Online Student Life - Blog

Thursday, May 10, 2018

If God cares for you, why need you care too?

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
It is a happy way of soothing sorrow when we can feel—“HE careth for me.” Christian! do not dishonour religion by always wearing a brow of care; come, cast your burden upon your Lord. You are staggering beneath a weight which your Father would not feel. That seems to you a crushing burden, would be to him but as the small dust of the balance. Nothing is so sweet as to “Lie passive in God’s hands, And know no will but his.”

O child of suffering, be thou patient; God has not passed thee over in his providence. He who is the feeder of sparrows, will also furnish you with what you need. Sit not down in despair; hope on, hope ever. Take up the arms of faith against a sea of trouble, and your opposition shall yet end your distresses. There is One who careth for you. His eye is fixed on you, his heart beats with pity
for your woe, and his hand omnipotent shall yet bring you the needed help. The darkest cloud shall scatter itself in showers of mercy. The blackest gloom shall give place to the morning. He, if thou art one of his family, will bind up thy wounds, and heal thy broken heart. Doubt not his grace because of thy tribulation, but believe that he loveth thee as much in seasons of trouble as in times
of happiness. What a serene and quiet life might you lead if you would leave providing to the God of providence! With a little oil in the cruse, and a handful of meal in the barrel, Elijah outlived the famine, and you will do the same. If God cares for you, why need you care too? Can you trust him for your soul, and not for your body? He has never refused to bear your burdens, he has never
fainted under their weight. Come, then, soul! have done with fretful care, and leave all thy concerns in the hand of a gracious God.

Charles H. Spurgeon

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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Keep Running the Race

What makes you press on? What entices you, what gives you the grit to sit in front of the pale blue-white glow of the computer screen past midnight; drives you on to pick up your reading half way through the day while the kids are napping, even though dishes are piling up in the sink? The driving force behind each hour spent studying and listening to lectures is that end goal that will glorify God.


Your goal might be to move up in your workplace, to be the first one in your family to receive a degree, or to enrich God's call in your life academically.


I have taken online courses spanning three degrees and I want to tell you that you can do this! Don’t give up at the first difficult assignment or the lack of interaction. Keep track of your goals. Find out how you learn and adapt each class to your learning style. Write out the presentations. Teach your spouse or give a mini lesson to a friend regarding what you are learning. Reach out your professors and the Dean of your department. Find people in your profession on LinkedIn and Twitter and engage with them.


Through each difficult course or as life seems to get busier and busier be sure to make monuments, write down times that God has brought you through various valleys. Remember God's promise to “go with you always” and as you act upon the Holy Spirit's guidance, He will help you as you are diligent unto his leading.

Morgan Hanson, Assistant Director of Online Student Life

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Morning Empowerment

Morning Empowerment

Adapted from Liberty University Online Student, Tricia Williams


I wake up every morning asking God what could be said to empower myself and other Online Students: find a list of goals that you want to stick to, save them, and make these confessions daily.

My list includes:

1 Debt is disappearing.
2 Lack is leaving.
3 Poverty is fleeing.
4 Faith is increasing.
5 Money is multiplying.
6 Wealth is accumulating.
7 Generosity is growing
8 Visions are developing

The verse that empowers me is Matthew 6:22-23 New International Version (NIV), “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”

I have learned that my past is not what holds me down; it's what helps me as a person to live my life and overcome my everyday struggles.  I have come a long way in life and knowing that my past can only sustain me to be greater. One can’t be better unless he or she desires more, and this is one aspect that I stick to in life. I know there is no such thing as a perfect life, but there is something I call a purpose driven life. I live by, if you're beautiful on the inside, of course your outer appearance will shine as well. Knowing who I am, and positively living to impact others greatly builds self-confidence that elevates empowering leadership skills. I am an outgoing person that brings smiles to whomever I am around. I am well educated and never want to stop learning. Wisdom is given to those who want to become wise. I love to read, write, and acknowledge growth from self-experiences. My objectives are to always grow in all that I do with empowering knowledge that “I CAN”, and to let ambition push me beyond my expectations. As your fellow student, I only want what's best for you, and that means if I want you to succeed, so does everyone else. Now, stick out your chest, take a deep breathe, and prepare yourself for this race. This race you will not lose, because you have a fleet of help to push you beyond your expectations.


