Nursing Program at Brewton-Parker College

August 19, 2021

MOUNT VERNON – Brewton-Parker College is pursuing an aggressive course to establish a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program on its Mount Vernon campus with a target date for the starting class currently set for Fall 2022. Even now, the facilities already have been identified on campus to house the program, and last semester the college approved a Pre-Nursing curriculum within the Health Professions concentration of its Biology major.  Students interested in nursing as a career path currently are being recruited for the inaugural Pre-Nursing cohort for the upcoming 2020 fall semester to begin on August 17th.

Dr. Rennie Bailey, local nursing professional at the Vidalia Children’s Center, has served for the past nine months as a nursing consultant to assist the college in the early stages of securing developmental approval from the Georgia Board of Nursing. This initial endorsement will allow the college to engage a nursing program director, develop the upper-division curriculum, and establish clinical partnerships with local healthcare providers. Already Dr. Bailey has completed a required feasibility study, which the college’s Board of Trustees approved enthusiastically at its regular meeting last October.

In supporting the establishment of a nursing program, the Board advances Brewton-Parker’s mission to provide “liberal arts and professional programs in a learning community of shared Christian values” to equip students for “lifelong learning and service in Christ.”

As Dr. Bailey has noted, “Brewton-Parker’s BSN degree would be the first faith-based four-year nursing program in Georgia south of Macon.” She added that, “local hospital directors are excited by the prospect of the new program and the opportunity it will afford to welcome students for clinical placement in hopes that they will remain in the area when commencing their nursing careers.”

According to the feasibility study, the need for nurses in the seventeen-county Heart of Georgia Altamaha Region in the south-central part of the state is critical.  As demand continues unabated, educators and healthcare providers are working together to supply the workforce.  Areas with higher proportions of low-income and minority residents suffer most from a smaller pool of qualified physicians and other healthcare professionals, and addressing this need undergirds the college’s mission to “provide a transformational experience” not only to its students, but also to the region it calls home.

Strong support for the development of the program from foundations and individuals has produced one million dollars in donations and commitments for funding. The funding includes money for the start-up costs and the additional housing required for the increased number of students. Dr. Steven F. Echols, president of the college noted that “upon the inception of the BPC nursing program, this strong financial support will allow it to be of a high quality that will enable nurses to be well-equipped to serve in local hospitals and a variety of other medical settings including medical missions.”

According to Chris Dooley, Brewton-Parker’s Vice-President of Enrollment Services and Athletics, “We are beginning to recruit students into our Biology-Health Professions concentration to begin the pre-requisite courses required for admission into the upper-division nursing curriculum projected to be in place for fall 2022.”

Of the college’s present efforts to recruit Pre-Nursing students to start this August, Dr. Echols, noted that “this pre-requisite curriculum will meet the admission requirements not only for the BSN we are establishing at Brewton-Parker, but for nursing programs at sister institutions as well.  We believe that partnership, rather than competition, with other area nursing programs will best promote the interests of the region we all serve together. Brewton-Parker wants to lead the way in this collaborative effort.”

Pre-Nursing students applying for admission to the pre-requisite course of study for this August will be on schedule to enter the upper-division nursing courses and clinical rounds starting in fall 2022. In addition to the traditional day class schedule, alternative delivery methods, including online classes that can accommodate work schedules, will be available. More information on the non-traditional format is available through contacting the admissions office.

According to Robert Brian, the college’s Provost and chief academic officer, “While we are confident in meeting our projected 2022 start date for the BSN program, allowing our Pre-Nursing finishers to transition to the upper-division without pause, we also have obtained agreements with several sister schools to give equal consideration to Brewton-Parker students applying to their nursing programs.” He added, “Much in the same way that innovative charter schools across the country have provided ‘school choice’ in public education, we believe that creative partnerships with fellow educators across the region will afford nursing students the same freedom, serving only to enrich the applicant pool and, eventually, to enhance the workforce in healthcare.”

Brewton-Parker College, tracing its origin to 1904, is a four-year, coeducational Christian liberal arts college affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Mission Board and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, offering more than twenty areas of undergraduate study to a diverse population of about 750 students in the micropolitan setting of Mount Vernon/Vidalia in the South-Central region of Georgia. Prospective students interested in applying for Brewton-Parker College’s Pre-Nursing program for the fall 2020 semester can complete the college’s admission application by visiting the Brewton-Parker College website at


Brewton-Parker College is the only accredited four-year Christian college south of Macon and north of Jacksonville, FL. The mission of Brewton-Parker College, a comprehensive Georgia Baptist institution, is to provide liberal arts and professional programs in a learning community of shared Christian values. Through the application of biblical truth in scholarship and co-curricular focus on character, servant leadership, and cultural engagement, the college strives to provide a transformational experience that equips the whole student for lifelong learning and service in Christ.

Visit Brewton-Parker College online at


Nursing Program at Brewton-Parker College - Brewton-Parker College


The purpose of the nursing program is to prepare graduates who have the knowledge and skills to provide patient-centered holistic care that is safe, compassionate, honoring to Christ, and that meets the healthcare needs of diverse populations.

