stated, “We are honored to have Dr. Brock Martin as our summer commencement speaker here at Bethel. He and his family are long-time friends and supporters of our Bethel community. His service to West TN, the state and his medical colleagues is such a testament to Brock’s servant-leadership.”

Seating for graduation services will begin one hour prior to service time. Graduates with questions should contact their specific school’s registrar. For all other general questions, contact Myra Carlock at 731-352-4090 or at

Standout Student: Gregory Robinson

Gregory Robinson, Assistant Vice President and Chief of Police at Tennessee State University (TSU), has led a successful career in law enforcement for over 35 years. Throughout those years, Robinson has been recognized for his professional achievements on various occasions. To date, Robinson has added two additional honors to his résumé in the year 2019. Even more impressive, Robinson has earned these awards while also managing his responsibilities as a student in the Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) program at Bethel University’s College of Professional Studies.

The first award presented to Robinson in 2019 was the Service Learning and Civic Engagement Award from his employer, TSU. This annual award is given to university faculty, staff members, or administrators commemorating their efforts in community service and service-learning.

The second, very prestigious award presented to Robinson this year was the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) Award for Administrative Excellence. The award recognizes those who have implemented new ideas, cost-saving procedures, or management techniques within their departments. Robinson attributes his selection as the IACLEA Award winner primarily to his creation and implementation of an officer retention plan. The tactics incorporated in the retention plan assist in making officers feel appreciated and valued which, according to Robinson, has positively affected job performance. Additionally, there has been a 36% decrease in crime on the TSU campus since Robinson began his role at the university.

As Assistant Vice President and Chief of Police, Robinson has an immensely demanding career. He knew it would be nearly impossible to remain in his professional role and attend weekly classes due to his professional responsibilities and time restraints. The flexibility of the online MSCJ program provides a means for students, like Robinson, to continue working full-time while earning a degree simultaneously.  The program provides professionals with practical tools and skills that can be incorporated into the workplace “on a daily basis” according to Robinson.

“A lot of things that I have gained in my classes, I’ve used in my workplace,” Robinson stated. “For example, the material that I learned in one of my classes allowed me to put together a statistical presentation for our board, which provided a visual representation of the success that the department has had in crime reduction.” The MSCJ program is designed for law enforcement professionals, as well as those who are interested in furthering their careers in criminal justice and can be completed in as little as 19-23 months.

Robinson is projected to graduate from the MSCJ program in November of 2020. After graduating from Bethel University, he plans to continue his education by pursuing a doctoral degree.

For more information about the IACLEA Administrative Excellence Award, visit the IACLEA website at

If you or someone you know is interested in pursuing higher education while working full time, contact Lance Tasker at or 931-444-9864, or visit

Alumni Spotlight: Scott Conger

Scott Conger, a Bethel University Alumnus and the newly elected mayor of Jackson, Tenn., is widely known for his service to the local community. As a Jackson, Tenn. native, Conger has spent his career working towards the betterment of his hometown through his volunteer work and service as a board member for multiple education and economic boards within the region. Throughout his career, Conger has served as a board member for the Jackson Chamber, Jackson Downtown Development Corporation, and Area Relief Ministries among others. Conger will begin his term as mayor on July 1.

In addition to his role as mayor, Conger serves as president and CEO of United Way of West Tennessee, a nonprofit organization that “focuses on uniting people and resources to build a stronger, healthier community” according to the United Way website. The organization provides services such as disaster relief and Christmas assistance to the community. Conger has held this role since 2015. Preceding his current position, Conger served as a city councilman for the city of Jackson for six years.

The mayor-elect and CEO is a proud Bethel University Alumnus and currently serves on the Board of Trustees at Bethel University. Conger graduated with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Bethel University College of Professional Studies in 2012. Conger, who has an undergraduate degree in history, offered, “I knew if I wanted to do anything beyond my current role, I needed to get an MBA or graduate degree. I think everything that I’ve done since graduating has been, in part, because of my MBA from Bethel University.”

The Bethel University College of Professional Studies MBA program, which was named one of the top 25 executive MBA programs in the nation by College Consensus, can be completed online in as little as 19-23 months. Conger noted that the program is “very manageable” for working adults due to its online delivery which allows students to complete the program while working full-time. When asked if he had any advice for others who may be considering the possibility of furthering their education with an MBA from Bethel University, Conger responded, “Do it!”

