Fitness Management

Physical Training Lab

Through the Christian worldview, the BS in Fitness Management program at Missouri Baptist University serves to prepare those students desiring to pursue careers related to the health, wellness, and fitness of the population. The curriculum is tailored to combine the biological and physical aspects of fitness and the psycho-social, ethical, economic, legal, and political factors affecting the management and administration of fitness organizations. Through the practical application of the programs theoretical underpinnings, fitness management majors learn about the health of the individual and the community, the physiological and clinical aspects of exercise, and the fundamentals of communication, entrepreneurship, and marketing. The application of the principles of management specific to fitness industry distinguishes this program from the others offered within the division.

Students graduating from Missouri Baptist University with a BS in Fitness Management will be able to:

  1. To understand of the biological, physiological, and behavioral aspects of human health and exercise that are relevant to the health and fitness industry.
  2. To understand how to prescribe exercise to the general population as well as special populations, such as individuals with diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and osteoporosis among others.
  3. To demonstrate knowledge and appropriate application of interpersonal and managerial skills required in the management of a health and fitness organization.
  4. To demonstrate knowledge and application of the business principles in the management of a health and fitness organization, including marketing, law, and financial planning.
  5. To use knowledge of health and fitness to improve outcomes in mental and physical health, including hypokinetic diseases and stress.

The BS in Fitness Management program prepare students for entry into fitness management careers and/or post-graduate education in fields related to fitness management.

 Fitness management professionals work in a number of supervisory and managerial positions in fitness, sport, and exercise related organizations and businesses. Additionally, fitness management graduates may also pursue aspects of training and instruction. Examples include the following:

  • Health, fitness, and wellness clubs
  • Gyms and workout studios
  • Professional sport organizations
  • University and educational sport and fitness organizations
  • Sports performance centers
  • Personal training studios
  • Fitness and health industry sales and marketing
  • Rehabilitation centers, including physical and cardiac
  • Olympic training centers

 The BS in Fitness Management program also expertly prepares students for post-graduate education in fitness management, sport management, exercise science disciplines, business administration, among others. Area programs include the following:

  • Missouri Baptist University
  • SIU-Edwardsville
  • University of Missouri
  • University of Illinois
  • Maryville University
  • Saint Louis University

 Locally and regionally, the following organizations are potential employers of fitness management graduates:

  • Area athletic programs, including Missouri Baptist University, University of Missouri, University of Missouri Saint Louis, St. Louis Community College, SIU-Edwardsville, Maryville University, and area amateur programs.
  • Area sport and fitness organizations, including YMCAs, St. Louis Parks and Recreation, numerous local gyms and fitness clubs, local golf courses, among many others.



Degree Requirements

  • To complete a BS in Fitness Management, a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 must be maintained.
  • Total credit hours must be at least 128, and upper division credits (300-400) must be at least 45.
  • A minimum grade of C must be earned in courses required for the major, including any electives used to fulfil hours. Required courses for the Fitness Management undergraduate major can be found under the ‘major’ section on the second page of the Fitness Management degree sheet.
  • An internship is required for degree completion (in either EXSC or SMGT). The internship requirement can be met in one of two ways: 1) completion of EXSC/SMGT 476 Internship in semester prior to graduation; or 2) completion of EXSC/SMGT 223 Practicum in the second year and EXSC/SMGT 473 Internship in the semester prior to graduation.




Greg Comfort, Division Chair

Division Chair & Director of Distance Learning
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Greg completed his doctoral work at the University of Arkansas in 1992 and has held teaching positions at Liberty University (1988-1999), Wichita State University (1999-2003), and Missouri Baptist University (2003-current).  He currently serves as the chair of the Health and Sport Sciences Division and teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in sport management.  Greg enjoys singing bass in the Lake Saint Louis Baptist Church choir throughout the year and riding his bike during the summer.

