John Brown University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
John Brown University
"Since 1919, John Brown University has educated students from across the globe in a...

John Brown University

Siloam Springs, Arkansas

Since 1919, John Brown University has educated students from across the globe in a distinctly Christian community, providing an academic, spiritual, and professional foundation for world-impacting careers. JBU enrolls more than 2,700 students from 40 states and 37 countries, committed to providing quality academics within a distinctly Christian community. A top-ranked institution in Arkansa, it is a vibrant and growing university of the arts, sciences, and professions.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
2,126 undergraduate students
72% of undergrad students are full time
43% male — 57% female
52% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
119 full-time faculty
4 part-time faculty
15 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

66% of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 34% of students live off campus. Students that live on campus reside in one of the single-gender or co-ed residence halls, with dedicated wings for men and women.

School Location

John Brown University is located in the Northwest Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area (Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers) which, according to recent census data, is populated by nearly 500,000 people. Consistently named as a “top 10 places to live and do business” by organizations like Forbes and the Milkin Institute, Northwest Arkansas is a superb place for JBU students to spend the college years of their lives. Northwest Arkansas truly is the best of both worlds—an area of small-town friendliness with the amenities and economic engines that rival many large American cities. Watch a two-minute tour of Siloam Springs, home of JBU, at

Retention Fall 2015

81% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

62% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 5%
Hispanic/Latino 6%
Black or African American 2%
White 76%
American Indian or Alaska Native 2%
Asian 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 3%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 5%


NAIA Division I, 9 Varsity Sports: Men and Women’s Basketball; Men and Women’s Cross Country; Men and Women’s Soccer; Men and Women’s Tennis; Women’s Volleyball

Mascot: Golden Eagle
Colors: Blue and gold

Other Information

John Brown University is a four-year, private Christian university committed to providing quality academics within an interdenominational Christian community. Founded in 1919, JBU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Academic Programs

Accounting, Art & Illustration, Biblical & Theological Studies, Biochemistry, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Child & Family Studies, Communication, Construction Management, Digital Cinema, Early Childhood Education, Engineering, English, English Education, Family & Human Services, Graphic Design, History, Intercultural Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, International Business, Kinesiology, Management, Marketing, Mathematics, Mathematics Education, Music: Applied, Music Education, Music: General, Pre-Nursing, Outdoor Leadership Ministries, Philosophy, Photography, Political Science, Pre-­Nursing, Psychology, Public Relations, Social Studies Education, Spanish, Worship Arts, Youth Ministries, Youth & Worship Ministries

More Distinctions

  • JBU is Arkansas’ top-ranked regional university according to U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges ranking 2017.

  • The John Brown University Enactus Team was named 2017 Enactus United States National Champion after defeating over 200 teams in May 2017. In September 2017 the team will compete against 35 countries at the the Enactus World Cup in London.

  • JBU has been named a “Great College to Work For” according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education. Listed with honor-roll distinction alongside 79 institutions and placed as top 10 within the small enrollment category, JBU won honors for three consecutive years in nine of 12 categories.

  • JBU was honored with a 2015 Tree Campus USA recognition by Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management.

  • A JBU business team placed second in the undergraduate division at the 2016 Tri-State Donald W. Reynolds Cup Business Plan Competition for their organic, sustainable chicken-house bedding.

  • A team of JBU engineering students has annually traveled to Kennedy Space Center, Florida, to participate in the NASA Lunabotics Mining Competition. JBU is one of only a handful of teams that has been a part of the contest since it started.

  • JBU construction management students took first place at the second annual American Institute of Contractors (AIC) Ethics Competition, a national construction ethics competition and conference hosted by the AIC.

Consisting of three elements—the major, the Core Curriculum, and the Co-Curriculum—a JBU education seeks to produce well-rounded graduates with the intellectual, spiritual, and professional foundations for world-impacting careers. The courses in the major prepare the student for a career or for graduate school. The Core Curriculum is a broad exposure to human learning and, finally, the Co-Curriculum completes the wholeness model with intentional extra-curricular experiences. The educational programs at JBU are designed to stimulate curiosity and new discovery. Every day, JBU students are exposed to thought-provoking lectures and interactive projects that prepare them for life after college.