If you would like to be featured in a future Alumni Spotlight, please fill out the alumni information card on the Bethel University website or send a detailed email highlighting your accomplishments to

Bethel University’s Online Executive MBA Program named one of the Top 25 in the nation

College Consensus has announced the 25 Best Online Executive MBA Programs in 2019 with Bethel University among exceptional company.

The programs are ranked according to three main criteria: Affordability, Convenience, and Reputation. Data was drawn from sources like U.S. News, the Economist, Businessweek, and the institution’s own published information combining the latest results from the most respected college ranking systems with thousands of real student review scores. 

In today’s competitive business environment, an MBA is the standard for professionals in a competitive business market who want to take on higher management positions and earn more pay.

The challenge is that busy working adults cannot always afford to take time away from work or put their career on hold to go back to school. Bethel’s College of Professional Studies Adult Degree Program’s motto is “we bring school back to you,” emphasizing how Bethel’s program is created around the student.

Online degree programs and Executive MBA programs have both been game-changing innovations for business education and putting them together is another level of convenience and speed. The editors of College Consensus explain that the online executive format gives working professionals the means to “find the time to pursue a degree which will equip them for the next level of business leadership.”

The Top 25 include: Bethel University – McKenzie, TN; Brandeis University Heller – Waltham, MA; Duke University – Durham, NC; Faulkner University – Montgomery, AL; Howard University –Washington, DC; James Madison University – Harrisonburg, VA; Ohio University – Athens, OH; Pace University – New York, NY; Park University – Parkville, MO; Purdue University –West Lafayette, IN; Rochester Institute of Technology – Rochester, NY; Saint Mary’s College of California – Moraga, CA; Sonoma State University – Rohnert Park, CA; Southeastern University – Lakeland, FL; Spring Arbor University – Spring Arbor, MI; St. Joseph’s College New York – Brooklyn, NY; Tennessee State University – Nashville, TN; Texas Southern University – Houston, TX; University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, AR; University of Hawaii at Manoa – Honolulu, HI; University of Mary – Bismarck, ND; University of Nevada, Reno – Reno, NV; University of New Orleans – New Orleans, LA; University of North Alabama – Florence, AL; University of North Carolina Wilmington – Wilmington, NC

Bethel’s President Walter Butler offers, “We appreciate College Consensus recognizing our outstanding Executive MBA Program. We pride ourselves in reaching the busy professional who is on a trajectory of continued learning and accomplishment.”

To learn more, go to

Bethel University Spring Commencement

MCKENZIE, TN –Bethel University’s Spring Commencement will be held on Saturday, May 4, 2019 in the Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena in McKenzie. There will be two ceremonies. The first, at 9 a.m., will be for those graduating with undergraduate degrees. The second service, for those receiving graduate degrees, will be at 1 p.m.  

Commissioner David Salyers will be the commencement speaker. David Salyers became commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation in January 2019 after serving as executive director of the West Tennessee River Basin Authority since 1997.

A native of rural western Kentucky and resident of Madison County, Tennessee, Salyers led the West Tennessee River Basin Authority as an agency that sets the standard for water resource management in West Tennessee. Salyers introduced stream management techniques that led to improved efficiency and preservation of natural resources.

Under Salyers’ leadership, the Basin Authority was recognized by state and local leaders as innovative and cost-effective. The agency successfully built partnerships with state departments, federal agencies, nonprofits, local chambers of commerce, businesses, private landowners and agricultural producers. Such partnerships led to large collaborative grant awards for projects to reduce flooding, protect infrastructure, improve water quality and restore ecosystems. The agency provided solutions to issues related to public safety, agriculture, transportation, recruitment of industry, watershed stabilization, water quality and natural resource enhancement.  He received the 2016 Land Conservationist of the Year Award from the Tennessee Wildlife Federation for his wetlands restoration work and effective promotion of soil conservation practices with local farmers that improved the health of target watersheds.

Salyers worked for 11 years in the private sector in the Southeast as an engineer and manager before taking the reins of the Basin Authority. He maintains registrations as a professional engineer and geologist, as well as being a certified hydrologic professional. He received a bachelor’s degree in geology from Murray State University and a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in geological engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology. Additionally, he has served as a Bethel University faculty member.

Salyers is married to Dr.  Robin Salyers, Co-Director of Education at Bethel and a professor of Education and Computer Information Systems. David and Robin have been married for 36 years. They have two daughters and three grandchildren.

