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Students in Service

Students and Alumni Making A Difference in the Lives of Others

Students can participate in a variety of clubs, groups, and organizations that have a community volunteer element, including Young Life, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Chapel Worship Team, SLACK, and Launch.  Many service opportunities exist through other student clubs and organizations, as well as through various programs of study and King’s NCAA athletics programs.

BRISTOL, Tennessee, May 21, 2018 – King University alumnus Tyler Chambers ’13 was recognized as Teacher of the Week by WJHL TV11 during the first week of April 2018. He is a teacher and basketball coach at Cloudland High School in Roan Mountain, Tennessee.

“You never know who much impact you may have on someone’s life and future as a teacher,” said Chambers. “I’m not sure who nominated me, but I am thankful. It was a huge surprise.”

Chambers attended Cloudland High School, then was accepted to King University, where he began his undergraduate career in 2011. He studied Criminal Justice and Chemistry with a plan to work in law enforcement. Chambers said, “My goal was to work with the Tennessee Highway Patrol, then make my way up to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. It was not my intention to teach; it was a God-given opportunity; He has blessed me a ton. I believe it was always my calling to be a teacher, but I didn’t really want to, but God made a path—a straight and narrow path I would have to say. I couldn’t deny the path God set before me.”

While at King, Chambers spent his spare time serving as the junior high school basketball coach at his alma mater, Cloudland High School.

After graduating from King in December 2013, Chambers began working at Cloudland High School in July 2014, teaching on a transitional license Chemistry I and II, Physics, and AP Prep Science. He also began serving as junior varsity basketball head coach and assistant coach for varsity basketball. In fall 2014, he began his graduate work at Milligan College, where he would obtain his Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction in 2016.

In addition to his current science courses, next year Chambers will add Robotics to the list.

“King prepared me well for my field,” added Chambers. “It helped me grow in my faith as well. Many of the teachers at King made an impact on me; two professors stood out during my time: Jennifer Mongold, Ph.D., associate professor of Criminal Justice, and Simeon Pickard, Ph.D., professor and chair of Chemistry. Dr. Pickard taught me so much about how to teach and how to communicate with students. I just love King, and I love seeing people go to King.”

Chambers doesn’t think it is difficult to get his students excited about science. “Maybe it is because I’m not a great deal older than they are; I like all the new hit movies and many of the same video games they play. I apply what they like, such as what happens in the movies to science,” said Chambers.

When asked if he had any advice to impart, Chambers said, “Have faith that God will lead you down the right path. He showed me the way, and I am truly blessed because He did.

Tyler Chambers, and his wife, Lindsey, and Charley, their soon to be one-year-old daughter, live in Roan Mountain, Tennessee.

BRISTOL, Tenn., April 24, 2018 – In March 2018, King University’s Bobby Flowers ’18, Kingsport, Tennessee, native, accepted the Patty Gibbs Wahlberg Social Work Scholarship, the top national award by the Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society. Upon accepting his award at the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, Flowers presented a detailed plan to develop a community clinic that provides basic healthcare for the homeless and others without health insurance.

“The Patty Gibbs-Wahlberg Memorial Scholarship is a coveted Social Work award that honor students from across the country vie for each year,” said Jodi Helbert, Ph.D., assistant professor and program coordinator of Social Work. “It was established in memoriam of its namesake, Patty Gibbs-Wahlberg, a social worker committed to service to others. Bobby certainly exemplifies the essence of this award in his character and never-ending quest to serve, not be served. In Atlanta in mid-March 2018, Bobby presented his compelling thesis. The audience was so moved by Bobby’s compassion that he received a standing ovation—according to the Phi Alpha National Social Work Honor Society President, Dr. Paul Baggett, the first one ever.”

“Dr. Helbert encouraged us to apply for awards through the Honor Society. I filled out the application for this award—the same as people all over the United States did; then I put it aside and didn’t think any more about it until I received the call saying I won,” said Flowers. “It was an answer to a prayer. The scholarship was something I really needed. Being asked to speak at the conference in Atlanta was such an honor. This has just been amazing.”

Flowers is a member of Chi Omega, the King University chapter of the National Social Work Honor Society, Phi Alpha. Chi Omega recognizes scholarly achievement among student Social Workers whose GPAs are a minimum of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. Additionally, Chi Omega seeks to foster humanitarian goals and ideals.

Helbert said Flowers is an exceptional student. “As the faculty advisor for Chi Omega and a professor in the King Bachelor of Social Work Program, I get to see the Godly compassion, scholarly abilities, and the excellence Bobby exudes first-hand, so I am biased, but having this recognized—that they can see what I’m seeing, and honored nationally is simply confirmation that we have something extra-special at King. I always say that social work at King is more than just a major; it’s a career with a calling. This is easily depicted with Bobby. Yes, he is a high-achieving student, but it’s not just the A’s he strives for—it’s the ability to make a difference in this world—to be the change. Some students just get it; Bobby certainly does.”

Helbert added, “Bobby is a student well-rooted in the Christian faith. We often say that King is a place of the mind, but I would like to add that it is also a place of the heart, where the crucible of ideas are synthesized with the civility that comes with honoring and upholding the tenets in God’s Word, meshed with the indomitable values of the Social Work profession of love for your fellow man.”

In 1978, Flowers went to East Tennessee State University, studying Mass Communications with an emphasis on Broadcasting. He left in 1979, to begin a career as a cameraman at a local television station, WKPT TV in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Determined to make a difference with the homeless population in the region, Bobby Flowers enrolled at King University at the age of 56 to complete his bachelor’s degree in Social Work. He did this while continuing to work full time at WKPT TV, where he currently serves as the stations operations manager. In addition to his work in television, Flowers serves as a chaplain for Ballad Health System, Bristol Motor Speedway, and Volunteer Speedway. Flowers supervises the monthly feeding of the homeless in Johnson City at the Melting Pot, a part of Good Samaritan’s Ministries, and is also active in his home church, Hosanna Fellowship in Johnson City, Tennessee, where he has numerous jobs including drummer for the praise and worship band. He is licensed through his church to minister the Gospel.

Flowers completed his Social Work internship at Family Promise of Greater Kingsport, a national organization that assists homeless families with securing temporary and permanent housing and jobs, where he still volunteers today.

On April 7, 2018, during Dogwood Homecoming Weekend, Flowers was awarded King University’s Graduate and Professional Studies & Online Programs (GPS) Award. The award is given to one GPS student per year who exemplifies King’s goals of excellence, achievement, and stewardship.

BRISTOL, Tenn., April 11, 2018 –Throughout the years, mission or service trips have taken King students, faculty, and staff around the nation and across the globe. During Spring Break this year, March 5-9, students were able to serve both international and domestic communities in Atlanta, Georgia; Camden, New Jersey; and Houston, Texas.

King’s mission is to prepare students in our Christian academic community to excel as thoughtful, resourceful, and responsible citizens with a passion for serving God, the Church, and the world. Professors take it a step further by integrating the concept of cross-cultural experience into almost every course on campus. This provides an outlook in which each person, regardless of geographical location, is a part of one community. For the King community, this also means living a life where serving others is integrated into every day.

“Overall, all three trips were great,” said Dan Kreiss, dean of King’s Peeke School for Christian Mission. “They more than met the criteria we have set for cross-cultural experience. Hopefully each of the students will carry forward with servant attitudes.”

Atlanta, Georgia


Laura Ong, associate professor of Biology, and Joshua Rudd, instructor of Biology, led eight students to Atlanta, Georgia, to work with children whose families have recently immigrated to the United States. The group worked with Whirlwind Missions of Stone Mountain, Georgia, whose charge is to “take the Church to the people.” Whirlwind works in the International Village in metro Atlanta, serving immigrants from 761 language groups in a five mile radius. They provide ministry and translation services, and host classes for the families including help for the children with school work.

“This is a truly cross-cultural experience. The trip was split into three parts,” said Ong. “The first focused on learning about other cultures and religions. The second part was a bit of a food tour where we ate ethnic food from those cultures and religions. We also visited international markets to add to the experience. The third part was working with children of recent immigrants after school to read a Bible story, help with homework, and complete a craft.”

The children, King worked with, hailed from Mexico, Guatemala, Bangladesh, and India.

Ong said, “I am so proud of our students; they just jumped right in and quickly formed bonds with the kids. Each King student had a group of kids they worked with. It was wonderful to see both the students and the kids open up to one another.”

Bristol, Virginia, native Emily Jacobs ’20 said, “The connections formed with the wonderful people in Atlanta will forever hold a place in my heart and continue to guide me throughout my life. It was truly a humbling, once in a lifetime experience that I hope everyone has a chance to partake in during their time at King.”

“I want students to know how much fun this trip is,” said Ong. “I think students should look at these trips as an opportunity and as something that may change their lives for the better.”

Camden, New Jersey


Dan Kreiss, and Amy Mann, Ph.D., director of Online Learning, led a group of 10 students to Camden, New Jersey, to work with UrbanPromise. Camden is known for being one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. UrbanPromise is the largest employer of teenagers in the city of Camden. Their mission is to equip Camden’s children and young adults with the skills necessary for academic achievement, life management, spiritual growth, and Christian leadership. The organization works with children through eighth grade, operating numerous programs and camps designed to challenge youth to develop and realize their potential. Unique to their vision is a commitment to involving local teens—known as StreetLeaders—in the tutoring, mentoring, and coaching of younger children in the community. By involving teens in the leadership process, UrbanPromise is creating a new generation of young, visionary leaders who embody a commitment to change their own community.

The connections King students make at UrbanPromise are unlike any other mission trip Dan Kreiss has been a part. Kreiss said, “I’ve been in youth ministry for more than 30 years. There is something about that place and that organization that just works. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. What we do there, the people we meet and work with there—the kids, the street leaders, the interns, the workers—it is just unlike any other program.”

Since the schools in Camden are not on Spring Break at the same time as King, the King contingent worked during the day. “We did whatever UrbanPromise needed done, then each afternoon, we helped with the afterschool programs for three hours every day. Our students did everything from helping them with homework to playing basketball,” said Kreiss. “In the evenings, we would get together and talk about the day and the relationships being built; we also held trainings to help our students learn what is happening in the inner cities—such as some racial and social injustice issues. By the end of the week, there are always a lot of tears when we leave.”

After her experience in Camden, Brittany Starnes ’20 of Johnson City, Tennessee, plans to go back to Camden and spend her summer as an intern with UrbanPromise. She said, “Over Spring Break, I could have gone to somewhere tropical and sunny like most college students typically do; instead I choose to go to Camden, New Jersey. Being joyous in any situation wasn’t taught to me inside of a college classroom, but rather by a group of kids who are growing up inside UrbanPromise. The trip taught me that while Camden has its blemishes of violence and drugs, it is also a city of hope and love. God not only challenged me to never think that what I have to offer is insignificant but also to spread the greatness that is happening inside those nine square miles.”

“This trip is truly transformational,” said Kreiss. “It is our students building relationships with these kids, not just working with them; they are getting to know the kids and building bonds with them. Many of our students have never experienced a place quite like Camden, and it pushes them in a whole lot of ways. The trip is transformational in so many ways. We plan to keep going back.”

Houston, Texas


Emily Loudon, director of Student Life, and Jeremiah Funk ’14, clinical coordinator for Athletic Training, led eight students to Houston, Texas, a city recently devastated by Hurricane Harvey. The students worked with an organization called Attack Poverty, whose mission is to strengthen under-resourced communities through spiritual growth, education, revitalization, and basic needs. Additionally, the King students worked at the church they stayed, A Community of the Servant-Savior Presbyterian Church, washing windows, painting, pressure washing, and completing yard work.

