TENNESSEE COLLEGE TRIP STOP #1, February 2019
Belmont University in Nashville has 1,600 grad students and 6,700 undergraduates. It is the largest Christian University in Tennessee and is ranked #5 in the Regional Universities South (USNWR), but is mostly known for its music programs and helping students get their start in the music business. The campus is located next to the world famous Music Row and is just two miles from downtown Nashville. First-come, first-serve practice rooms are available even for non-majors. They have interesting majors like audio engineering tech, music business, audio and video production, church music, commercial music (for focus outside of classical), engineering physics, entertainment industry studies, faith and social justice, piano pedagogy, multimedia production, music performance, motion picture, musical theatre, general business, and sport administration (the Tennessee Titans and the NHL Nashville Predators are in town). Five showcase concerts are held on campus each year where producers come to listen to students perform and awards are given. Reba Macintire recently hosted the CMA Country Christmas show here.
The average class size is 22, and it is not unusual to be invited by faculty to their home for dinner. 90% are from Christian backgrounds but it is not a requirement. They consider themselves on the middle of the spectrum of being “very Christian” vs. in-name-only. Chapel is offered 3x a week, but it is optional. Students are required to take 2 three-credit classes from the College of Theology and Christian Ministries. Our tour guide was very enthusiastic about Belmont’s welcoming community regardless of background or beliefs. “There are a lot of opportunities for faith if you want it, but you can find friends to go to brunch with on Sunday instead of to chapel.”
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