“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” 1st Corinthians 9:24 (NIV)

NOW...GO... BE.... GREAT!!! #lustrong

Tricia encourages other online students to find her in Yammer, where you can encourage each other with daily devotions and prayer.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

I Did But Pray - Effie Barba

We are highlighting a guest blogger, poetic writer, and Liberty Online student, Effie Darlene Barba. When we found Effie’s transparent and encouraging poems, we knew they needed to be shared with other Online Students—life’s toughest moments will come, maybe even while you’re in school, but Effie has a word that will lift you up.   Please note that we are sharing these with Effie's permission.


There are sorrows in this world so great, that darkness surrounds us. In those moments, no ray of light shines in, and all hope disappears. There are no words that can comfort the soul.  I daresay there are no words and no theology that can bring peace. That I have known all too well when my suffering was too great in my own life.  My only pleas to God was, "Why?" But none of the pain I suffered compared to the pain I felt when a child of mine faced despair. Although, I had learned so much of God's grace through my own suffering; I had no words to say to comfort my child in theirs; so, all I could do is pray.

I wrote this poem at such a moment when one of my children was hurting, despairing of life itself.  When all there is are questions, with no answers; the only thing we can do is quietly walk beside and pray. Today, I share this with everyone within its reach who is hurting today. As I share it, I lift up a prayer for each and every one of you.

I Did But Pray

by Effie Darlene Barba


In your darkness filled with fear

I walked beside and drew you near

There were no words that I could say

So Quietly I did but pray


What more could I have said or done

Than point you to God’s own dear son

By showing you the grace of God

As on this road we both did trod


My words would mean so little now

Unless I were to live somehow

Displaying Grace by what I do

Forgetting self to think of you


No distance then would be too far

Willing to go where e’er you are

To walk beside to take your hand

To bring you hope, to firmly stand


That when the world a dark abyss

Upon your brow my gentle kiss

Awakening to see God’s light

A hope within could rise and fight


Against the tides that pull you down

The anguish that would bid you drown

Please take my hand and come with me

Oh how I wish your heart could see


The love of God, His Grace to you

That as His face comes into view

Amidst the sorrows in your heart

God’s comfort bidding them depart


His love can wrap you in His arms

Protecting you from evil’s harms

Oh, how I wish that you could see

My strength, my love is Christ in me



 In your darkness filled with fear

I walked beside and drew you near

There were no words that I could say

So Quietly I did but pray

No matter how dark the night; this I have learned and know: God loves you, His plan is good, and you can trust Him--even if today you cannot see how.


About Effie

Effie is 63 years old and has three children ranging in ages from 37 to 44 and 5 beautiful grandchildren. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Arts in Theological Studies (M.A.T.S.). She lives in Missouri and is a full time Nurse Practitioner in Cardiology Electrophysiology at the Veteran Affairs Hospital.  




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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Encourage Yourself - Dr. Tim Barclay

Anxiety, as I'm sure you're aware, is a very common disorder, in fact it’s the most common disorder throughout our country and the world. Being an online student has its unique set of… tasks. Going back to school or even entering school at this level for the first time, you’re undoubtedly struggling with a lot of negative narratives that sound like “I can't do it,” “I'm too old,” “I've been out of school for so long I don't know if I can do that,” or “I don't have the mind that I once had 20 years ago.” I assure you that all of the things that you're experiencing are 100% normal, and don't allow them to discourage you. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. You are capable of learning, but you will have to learn to manage anxiety. Proverbs 12:25 says that “anxiety in the heart of man weighs it down, but an encouraging word makes it glad.” Anxiety is a normal part of life and the anxiety you're experiencing as a result of your pursuit of education is no different.