King students primarily worked on the Torres’ family house by repainting and cleaning, which had been hit hard by the hurricane.  To thank the King students, the family prepared several authentic Mexican lunches.

“After painting, we asked the family if they wanted us to clean the carpet before we moved furniture back,” said Loudon. “They handed us a broom and dustpan. That’s all they had since their vacuum was destroyed, and being on a fixed income, they couldn’t afford to replace it. Later in the evening, when we were debriefing from the day, the students mentioned the Torres’ lack of a vacuum. Collectively, the students asked, if they all pitched in, if they could purchase one for the family. Once I received approval from the organization, we went shopping, and the students spent their own money to purchase a vacuum and a card in Spanish for everyone to sign.

“On the front stoop of the family’s home, the students told Mr. and Mrs. Torres they had learned so much about strength and moving on and wanted to help even more,” added Loudon. “I know the students were all trying to hold it together, but in the end everyone was crying.”

Bristol, Tennessee, native McKenna Whitaker ’18 said, “We also worked on an elderly couple’s house that sustained a significant amount of damage too. I think the biggest take away for me is that while we were there to serve that family, they wanted to make sure they were able to serve us as well by cooking us lunch or helping us with the work we were doing. They welcomed us in and made us feel like we were a part of their family.”

“We asked the pastor of the church and the Torres family about their experience with Hurricane Harvey damage.  They got teary-eyed,” said Loudon. “It was so personal and so devastating to them. They lost of a lot of things, not just personal things, but memories. It was very humbling—hearing those stories hit home with the students. In working with the Torres family, this had been a chapter in a book, and it was finally closed now. They could finally start to get back to normal.”

BRISTOL, Tenn., Feb. 26, 2017 – Servant leadership is one of the qualities upon which King University was founded 150 years ago. The students, faculty, and staff of King’s Knoxville campus, located in Hardin Valley, are giving back to the local community that welcomed them eight years ago. A variety of successful service projects have been conducted throughout the past year, with hopes to continue the projects into this and coming years.

“Our goal is to have a number of service projects throughout the year that work well and about which students are passionate,” said Priscilla Duenkel, regional director of Student Affairs Knoxville. “I’d love to see these projects become annual events; hopefully, we can add others as needs arise within the surrounding community.”

One event with which King University Knoxville volunteered was the West Park Baptist Church’s Community Care Day. In addition to King’s traditional and master’s-level nursing students providing basic healthcare to participants though the health fair, others helped with automotive care, home care, and neighborhood care by the Dogwood Team.

One issue impacting Knoxville’s community is that of homelessness. According to the most recent data posted by Knoxville’s Office of Homelessness, in 2015, 9,339 individuals accessed homeless services from Knoxville Homeless Management Information System partner agencies. “We wanted to find some way to help; even it was on a small scale. Students, faculty, and staff came together to assemble bags with a variety of items that might be of help to the individuals receiving them. The ideas were for the King community to keep a bag in their car to give to a person in need. We were also able to drop several bags to the Lost Sheep Ministry which serves the homeless population ‘under the bridge’ where the homeless are known to spend time.”

The bags included items such as bottled water, snack bars and other non-perishable food items, a tooth brush and tooth paste, Band-Aids, and deodorant. “We also included a personal note with an encouraging message to let them know we were praying for them,” said Duenkel.

A native of Clinton, Tennessee, King senior Heather Scudder said, “It made me feel good to know that I was attending a University that cared about the homeless population. We all pitched in and made the bags for them. When I gave my bag to the gentlemen, he was so thankful.”

“The impact on myself and others in the King community was huge,” Duenkel said. “At times, you will be driving down a street and see someone in need, but you don’t have anything readily available to give them. Having something already prepared and on hand can be a blessing to someone with which you cross paths. I know, for me personally, the impact when you see their face and realize they were hungry and in need—it is something you don’t forget.”

To say thank you to those who have served their country, students, faculty, and staff penned handwritten letters of thanks which were shared with veterans at the Ben Atchley Tennessee State Veterans Home. “In addition to the letters, the King community are provided with information throughout campus on how to go the extra mile in a variety of ways such as delivering meals to veterans or helping them with yardwork. There are so many ways to say thank you to a vet for his or her service,” said Duenkel.

Mission of Hope’s Christmas & Blue Barrel Campaign helps families in rural Appalachia who are struggling and in need of basic necessities such as food, hygiene products, clothing, and toys. A blue barrel was placed onsite at King’s Knoxville campus. “Everyone was eager to give to such a worthwhile cause—helping families here in our own back yard,” commented Duenkel.

“Another service for Christmas included partnering with Samaritan’s Purse’s Operation Christmas Child program,” said Duenkel. “A display was set up at the Knoxville campus in November to provide King students, faculty, and staff with information on how to help provide Christmas gift for area children who might not otherwise receive presents. We collected 28 boxes which were delivered to a distribution center at a local church. Everyone enjoyed participating in such a worthwhile cause.”

Through Operation Christmas Child, King participants were able to track to which country their gift box went. According to Samaritan’s Purse International Relief, “Every shoebox gift is an excellent resource for evangelism and discipleship which leads to the multiplication of new believers and churches around the world.” Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham said, “I want every child to know there is a God who loves them.”

“We hope to continue partnering with Samaritan’s Purse each year; it is such an amazing program,” added Duenkel.

The year was capped off with Christmas at King, where families come together at the Knoxville campus to celebrate the reason for the season. Children have the opportunity to decorate ornaments and cookies. They also have their photo taken with Santa. “It is a good time for families to come together, kids to make some crafts, and enjoy some time together,” said Duenkel.

Scudder said, “My children looked forward to coming to the Christmas at King event. They enjoyed decorating the cookies and painting the ornaments. It was a great family event. The kids also enjoyed seeing where their mom went to school.”

If you are interested in helping with a community service project through King University Knoxville, contact Priscilla Duenkel at [email protected].

BRISTOL, Tenn., March 2, 2018 – King University’s Women in STEM Club hosted the first STEM Day for Girls on Saturday, Feb. 24. A fast-growing organization at King, the Women in STEM club seeks to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) as possible career paths among women of all ages.

Sheryl Sandberg, founder of the Lean In Foundation and chief operating officer for Facebook is quoted as saying, “The time is long overdue to encourage more women to dream the possible dream.” This simple idea is at the heart of the STEM Day for Girls. The day of activities for local middle school girls grades 5-8 included exciting biology, chemistry, and math activities. The free event included lunch and a surprise take-home gift for each girl.

Sunny Kennedy is a senior at King majoring in Biology and a native of Abingdon, Virginia. She said, “We held the STEM Day for middle school girls as a way of encouraging young women to chase after their dreams in the [STEM] fields. The day was intended to show them the interesting and fun sides of STEM and prove to them that girls can do it too. I was amazed at how many of [the girls] already had plans to go into engineering, robotics, and computer technology. The [STEM] fields definitely have a bright future with these girls involved.”

Participants hailing all the way from Tazwell, Virginia, to Jonesborough, Tennessee, experienced everything from decoding secret messages through the use of cryptology to experimenting with safe chemical reactions, along with learning about genetic coding. Each student rotated through each of the three sessions.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better event,” said Wendy Traynor, assistant professor of Mathematics and faculty advisor for the Women in STEM Club at King. “We initially thought we might get 10, maybe 20 girls to attend the event. Instead, we got 70! We had to scramble a bit to get more resources for the event; we had a lot of support from all areas on campus. It was important for each girl to have some to take with them. One of the favorites of the day was a cipher decoder wheel made by Martha Liendo, instructor of Mathematics, and King senior Tequania Lake, a Mathematics and Physics major.

“We are looking forwards to hosting the STEM Day for Girls again in the future,” said Traynor.

For additional information on King’s Women in STEM Club, contact Wendy Traynor at [email protected].

Read the article by Bristol Herald Courier’s Robert Sorrell at

BRISTOL, Tenn., Feb. 19, 2018 – King University announced a donation of 156 children’s books to the Holston Valley Medical Center (HVMC) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in honor of Kingsport’s 100th anniversary.

“The Downtown Kingsport Association requested all of its members to do something to honor Kingsport’s 100th anniversary,” said Erica Seals, Territory Manager and Enrollment Counselor at King University. “To highlight education, King’s faculty and staff for the Kingsport campus determined a book drive for Holston Valley’s new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit would be a great way to honor the city of Kingsport. Thanks to the efforts of faculty, staff, students, and alumni, 156 children’s books were collected and donated to the NICU.”

“These wonderful donations were distributed to NICU and pediatric patients [and their] families,” said Suzanne Eller RN-BC, associate clinical leader for Women’s and Children’s Departments at Holston Valley Medical Center. “These books were able to be given out at discharge in order to promote family bonding with our Pediatric patients and NICU infants through reading. Hospitalized children have increased anxieties related to this thus children tend to calm and focus better when a book is read to them. We use different books in our Pediatric treatment room to divert attention away from unpleasant procedure. We have been able to highlight Kingsport’s Centennial with these donations also.”

King’s Kingsport campus collected books throughout the spring and fall semesters in 2017. Seals commented that faculty and students from all of King’s campuses along with alumni were all supportive during the campaign. “Sometimes what may seem like the smallest act of kindness can make a big difference. Bringing a little joy to families and their children during difficult times makes it all worth it. We hope to continue with our book drive in the future,” said Seals.

BRISTOL, Tenn., Feb. 16, 2017 –King University Chair of Philosophy and Religion Don Michael Hudson, Ph.D., and Brad Zockoll, Ph.D., upper school Bible teacher from Grace Christian Academy in Knoxville, collaborated on an adventure of a lifetime for Grace’s high school students. Along with the two group leaders, seven students and three chaperones traveled to Israel and Palestine to experience the Holy Land firsthand Oct. 7-16, 2017.

“Dr. Hudson put together one of the most intensive, instructive, emotional and impactful trips I’ve ever taken,” said Zockoll. “It’s as if he had been leading a private classroom for us at each stop. It’s been an eye-opener at every new venue.”

“I have wanted to host a trip for high school students for years now. The problem was finding the right co-leader and working with a really good school,” said Hudson. “Once I found Dr. Zockoll (actually an old college buddy) and Grace Academy I knew we were in for a great trip. I particularly wanted to take young people who are interested in understanding their faith and Scriptures in much deeper ways.

“I want to take younger folks over to Israel and Palestine to challenge their American way of thinking and introduce them to a much better knowledge of the Christian Scriptures,” added Hudson. “Many modern Christians believe the Bible, but few actually know the Bible. I meet so many who will defend the Bible to the death, but they never read it. So let’s go see the places where the events occurred and the narratives were constructed. This vision is a revolution in their thinking.”

Upon arriving in the Holy Land, the group began their journey in Taybeh, which was first called Ephraim during the time of Jesus. The Palestinian village is located in the West Bank and is the only known Christian village left in Israel and Palestine.

The group packed in as many sites as possible in the short time they were in the Holy Land. Locations they visited included: the Qumran Caves, the Dead Sea, Jordan River, Masada, Gethsemane, the Mount of Olives, the Damascus Gate (one of the entrances to the Old City of Jerusalem), Bethlehem, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, Ein Gedi, Capernaum at the Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, Magdala, the Mount of Beatitudes, Haifa, Akko, Megiddo, Caesarea Matimah, and Jaffa.

“The Israel trip was one of the most incredible experiences of my life,” said Junior Brooke Hilemon. “I have grown very much in my spiritual relationship with God. I’m so thankful for the opportunity, and I wouldn’t trade the memories for anything. If I could, I would go back in a heartbeat.”

For Linda Reedy, a teacher at Concord Christian School and trip chaperone, this was her second trip. “I learned so much more on this trip [than the first]. Not being hindered by a large tour group moving quickly through each site, we were able to spend quality time learning about the different places through Dr. Hudson. Magdala was one of my favorites—walking through a village Jesus and the disciples would have traveled through.”

Junior Christian Luttrell commented, “The trip to Israel was an experience I will never forget. I was amazed seeing Biblical places I have read about come to life as Dr. Hudson led us around and explained the different sites. Junior Stacy Koger added, “The Israel trip was beyond amazing. From Taybeh to Jerusalem, and everywhere in between. This trip was a journey that I feel benefits the spirit just as much as the mind.”

The King Philosophy and Religion Department’s next Israel/Palestine excursion led by Dr. Hudson will take place during Spring Break March 2-11. King University students will have an opportunity similar to that of Grace Christian Academy: to walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.

If you are interested in King’s Department of Philosophy and Religion or the Israel/Palestine trip, contact Dr. Don Hudson at [email protected].

BRISTOL, Tenn., Feb. 15, 2018 – Amanda Countiss Peace, 2013 graduate of King University, has been named Teacher of the Year for Haynesfield Elementary School and District 5-8 Teacher of the Year for the Bristol Tennessee School District. She will represent Bristol Tennessee City Schools (BTCS) in the state process for consideration for State-wide Teacher of the Year.

Peace was nominated for Haynesfield’s Teacher of the Year by her peers. With a laugh, she said, “I certainly didn’t think I would receive the award. It was a true blessing to know the other staff felt I was deserving. This makes you feel like you are making a real difference in the lives of others.” Haynesfield Principal Dr. Rachel Walk submitted a letter for the District 5-8 Teacher of the Year award, to which Peace received.

Dr. Walk said of Peace, “Mrs. Peace distinguishes herself as an exemplary educator who sets high standards for herself and her students. Mrs. Peace is a content expert in sixth grade reading/language arts and social studies. Her knowledge and skill set enable her to engage and extend all students. She is an innovator, motivator, and leader in our school. Her enthusiasm and positive disposition is second to none. Parents and students hold her in high regard. Mrs. Amanda Peace has certainly earned the title as both the Haynesfield and BTCS teacher of the year.”

Coming from a long line of educators, Peace always knew she would be a teacher. She recalls telling her first grade teacher she wanted to teach first-grade just like her; she told the same to her second-grade teacher. “Teaching is just in my blood,” said Peace.

The Kingsport native studied to become an elementary education K-6 teacher, earning her baccalaureate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from King College in 2013. Peace was a member of the final class to graduate under the identity of King College before the school transitioned to University in June 2013. Peace also obtained a certification in English as a Second Language (ESL) PreK-12 and is certified to teach any curriculum through eighth grade and English through grade twelve.

Peace completed her student teaching at Avoca Elementary School with first- and fifth-grades. Her practicum teaching took place with BTCS Elementary with grades K-6 and ESL, as well as with Bristol Virginia Middle School where she taught seventh-grade English.

“I was expecting to serve as an interim teacher at Avoca,” said Peace. “Then, I received a call asking if I would be interested in a full-time teaching position at Haynesfield; I, of course, said yes. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to teach full-time right out of school.”

In addition to her work as a sixth grade Language Arts teacher at Haynesfield, Peace also has the privilege to teach an elective technology-based course for students. “I had a positive experience in broadcast journalism when I was in middle school. I thought it would be great to offer this same experience to our students. Through the class, we have developed a video-taped news show called WHES News 10. We have about 30 minutes-a-day each week, and we broadcast each Friday on The show includes everything from Haynesfield specific topics to sports to happenings in our local community. The students audition and complete a job application to be part of the program. It is an exciting class for all involved; the kids love it.”

BRISTOL, Tenn. – The King University men’s and women’s golf teams took a break from the golf course to help and serve the local Bristol community. Head coach, Brian Kamm, facilitated two volunteer days for the golf teams to work with the Salvation Army in Bristol, Tennessee.

The men’s and women’s golf teams gave their time January 18-19 from 5:00-7:00 pm. The student-athletes served food for the first hour, then waited for the dining hall to clear and cleaned up the dining commons after everyone had moved downstairs.

Alex Summers, a redshirt freshman on the men’s golf team, had this to say about the experience. “It’s important for us as a team to give back to the community that has helped shape our institution.”

“I thought it was really good that we got to help out at the Salvation Army, and I think that it’s something we should do much more often,” said Autumn Bergendahl, a member of the women’s golf team.

“Seeing how the people at the Salvation Army warmed up to the men’s and women’s teams showed how much a few hours of our time can mean to others,” Kamm said about the experience.

BRISTOL, Tenn. – The King University men’s and women’s tennis teams took a break from their busy spring schedules to help and serve the local Bristol community. Head tennis coach, Terry Caldwell, facilitated a volunteer day for the team to work with the Bearcat P.R.I.D.E. program.

The Bearcat P.R.I.D.E. is the 21st Century Community Learning Center program at Washington-Lee elementary school. The King tennis teams worked with the kindergarten and first grade sports clubs at the school.

Freshman men’s tennis player, Sebastian Lieflaender, had this to say about the experience. “I enjoyed the time with the kids. It was great to play games with the them and they seemed to really enjoy spending time with us. It was a great experience.”

“I am grateful for having the opportunity to work with the children of Washington-Lee elementary school.  The kids were wonderful and it was really nice to give some of our time back to the local community,” Marylin Roustand, a freshman women’s tennis player, said about her experience.

“I truly enjoyed having our tennis team work with the kids of Washington-Lee. I believe our players got more out of it than the kids we worked with. The team expressed their enjoyment of the experience after we left and they would like to do more with the kids if the opportunity presents itself again.  The team learned it’s fun to give back to the community,” Caldwell said.

BRISTOL, Tenn., Dec. 7, 2017 – King University’s Digital Media Art & Design (DMAD) program hosted its seventh annual Help Portrait event on Nov. 4. Help Portrait brings King students together with members of the community to provide a family portrait to those who may not otherwise be able to afford one. King students provided 31 families, consisting of more than 120 people, with a free, framed family portrait for the holidays along with gift bags filled with donated items. Each family also received a digital copy of their images and a gift card to Walmart to print additional photos.

“Christina Thomas, a junior DMAD major and president of King’s Art and Design club, was the organizer of this year’s event. She, along with all the students who helped, did an incredible job,” said Lee Jones, assistant professor of Photography and Digital Media at King. “We were all excited to have the number of families we helped double this year. One family was back for the fifth year to get their family portrait.”

“If I could describe the event in just a couple words, it would be that it was an awesome day,” said Thomas. “It was great to see the event from a different side this year – as the organizer; in the past, I’ve helped in a variety of other ways. I think everyone had a good time; the volunteers were amazing. We received wonderful donations. It was cool to see the community come together. It was a fun day overall in every area.”

“Including myself, there were 12 students working throughout the day doing everything from taking pictures, editing and creating gift packages, helping with the families, and spending time with the kids,” said Jones. “Out of the students helping, only four were returning students from last year; the remainder were all new to the event. One student, who was not a DMAD major or minor, enjoyed the event so much he has decided to minor in DMAD. That is telling of what kind of event it is and how impactful it is not only for the families we help but for the students hosting the event.”

“We are so grateful for all of those who made this important event possible,” said Thomas. “Help Portrait’s venue was provided by the Bristol Public Library in Bristol, Virginia. Donations were provided by Chick-fil-A at The Pinnacle, Blackbird Bakery, and Food City on Euclid Avenue, as well as King University’s Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, and Student Government Association.”

BRISTOL, Tenn., Nov. 14, 2017 – How would you feel if you were more than 1,600 miles away from your family watching not one but two hurricanes wreak havoc on your island home? Tequania Lake (’17), Odessa Sotomayor (’21), Jahmira Rogers (’21), Germaine LaRonde (’20), and Aneesa~ Hedrington (’20) all came together with King University Chaplain Dr. Brian Alderman during a service on Oct. 13 in Memorial Chapel to share their heartfelt stories of how Hurricanes Irma and Maria tore through the U.S. Virgin Islands. Their goal was simple – to educate the community about what happened to their homeland of St. Thomas and share ways people can help.

Their Story: Our Paradise Home Has Been Devastated

Tequania Lake began the service by sharing a slideshow presentation depicting scenes of destruction on St. Thomas. The island is 32 square miles with approximately 51,000 people who call it home; a few thousand more residents than Bristol TN/VA. Lake began the slide show with remarkable photos of St. Thomas before Irma and Maria swept through, then shared a photo from Facebook of a gentleman sitting in what used to be the front of his house. As the man looked out onto the area below, he described how even though Hurricane Irma had taken his wall, he now had a great view to better absorb nature.

As her presentation continued, Lake reiterated the survival instincts and strength of the islanders.

Gasps from the audience could be heard as photos of the damage appeared on the screen. Their high school is now without a roof. “Families have to stand for hours at a time just to get inside a grocery store for what little merchandise is available. Officials estimate the hospitals on both St. Thomas and St. Croix will have to be torn down and rebuilt because of such tremendous damage,” said Lake.

Lake said that her family is surviving. “They were taught to survive. There was some flooding and emotional feelings. Some of them are depressed because there is nothing to wake up to. They’re still on [mandatory] curfew, so they have to be in the house by 6 [p.m.]; you are in a house in darkness, and there is nothing to do. I think that is what is affecting them the most right now.

“What made it more difficult for me is that all my mom’s children are in the U.S. in college, and so she went through this hurricane by herself,” added Lake tearfully. “It was really hard because – it’s hard knowing that your mom is suffering and there is nothing you can do.”

The students took turns telling of their families circumstances and of how many of the houses on the island are built from concrete to withstand strong storms; however, roofs are gone; walls are missing, and most homes and buildings experienced severe flooding including their own. Washing is now done from buckets outside, and food is cooked over make shift fire pits made from concrete blocks. Communication is sparse.

According to The Virgin Islands Consortium, on Nov. 1, U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth Mapp revealed that 38 percent of St. Thomas, 19 percent of St. Croix, and 14 percent of St. John had been restored with power.

Students described how having to wait for up to two weeks to receive word from their families was one of the hardest parts. Sotomayor said, “There was a lot of crying, a lot, a lot of crying because you are just hoping and wondering if your family is ok.”

Rogers spoke of her large family including a number of younger siblings, and how it took around two weeks to get in contact with them. “Water came under the doors and through the windows, and eventually, water started coming up through the floor because the ground was so saturated,” said Rogers.

Sotomayor’s father’s house is completely gone; he now is living out of his jewelry store. Hedrington was still unsure how her father is doing. However, her mother and others are having to use rain water collected in cisterns for even the smallest task such as cooking and bathing. Hedrington said of her mother, “She is a survivor.”

Although the students all call St. Thomas home, they were not close friends – until the hurricanes blew through the Virgin Islands. Lake said, “When we heard the hurricane was approaching, we knew it was time to come together.” The five started a group chat and began praying together every night. They each agreed that good can come out of difficult times. They bonded and became a strong support system for one another. “Even though you are going through a storm, you still have to be hopeful, and you have to be optimistic. Because we are not there, we have to be the light for our parents,” Lake said.

When asked about their future plans of either staying in the states or going home to St. Thomas, each student said plans now included going back home to their homeland and giving back. Rogers, who is studying Psychology at King, said, “I feel like it is most necessary for me to go back home and help those who may be suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress or any other mental disorder or illnesses.”

“Making the connections with all these girls, and also seeing that the professors and students around the school who heard about the disaster – they definitely showed their concern. They were willing to help with whatever we needed help with,” said LeRonde. “They showed their concern about it as well and would say they were here if we needed to talk. That gave us more comfort and faith that we would be ok.”

Aneesa~ Hedrington said, “All I have to say is prayer works. It really does. Prayer and patience is the key. Don’t take life for granted.”


Make a Donation

  • Monetary offerings were collected during special prayer services for Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria. The funds will be presented to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance to be disbursed.
  • If you prefer to donate now, you may give to the following agencies:
    • Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (, where you can designate your gift to a particular recovery effort.
    • Red Cross (
    • Salvation Army (
  • King University’s Student Government Association (SGA) collected items to be sent to the U.S. Virgin Islands including: toothbrushes, baby wipes, socks, sanitary napkins/tampons, and washcloths.

“We felt as if the best way to support our students affected would be to collect donations in order to begin healing the damage that couldn’t be undone,” said SGA Vice President Jess Vargo (‘19).


Host a Student for the Holidays

Each year, there are several students who are not able to travel home for the holidays – Thanksgiving week and the extended Christmas. This holiday season, the numbers will be greater as it is unlikely the island students will be able to travel home due to the devastation. There are several ways you can help.

  • Host a student for the holiday.
  • Host a student for a period of time to get them off campus.
  • Volunteer to have a student stay with you for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
  • Come spend time with the students over the holidays – the Virgin Island students especially as they cannot go home yet, due to airport damage.

Contact Suzanne Mullins, assistant dean of Residential Life, at [email protected] or 423.652.4743 or Crystal Davidson, international student advisor, at [email protected] or 423.652.4795.

The Simple Things Mean So Much

Prayer is always helpful. Each and every one of the students would appreciate your prayers.

“If you see us around, you can stop, and you can give us a hug because more than likely we need it,” said Tequania Lake.

You can watch the chapel service in its entirety at

MANAGUA, Nicaragua, October 2017 – Haley Carpenter, senior, is pursuing a major in Security and Intelligence and a minor in Psychology. She spent a week of her summer experience in Managua, Nicaragua, where she served with her church on behalf of the Because We Care missionary program. “My church goes every year, and I always felt I was too young; I’m in college now, and I knew it was time to go,” Carpenter says.

On the Ground

“This mission trip was broken up into two parts: mornings and afternoons,” Carpenter explains.

“The mornings started out with devotions, which provided an opportunity for us to share our testimonies. We were then broken up into guys and girls; guys helped build houses while girls played with the kids at different schools and shared the Gospel. The afternoons were mainly occupied by village work, but I was most excited to spend time with the families, cook for them, and just have fun. I was amazed at the fact that many villages had phones, but not the necessary living commodities,” Carpenter continues.

Personal Experience

“I regret I didn’t go years ago; it’s so sad,” Carpenter states.

“Culturally, it wasn’t really hard to adjust. Actions such as selling on the street set them apart from our culture. As expected, the water was unsafe to drink, but I wasn’t ready to face that. Only ladies would engage in extended conversations (which was difficult to understand), and overall their culture is predominantly Catholic (although most consider themselves Christians) sadly not knowing who Jesus is,” Carpenter says.

“Even the little things made them happy, which challenged me to appreciate everything. They were recording us; which made church exciting. Children would repeat after us, and we would repeat after them (even though we had no idea what they were saying),” Carpenter continues.

“The hardest part for me was hearing other people’s testimonies, and breaking down in the middle of them. These were people I went to church with; we were all here for one purpose, but we all had different redemption stories,” Carpenter concludes.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, October 2017 – Canaan Loope, sophomore, spent his summer ‘on the other side of the world.’

“I was given the opportunity to work in Alaska for an entire summer. Originally, I was planning to intern, but my plans fell through, and I began to apply for jobs within the area.”

When Loope first arrived in Alaska, he stayed with his family for three days.

“Fortunately, Conam Construction (the company I would be employed with throughout my summer experience) paid for my entire hotel stay. By the end of August, my hotel bill would have been over $100,000,” Loope said.

He said his job mainly involved manual and general labor. Conam Construction specializes in oil and gas refinery, as well as mining excavations. CIC tanks are mainly used to dissolve rocks that can lead to the mining/excavation of gold.

“My Alaskan experience was like learning another language. Learning construction terms was difficult, I but I enjoyed learning new things every day,” stated Loope. “On the other hand, when I first got to Alaska it was quite cold (as expected), but I eventually got used to it.”

“The hardest part was sleeping during the day. It would be one o’clock in the morning and the sun would still be up,” said Loope. “In conclusion, the best part of this experience allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone.”

BRISTOL, Tenn., July 26, 2017 – The day after King University held its Spring 2017 Commencement, eight King students, along with Dr. Beatriz Macione and Professor Christina Gomez, traveled to Spain for a 13-day immersion adventure.

Dr. Macione is a native of Pamplona, Navarra, Spain, a city made famous for its annual Running of the Bulls and the road to Santiago. She was able to provide students with a true immersion experience from a native’s perspective. “All eight of our students are either majoring or minoring in Spanish,” said Dr. Macione. “Throughout the trip, students utilized their Spanish skills when interacting with the locals. Totally immersing one’s self into a culture, whose primary language is Spanish, provides a unique learning experience for students.”

The group traveled about 20+ hours to Pamplona, which would serve as their home base for the first nine days. From here, they walked the path the bulls would take just a couple months later. They took walking tours of local cathedrals and churches and plazas as well as to Ciudadela, the old medieval section of the city. They also toured the University of Navarra in Pamplona and its museum; while on campus they enjoyed typical Spanish dishes at the University’s restaurant.

Vanessa Gomez, a King senior, said “I had a wonderful time in my study abroad trip to Spain. I love Spain very much. I enjoyed the culture and lifestyle most of all. I was very happy with everything we did and all the places we visited, but I was especially grateful for our visit to La Universidad de Navarra. Now, one of my options is to attend this university for my doctorate degree in Spanish.”

King junior Allen Clark spoke of how the Spain trip for him was life changing. “I was amazed at how many activities we had the privilege to do and places we got to see. I knew that I wanted to major in Spanish, but actually being submerged in a country where Spanish was the primary language not only improved my listening and speaking skills but also it gave me assurance in my major. This trip has influenced my decision to study in Spain for at least one semester. The whole trip I kept telling myself, ‘I wish everyone I knew was here with me,’ because the experience was definitely something I wanted to share with others. Overall, traveling to Spain with King exceeded my hopes and expectations, and I cannot wait to return to beautiful España.”

In addition to Pamplona, the group traveled part of the Camino de Santiago through Puente La Reina and Eunate. They also visited Castillo de Olite, the coastal city of Donostia/San Sebastián, Madrid, Toledo, Segovia, and Avila. Highlights for the students included ziplining in Toledo and exploration of castles and the Royal Palace of Madrid.

King senior Bethany Campbell said, “When I first learned about the study abroad opportunities at King University, I knew I wanted to visit another country. [However], I never dreamed I would end up visiting the country at the top of my bucket list. During the two weeks we spent in Spain, I made significant progress toward achieving my goals of becoming fluent in Spanish as I conversed daily with native Spanish speakers. I was also amazed to visit many of the cathedrals, monuments, cities, and Roman ruins that I had learned about a year before in Dr. Macione’s Civilization of Spain course. From touring la Plaza de los Toros in Pamplona to eating tapas in the afternoon, to cooking a full traditional Spanish meal with ingredients we purchased at the market, I believe I got a true taste of Spanish culture.”

Dr. Macione commented, “I was very excited to share my country and my culture with my students. The students became a part of it for a short period of time. It was a wonderful experience for us all.”

BRISTOL, Tenn., July 21, 2017 – King University faculty from King’s College of Arts & Sciences recently participated in a community service day organized by Han Chuan Ong, Ph.D., dean of King’s College of Arts & Sciences, Marshall Galloway, coordinator of the Associate of Arts, and Erin M. Kingsley, Ph.D., assistant professor of English. The group of 10 faculty volunteered the Monday after King’s Spring 2017 Commencement at Feeding America Southwest Virginia located in Abingdon, Va.

“This was the first service day of what we hope will become a regular event for our faculty,” said Ong. “Whenever we have a week abuzz with activity, we want to channel the energy into something positive. This time, it occurred the first business day after commencement while spirits were still high. We hope this encourages others both at King and throughout the surrounding community to volunteer. There are so many easy ways to help people who live in our own region.”

When the faculty arrived at the facility in Abingdon, they were asked to utilize the donated pantry items in the kitchen to make a meal for 300 people. “The folks at Feeding America SWVA set us to work immediately,” said Ong. “We broke into pairs with each pair developing their own part of the meal. It seemed a monumental task, but in the end, we were successful in feeding those in need. The lunch we prepared consisted of chicken and rice, carnitas, sweet potatoes, and peach cobbler.

“At first it was a bit chaotic, but we had a great deal of fun. It was wonderful to help out, and we look forward to doing it again,” Ong added. “We are called to action to do something, to be Christ-like; sharing our energy with others in ways that might benefit them is a rewarding experience. Going forward, we plan to host service days at least three times per year.”

Kingsley said, “I am very passionate about fostering a community of service to each other and to the greater community. While I’d love to see a campus-wide serve day at King (including faculty, staff, and students), establishing a service day for Arts and Sciences faculty is a good way to begin. We had so much fun cooking on the fly together. It felt like an episode of Chopped, or Iron Chef. It was an excellent way to not only build community among King faculty but also to serve our brothers and sisters as Christ commanded we do.”

Founded in 1981, Feeding America Southwest Virginia, an affiliate member of Feeding America, has been fighting to eliminate hunger in the region through community partnerships for the past 36 years.

BRISTOL, Tenn., July 17, 2017 – Thirteen students from King University traveled 30 hours to Southeast Asia just two days after Spring Commencement ceremonies. The students, led by Han Chuan Ong, Ph.D., dean of King’s College of Arts & Sciences, and Emily Loudon, director of student life, spent May 2-18 traveling in and around Penang, Malaysia; Bali, Indonesia; and Hong Kong, China.

Matthew Miller, a King University senior, said, “Although this was my second trip to Malaysia, I was still awestruck to observe the daily workings of the Malay and Balinese people. Traveling through the many [cities], coastal, [and] jungle locations provided an opportunity for all of us to admire the diverse landscape of the tropics in Southeast Asia and take a glimpse at the inner workings of their culture. The trip to Malaysia and Bali not only broadened our palates for local cuisine but also expanded our thinking toward diverse religious understanding. In all, the Malaysia/Bali trip did not disappoint; however, the hardest part was getting there.”

Dr. Ong, a native of Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia, said the focus of the trip was one of cultural immersion. “We want our students to experience different cultures. We want them to see the value of preserving cultural heritage and physically restoring old buildings and historical artifacts. The students were surprised to find out how valuable older things are in third world countries because they do not have resources to rebuild from scratch. This was one of the greatest contrasts for our students – how in love the people are with their old things and how much effort they put into preserving them.”

The King group spent time at two UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Centres – one in Penang, Malaysia, and one of Bali, Indonesia. “UNESCO, in part, focuses on the preservation of old buildings, of cultures,” said Ong.

“Malaysia and Indonesia are predominantly Muslim. However, the Balinese are mostly Hindu, while Penangites practice many different faiths,” commented Ong. “The students experienced contrasting places where the rich cultures permeate everything.”

While in Bali, students hiked up one of the three volcanoes located on the small island. Indonesia is part of what is called the “Ring of Fire,” which surrounds part of the Pacific Ocean. The Ring of Fire includes a total of 452 volcanoes, which makes up 75% of all active and dormant volcanoes. The group also bathed in hot springs heated by volcanic activity.