John Brown University’s Core Curriculum is a set of foundational courses that instill a deeper, integrative understanding of scripture, creation, and culture in order to prepare students to honor God and serve others. Designed to engage the Head, Heart, and Hand, JBU’s Core Curriculum seeks to equip students to become lifelong learners, develop a discerning Christian faith, and participate in God’s creative and redemptive purposes in the world through their vocation. To best accomplish these goals, the curriculum provides all students with a set of core classes during their early years, allows them to choose from a variety of courses within basic subject areas during their middle years, and culminates with a series of upper-level common courses which encourage students to integrate the skills and knowledge from their majors with the common coursework. The Global Studies portion of the curriculum allows students to choose from several courses related to diversity and culture or a study abroad experience.


The Core Curriculum is complemented and supported by the Co-Curriculum. More strongly addressing the spiritual, social, and emotional goals of the Core Curriculum, it includes Freshman Orientation, the Chapel program, student organizations (Cause Ministries, Residence Hall Associations, growth and support groups), counseling, the Career Development Center, the Academic Assistance Program, intramural sports, programming for married students, the Soderquist Center, the Center for Healthy Relationships, and the student leadership programs.


Study abroad is an encouraged means of satisfying the Global Studies requirement of the Core Curriculum. JBU values study abroad semesters and summers as life-changing experiences. Students can study in over twenty countries, including Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Scotland, England, China, Guatemala, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, South Korea, and Uganda. Wherever one goes—a JBU classroom, the Louvre in Paris, or the Bodleian Library in Oxford, England—JBU seeks to give each student every opportunity to grow and change through their academic pursuits. JBU signed a memorandum of understanding with South Korea’s Handong Global University that opened a study abroad program, research collaboration, and faculty and staff exchanges. JBU provides opportunities that make its education the most pervasive and constructive it can be.


All freshmen enroll in a gateway course designed to introduce students to the purpose and method of Christian higher education and the distinctive mission of John Brown University. Through the exploration of a particular topic (such as poverty, The Chronicles of Narnia, the Holocaust, or film), students participate in the communal intellectual life and the application of a Christian worldview.


As freshmen, students may apply to the selective LSI Program, a co-curricular, 4-year leadership program designed to challenge and develop students through experiential learning in and out of the classroom. By helping individuals identify and develop their strengths, the program equips and enables students to be practical leaders.


As freshmen, students may apply to the Honors Scholars Program, a four-year program that combines curricular and co-curricular programs to extend and enrich academic experiences. Classes are small and interactive with excellent faculty. Students also have the opportunity to co-teach with a professor, conduct research, take educational trips, study abroad, and present their research at regional and national conferences. The program is designed to attract academically motivated students to challenge Christian scholars for God’s kingdom as well as to enrich the broader university community.

At JBU, professors are equipped to prepare students for life after college. Over 76 percent of faculty hold Ph.D.s or other terminal degrees in their fields of study from universities like Oxford, Harvard, Princeton, Dartmouth, Purdue, Stanford, and JBU itself.

Curious Faculty

Many of the faculty and staff are currently applying and expanding their education. Dr. David Vila manages an archaeological dig in Northern Jordan every summer, typically taking students with him. Dr. Marquita Smith received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant for her teaching-research project titled “Courageous Communication: Creating Journalism that Matters.” Dr. Gloria Gale is conducting research in Washington, D.C. with the National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Other JBU professors are working on research projects in Liberia, Ghana, Scotland, England, France, and Alaska, developing art exhibits on Christian practice in North American Indian tribes, presenting research papers internationally, speaking at national conferences, and writing books.

Professors at JBU are role models to the students not only in their academic pursuit, but also in their display of moral character and devotion to Jesus Christ. Professors regularly invite students to their homes for dinner or meet with them in the cafeteria on a weekly basis. JBU professors make it a priority to know their students well.

Small Classes for Big Results

JBU has the highest graduation rate in Arkansas. 65 percent of students who enter the university complete degrees within six years, and 96 percent of JBU students obtain jobs or enroll in graduate school within 6 months of graduation (according to a 2014 survey with a 90 percent survey-return rate). The success of JBU students is due in part to the 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Because JBU classes are small and professors have a contemporary understanding of their fields, classes become think tanks and discussion groups for all topics of study.

New Facilities for Outstanding Education

JBU recently finished construction on the Health Education Building, the Berry Performing Arts Center, the Bill George Arena, and the Balzer Technology Center, as well as the renovation of the Walton Lifetime Health Complex, J. Alvin Brown Hall men’s residence dorm, a second art facility, and the restoration to the historic Cathedral Group buildings. JBU will renovate the historic Mayfield Residence Hall in the summer of 2017. Through these new and newly-renovated buildings, JBU students have access to cutting-edge technology that enhances their academic performance and pursuit.

Guest Speakers

At JBU, students have incredible opportunities to learn as members of the JBU community and the greater Northwest Arkansas community. Over the years, JBU has hosted a number of internationally renowned guest speakers, including:

  • President Bill Clinton as Governor of Arkansas
  • Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister
  • Sam Walton, Founder and CEO of Walmart
  • Chaim Potok, American Jewish author and rabbi
  • Gov. Mike Huckabee, Fox News contributor and former Arkansas governor
  • Blake Mycoskie, founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS shoes

Artistic Exploration

Beyond the university’s own theatre productions, performances, and art galleries, the liberal arts departments at JBU have hosted a series of acclaimed artists for recitals, master classes, and gallery exhibits:

  • Christine Donahue, renowned soprano
  • Chan Kiat Lim, acclaimed pianist
  • Makoto Fujimura, founder of the International Arts Movement; acclaimed artist, writer, speaker
  • Charles Pearce, world-renowned calligrapher: “The Painted Word: Calligraphic Abstractions”
  • Eudora Welty, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and photographer: “Continuous Thread of Revelation”

Thriving Cultural Facilities

Students can attend off-Broadway productions and performances by top artists at the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art houses some of the most valuable and well-known paintings by American artists, from Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter to Charles Willson Peale’s George Washington.

Educational Opportunities for All

JBU’s Student Events and Activities committee plans an extensive calendar of events like concerts that feature Lecrae, Anberlin, NeedtoBreathe, and Switchfoot; Mock Rock; the JBU Talent Show; and coffee houses designed cultivate community, culture, and creativity. The school also offers a campus-wide retreat for students to get off-campus for Bible study, teaching, and outdoor recreational activities. Multiple university departments sponsor resume writing workshops; networking workshops; and dating, engaged, and married couple seminars. JBU faculty and staff often host documentary and film viewings for discussion and student development.


Soon after settling in, JBU freshman take part in an event called Serve Siloam. Students volunteer throughout the Siloam Springs community serving individuals, local businesses and nonprofit organizations, and community centers. Through this service, students are introduced to the community and begin to develop a sense of obligation to care for it.


JBU hosts an independent research center called the Paradosis Center, named after the Greek word for “tradition.” Its mission is to foster theological exchanges among Christians from Catholic, Orthodox, and evangelical backgrounds that encourage people to learn from one another and more fully understand the tradition passed down from the beginning (cf. 2 Thess 2:15). The Center sponsors conferences, lecture series, research projects, student activities, and publications that nourish the ability of these communities to understand, appreciate, challenge, and benefit from each other.


Established in 1998 at John Brown University, the Center for Healthy Relationships aims to provide individuals, couples, families, and organizations with practical and innovative resources that encourage and empower the growth of healthy relationships in personal and professional settings. Several of the Center’s staff, including Dr. Gary Oliver and Dr. Derek Gwinn, teach psychology and theology courses at JBU.