Seating for both graduation services will begin one hour prior to service time. Graduates with questions should contact their specific school’s registrar. For all other general questions, contact Myra Carlock at 731-352-4090 or at

Barnes & Noble College selected to manage Bethel University’s bookstore operations

MCKENZIE, TN – Bethel University officials announced this week that it has selected Barnes & Noble College to manage its bookstore operations.

Effective Monday, April 22, the multichannel operations provided by Barnes & Noble College will streamline course materials access, integrate bookstore operations with the campus learning management system (LMS), and give faculty access to an online textbook adoption platform.

Barnes & Noble College will drive significant cost savings for Bethel University students, offering an expansive selection of affordable learning materials including new, used, rental and digital course materials. The bookstore will also offer open educational resources (OER) content and courseware through OpenStax, LoudCloud Courseware™ and other major OER providers. First Day™, the company’s inclusive access solution, provides additional opportunities for savings by offering course materials at reduced prices through a course materials charge for participating programs. Students have the option to receive their materials on or before the first day of class, delivered seamlessly through their LMS.

“Bethel University has always prided itself on providing students with everything they need to succeed in the classroom,” said Bethel University President Dr. Walter Butler. “We are confident that Barnes & Noble College will continue to support this mission, while lowering costs and increasing access to high-quality learning materials.”

In addition to a wide selection of course materials, Barnes & Noble College will also introduce an enhanced selection of general merchandise items, including clothing, gifts, supplies, technology and more. Students, faculty and alumni will be able to shop the full assortment both in-store and online through the bookstore’s e-commerce site.

“We are very proud to partner with Bethel University,” said Barry Brover, Executive Vice President, Barnes & Noble College. “Our campus store will act as a complete support system, delivering innovative services and solutions that enhance the retail experience and empower academic success for students and faculty. We look forward to driving affordability, accessibility and achievement for the Bethel campus community.”

Barnes & Noble College currently operates more than 770 campus stores nationwide. For more information, visit

Free lecture explores the problem of slavery through the eyes of Civil War Era Cumberland Presbyterians

MCKENZIE, TN – The public is invited to explore the impact of slavery on long-ago Cumberland Presbyterians during the Dr. James Potts History Symposium beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 21 at the Bethel University campus. The Dr. James Potts History Symposium was named after Dr. James Potts, long-time professor of history at Bethel University.

The speaker will be West Tennessee native Dr. William Black, who graduated from the Honors Program at Bethel University in 2011 with a degree in history.  Black recently received his PhD from Rice University and specializes in 19th Century Religious History and Southern History.  He has been published in the Journal of the Civil War Era, Journal of Popular Culture, The Washington Post, Vox, and The Atlantic.

Now a visiting instructor of history from Western Kentucky University, Dr. Black will present “Border States, Border Church: Cumberland Presbyterians and the Problem of Slavery” in the Ayers Lecture Hall.

Sponsored by the Bethel University Department of History and the Honors Program, the event is free and open to everyone.  For more information, please contact Dr. Sarah Kidd, Professor of History and Chair, Division of Social Sciences at or Dr. Dan Dalrymple, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Honors Program Director at

Bethel University students benefit from statewide increase in institutional grants

MCKENZIE, TN – Studies released this week by The Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA) suggest that, while state and federal aid has remained stagnant over the past decade, member institutions have steadily increased the amount of institutional grant aid they provide.  Bethel University is one of 34 TICUA campuses in Tennessee.

Officials at Bethel University note that Institutional aid comes in the form of grants and scholarships to students who either demonstrate financial need or qualify academically. This money does not need to be repaid.

According to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System’s (IPEDS) 2018-19 student aid survey, 98% of first-time, full-time Bethel University freshmen received some form of aid, while 85% received institutional scholarships. The average amount of institutional aid for Bethel freshmen was $9,663.  Institutional scholarships include athletic, performance-based (including performance arts), and even scholarships for resident dorm directors.

Bethel University President Dr. Walter Butler says the school’s generous aid allows more students to pursue their educational dreams.

“The cost of a college education can present a significant obstacle for many families,” he said. “Bethel provides abundant opportunities for worthy individuals to overcome financial roadblocks on their way to a college degree.”

TICUA was established to promote cooperation among private institutions throughout Tennessee, helping private colleges and universities to work collaboratively in areas of public policy, cost containment, and professional developments. Members include each independent, non-profit, regionally accredited college and university in Tennessee with a traditional arts and science curriculum.

To learn more about Bethel University’s scholarship and grant offerings, go to: