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Bob Jones University

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Title: Bob Jones University  
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Subject: Christian right, Bryan Simonaire, Pensacola Christian College, WPJF, Geneva Reformed Seminary
Collection: 1927 Establishments in the United States, Anti-Catholicism in the United States, Bob Jones University, Buildings and Structures in Greenville, South Carolina, Education in Greenville, South Carolina, Educational Institutions Established in 1927, Evangelicalism in South Carolina, For-Profit Universities and Colleges in the United States, Fundamentalist Christian Universities and Colleges, History of Racial Segregation in the United States, Seminaries and Theological Colleges in South Carolina, Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, Universities and Colleges in South Carolina, Visitor Attractions in Greenville, South Carolina
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Bob Jones University

Bob Jones University
BJU logo, implemented in 2013
Motto Petimus Credimus (Latin)
Motto in English
We seek, we trust
Established 1927
Type private,[1] non-denominational
Chancellor Bob Jones III
President Steve Pettit
Provost Gary Weier
Students c. 2,800[2]
Undergraduates 2,755[3]
Location Greenville, South Carolina, US
Campus Suburban, 210 acres (85 ha)
Colors Blue and white
Athletics NCCAA Division I – South
Nickname The Bruins
Mascot Brody the Bruin

Bob Jones University (BJU) is a private non-denominational Protestant university in Greenville, South Carolina, known for its conservative cultural and religious positions. It has approximately 2,800 students, and is accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. In 2008, the university estimated the number of its graduates at 35,000. The university's athletic teams compete in Division I of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) and are collectively known as the Bruins.


  • History 1
  • Campus 2
    • Museum and gallery 2.1
    • Library 2.2
  • Academics 3
    • Religious education 3.1
      • School of Religion 3.1.1
      • Position on the King James Version of the Bible 3.1.2
    • Fine Arts 3.2
    • Science 3.3
    • Rankings and accreditation 3.4
  • Ancillary ministries 4
    • Unusual Films 4.1
    • BJU Press 4.2
    • Pre-college programs 4.3
  • Student life 5
    • Religious atmosphere 5.1
    • Rules of conduct 5.2
    • Extracurriculars 5.3
  • Athletics 6
  • Notable people 7
    • Faculty 7.1
    • Alumni 7.2
  • Notes 8
  • References 9
  • Bibliography 10
  • External links 11


Bob Jones, Sr., the university's founder

During the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy of the 1920s, Christian evangelist Bob Jones, Sr. grew increasingly concerned about the secularization of higher education and the influence of religious liberalism in denominational colleges. Children of church members were attending college, only to reject the faith of their parents. Jones later recalled that in 1924, his friend William Jennings Bryan had leaned over to him at a Bible conference service in Winona Lake, Indiana, and said, "If schools and colleges do not quit teaching evolution as a fact, we are going to become a nation of atheists."[4] While he himself was not a college graduate, Jones grew determined to found a college, and on September 12, 1927, he opened Bob Jones College in Panama City, with 88 students. Jones said that although he had been averse to naming the school after himself, his friends overcame his reluctance "with the argument that the school would be called by that name because of my connection with it, and to attempt to give it any other name would confuse the people."[5]

Bob Jones took no salary from the college and helped support the school with personal savings and income from his evangelistic campaigns. Both time and place were inauspicious. The Florida land boom had peaked in 1925, and a hurricane in September 1926 further reduced land values. The Great Depression followed hard on its heels. Bob Jones College barely survived bankruptcy and its move to Cleveland, Tennessee in 1933. However, Jones's move to Cleveland proved extraordinarily advantageous. Bankrupt at the nadir of the Depression, without a home, and with barely enough money to move its library and office furniture, the college became in thirteen years the largest liberal arts college in Tennessee. With the enactment of GI Bill at the end of World War II, the college was virtually forced to seek a new location and build a new campus.[6]

Though he had served as Acting President as early as 1934, Jones' son, Bob Jones, Jr. officially became the school's second president in 1947 just before the college moved to Greenville, South Carolina, and became Bob Jones University.[7] In Greenville, the university more than doubled in size within two years and started its own radio station, film department, and art gallery—the latter of which eventually became one of the largest collections of religious art in the Western Hemisphere.[8]

During the late 1950s, BJU and alumnus Billy Graham, who had attended Bob Jones College for one semester and received an honorary degree from the university in 1948,[9] engaged in a controversy about the propriety of theological conservatives cooperating with theological liberals to support evangelistic campaigns, a controversy that widened an already growing rift between separatist fundamentalists and other evangelicals.[10] Negative publicity caused by the dispute precipitated a decline in BJU enrollment of about 10% in the years 1956–59, and seven members of the university board (of about a hundred) also resigned in support of Graham, including Graham himself and two of his staff members.[11] When, in 1966, Graham held his only American campaign in Greenville,[12] the university forbade any BJU dormitory student from attending under penalty of expulsion.[13] Enrollment quickly rebounded, and by 1970, there were 3300 students, approximately 60% more than in 1958. In 1971, Bob Jones III became president at age 32, though his father, with the title of Chancellor, continued to exercise considerable administrative authority into the late 1990s.[14]

Although BJU had admitted Asians and other ethnic groups from its inception, it did not enroll Africans or African-American students until 1971. From 1971 to 1975, BJU admitted only married blacks, although the CNN's "Larry King Live".[19] In the same year Bob Jones III drew criticism when he reposted a letter on the university's web page referring to Mormons and Catholics as "cults which call themselves Christian".[20]