Other activities included visiting two temples located high on the sides of cliffs in Bali – Tanah Lot Temple and Uluwatu Temple. Other highlights included visits to the rice terraces, trips to local villages, and a full day of sightseeing in Hong Kong, China.

King senior Victoria Cox said, “The trip to Penang, Malaysia, and Bali, Indonesia, was the trip of a lifetime! I loved being able to soak up the culture, see some of the most beautiful places, and taste amazing food. This trip was perfectly shaped and balanced to provide us with everything we could have asked for. Traveling is such an eye- and heart-opening experience and this trip definitely accomplished both!”

BRISTOL, Tenn., May 9, 2017 – When you think of providing basic health care, you likely do not imagine an interstate bridge in downtown Knoxville. However, this is where nursing students from King University Knoxville recently volunteered through the Lost Sheep Ministry (LSM) to provide health care to a local homeless population.

“This service project is part of the Knoxville-based nursing student’s clinical hours in the BSN program,” said Terry Cooper, MSN, associate professor of Nursing at King. “On the evening we volunteered it was only 35 degrees. It was a humbling experience. The students and I discussed how we were able to leave and go home, while those [we were serving] were likely out for the night.”

King nursing students helped to provide medical assistance alongside regular community volunteer Bonnie Callen, RN. Care included taking blood pressures to checking glucose levels and distribution of basic medications.

The Lost Sheep Ministry reaches more than 200 people weekly under the interstate bridge in downtown Knoxville each Wednesday evening, rain or shine. The number of homeless, along with low/no income individuals has rapidly increased. LSM chose the location downtown because of proximity to Knoxville’s homeless service organizations, Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) housing, and homeless neighbors who live outdoors in surrounding areas.

Other services provided under the bridge include a prayer and ministry service, dinner, clothing, and personal hygiene items, as well as twice-a-month dental services.

“One of the volunteers who was in charge of clothes donations said to me, ‘Thank you! We couldn’t do this without volunteers like you all.’ I realized how important it is to volunteer in your community, and the real impact it has on the people you serve. It was evident by the smiles on the faces of the people who were able to get clothes, food, and medicine that they wouldn’t get otherwise. Although she was right, this couldn’t be done without volunteers, the credit goes to the Lost Sheep Ministries who keep this up and running every week,” said Kayla Ramsey (’17).

Taylor Sawyers (’17) said, “It was a humbling but heartbreaking experience that I will never forget.”

“It was rewarding to feel you had assisted in some way,” said Cooper. “Experiential training makes a stronger, well-rounded more empathetic nurse. Completing training in a hospital setting is crucial; however, more and more the care is in the community. Having the experience of providing care in the community is an important skillset to have as a nurse. Students need to be aware of community resources to better provide for their patient’s needs.”

Cooper added, “I highly encourage everyone, especially nurses and nursing students, to volunteer their time with the Lost Sheep Ministry’s Under the Bridge program.”

More information on the Lost Sheep Ministry can be found at

BRISTOL, Tenn., May 11, 2017 – Registration is now open for a select set of collegiate courses for adults ages 60 and over. The offerings are part of the Lifelong Learning program at King in which the adult learners can audit non-credit classes at King’s main campus in Bristol, Tenn., free of charge.

“The hallmark of a broadly educated individual is to be a lifelong learner,” said Dr. Matt Roberts, Provost at King University. “Part of King’s commitment to education is to develop lifelong learners – learners who develop an intellectual curiosity for their world that never diminishes as they get older…a program such as the Lifelong Learning at King helps define and sustain that commitment for our students and our community.”

The new program will offer a select set of courses taught by King professors in the King College of Arts & Sciences and King’s School of Communication, Information, and Design. The courses cover a range of studies at King including religion, music, theatre, history, literature, intelligence studies, and politics.

“King University has a great tradition of service throughout the region,” says Roberts. “It is an important tradition we strive to uphold. Offering thought provoking and engaging courses provide a new pathway to continue the adventure of lifelong learning.”

Lifelong Learning at King course offerings for fall 2017 include:

  • BIBL 3900: Women and the Bible Alderman, Brian; TR, 11:30 AM – 1:10 PM
  • BIOL 2500: Microbiology and Immunology  Ong, Laura; MWF, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
  • CRJU 1500: Introduction to Criminal Justice  Mongold, Jennifer; TR, 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
  • ENGL 3461: Shakespeare  McDonald, Craig; MW, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
  • ENGL 3620: American Realism & Naturalism  Story, Brandon; MWF, 11:20 AM – 12:20 PM
  • HIST 3730: Civil War  Osborn, Kyle; MWF, 2:50 PM – 3:50 PM
  • HIST 4001: Martin Luther and the 95 Theses, 1517-2017  Dotterweich, Martin; TR, 9:40 AM – 11:10 AM
  • HUMN 2171: The Quest for a Meaningful Life  Dotterweich, M & Shaw, K; MW, 2:50 PM – 4:20 PM
  • MUSC 3170: Romanticism in Music  Flannagan, Pat; MWF, 10:10 AM – 11:10 AM
  • PHIL 2010: Introduction to Philosophy  Streetman, Craig; TR, 1:10 PM – 2:40 PM
  • PSCI 3900: Special Topics: The Politics of Guns Robinson, Scott; TR, 9:40 AM – 11:10 AM
  • SAIS 3730: American Foreign Policy  Tkach, Benjamin; MWF, 2:50 PM – 3:50 PM
  • THTR 3011: Theater History I  Slaughter, Christopher; MWF, 10:10 AM – 11:10 AM

By auditing the selected courses, the students are able to attend class, learning alongside the traditional students in the classroom, without worry of test-taking.

Registration for the courses through the Lifelong Learning at King program is currently open for the fall 2017 semester, which begins Monday, Aug. 21. Course books are available for purchase through or most online book retailers.

For information on the Lifelong Learning Studies program, contact Dr. Han Chuan Ong, dean of the King College of Arts and Science at King University at 423.652.6007 or [email protected]. Also, visit for additional details.

BRISTOL, Tenn., June 22, 2017 – The Tensor Grant for Women and Mathematics by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and the Tensor Foundation presented to King University in Aug. 2015, has been renewed for a third year for the maximum amount allowable. The grant funds, which total $6,000, are utilized to encourage women’s participation in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) fields. The grant is available for a total of three years.

King’s project leaders, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Wendy Traynor, Assistant Professor of Biology Laura Kelly Vaughan, and Instructor of Mathematics Martha Liendo, used the grant funds to create an on-campus Women in STEM Club (WISC) and professional speaker series titled “STEMulating Conversations.”

“The membership in WISC has continued to grow,” said Traynor. “Each month we host three events involving scholarship, social, and service. We bring in speakers to discuss current STEM topics with the students. We also have social events each month and spend time giving back to the community through service work at the YWCA with their TechGYRLS program. We also involve the community in WISC through our annual Pi Day Fun Run. It is a 3.14 mile run on King’s main campus in Bristol, Tenn.”

Another way in which the Tensor Grant has benefitted King students is by funding students to travel to and present at STEM-related conferences. “WISC students have attended the National Joint Mathematics Meeting, the Southeast Regional Mathematics Association of America Conference as well as the NIMBioS Annual Undergraduate Research Conference at the Interface of Biology and Mathematics. We hope to add other regional conferences the students may attend in the upcoming year.”

Other plans for the Women in Stem Club include engaging in another weekend programming retreat, hosting a STEMgineering Camp for Middle School girls in the summer of 2018, and continuing of the “STEMulating Conversations” speaker series.

Contact Wendy Traynor for additional information about the King University Women in Stem Club at 423.652.4309 or [email protected].

BRISTOL, Tenn., May 4, 2017 – Abuse Alternatives was the recent recipient of much-needed donations by the Student Nursing Association (SNA) at King University.

“Each semester, the SNA selects an organization to sponsor; for the spring 2017 semester, Abuse Alternatives was chosen,” said Amy Edmison, instructor of Nursing at King. “In February, our students in SNA began collecting items for the emergency shelter facility – items for which the emergency shelter was in short supply as well as other needed items, such as toiletries, towels, and children’s diapers to name a few. The SNA reached out to the King community to have participation campus-wide; we received a great response.”

Abuse Alternatives has 37 years’ experience providing comprehensive, confidential services to survivors of intimate relationship abuse and/or violence. The organization’s 24-Hour Crisis Hotline provides support and access to services from a staff who specialize in dealing with relationship violence/abuse issues. Abuse Alternative’s mission is to provide quality services through direct support and advocacy to the victims of domestic violence with the goal of eliminating the pattern of abusive behaviors from the lives of those individuals and their families.

“We were so thrilled at the level of participation in this worthwhile cause,” commented Edmison. “We filled the boxes several times over with much-needed goods. As a Christian university, service should be one of the things we hold highest. It is important for us to give back to a community which has given so much to King.”

Makayla Brown is a rising sophomore and vice president of the Student Nursing Association at King. She said, “The nursing students at King University have vowed to follow certain pillars within the program. Service is one of the pillars that we have chosen to solidify by initiating this drive. I believe I speak for not only the students in the Science of Nursing program but also for our faculty and staff, that we are blessed and grateful to be able to serve such a vulnerable population. Galatians 5:13 says, ‘Serve one another in love.’ I feel honored to be able to serve and love others through the support of Abuse Alternatives Non-Profit Corporation.”

Once the donations were received, Edmison along with the SNA leadership team filled up trucks to deliver the items to Abuse Alternatives in Bristol, Tenn. A representative of Abuse Alternatives, Dan Fehr, community educator, shared the organization’s thanks for the donations. “Thanks a million to King University’s School of Nursing students who took the initiative to put together this overwhelming donation for our shelter!”

Visit for more information on ways you can help today.

BRISTOL, Tenn., April 27, 2017 – Each school year, student-athletes spend time giving back to the community in which they call home while at King University; specifically, they give back to area youth.

Three times per week throughout the semester, King student-athletes visit two elementary schools, Highland View Elementary School and Washington-Lee Elementary School, and one middle school, Vance Middle School. The student-athletes also spend time with the TechGYRLS at Bristol’s YWCA. TechGYRLS was developed by the YWCA USA to address the still-evident and significant gender gap in girls’ development of interest and skills in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

“I’m extremely proud of our student-athletes for their willingness to give back and serve those in the community,” said David Hicks, athletic director at King. “The time demands on students athletes – both academic and athletic – are significant, and for them to take the time to give back speaks volumes of their character and values.”

King University-centered athletic opportunities include participation in one of 25 intercollegiate varsity sports. All King student athletes are encouraged to participate in mission and service opportunities, and collectively served well over 1,000 hours in the Bristol community this year.

One such opportunity came during the spring 2017 semester. Members of King’s swim and dive team traveled to Washington-Lee Elementary to interact with a number of students in the after-school program. The students from Washington-Lee were excited to spend time playing basketball with college athletes.

Holly Rolen is a 1998 King College graduate. She currently serves as a reading specialist and after-school coordinator for Washington & Lee Elementary. “The after-school program at Washington-Lee meets academic, social, and emotional needs of our students,” said Rolen. “They are able to receive help with homework and extra academic support they might not be able to receive at home. They have a safe place to spend time with friends and people from the community learning internet safety, teamwork, cooperation, and problem-solving. The King [University] athletes play an integral part in the program as they volunteer in various capacities. They have worked with students in technology club as students learn basic coding skills. They have helped students build a school-community garden. And they have played with the students in fitness activities. Their interactions are teaching our student’s communication skills along with the various activity-related skills. The athletes also have the opportunity to encourage our students to reach toward goals for future education, and perhaps, playing sports to help them afford college. The hour of time spent with our students each week is invaluable.”

