Preview: Phil Wickham

September 3, 2018

Written By: Erin Diaz

Hailing from San Diego, California, Contemporary Christian Musician Phil Wickham kicked off his music career by releasing his first album Give You My World in 2003. Within just a few years, Wickham was on tour with MercyMe and Audio Adrenaline, proving how quickly he became influential in the Christian music world. In 2007, he released the album Cannons, which is probably the one you know most songs from (such as “You’re Beautiful” and “Cannons”). The album was inspired by The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis, and it seems to continue to be a foundational album to the CCM industry today.

For me, it’s difficult to imagine my formative years as a Christian without Phil Wickham’s music. His music seemed to be omnipresent to me in high school, especially in the years of 2010-12. As an employee at a local Chick-Fil-A, I would package meals for people with Wickham’s “Divine Romance” playing over the speakers. I then would drive to my youth group, usually playing Christian radio, usually hearing something from Wickham on my quick drive. When at church, one of his songs were performed at least weekly. Wickham was a big part of my life back then, as he was for many. If we took a poll at Liberty asking how many people have cherished at least one of Wickham’s songs in their life, we’re sure that there would be no shortage of students and staff answering “yes”.

Something that can be said about Wickham is that his music is genuine, poignant, and sometimes overwhelming in the way that can trigger emotions and tug on heart strings. In an interview with Christianity Today, it is stated that Wickham commented that Cannons is “about how the universe is exploding with the glory of God, and how we are compelled to join in with its song”. This is an example that Wickham’s music is not always the light, airy type that we often hear on Christian music radio. His music pushes deeper, begging the soul to tune in and be a part of worship to our Holy God.

We feel confident that September 21 is going to be an important evening at Liberty. Wickham will be performing in the Concert Hall, and having just released his album Living Hope, this is a show you won’t want to miss. And did we mention that LU Praise is opening up the show? For more info, visit our music page – we can’t wait to be a part of this with you.




Playlist: Folk Flashback

August 24, 2018

For this playlist, we wanted to revisit some of our favorite folk songs from years past. We hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Preview: PEABOD

August 23, 2018

Written By: Erin Diaz

Hailing from Federal Way, Washington, 24-year-old rapper Isaac Peabody (PEABOD) is on the music scene and he has some things to say. Lucky for us, he’s coming to Liberty for a FREE show with local openers KHAM and Czar Josh – get excited!

PEABOD’s debut album “Healthy Snacks” was released earlier this summer, with hits like “Shoot From the Hip” and a collaboration with CCM artist Hollyn called “Ok”, and the album “puts an innovative spin on rap, daring the genre to be fun”*. PEABOD is pretty innovative and fun himself, describing himself as an extrovert whose personality type is ESFP, also known as “The Performer”. “I guess I picked the right career!” PEABOD says in his question and answer article on Centricity Music.

PEABOD has two younger siblings and is based out of Seattle, Washington. He has a full time job at his alma mater, where he studied Organizational Communication at Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington. He claims Chance the Rapper, Switchfoot and Coldplay as being some of his biggest inspirations musically. When you listen to his music, a mixture of pop and hip hop can be heard. PEABOD combines these two genres as well as his Christian foundation, and the outcome of this combination is “Healthy Snacks”, which you can listen to here.

We are so excited to host PEABOD in the LaHaye Event Space on September 28th. For more information about the show, check out our concerts page!



Fall Welcome Week Preview

August 16, 2018

Written By: Erin Diaz

Get excited, everyone – Fall Welcome Week is finally upon us! We have so much lined up for you incoming freshmen (and anyone else on campus who wants to attend our awesome events). Read a description on each of our events below!

Bingo Night (Thursday, 8/23)

Everyone’s favorite welcome back event will be on Thursday in the LaHaye Event Space. It’s a classic game with some big time prizes – in other words, we’re giving out $350 in gift cards to some of your favorite local restaurants, coffee shops and more. Doors open for the event at 8pm and games begin at 8:30pm, so get in the door and get a prime seating location!

SA @ Nite (Friday, 8/24)

It’s the best throwback night of the year! Beginning at 10pm, we’ll be showing tv shows that will take you back to your childhood (or even before). Throughout the night there will be karaoke, games, junk food that you definitely need in order to kick off the best year yet, and so much more. Come join us in the LaHaye Event Space for a good time!

Outdoor Open Mic (Saturday, 8/25)

Outdoor Open Mic is a new event that SA is excited to have you be a part of. We wanted to kick off a semester of Open Mic Nights by doing it the best way – singing outdoors! There will be free Chill City Pops for the first 150 people, Rookie’s cookies for the first 250 people, and a free microphone for you to sing or speak into. The event begins at 2:30pm at the Montview Lawn, and one of our favorite student bands Oceanic will be opening and closing the event for us. See you there!

