Lives are impacted through athletics at John Brown University.
JBU student-athletes are shaped in the unique crucible of sport. They are called upon to sacrifice for one another, look after one another, and learn to follow, lead, and encourage one another. Coaches and teammates utilize the power of intentional relationships to make lasting impacts. These relationships leverage challenge, accountability and encouragement to shape individuals into better people, community members and followers of Christ – exemplifying our motto of “Christ Overall.” Virtually no other program offering at JBU expects a higher commitment or provides more opportunity to fulfill the central tenant of a JBU education – holistic development in the motto, "Head, Heart and Hand."
JBU student-athletes learn quickly how to successfully navigate competing priorities of life, as they are asked to excel on the playing field and in the classroom. This is not an easy task at this academically-vigorous institution, but they are rising to the challenge. Currently, the cumulative GPA of our student athletes is 3.14 with six of our ten programs being named as NAIA Scholar Teams in 2012-13.
JBU student-athletes are pushed to be leaders. Their success in this venue is clearly evident as fellow students and program administrators are choosing student-athletes to represent the student body. Student-athletes have held virtually all student-leader positions, while also speaking at commencement and chapel.
JBU sports play a positive role in impacting recruitment efforts, as coaches play a lead role in recruiting student-athletes - 11.5% of our student body. Once here, these recruits are graduating at or above the university average. Athletics provides the student with rhythm and structure to their schedule, while also providing increased kinship and accountability, which in turn leads to higher retention rates. This recruitment and retention effort also provides opportunity to assist the institution with diversifying the student body, as close to a quarter of our student-athletes are non-Caucasian.
JBU sports impact more than just the 150 student-athletes. The program provides opportunity for a university rallying point that includes but is not limited to the local and regional community. The JBU toilet paper game may be the best illustration of how our campus comes together for an event that is highlighted across the country, with literally hundreds of thousands of people experiencing the positive effects of our program.
We believe that athletics is a microcosm of society that allows the student-athlete the opportunity to develop and demonstrate his or her God-given ability to glorify God. The opportunity for character and leadership growth presents itself through competition; therefore, intercollegiate athletics at John Brown University is considered an integral part of the educational and community experience.
Our philosophy can best be summed up by the university's motto, Christ over all. We believe as Christians we are commanded by scripture to “be the best we can be” and not waste the talent and resources God has given us by giving nothing less than total commitment. We believe that attempting to win each contest is very important, but not an end in itself. Becoming the best may not always be the result; however, doing our best must always be the goal. We believe that excellence is facilitated by providing quality coaching and facilities and appropriate student financial aid and operating budgets to meet the objectives of each individual sport.
To whom much is given, much is expected. We believe all JBU student-athletes should be diligent in their preparation, relentless in their effort, respectful in their actions, self-controlled with their words, humble in spirit, and aggressive in their pursuit of excellence, without regard to the score, opponent or any other circumstance. As Christian athletes display these characteristics, good things usually happen: teams are successful, players are motivated, fans are supportive and enthusiastic, parents are proud, perspective student-athletes want to participate, and very often non-believers are drawn to Christ, which is why we believe, Christ is over all.
JBU coaches are one of the most significant components of the program of intercollegiate athletics. Coaches have the responsibility of modeling Christ-like attitudes, behaviors, and lifestyles for the student-athletes. One of the coach’s most important roles is to mentor student-athletes. In order to be considered an effective coach and role model, JBU coaches must also be thoroughly knowledgeable in their sport, capable of detailed preparation, able to motivate and able to make adjustments during competition. Coaches have great responsibilities and great opportunities to mold the lives of student-athletes.