Courses Taught:

SMGT 113 – Introduction to Sport Management
SMGT 333 – Sport Sociology
SMGT 403/503 – Sport Management Project
SMGT 583 – Leadership in Sport
SMGT 533 – Sport Psychology
SMGT 576 – Sport Management Internship

Janet Comfort

Instructor of Health and Sport Sciences
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Janet earned her B.S. degree in Accounting at Liberty University in 1991.  In 1998 she coached women’s softball at Lynchburg College while earning her Master’s degree in Accounting.  After moving to Wichita, Kansas in 2002, Janet completed a graduate degree in Sport Administration at Wichita State University and taught at several area colleges.  Janet moved to the Saint Louis area in 2003 and began teaching online classes for Missouri Baptist University (MBU).  Continuing to teach online, Janet owned and operated a business in the O’Fallon, Missouri area from 2006-2014. After teaching on campus Accounting classes in 2014, Janet decided to return to the online classroom in 2015 because of her love for online learning.

Courses Taught:

SMGT 463/563 – Sport Finance
SMGT 501 – Sport Management Orientation
SMGT 523 – Sport Law
SMGT 563 – Sport Finance

Guy Danhoff, Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor of Health and Sport Sciences
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Guy holds a M.S. degree (1992) in Exercise Science as well as a B.S. degree (1990) magna cum laude in Corporate Fitness from Western Illinois University.  He has recently completed the coursework for his Doctorate in Business Administration (ABD) with a specialization in marketing from Northcentral University.  Mr. Danhoff began his teaching career at MBU in 2008 after serving 14-years in the fitness industry with positions in sales, sales management, business development, marketing, operations, and his last appointment as the director of fitness entertainment technology.  Guy currently serves as the Graduate Fitness Management Program Coordinator and teaches fitness and sport management courses in both the undergraduate and graduate programs.  Mr. Danhoff also serves as the sideline field reporter for MBU football home games and as is a broadcast color analyst on the Spartan Digital Network.

Courses Taught:

EXSC 453/553 – Fitness Management
EXSC 463 – Senior Seminar
PHED 533 – Sport Entrepreneurship
SMGT 263 – Communication in Sport
SMGT 373 – Sport Marketing
SMGT 423/523 – Sport Law
SMGT 513 – Research Methods
SMGT 543 – Advanced Sport Marketing
SMGt 573 – Sport Public Relations
SMGT 583T – Thesis Proposal
SMGT 583D – Thesis Defense

Andrew Elvington, Assistant Professor of Health

Assistant Professor of Health and Sport Sciences
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Prior to joining the Missouri Baptist University family in the fall of 2015, Dr. Elvington completed a BS in Microbiology at Clemson University, after which he completed his PhD in Biomedical Sciences, awarded with distinction, from the Medical University of South Carolina. Active in scholarly research, Dr. Elvington conducted biomedical research and maintains a research collaboration at Washington University School of Medicine. In addition to the current course load, Dr. Elvington is highly experienced in gross anatomy, immunology and pathology, and public health coursework, among others. Personally, Dr. Elvington is married with two boys, Henry and Samuel, and currently lives in south Saint Louis County

Courses Taught:

EXSC 313 – Exercise Physiology I
EXSC 321 – Exercise Physiology II Lab
EXSC 323 – Exercise Physiology II
HSCI 113 – Introduction to Health Sciences
KACT 101F – Aerobic Theory & Practice
KACT 101G – Golf
KHSC 333 – Health & Wellness

Mark Kimzey, Assistant Professor of Health

Assistant Professor of Health and Sport Sciences
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Professor Mark A. Kimzey is an alumnus of Missouri Baptist University (90’).  He has earned an A.S. in Religion (88’), B.A. in Religion (90’), a M. Div. (94’), and a M.S.E – Kinesiology (06’).  Professor Kimzey began his career at Missouri Baptist University in 1992.  In 1996 Professor Kimzey began teaching as an adjunct instructor, and moved to full-time teaching in 2006. He served as the Exercise Science Program Coordinator for ten years, leading the team to accreditation under CoAES/CAAHEP in 2009, and again through the five-year accreditation visit in 2014.  Professor Kimzey has a great passion to see all students reach their full potential, and to help them see God’s great work in their lives.