Mission Statement

In concert with Brewton-Parker College’s mission, the School of Nursing is committed to provide nursing education through the application of biblical truth to promote the formation of graduates who engage in evidence-based practice, lifelong learning, and servant leadership through the development of clinical reasoning, professional nursing skills, and Christian values.

Joanna Phillips-Mock

Student Enrichment Director

Joanna Phillips-Mock is a proud third generation Baron, both as a student and a staff member.

Beginning her teaching career in Middle Georgia in 1995, Mrs. Mock worked with a state funded program that served some of the most disadvantaged special needs students within the local school districts. She ultimately moved into leadership positions within the organization, serving and training others in multiple initiatives. She enjoys working with students of all ages to recognize and to achieve their greatest potential.

Mrs. Mock holds a Bachelor’s degree from Brewton-Parker College, a Master's degree in Education with a concentration in Behavior Disorders, and an Education Specialist degree in Educational Administration from Georgia College and State University. She resides in Ailey, Georgia, with her husband Don, their son Tye Lewis, her mother Carol Joyce, and multiple fur babies. She enjoys traveling, gardening, camping, and attending concerts.

Candace Lilford

Profeessional Tutor

Candace Lilford graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Theatre Generalism in 2021 from Anderson University and with her master’s degree in English Literature in 2023 from the University of Alabama. She presently serves as Professional Tutor for the Student Enrichment Center while also teaching sections of ENG 101 and 102. 

As part of her two-year master's program, Ms. Lilford taught sections of ENG 101 and 102, while also serving as teaching assistant for British Literature Survey courses and volunteering in the university’s Writing Center. Ms Lilford has also presented papers at the Hudson Strode Conference and the South Eastern Christian and Literature Conference as well as working on various theatrical productions.

Born in North Carolina of South African descent, Ms. Lilford has lived in Uganda, Botswana, South Africa, and Trinidad before settling in Mount Vernon with her family in 2016, where she attended Brewton-Parker College as a dual enrollment student. She presently resides in Mount Vernon with her family and spends her free time watching old TV shows.

Linda Armstrong

Academic Advising and Career Specialist

Linda Armstrong earned an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice Technology from Southeastern Technical College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Walden University. Throughout her career, Linda has worked with diverse populations, including at-risk youth and families and youth in crisis because of mental health and other issues. Her empathetic nature has made her an effective advocate for those in need. In addition to her professional work, Linda is also is committed to volunteerism. She has dedicated countless hours as a youth mentor, and to teaching about her faith at various Christian organizations. She believes in the power of positivity and its ability to transform not only her life but also the lives of others.

"If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you will look forward, do so prayerfully. But the wisest course would be to be present in the present gratefully." ~ Maya Angelou

Willie Ford

Academic Advising and Career Specialist

Greetings, Baron Nation!

It's truly a joy to be back in a place that has shaped me so profoundly. I'm Willie Ford, a proud 2022 graduate of historic Brewton-Parker College, holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a Minor in Education. Following my graduation, I embarked on a journey in education, teaching Special Education within the Vidalia City School District. In addition to my role as an educator, I had the privilege of serving as the Unit Director at the J.D. Rabun Boys and Girls Club. All the while, I was honored to pastor at the esteemed New Hope Baptist Church of Rhine, Georgia. With God's grace, I managed these responsibilities, and now, I'm thrilled and ready to contribute to the welfare of our students, aiming to inspire through service.

Dusty Arnold

Mental Health Counselor

Dusty Arnold  is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst as well as a BPC alumnus. He has years of experience working with a variety of mental health issues including anxiety, grief, and challenges related to Autism. He specializes in behavior-related interventions that can help college students build on their strengths to set achievable goals while also learning how to deal with the thoughts and feelings that sometimes get in the way. He incorporates Biblical values and evidence-based treatments to meet students wherever they happen to be on their journey to spiritual and psychological health. 

Carl Anthony "Tony" Wardlaw

Assistant Student Enrichment Director & Student Success Coach

Carl Anthony “Tony” Wardlaw – For over 25 years, Dr. Wardlaw has worked in leadership, counseling, and pastoring. Beginning with working in middle management for a manufacturing company in Douglas, GA, Dr. Wardlaw has also worked in the academic, nonprofit, public, and private sectors. Additionally, he served over 7 years in the United States Military as a Military Intelligence Officer before resigning his commission as a Captain in the Army.

Currently serving as the Assistant Director of the Student Enrichment Center, Student Success Coach, and Adjunct Faculty at Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon, GA, he also serves as the Pastor of The Green Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Dublin, GA.

As a member of the renowned International Gospel Singing Group, The Wardlaw Brothers, Dr. Wardlaw has traveled all over the nation and abroad ministering and singing the Gospel of Christ Jesus. Dr. Wardlaw has served as a consultant for various agencies and has worked as a Fatherhood Coordinator and G.E.D. instructor within the Technical College System of Georgia and participates in local and national civic and philanthropic work.

Dr. Wardlaw holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in International Business from the University of Georgia, two master's degrees from Troy University (Master of Science in Clinical Counseling and Psychology and Master of Education in Counseling), and a Doctorate in Education from Argosy University in Organizational Leadership. Dr. Wardlaw is a Lifetime Silver Member of The NAACP and a member of The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He is happily married to the former Mrs. Stephanie Scott. They have 3 Children; Chambria, Marc, and Carleigh.

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