Soderquist Leadership is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1998 by Don Soderquist, former COO and Senior Vice-Chairman of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. With facilities on JBU’s campus, as well as through customizable training programs, individuals, teams, and organizations receive values-focused training and development that equips them to win in the marketplace. The Center also offers Soderquist Fellowships to top applicants of John Brown University’s Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Leadership and Ethics and Master of Fine Arts programs. Fellows work full-time for the Center, receive full tuition, a two-year stipend, and work alongside veteran business leaders.

Student Accomplishments

JBU trains students to live purposeful lives both during and after college. In just these past few years, JBU students have accomplished some amazing things:

  • A team of JBU engineering students traveled to Kennedy Space Center in Florida to participate in the NASA Lunabotics Mining Competition. JBU is one of only a handful of teams that has been a part of the contest since it started. In 2015. the team won the Judges Innovation Award.
  • Ethiopia Haileyesus ‘15 interned with World Bank working closely with Laura Tuck, the vice president of sustainable development, to review existing projects for potential adverse affects on those the organization seeks to serve. Currently, she is pursuing a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland.
  • Sarah Hubbard ‘15 was selected to receive a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Turkey for the 2015-16 academic year.
  • Gibbs Kuguru dives with sharks off the coast of South Africa while studying for a masters in Molecular Biology.
  • Melody and Dave Murray live in the foothills of the Himalayas where they connect Indian artisans with healthy markets. Melody started a textile-based fashion company called Joyn, and Dave started Dehradun Guitar Co.
  • JBU student Kevin Leon was awarded the Harry S. Truman Scholarship to fund his research and implementation of “Juntos Podemos” (Together We Can), a program designed to reduce the National Hispanic dropout rate.
  • Katie Sessler ’10 received a Discovery Scholarship from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia—one of the highest national honors for students graduating in Engineering—and is attending graduate school there.
  • Charles Greathouse ’10—JBU SIFE president (09-10) and implementer of The Garden project in Siloam Springs, AR, and St. Charles, MO—completed Walmart’s Merchandizing Leadership Program and now manages Walmart’s Cat food, treats, and litter businesses for the nation.

Always Excelling

JBU Business students design and present a comprehensive marketing plan for a local organization or business enterprise. JBU Marine Biology students SCUBA dive in Florida during spring break to fulfill their lab requirement. Seniors in JBU’s Construction Management program coordinate and supervise a large-scale construction project in the area. JBU and Samaritan’s Purse host an annual shelter competition where engineering, construction management, and architecture student teams are invited to design and construct a rapidly deployable transitional disaster shelter for use by aid organizations in response to natural disasters. Family and Human Services majors conduct formal psychological studies and submit their results to a professional organization of their choice in order to develop the selected organization’s services. Art students partake in internships where they can apply what they learn to the workplace, and they later develop individual portfolios of their work that they present in the Senior Portfolio Review to potential employers. JBU students studying renewable energy maintain a partnership with Spanish company Sankyo Energy for collaborative research in wind-generated energy.

Liberal Arts for Well Rounded Futures

Because of JBU’s liberal arts education and the encouraging faculty and staff, students graduate with big dreams and practical, well-rounded experience. These JBU students work to meet the needs they see in their community and the world through inter-university competitions, new business plans, student development programs, social justice organizations, and medical missions. The options are endless.


Admissions Fall 2015

1,166 Total Applicants 
860 Total Admissions 
358 Total Freshman Enrollment

73.76% of applicants admitted

Freshman Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 520 660
SAT Math 510 625
SAT Writing 480 650
ACT Composite 24 30
ACT Math 22 28
ACT English 24 32
ACT Writing 6 8


Net Price Calculator


Tuition $23,398
Fees $1,070
Total $24,468
Room and Board (on campus) $8,664
Estimated Total On Campus $33,132


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

99% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
54% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$15,763 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$6,785 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates

Questions to Ask

As you are in the process of deciding on a college, visiting campus is an important step! When visitors come to JBU, we encourage them to ask questions–not just of the Admissions staff, but of...