Courses Taught:
EXSC 113 – Introduction to Exercise Science
EXSC 343 – Motor Learning and Control
EXSC 363 – Adapted Physical Activity
EXSC 476 – Internship/Practicum in Exercise Science
KHSC 333 – Health and Wellness

Michael Nolan, Assistant Professor of Health

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Michael Nolan holds a B.S. in Athletic Training from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an M.S.Ed. in Kinesiology from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. Michael brings clinical experience into the classroom as he has served Missouri Baptist University (MBU) in the Athletics Department since 2011 as an athletic trainer. Previous to MBU, Michael served as an athletic trainer at SIU-Carbondale and AAA minor league baseball. Michael currently serves on the NAIA Athletic Training Executive board and is the Co-Chair for the NAIA Council for Student Athletes.

After serving as an adjunct professor for five years, Michael accepted a full-time faculty position at MBU in 2018. He hopes to encourage every student and help cultivate their God given gifts and talents. Michael is married to his wife, Whitney, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Katelyn.

Courses taught:
EXSC313 – Exercise Physiology I
EXSC323 – Exercise Physiology II
EXSC321 – Exercise Physiology II Lab
EXSC373 – Lab Assistantship
EXSC433 – Biomechanics
KACT101F – Fitness Theory

David Pierce, Assistant Professor of Health

Assistant Professor of Health and Sport Sciences
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Dave Pierce holds a BS degree in Education, a MS degree in Sport Management, and brings a wealth of experience in the field into the classroom.  Dave served as an intercollegiate athletic director for almost 30 years, retiring from Maryville University in 2002. Dave is a member of four Sport Hall of Fames and is currently serving on the Lakeland University Board of Trustees.

After serving as an adjunct professor for two years, Dave accepted a fulltime teaching position and the undergraduate sport management coordinator position at MBU in 2006. As the undergraduate sport management coordinator, Dave hopes to continue to use his many contacts on both the local and national front to help undergraduate sport management students at MBU reach their full potential and the undergraduate program reach higher levels of prominence in future years.

Courses Taught:

PHED 413/513 – Sport Facility Management
SMGT 223 – Sport Practicum
SMGT 253 – Tournament and Event Management
SMGT 323 – Governance and Leadership in Sport
SMGT 476 – Sport Internship
SMGT 483 – Senior Seminar
SMGT 486 – Sport Management Apprenticeship

Jessica Stapleton, Assistant Professor of Health

Assistant Professor of Health and Sport Sciences
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Dr. “J” Stapleton became a Spartan in 2014 after completing her Ph.D. in Ontario, Canada.  She is a Sport and Exercise Psychologist who studies social influence on physical activity among persons with mobility impairment and self-regulation among collegiate athletes.  She enjoys teaching sport and exercise psychology and consulting athletes.  When not at MBU, Dr J is resistance training, playing basketball, and frequenting local parks with her Newfoundland, Zion.

Courses Taught:

EXSC 113 – Introduction to Exercise Science
EXSC 223 – Practicum in Exercise Science
EXSC 413 – Test & Prescription
EXSC 411 – Test & Prescription Lab
EXSC 443 – Exercise Physiology Lab Experience
EXSC 403/503 – Exercise Psychology
EXSC 373/473 – Lab Assistantship
EXSC 473B – Internship in Exercise Science
KHSC 413/513 – Chronic Diseases & Obesity
SMGT 433 – Sport Psychology


Joy Brueggeman

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Courses Taught:
KACT 101L – Stretching for Flexibility
KHSC 333 – Health and Wellness
PHED 263 – Movement and Rhythms


Randy Curless

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Courses Taught:
SMGT 313 – Sport Evangelism

Iris Dixon

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Courses Taught:
KHSC 103 – Substance Abuse

SMGT 373 – Sport Marketing

Meredith Dill

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Courses Taught:
EXSC 233 – Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries

Deno Merrick

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Courses Taught:
KHSC 333 – Health and Wellness

Mark Sissom

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Courses Taught:
PHED 133 – First Aid and Emergency Care

KACT 101X – Bowling

Tom Smith

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Courses Taught:
SMGT 583 – Leadership and Management in Sport

Eddie Uschold

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Courses Taught:
KHSC 333 – Health and Wellness
EXSC 283 – History and Philosophy of Sport
KACT 101A – Archery