Bluefield University in the News


by | Feb 2, 2010

Designed to “bridge the gap between those currently giving their lives to mission work and those who aspire to work alongside them,” BC’s Missionary-in-Residence (MIR) Program provides a much-needed, well-deserved furlough for missionaries from the International Mission Board (IMB). In fact, this spring IMB career missionaries Kent and Debbie Staton are taking a sabbatical from their five-year stint in Mauritius, an island off the coast of South Africa in the Indian Ocean, to rest and to be rejuvenated on the Bluefield College campus.

But, the MIR Program does more than provide furlough facilities for missionaries. It brings the mission field to the BC campus and as a result increases the understanding among the campus community of the need to be involved in mission work.

“Our primary motive is to bring awareness and to motivate the students to be more involved in missions,” said Kent, a native of Oklahoma who fell in love with mission work as a young boy at a church his father planted in Rochester, New York, “and for us to learn from them more about the young adult American culture.”

Through a class in international missions, Kent, a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and the University of Oklahoma, is teaching students what it means to be a career missionary, how to plant churches in multi-national, interdenominational settings, and how to organize and lead evangelistic social reform projects.

“The kids here are awesome,” said Kent, who has also served as an associate pastor in Oregon, a youth minister in California and London, and a math teacher in Hawaii. “They are very engaged in class, very open, friendly, and supportive. We really like college-aged kids, and so we’re really enjoying being with them.”

In less formal settings — like the students’ weekly worship and devotion sessions or during the school’s weekly chapel service — both Kent and Debbie are sharing their testimonies and stories about life on the mission field. During one-on-one times with students, they’re putting to good use their skills in relational counseling and crisis management.

“I love this age group,” said Debbie, a native of Hawaii, “and trying to communicate with them and learn from them, and maybe even be a mentor for them. I enjoy the one-on-one time, and in some ways it’s like being a substitute mom.”

Kent, who gave his heart to God at age 10 and his life to the Lord for vocational ministry at the age of 17, added that serving as a missionary in an underprivileged society teaches humility. That message he said he hopes to pass on to BC students. When food, shelter and other necessities are hard to come by, he explained, you learn the valuable lesson of being totally reliant on God, which all Christians, he added, could benefit from.

“Kent and Debbie are able to bring their mission experiences to every aspect of our campus life so that students don’t have to travel abroad to learn about mission work,” said BC campus minister David Taylor. “Their sharing also helps our students realize how fortunate and how blessed they are, compared to other parts of the world.”

And, the influence isn’t limited to just the BC campus. Both Kent and Debbie, in Bluefield January through April, are reaching out to Virginia Baptist churches and the Greater Bluefield community with their message about missions by speaking to congregations and witnessing to regional Baptist associations.

“We’re really enjoying our stay here,” said Kent. “They’re treating us like royalty, and we’re getting as much out of this as the students are.”

Bluefield University

[email protected]276.326.4212

Do I only apply once?

  • No. Students must apply each academic year for the fall semester and submit the necessary documents.

Do I have to take the classes specified in the Associate's Degree tracks as they are listed on the information sheet?

  • No. Students may take any of the courses that are offered in a given term.

Where do I find the textbook listing, and where do I purchase the books?

  • Log in to myBU, and under the "Student" tab, you will find a list of the textbooks required (if any) for each course. Students are responsible for purchasing their own textbooks.

How long is a semester?

  • Our semesters are divided into two 8-week terms.

Is there an orientation?

  • Yes. Students can attend an orientation session that explains how to access courses, how to register for classes, and answers other questions.

Where can I find a course description?

Does the student need to take the SAT or ACT in order to take Dual Enrollment classes?

  • No. If a student decides to study at BU full time, BU is currently test-optional for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle.

Are the classes live? Do students need to log in and participate at certain times?

  • Classes are offered online, so a student can log-on and study at their convenience and their own pace. Students have assignments due each week; you can complete your assignments at any point in time before the deadline.

Does an Early College student need to come to campus for anything?

  • No. However, we would love to have you visit our campus if you are interested in continuing with traditional on-campus study. Students who complete their associate's degree have the option to walk at our commencement ceremony.

Are Early College students able to receive Financial Aid?

  • No. However, Early College courses are very affordable compared to other options. The cost for an online Dual Enrollment course is $100 per credit hour.

How do transferring credits work?

  • Each College or University completes a transcript review in order to decide which courses transfer. Sticking to general education classes generally makes transferring credits simple. All Early College courses at Bluefield University are general education classes that should transfer to another accredited institution.

Is an Early College student considered, and treated, as a transfer student when they become a full-time college student if they have earned enough credits to be a Junior?

  • No. Since they have not graduated from high school, they are considered a first-time college student regardless of how many credits transfer. However, by transferring credits when they enroll as a full-time student, they will have to take fewer classes to receive their bachelor's degree, which shortens the length of time to earn the degree.

Can I speak to someone if I have more questions?

  • Yes. Please contact the Office of Admissions by email or you can call them at 276.326.4231


Meet our core Counseling faculty

Dr. Challen Mabry

Assistant Professor of Counseling

Dr. Kristen Moran

Associate Professor of Counseling

Brandy Smith

Assistant Professor of Education & Counseling,
Director of the Master of Arts in Counseling Program,
Title IX Confidential Counselor

Our team is here for you! How can we help?

This form requires credentials in order to request information.