 However, I want to provide you some words of encouragement that can be very helpful to you. I'm coming to you today straight from my heart because literally I have been where you are. I didn't go back to school until I was in my mid-thirties. I was in the throes of a career. I did 20 years in law enforcement, needed a degree for advancement but also to set me up for what I wanted to do after my law enforcement career. I had a lot of decisions to make but just like you, I had to manage that career. I had a family and 3 kids. I had to go to the all the soccer games and school functions in addition to keeping up with my academic pursuits.

Anxiety weighs the heart down, making it heavy and breeds discouragement. When discouragement sets in, it takes away hope and you begin to question “I'm not going to make it,’ and “Did I make the right decision?” I want to give you encouragement and hope. You did make the right decision. Just because you're going through some difficult times does not in any way mean that you made the wrong decision. Again, when you continually look at that anxiety, fear, discouragement, it is going to erode hope and it's going to cause you to question your course.

Once hopelessness sets in, your commitment, the discipline that you need to get through school, to manage assignments, to manage your work environment, to manage home … those commitments begin to break down. Once those commitments break down simultaneously, relationships and accountability begin to break down. You may have a tendency to isolate yourself. Passions, motivations become obsessive.

The second half of that Proverb says that encouragement makes the heart glad. Encouragement is a source of hope. It is very important that you learn to encourage yourself, to look to what’s ahead when you get into those individual moments. Look beyond the circumstances. This is something I tell my students and my patients. Train yourself to look through the current circumstance and beyond, to what you are trying to achieve. That will engender a hopeful heart and attitude, like the Proverb said “make it glad,” but will also reinforce commitment. Commitment to right behaviors, something that you need to keep all those balls in the air – school, work, family.  Have a good accountability system - support that can help keep you on track.

I promise you if you do those things, are vigilant and make a conscious effort to keep that in mind as you go through your anxious time, you will make it. It worked for me and I know it will work for you. If you found this devotional to be helpful, I want to encourage you, that when you come here and you finally walk across that stage and receive your degree, come to the psych department and you look me up. Thank you.

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Flames Pass

What makes you a Liberty University Flame? Is it the long hours spent writing papers and discussion boards, the grades received at the end of each sub-term, the excitement you get when you meet another Liberty University student, or the diploma?   As an alumnus of Liberty University, I can tell you that being a Liberty Flame is all of that and so much more!  

You might have a bit of apprehension when you begin to attend Liberty University Online, thinking, “Am I really a college student - is this really for me?”  


Liberty University Online Student Life exists to help you know that you are a flame and connect you to Liberty staff, faculty, and services!


The role of ID & Campus Services is to fulfill the mission of Liberty University by supporting its students, faculty, and staff. The Flames Pass is provided as the official Liberty University form of identification. ID & Campus Services seeks to educate students, faculty, staff, and parents on the features of the Flames Pass and BankMobile in a Christian environment. 

With your Flames Pass, you can have a safe and secure way to receive refunds, attend Liberty University home athletic events free of charge, and receive college discounts from nationwide retailers. Your Liberty Flames pass can even open up transportation options, and often, public transportation authorities will offer reduced student rider rates.  

For example, The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in Boston sells student passes Monday through Friday for 50% off standard fares. With your flames pass you ride Greater Lynchburg Transit Company (GLTC) for free!  

This is one benefit of being a Liberty Flame; I look forward to highlighting more benefits of being flames in the future!  


Author: Morgan Hanson is the Assistant Director of Online Student Life. She received her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations: Strategic Intelligence as a residential student and moved straight into her Masters of Science in Criminal Justice: Public Administration as a Liberty University online student. If you have any questions about Liberty University, online or on campus, email her at! 


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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Online Students and Athletic Events

Are you a Liberty University Online student? 

Do you like Flames athletics? 

Do you want to attend Flames athletic events for FREE? 

The good news is YOU CAN! All Liberty University Online students who are currently enrolled in classes can receive a free ticket to any NCAA regular season home sporting events by presenting their Flames Pass at the event ticket counter. The Liberty University ticket office can assist with any questions. Some events require a ticket, while others do not. 

The following sporting events are free, but require a ticket: 

  • Baseball 

  • Men’s and Women’s basketball 


The following sporting events are free, and do not require a ticket:                        

  • All club sports (except Division 1 hockey*) 

  • Cross Country 

  • Field Hockey 

  • Golf 

  • Lacrosse 

  • Men’s and Women’s soccer 

  • Men’s and Women’s Indoor/Outdoor Track and Field 

  • Men’ and Women’s Tennis 

  • Softball 

  • Swimming and Diving 

  • Volleyball 


Attending an athletic event is not only a good way to support Liberty Flames athletics, but it’s also a good way to connect with other students, as well as faculty and staff. The Flames have some of the top athletic venues in the country and strive to provide the fans with an exciting experience. 


Attending an event is also a good way to get free Flames gear. You can check out the promotional schedules for some of the individual sports at  Click on the sports tab, scroll down to the sport you are searching for, and then the promotional schedule will be on the right hand side.  You can also find promotional events at your myLU page.  Click on announcements, scroll all the way to the bottom, and click on LU Athletics. This will show the promotional schedule for all sports during a given week. 


Social media is another good way to connect and keep up with what is going on with Flames athletics. You can find the social media accounts for all Liberty sports here.


Select games can also be streamed live at the following sites: 


*Note: Division I hockey games require a purchased ticket by all students. Divisions II and III are free. 



Jimmy Foster is the Director of Student Life.



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Friday, March 10, 2017

Connecting Online Students

Unlike most higher education institutions, Liberty University has made it a priority to provide online students with resources that are comparable to resources offered to residential students.  A student living on campus can walk into a campus office throughout the day and ask for counseling resources, talk with an advisor, find out about service opportunities, attend an athletic event, walk into an art gallery and so much more.  Online Student Life connects online students to each other, to faculty & staff, and to University services and events so that the online student has a broader and more engaging student experience.

Here are five things we intentionally do to connect online students to University resources:


Use the Online Student Life Video Resources

One of the most useful resources we provide are short videos that have been created for online students.  We have collaborated with many faculty and staff at Liberty to provide online students these tools to help with life.  Some of the most viewed videos are:

  • The Christian Worldview
  • The Remedy for Anxiety
  • How to Have a Quiet Time
  • Equipment Free Workout
  • 3 Tips for Healthy Eating

Click here for our Video Resources for Online Students.


Counseling Resources

Online Student Life provides resources that online students can use to locate a resource in his or her hometown.

  • Find a Counselor – American Association of Christian Counselors
  • Support Groups
    • Alcoholics Anonymous
    • Narcotics Anonymous
    • Grief Share
    • Celebrate Recovery
    • Divorce Care

These resources can be found here


Yammer Groups

Yammer is the private social media network within the Office 365 platform.  Many online students at Liberty use this secure network as they can engage with other students, faculty and staff.  Online students can create groups and join existing groups.  Some of these groups include:

  • Introduce Yourself
  • Discover Your Campus
  • Prayer Requests
  • Study Tips
  • Liberty University Art Gallery
  • Moms Going Back to School
  • Graduate Student Life

Yammer usage has grown dramatically in the past two years and online students are finding it a great way to connect.   Sign into Yammer here.


Blackboard Organization

In Online Student Life, we created a Blackboard Organization for new online students and we auto-enroll them in this “community”.  The organization provides quick links for these newer students to connect and engage with each other, with faculty and staff and with campus resources. 


You can also connect with us on Facebook.


Ted Whitney is the Executive Director of Student Life at Liberty University and has been working with online student engagement since April 2012.  Feel free to email Ted at if you have any questions about this blog.


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