Outdoor Movie Night (Saturday, 8/25)

Avengers: Infinity War, Solo: A Star Wars Story, free popcorn and concessions (that we now accept Flames Cash for!) – need we say more? We’ll see you on the Commons Lawn at 8:30pm to kick off the first Movie Night of the semester. Bring a blanket, bring your hall and enjoy a great start to an even better semester.


For updates on our Fall Welcome Week events, visit our social media (@libertysa). We can’t wait to meet you!

Healthy Habits with Heather Gaunt

August 16, 2018

Written By: Marissa Kusayanagi

Before I left for college I always heard of the infamous “Freshman Fifteen” and carried the fear of gaining weight into my first year at Liberty. The college years are known to create unhealthy habits and we all hope we will never gain those fifteen pounds, but it is a lot easier said than done. If you are anything like I was as a Freshman, you are searching for the best and easiest ways to stay healthy as you survive your four years of college. You will always have late nights cramming for an exam, or you might join your friends for a 1 AM Cook Out run but I hope these tips can help you on your journey.

I am not a professional in the health and fitness world, but I have a close friend that is – her name is Heather Gaunt, and she is the Associate Director of Fitness and Programming at Liberty’s Rec Centers. Heather is an incredible woman that knows more about maintaining a healthy lifestyle than anybody else I know.  I decided to interview her and I hope you all find it extremely helpful!

Marissa Kusayanagi: Explain a little bit about who you are and what do on campus.

Heather Gaunt: I am Heather Gaunt, the Associate Director of Fitness and Programming. My undergraduate degree is in exercise science. I am a registered yoga instructor, NASM certified trainer, ACE group fitness instructor, ACSM exercise physiologist, certified Barre above ™, certified cycling, TRX level one trainer, certified Zumba, turbo kick live instructor. I have been teaching group exercise since 2011 and teaching yoga since 2010.

MK: What is some advice you would give an incoming Freshman to stay healthy?

HG: Find friends to stay active with, because the most important part about coming to college is building relationships with people. The best advice I have is to build relationships while staying active or going outside. You will want to exercise more if you are doing it with a friend.

MK: How did you maintain a healthy lifestyle as a college student?

HG: I fell in love with group exercise classes when I was a college student. I saw the benefit of group ex classes for someone who doesn’t want to organize a workout on their own. The classes build community among like-minded people and keep students coming back for more. My exercise science classes helped me understand the developmental side of health and exercise.

MK: Give some simple tips for a college student with a job.

HG: First, you need to list out your priorities and make sure you maintain them each day. Always take care of yourself and give your body the time it needs for relaxation and physical movement.

  • Sacrifice time in the morning to go attend a group exercise class or go on a run.
  • Dedicate 20-30 minutes of your day to physical activity.
  • Learn yoga, because you can practice it anywhere.
  • Find someone that is in the same stage of life as you and keep each other accountable through your health journey.
  • You can hire a personal trainer at the gym where you will create a specific time to work out each week.

MK: What are some ways to eat healthy on campus?


Off Campus

If you are off campus, the best way to eat healthy is to meal prep! Make sure you include lean fats, protein and vegetables of course. Meal prepping can save you a ton of money and time. There are so many options in Lynchburg where you can grab a sweet treat and avoid the extra refined sugars. My personal favorite is Millie’s, you can grab a smoothie bowl and enjoy a sweet but healthy treat!

On Campus

Liberty Dining offers a variety of foods and healthy meals. Try to avoid processed foods and refined sugars. Aim to eat whole foods. The Rot offers whole foods, greens, and healthy fats. Stay away from fried foods!

MK: How important is physical activity? How much should we be doing? How much is too much? And what do you suggest for busy college students that don’t work out on a regular basis?

HG: Exercising every day is important, but you should limit your high intensity workouts to 2-3 times a week. The most important tip is to make sure you are physically moving every single day and not sitting for too much of the day.

MK: Explain a little more about what your department offers!

HG: Rec Centers offers:

  1. Exercise
    1. We offer group fitness that caters to anyone’s need.
    2. There are classes for recovery, strength, yoga, mind body and connection.
    3. There are cardio classes – cycling, kickboxing, Zumba, Step, and hip hop.
    4. We have High Intensity classes - Boot Camp, Kettlebells, Power Pump, Total Body Tone, Crossfit.
    5. Personal trainers are always useful.
    6. We offer a rock wall – a place where you can build strength and community.
    7. Pool – a great place for cardiovascular exercise!
  2. Workshops
    1. The workshops this year are going to focus on stress and anxiety relief, so there will be classes on aromatherapy, breathing and mediation.

Creating healthy habits during college will help you become a more successful student and maintain a balanced life. I hope that Heather’s tips help you decrease your stress and increase your joy throughout your time at Liberty. There are so many options to choose from, so grab a friend and sign-up for a group ex class!

You can find more information on Rec Centers’ website -