“As a coach, I am thrilled that the King student-athletes are able to do meaningful service work in our community,” said Jordan Schrotenboer, head coach for swimming and diving at King. “Most children admire college student-athletes and are very receptive to the example they present. The after-school visits give our student-athletes a chance to be a positive role model outside of athletics and outside their normal sphere of influence. My hope is that our student-athletes can be a positive influence on these younger students while becoming better people themselves.”

King freshman and Cancun, Mexico native Juan Somoza said of his experience at Washington-Lee, “Working with kids was an enjoyable experience – watching different personalities, helping them with their problems that I once struggled with. It is a satisfying way to spend the afternoon.”

Several times throughout the academic year, Tornado student-athletes also spent time at the YWCA with the TechGYRLS program. Katy Stigers, a 2002 graduate of King College and member of King’s Athletic Hall of Fame, is the YWCA development and communications administrator. She remarked, “We appreciate the wonderful opportunity our girls have to be involved with great role models from our local colleges and universities, including King. For example, the TechGYRLS got to meet student-athletes who competed in the Olympic trials! It is such a unique and inspirational opportunity. These partnerships will help the TechGYRLS keep their goals high. We also hope the student-athletes can see themselves as leaders by spending time with the girls and seeing how much the TechGYRLS admire them.”

If you are interested in having King student-athletes contribute to any volunteer or community service initiative, contact Nancye Rahn, assistant athletic director for external affairs at [email protected]. Also, visit for all things athletic at King University.

BRISTOL, Tenn., April 5, 2017 – The Tornado cycling team at King University recently had the opportunity to help build a new trail at Winged Deer Park in Johnson City, Tenn. The trail is one of a new network of multi-use trails at the park.

“The current trails at Winged Deer are walking trails,” said Cycling Team Head Coach Alan Sparks. “The new network of trails will be multi-use trails utilized for walking, mountain biking, and hiking. The arrangements for the trail building was spearheaded by SORBA Tri-Cities.

The ongoing projects at Winged Deer Park and other area trails are supported by SORBA Tri-Cities, formerly Northeast Tennessee Mountain Bike Association. SORBA Tri-Cities is an advocacy organization dedicated to the enhancement of mountain biking and the preservation of and access to trails across Northeast Tennessee. They are a chapter of the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association and a member of the Tennessee Mountain Biking Alliance.

Marc Upton, treasurer for SORBA Tri-Cities, said, “The board of SORBA Tri-Cities would like to express our appreciation to all of our volunteers on projects past, present, and future. Recently, we set a work day attendance record at Winged Deer Park in part due to a group of volunteers from King University’s Cycling Team. As with any non-profit, donations whether in the form of time or money is the lifeblood of our organization. Many of the area trails are built and maintained by local SORBA members in partnership with the respective land managers. We love being able to contribute to the community and help trails flourish for all users of all abilities.”

Tornado cycling spent the day working to build a mile-and-a-half of new trail. King sophomore Fausto Crapiz said of his experience, “I [was able] to help the mountain bike community by working on sweet new trails. I also got to know my teammates better as we worked together to further the common good.”

Sparks says he and his team are lucky to be able to give back to the local community through cycling. “We are grateful to help provide new cycling trails in our community. In addition to building character, having hands-on experience in trail-building helps our students to feel they own a part of the trail and the community. Whether the students stay in the Tri-Cities after they graduate or move on to another location, they have left their fingerprint in the region.”

BRISTOL, Tenn., March 28, 2017 – Six members of King University’s tennis team recently volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. The students spent a day helping to build a home in Glade Springs, Va., for a family in need. The student volunteers were unique in that none are from the continental United States; the six students are from Canada, Costa Rica, Germany, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.

King senior and Chemistry major Marianne Hull is a native of Costa Rica. For her, the experience was enlightening. “I didn’t expect to find [many] people in need. Overall, it was an international group volunteering to help an American family. I was used to it being the other way around. I was impacted by the willingness of my teammates to help and the staff of Habitat for Humanity. I was impressed by the love the staff puts into building these houses. They were really patient; they took time to teach us how to use the tools. It just felt good to give some of our time to build something as necessary as a house. It is amazing what [Habitat] is doing and how they are helping the community. It’s definitely an example of what Christianity is all about. It made me think about the importance of giving back to the community with the gifts and blessings that we have.”

Habitat for Humanity simply states their goal as a charitable organization. “At Habitat for Humanity we build. We build because we believe that everyone, everywhere, should have a healthy, affordable place to call home. More than building homes, we build communities, we build hope and we build the opportunity for families to help themselves.”

King Tennis Team Head Coach Mariia Ilina is a native of Ukraine. She came to the United States in 2003 to play tennis at ETSU and now considers Northeast Tennessee home. “It is very important for King students [to volunteer] for several reasons. One, everyone knows about King University, but it is good to see King students do things out in the community. And two, it is a great experience for them. It is humbling to help someone out. Building a house, they learn things and also understand that someone is going to use it and appreciate it.”

Ilina added, “For students, it is important to remember there is a world outside campus. It is a great thing for [King students] because [volunteering] enriches their lives.”

Puerto Rico native Alejandro Feliciano is sophomore majoring in Nursing with a minor in Spanish. He said, “There is no better feeling than helping to make a positive impact on a person’s life when they are in need of help. The idea and goal of Habitat for Humanity is incredible. I had personally heard of projects and corporations that did something similar, but to be a part of one and help is a completely different experience. Being hands-on helps you realize where this family lived, what they lived through, and all the help they needed throughout that time. I absolutely loved the project and would definitely be interested in volunteering again.”

Another senior, Katya Cerny from Montreal, Canada, majoring in psychology and minoring in Spanish mentioned that “helping the community here opened my eyes to so many other places needing help including my own. Learning about what Habitat for Humanity does for people made me want to be more involved in volunteering projects. It is almost as if I established a relationship with the future family that will be living in the house we were helping to build. I felt like the work we were doing was important. This house will be a safe place – a place to raise children, a place to have family gatherings, a place where good memories will be created.”

Freshman Business major and Mexican native Leonardo Alfaro summed up the team’s experience. “Regardless of how much we worked, everything was worth it, because of the experience and because of helping a family in need.”

BRISTOL, Tenn., February 6, 2017 – The King University men’s soccer team came together for a day of service at Holston Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore in Johnson City, Tenn., on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” Although the University was closed in observance of MLK Jr. Day, members of the King’s men’s soccer team volunteered throughout the day, working on the construction of walls for a new home that would soon be built in the local community. By day’s end, six walls had been completed and loaded for transport to the new home site.

Men’s soccer Head Coach Talon Stroud says this volunteer project was one of the more major service projects outside of King for the men’s soccer team. “One of the biggest reasons I want my soccer players to participate in volunteering is to give back to the community. King is a school that has close ties to the community, especially the Bristol community and the Tri-Cities.

“It is important for our guys to understand the community in which we serve and the people we are surrounded by,” added Stroud. “It is also important for my student-athletes to get outside themselves. Many times at college it is easy for athletes to do their sport, practice, and their classes, and that be it. These volunteer opportunities are great; it helps to push our student-athletes outside their comfort zone and give back to those who might need help.”

King freshman and soccer athlete Marzuwq Bholai said, “It is important to do volunteer work in the community like helping Habitat for Humanity because giving back and helping the less fortunate is the right thing to do when you are given the opportunity. Also, being able to commit a few hours of your time is worth it when you get to help someone in need be happy for a long period of time.”

In addition to the Holston Habitat for Humanity project, King’s men’s soccer team, along with other King Tornado teams, volunteer regularly with after school programs in local schools.

Visit for more information on King University Tornado sports.

BRISTOL, Tenn., February 8, 2017 – King University freshman and Bristol, Va., native Jerryn Puckett has always had a deep love for animals. After the recent fires that consumed much of the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge region, the call went out for volunteers to assist with the large numbers of displaced animals. Puckett knew she had to help.

“There were a lot of emotions going once I was at the [makeshift] shelter,” said Puckett. “There were animals you didn’t know their condition; they were scared, and many didn’t have homes. You weren’t sure if some had been dumped. There were people coming in distraught, showing pictures of their pets asking if we had seen them. During the few days I was there, two people were reunited with their dogs. That was just wonderful.”

Puckett has been actively volunteering with local animal shelters and helping local rescues for much of her life. On the last day of the fall semester during a meeting with her faculty advisor, Kelly Vaughan, PhD, assistant professor and chair of the Biology Department at King, told Puckett of the need for volunteers in Sevier County for displaced animals; Vaughan suggested she sign up. Puckett signed up that same day.

Megan Bamford, King’s acrobatics and tumbling head coach, said, “Jerryn, an acro & tumbling athlete, and band member for King, is a very selfless individual that would do anything for others, without expecting anything in return. She also has a huge soft spot for animals. Her goal after receiving her undergraduate degree [in Cellular and Molecular Biology with a History minor] at King is to go on to veterinary school and pursue a career as a vet. Over Christmas break, Jerryn took it upon herself to go help with the animals that were displaced after the tragedy that occurred in Gatlinburg. To her is was [like any other day], but I’m sure to those animals it meant so much to have someone there to care for them, even if it were only a [short time].”

The emotions were evident as Puckett spoke of her efforts with the animals during such a tragic circumstance. “I can’t really describe it,” she said. “There were so many dogs who were absolute sweethearts. You knew they had to have an owner out there somewhere. It leaves you wondering, what if these were the animals of those killed in the fires. Putting yourself in the animal’s mind – what if this was you? They were terrified.”

“Many times student-athletes only focus on their priorities being school and their particular sport of choice because those two things consume so much of their time,” said Bamford. “However, here at King, our University teaches our student-athletes how to go beyond the classroom and the gym (AKA their comfort zone), by encouraging them to go out into the community and do good unto others. Volunteer and service work helps humble these student-athletes by allowing them to learn how to give back, and not take advantage of the amazing perks that they have from our wonderful University and Athletic Department. I also think in doing volunteer and service work, it allows these [young people] to find something else besides sports they can be passionate about and can continue to do after they graduate or are no longer are involved in college athletics, which benefits someone other than themselves.”

Since returning to school, Puckett has followed the progress in Sevier County. “Many of the animals have been adopted out, which is wonderful.”

Puckett continues, whenever possible, to volunteer with local shelters. “I would take them all in if I could. Pets are your family, and some pets don’t have a family. They are miraculous – just owning one, being around one. There is something pure about an animal. Any way you can help, do. It will make a big difference.”

BRISTOL, Tenn., September 26, 2016 – King University will host a Biblical Archaeology Conference on Nov. 13-14. The conference, which is free and open to the public, will answer the question, “What’s Going on with Biblical Archaeology in Israel.” This meeting is part of a once-a-year seminar series designed specifically for those interested in the Bible and a better understanding of its history through archaeological digs and research. This year’s conference is held in conjunction with King’s Department of Philosophy and Religion and the King Institute for Faith and Culture’s 2016-17 Lecture Series, which contemplates faith engaging culture.

Sessions over two days will cover topics from the Old and New Testaments and the latest Biblical archaeological discoveries in Israel and Palestine. Regions of interest include Jerusalem, Judah, and Azekah which overlooks the Valley of Elah where David fought Goliath.

“This unique international conference on the outstanding findings and discoveries from archaeological excavations that have taken place recently in Israel and Palestine will enable participants to better understand the ancient world of the land of the Bible,” says Dr. Don Michael Hudson, conference moderator and chair of King’s Department of Philosophy and Religion. “We are honored to have Drs. Manfred Oeming, Oded LIpschits, and Yuval Gadot to share their firsthand experiences on active Biblical archaeological digs in Israel. This is a rare treat for our community. We invite our local churches and their congregations to attend.”

The conference will feature three renowned scholars and archaeologists in Biblical archaeology including:

  • Oded Lipschits is a professor of Jewish History in the Biblical period at Tel Aviv University in Israel, where he founded the International MA and PhD Program in Ancient Israel Studies within the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures. He also serves as the director of the Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology. Lipschits has been the co-director with Manfred Oeming and Yuval Gadot of the Ramat-Rahel Archaeological Project since 2004, and since 2010, he has been the co-director of the Lautenschläger Azekah Expedition.
  • Yuval Gadot, a senior lecturer in the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures at Tel Aviv University in Israel. He also directs the University’s excavations at the City of David and co-directs the Ramat Rahel Excavation project, and since 2012 of The Lautenschläger Azekah Expedition. Gadot holds a doctorate from Tel Aviv University where he studied the Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age in Israel’s central coastal plain. His work includes the first full publication of the excavations at Tel Aphek and a regional study of trends in the material culture as they understood in relation to historical events. Currently, he leads an archaeological dating project involving the introduction of agricultural terraces in the Jerusalem highlands, a project that carries cross-cultural significance.
  • Manfred Oeming, a professor at the University of Heidelberg in Germany for 20 years, serving for the last decade as the University’s dean of the Faculty of Theology. He is considered an authority in the areas of exegesis of the Hebrew Bible, Biblical archaeology, and hermeneutics. A noted scholar and lecturer, Oeming has taught Old Testament theology and Biblical archaeology in Mainz, Osnabrück, and Heidelberg, and has written and edited numerous books and articles. He is also co-director with Oded Lipschits and Yuval Gadot of the Ramat Rahel Excavation project, and since 2012 of the Lautenschläger Azekah Expedition.

This fall conference will take place at King University’s main campus in Bristol, Tenn., and First Presbyterian Church of Bristol, which is adjacent to the campus. The conference will open at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13 at First Presbyterian with a panel discussion to include Dr. Oeming, Dr. Lipschits and Dr. Gadot. The preeminent scholars will address current Biblical archaeological endeavors in Israel/Palestine and will be willing to take your questions. A reception will follow at 5 p.m. At 6 p.m. on Sunday evening, the following keynote lectures will be presented in the sanctuary of First Presbyterian.

4 PM: lectures and Q and A: (First Presbyterian Bristol Fellowship Hall)

Prof. Oded Lipschits: “The Age of Empires”: Ramat Raḥel as the Centre of Judahite Administration under Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian Rule (20 minutes)

Dr. Yuval Gadot: Jerusalem and It’s Hinterland in the Late First Temple Period (20 minutes)

Panel Discussion (20 minutes)

5 PM: Reception (First Presbyterian Bristol Chapel)

6 PM: Keynote Addresses (First Presbyterian Bristol Sanctuary)

Prof. Oded Lipschits: Archaeology: New Methods and New Discoveries that Changed our Understanding of the Biblical Period (30 minutes)
In this lecture, Prof. Lipschits will present the modern methods and the new discoveries in modern archaeology of the land of the Bible and the way these discoveries shed new light on our understanding of the history of the Biblical Period. He will demonstrate many discoveries from his excavations and from excavations of other colleagues, and he will discuss many of the well-known periods and events described in the Old Testament.

Prof. Yuval Gadot: “Taking out the Trash”: Life in Early Roman Jerusalem as Seen through its Garbage Disposal Layers (30 minutes)
In this lecture, Prof. Yuval Gadot will present his findings from the recent excavations in the City of David in the many layers of trash from the 1st Century CE and what these excavations can teach us about life in Jerusalem in the time of Jesus.

Prof. Manfred Oeming: “The Stones and the Word”: The Importance of Archaeology for the Interpretation of the Bible” (30 minutes)
Prof. Oeming will provide a short survey of different positions regarding the connection between archaeology and the Bible and will demonstrate how both Prof. Oeming will utilize the results of excavations in Tel Azekah, Israel. Most importantly, he will present many supports for the biblical record (Canaanites, Joshua, Sennacherib, Nehemiah?). He will also discuss the current debate concerning King David. We are still missing essential evidence especially regarding David’s time. Therefore, we MUST continue to excavate, to attain more results, and continue with attempts to learn the history of the biblical period.

15 minutes for Q&A:

Monday 9:15 AM – Lecture in the Memorial Chapel, King University Campus

Oded Lipschits: “Excavating Paradise”: The Ancient Palace at Ramat Rahel and its secrets (25 minutes)

Yuval Gadot: The New Excavations at Tel Azekah after 5 Seasons (25 minutes)

10 minutes for Q&A:

“We invite anyone interested in the land and history of the Bible to attend. You will enjoyr this conference immensely and gain a greater understanding of the Bible,” says Hudson.

For registration details, contact Dr. Don Michael Hudson at [email protected] or 423.652.4154.

BRISTOL, Tenn., October 14, 2016 – King University will be providing children’s winter coats for the University’s 17th annual “Coats for Kids” Day, which will take place on Saturday, Oct. 22 in Kline Gym on King’s main campus in Bristol, Tenn.

“Coats for Kids has been a great tradition at King University for 16 years,” says Julie McReynolds, assistant dean for student engagement at King. “Each year the community support for this event grows, and we are excited to offer this event again to the community of Bristol and the surrounding areas!

King University student volunteers will greet families and help youth select winter coats in Kline Gym Saturday, Oct. 22 from 8:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. The Education Department’s student organization, STEA-KE (Student Tennessee Education Association – King University), will provide carnival games and face painting. Several area agencies and organizations will provide information about their programs and services while offering entertainment for the children. The event is co-sponsored by Communities in Schools of Southwest Virginia.

“We were able to provide coats for more than 250 area children last year. Our hope is that every child in our region who needs a coat has one,” says McReynolds. “We are grateful so many community members and organizations are supporting our students’ service project. Together, we are ensuring children in our community have the coats, scarves, and gloves they need to stay warm this winter.”

Contact Julie McReynolds at 423.652.6310 or [email protected] for additional information on the Coats for Kids project.

BRISTOL, Tenn., March 20, 2016 – From the beginning, King University was built upon the idea of transforming lives in Christ. Throughout the years, mission or service trips have taken King students, faculty, and staff across the globe. This year, students were able to reach out to both international and domestic communities all while staying in the United States.

King’s mission is to build meaningful lives of achievement and cultural transformation in Christ. Professors take the mission a step further by integrating the concept of global citizenship into almost every course on campus. Global citizenship provides for an outlook in which each person, regardless of geographical location, is a part of one community. For the King community, this also means living a life where serving others is integrated into everyday life.

This spring, student groups, led by faculty and staff, spent time with UrbanPromise in Camden, N.J., and Global Frontier Missions in Clarkston, Ga. According to recent data, Camden is ranked as the number one most dangerous city per capita in the U.S., while Clarkston is called “the most diverse square mile in America” by Time Magazine.

This spring was the first time a group from King travelled to Clarkston, Ga., for a mission trip. The organization with which they worked is Global Frontier Missions (GFM), a movement of Christ-centered communities dedicated to mobilizing, training, and multiplying disciples and churches to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the unreached people groups of the earth. GFM’s Atlanta location helps reach out to the numerous international communities surrounding the city.

By travelling to Clarkston this year, King students were able to interact with children and their families who hail from more than 140 countries and 760 ethnic groups. Clarkston and Northeast Atlanta’s international communities include mostly residents granted refugee status by the U.S. government, some of which are Nepalis, Cambodians, Iranians, Somalis, Burmese, Bhutanese, Sudanese, Laotians, and Indonesians to name a few.

King students visited a mosque and Hindu temple while in Georgia, however, most of their time was with the refugee children, interacting with them, playing games, and sharing the spirit of Christ.

“Even though we were in a small, quiet town in Clarkston, Ga., we didn’t need a passport to be in the heart of an international mission field,” said Dan Kreiss, program director and assistant professor of Youth Ministry and dean of King’s Peeke School of Christian Mission. “What meant the most to the children we engaged with was the gift of our time – simply being there with them.”

The connections King groups make at UrbanPromise is unlike any other mission trip of which Dan Kreiss has been a part. Kreiss said, “I’ve been in youth ministry for more than 30 years. There is something about that place and that organization that just works. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. What we do there, the people we meet and work with there – the kids, the street leaders, the interns, the workers – it is just unlike any other program.”

UrbanPromise is the largest employer of teenagers in the city of Camden. The organization has programs for kids up to eighth grade. For those young people who wish to continue on, they can apply to be a street leader to help mentor the younger generation.

Kreiss added, “There is a good balance not only of social opportunities and helping people with needs but also recognizing the spiritual needs all while working in a Christian environment. The program just works for a city that is in desperate need of help.”

King alumna Mickensie Neely graduated in May 2015 with a major in Youth Ministry and double minors in English and Photography. Neely, who went on several mission trips to Camden while at King, took a leap of faith, moved to Camden, and now works for UrbanPromise.

“Camden is polarizing; everyone feels something when they come here,” said Neely. “I tell people who are afraid of going into this place that is so uncomfortable and so different that maybe they need someone just like you – someone who is willing to be genuine. [The ability to be genuine] is something I learned at King. College is such a ‘discovering yourself kind of place.’ I was comfortable at King, and that helped me to be comfortable being planted somewhere else.”

“College is a nursery to life; then you go plant yourself somewhere,” said Marcus Bell, program director of Camp Spirit at UrbanPromise. In his previous role as missions director, Bell developed a strong relationship with Dan Kreiss and King University. “Dan has done a great job at not only getting [the students] to understand local missions but also global missions. Global missions does not necessarily limit [the students] to travelling overseas.”

Neely added, “One reason the kids in Camden react so positively is that the students from King are well prepared. During Dan’s preparation for the Camden trip, there is always someone who says, ‘I can’t believe there are places like this in the United States. The mission field is truly right in your back yard.”

“Fifty percent of Camden’s population is under 30; forty percent of the population is under the age of 18,” said Bell. “For me, the mindset of many groups who come to Camden is one of short-term missions. [UrbanPromise] is about long-terms missions. It is really nice to have a group [like King] come through that understands ‘what are my short-term mission goals, and how do they partner with the long-term mission program.’ King students come with the understanding that relationship is selfless – it is not about me.”

Neely wrapped up by saying “I love the quote, ‘Life begins at the end of your comfort zone!’ Jesus doesn’t care if you are comfortable. He is the great physician and healer; He cares about you and will comfort you. Jesus wants you to be uncomfortable though, because it is during these times you are growing the most, and change the most – relying on Him. For the time I’ve been at Camden, I’ve been uncomfortable about 85% of the time. It is hard, but it is so rewarding. The small successes really fuel me to keep going! This is such an amazing experience.”

Contact Dan Kreiss at 423.652.4153 or [email protected] for additional information about the missions program at King University.

BRISTOL, Tenn. – There are many different ways for collegiate teams to give back to not only their home community, but communities around the world, and King University women’s volleyball coach Morris Cephas likes to take a mission trip every other year to not only give back to a community in need, but to help team bonding. Earlier this spring, Cephas and his team partnered with Sport X Change to travel to a few cities in Costa Rica and spent 10 days on this ministry.

“Our trip to Costa Rica brought some challenges and many joys as we were able to connect to people through the sport of volleyball,” freshman setter Abby Anderson said. “It amazed me that even though we were not able to have conversations due to the language barrier, we bonded and built relationships just by playing volleyball.”

The trip started out in the cities of San Jose and Quepos where the Tornado spent a few days, helping run volleyball clinics in the morning and then spent time building relationships in the afternoon. For Cephas the afternoon sessions were very powerful, being able to not only grow in his faith, but to see how the members of the team interacted and grew as well.

“It was really cool to see how God has blessed each member of the team so differently,” Cephas said. “You had some who had gifts for working with people with special needs, some who had gifts of working with children, some who had gifts of ministry, gifts of singing, gifts of peace, and more. It was a powerful experience to be able to see how God used each one of us so differently.”

Later in the week, the team traveled to Perez Zeledon, where again they held volleyball clinics in the morning and met with the local students in the afternoon. However, here the Tornado were talking to the same people in both the morning and afternoon sessions, which meant building deeper relationships with them. As Cephas and his team continued to spend time with the locals, they saw they were alike, but Cephas said they still admired us because we were spending time with them. For Anderson, this was something that stuck out to her as well.

“Seeing the joy of their faces as we played with them and just spending time with them helped me remember why I started playing and why we came there,” Anderson continued. “Each time we left a clinic or town we all felt Jesus’s love shown through us just by how we loved on them and taught them volleyball and shared the story of Jesus with them. It was overall a great experience to be able to share with my teammates sharing the love of Jesus.”

Cephas felt like this was a very good experience not only for his team, but for the Costa Ricans they spent time with over the 10 days. For him, seeing the different ways people interacted on the trip was very rewarding as each person is in a different place in the their walk with Christ. The Costa Ricans had a person that was in a similar place they could talk to and grow together with.

“That’s kind of what is really special about mission trips,” Cephas continued. “You are able to pour out and invest in other people and communities. You are able to see how you can help inspire change and make a difference for other people by how God uses you. Through that, you’re able to see God’s work, and how He is helping you to grow in your personal spiritual walk.”

A typical day for the Tornado involved waking up early, at 6:00 a.m., for breakfast, followed by a devotion before their volleyball clinic at the schools. That was followed by the day’s gospel before breaking for lunch. After lunch, the team then had a ministry with the locals before concluding the day with dinner and worship.

The Tornado did have a little more than a day to explore the landscape and culture of Costa Rica a little bit as Cephas said they went to the beach one morning, then in the afternoon followed that with a trip to a waterfall. The next day they were able to go see a local mountain.

Going into the trip, Cephas was expecting that there would be a spiritual overload with the focus on the players growing personally, and that happened, just not the way he expected it to. The players grew from the experience, but it came from their interaction with others on the trip. He also thought they would invest in themselves, but in the end, everyone became invested in each other and the communities they were in.

It was great for team building as the players were able to grow in their faith together and learn about their teammates and what strengthens them. In that aspect it was more about the individual learning about their strengths and weaknesses as well.

“It’s a really powerful synergistic experience that I know we all benefited and grew from,” concluded Cephas.

BRISTOL, Tenn., March 17, 2016 – Two of the most important things to instill in the life of a child is the importance of reading and staying physically active. King University has joined with the Ride for Reading organization for the 5th annual edition of National Ride for Reading Week, which takes place May 8-14. Locally, King University is collecting new and gently used children’s book for grades kindergarten through second grade through April 14. Cyclist participants will deliver the books by bicycle on May 10 that will benefit elementary schools in Bristol TN/VA community.

The vision of the Ride for Reading organization is to see “a world where every child is healthy and literate.” According to the organization’s Executive Director Juan Camilo Torres Ride for Reading has distributed over 300,000 books not only to Title I schools but also community centers and libraries since 2008.

“We are excited to kick off this new program, Ride for Reading,” says Julie McReynolds, assistant dean for Student Engagement. “After so many successful years of our Coats for Kids event, we were looking for something to engage the younger children in our community. The ‘Ride for Reading’ program connects the love for learning with physical activity, and is perfect for the spring semester. We hope the entire community will join us in helping to provide the gift of imagination to our Bristol TN/VA elementary schools.”

Book donations are accepted through Thursday, April 14. The new and gently used books can be dropped off in Maclellan Hall room 17 on King University’s main campus in Bristol, Tenn. Other drop off locations include the YWCA, Chick-Fil-A at the Pinnacle, Mountain Sports, and Piney Flats Bike Shop. Monetary donations are also accepted.

Free admission will be given when books and dropped off at the following King University athletic events:

  • April 2 – Baseball at 12 p.m. followed by Softball at 2 p.m.
  • April 3 – Acro & Tumbling at 1 p.m.
  • April 8  – Men’s Volleyball at 7 p.m.

On Tuesday May 10, the participating cyclists will meet at King University at 12:30 p.m., then deliver the books by bicycle to nearby Fairmont Elementary School.

For additional information or to sign up for the delivery ride, contact Miranda Goodman at [email protected] or Julie McReynolds at [email protected].

BRISTOL, Tenn., Jan. 5, 2016 – King University’s School of Education is travelling to the countries of Finland and Sweden from May 2 through May 9, 2016. The focus of the trip will center on the Finnish education system, currently ranked first in the world for student achievement.

The trip will be led by Dr. Nancy Gregg, assistant professor of Education and Dr. Sandra Sanders, associate professor of Education at King University.

“Dr. Sanders and I are excited to be able to provide leadership for this opportunity to explore both the Finnish and the Swedish educational systems,” says Gregg. “This is a wonderful opportunity for educators, both students and those in the field, to learn more about ways of reaching high standards in student achievement.”

Trip participants will learn how the Finnish Board of Education provides a tuition-free education for its students and how they maintain an excellent quality of education without homework or standardized tests. Additionally, the study abroad experience will provide cultural excursions that will give an enriching perspective on the region’s progressive educational practices.

Participants will begin their trip in Helsinki, Finland. Over the course of four days, they will enjoy a walking tour of Helsinki to see why the city was voted the World Design Capital of 2012. Sites include the Sibelius Monument, Senate Square, Helsinki Market, the Upenski Orthodox Cathedral, and the Temppeliaukio Church, known as the Church of the Rock, as it was built directly out of one. They will also visit the library in Helsinki, one of the best reference centers and reserves of national collections.

Other attractions students may visit while on free time include the Maritime Museum of Finland, Eduskunta – the Parliament of Finland, the Finnish Science Centre, or they can take in some shopping at Helsinki’s version of Harrods – Stockmann’s Department Store.

While in Helsinki, students will attend a lecture at the Finnish National Board of Education, which is responsible for education on all levels, from primary through post-secondary, including adult education and vocational training. Students will visit a local school and examine the method that lead to high results on PISA and other forms of student assessment.

Participants will also spend several days in Sweden’s capital city, Stockholm. While there, students will meet with teachers for a discussion comparing Finland and Sweden’s educational systems. They will also enjoy tours of the city, enjoying Stockholm’s Gamla Stan and Järntorget, home to the city’s copper and iron trade in the 16th and 17th centuries. They will also revel in the rich history impressive architecture of sites such as the Royal Opera House, the Parliament, the Royal Palace, and the oldest church in Stockholm, dating from 1306. Students will also journey to the island of Djurgården to visit Vasa, a well-restored 17th-century warship.

To sign up or for additional information about the trip to Finland and Sweden contact Dr. Nancy Gregg at [email protected].

BRISTOL, Tenn., Dec. 9, 2015 – King University is sponsoring a foreign studies trip from May 6 through May 20, 2016, to the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. The Yucatán Peninsula is an area in Southeastern Mexico that separates the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. It is home to the Mayan civilization, known as one of the most advanced indigenous cultures of the ancient Americas.

The Yucatán Peninsula study abroad trip will be led by Dr. Alexander Brumlik, assistant professor of Economics at King University’s School of Business and Economics. Dr. Han Chuan Ong, dean of the King College of Arts and Sciences, will serve as a co-leader for the excursion.

“There are numerous reasons for selecting the Yucatán for this summer study abroad trip,” says Ong. “The Yucatán Peninsula is a great cultural contrast to students living in [Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia]. It is easily accessible and affordable. The American currency is relatively strong in Mexico, so students won’t feel they have to conserve too heavily in their spending. Culturally, it is the area where they Mayan civilization created [many] structures that are interesting. It is also biologically rich.”

After more than 100 million votes were cast, the new Seven Wonders of the World were announced by the New7Wonders Foundation on July 7, 2007. Included in the new Seven Wonders of the World is one of the locations students will visit on their trip to the Yucatán – the pyramid at Chichén Itzá. Chichén Itzá was the most famous Mayan temple city.

“Chichén Itzá is the closest [of the Seven Wonders of the World] to us in the United States,” says Brumlik. “It is one of the places you have to see before you die.”

The first half of the two-week trip will be based out of Cancún and Tulum while the second half of the trip will be based out of Merida, which is designated as the City of Peace by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Students will explore the Mesoamerican Reef, which is the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. They will enjoy swimming in underwater caves called cenotes. “Astronomical activity in this region created a lot of subterranean caves. One of the exciting things we are going to do is to snorkel in these partially submerged caves,” says Ong. “It would be good for students to have somewhat strong swimming skills because we are going to snorkel not only in open ocean estuaries but also inside caves.

In addition to visiting Chichén Itzá and snorkeling, other activities include hiking and interacting with locals to gain further understanding of the culture, as well as visiting local businesses such as open air markets and a world class glass factory. “It will be an insightful experience for students to see the vast range of the Mexican industry,” says Brumlik. There will also be a service component during the trip.

“[Our] aim is to help these students in the future to move the conversation about Mexico and its people beyond the issues of immigration, so that when you talk about the people of Mexico, the first thing that comes to mind is not immigration. Rather, the thought is, ‘Wow, Mexicans are so friendly and kind; wow, the food is delicious; wow, it is so beautiful here,’” says Ong.

Currently, 12 King students are signed up for the trip to the Yucatán Peninsula. Students interested in participating are asked to sign up no later than the first week of spring 2016 classes (Jan. 11-15). The cost of the trip is $3,000.

For more information on the Yucatán trip, contact Dr. Alexander Brumlik at [email protected] or 423.652.4806 or Dr. Han Chuan Ong at [email protected] or 423.652.6007.

BRISTOL, Tenn., Dec. 1, 2015 – King University’s Music Department will offer a harmonious gift with their annual Christmas concert in the sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church of Bristol, Tenn., on Friday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m. The concert will, once again, serve as a benefit for the Bristol Emergency Food Pantry. Admission is open to the public, and all who attend are asked to bring a donation of non-perishable food items. Monetary donations for the Food Pantry will also be accepted.

Five different choral ensembles and King’s Jazz Band will be performing Christmas favorites and traditional seasonal music including songs in the styles of classical sacred, jazz, spirituals, traditional carols, do-wop, secular Christmas music, and barbershop. There will be music for all ages.

“This concert is a wonderful event for the entire community,” said W. Patrick Flannagan, professor of music and director of choral activities at King University. “The choirs and Jazz Band commit a great deal of time rehearsing the wide range of Christmas music. We are especially thankful for First Presbyterian Church for their gift, allowing us to host our Christmas concert in such a magnificent sanctuary.”

The program will be under the direction of W. Patrick Flannagan, Shea A. Clay, assistant professor of music, and Lonny Finley, director of bands and instrumental activities at King. Student conductors for this concert are seniors senior Caitlin Poe of Bristol, Va., Rebekah Triska of Bristol, Tenn, Alissa King of Bristol, Tenn., and Guilherme Muller of Bristol, Tenn., along with junior Nathan Jones of Bristol, Tenn.

For additional information, contact Pat Flannagan at 423.652.4846 or [email protected].