In 2005, Stephen Jones, great-grandson of the founder, became BJU's president on the same day that he received his Ph.D. from the school. Bob Jones III then took the title Chancellor. In 2008, the university declared itself "profoundly sorry" for having allowed "institutional policies to remain in place that were racially hurtful".[21] That year BJU enrolled students from fifty states and nearly fifty countries, representing diverse ethnicities and cultures, and the BJU administration declared itself "committed to maintaining on the campus the racial and cultural diversity and harmony characteristic of the true Church of Jesus Christ throughout the world".[22]

In 2011, the university became a member of the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) and reinstated intercollegiate athletics.[23] In 2013, it replaced the "BJ" logo that had been used since 1967 with a new shield logo based on the university crest.[24]

In December 2011, Jones announced that the board of trustees of the BJU was forming a committee, and would hire an independent ombudsman, to review its sexual abuse policy and its application.[25]:8 The action came in response to "national media reports of the mishandling of sexual abuse".[25]:8 BJU commissioned an independent group called GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) to serve as the ombudsman and investigate the charges. In his interview with GRACE, Jones said: "I know you are aware of the situation with Chuck Phelps's church[26] and Chuck Phelps was on the board {of BJU}. When all that came out in November [2011], that made us look at our policies."[25]:8

In 2013, Jones resigned for health reasons, and the following year, Steve Pettit was named BJU's president, the first unrelated to the Jones family.[27]

The December 2014 GRACE report said that the "heart of the investigation centered on BJU's response to known cases of alleged sexual abuse".[25]:28 Among the respondents to GRACE's survey (all of whom were anonymous), 47.5% called BJU's response to their discussion of past sexual abuse very or somewhat hurtful, 48% said BJU personnel directed them not to report the abuse or discouraged them from reporting it, and 57% said that the response was blaming and disparaging.[25]:28[28] In March 2015, President Steve Pettit responded that on "behalf of Bob Jones University, I would like to sincerely and humbly apologize to those who felt they did not receive from us genuine love, compassion, understanding, and support after suffering sexual abuse or assault. We did not live up to your expectations. We failed to uphold and honor our own core values. We are deeply saddened to hear that we added to the pain and suffering.".[29]


The university occupies 205 acres at the eastern city limit of Greenville. The institution moved into its initial 25 buildings during the 1947–48 school year, and later buildings were also faced with the light yellow brick chosen for the originals.[30]

Museum and gallery

[33] (Baroque art was created during—and often for—the Counter-Reformation and so, ironically, BJU has been criticized by some other fundamentalists for promoting "false Catholic doctrine" through its art gallery.)[34]

After the death of Bob Jones, Jr., Erin Jones, the wife of BJU president Stephen Jones, became director. According to David Steel, curator of European art at the North Carolina Museum of Art, Erin Jones "brought that museum into the modern era", employing "a top-notch curator, John Nolan", and following "best practices in conservation and restoration". The museum now regularly cooperates with other institutions, lending works for outside shows such as a Rembrandt exhibit in 2011.[35]

In 2008, the BJU Museum & Gallery opened a satellite location, the "Museum & Gallery at Heritage Green" near downtown Greenville, which features rotating exhibitions from the main museum as well as interactive children's activities. The Heritage Green building, an extensively remodeled Coca-Cola bottling plant, joined the neighboring Upcountry History Museum and the Greenville Children's Museum, all of which feature "the latest in museum technology".[36]

Each Easter season, the university and the Museum & Gallery present the Living Gallery, a series of tableaux vivants recreating noted works of religious art using live models disguised as part of two-dimensional paintings.[37]


Jerusalem Chamber, Mack Library, containing a collection of rare Bibles.

The 90,000-square-foot (8,400 m2) Mack Library (named for John Sephus Mack) holds a collection of more than 300,000 books and includes seating for 1,200 as well as a computer lab and a computer classroom.[38] (Its ancillary, a music library, is included in the Gustafson Fine Arts Center.) Mack Library's Special Collections includes an American Hymnody Collection of about 700 titles.[39] The "Jerusalem Chamber" is a replica of the room in Westminster Abbey in which work on the King James Version of the Bible was conducted, and it displays a collection of rare Bibles.[40] An adjoining Memorabilia Room commemorates the life of Bob Jones, Sr. and the history of the University.[41]

The library's Fundamentalism File collects periodical articles and ephemera about social and religious matters of interest to evangelicals and fundamentalists.[42] The university Archives holds copies of all university publications, oral histories of faculty and staff members, surviving remnants of university correspondence, and pictures and artifacts related to the Jones family and the history of the university.[43]


The university consists of seven colleges and schools that offer more than 60 undergraduate majors, including fourteen associate degree programs.[44] Given that BJU's faculty is untenured, most University employees consider their positions as much ministries as jobs.[45] It is common for retiring professors to have served the university for thirty, forty, and even occasionally, fifty years, a circumstance that has contributed to the stability and conservatism of an institution of higher learning that has virtually no endowment and at which faculty salaries are "sacrificial".[46]

BJU does not have federal tax-exempt status, but a number of its ancillaries, including Bob Jones Academy and the BJU Museum & Gallery, are tax-exempt entities.[47] The university also operates two

  • Bob Jones University website
  • BJU Press website
  • Bob Jones Museum & Gallery

External links


  1. ^
  2. ^ Greenville News, August 28, 2014, 6A. "Approximately 2,800 students from all 50 states and more than 40 countries will attend classes this year at BJU."
  3. ^ U. S. Department of Education Scorecard.
  4. ^ Turner, 19
  5. ^ Turner, 23–25. In the earliest years of the college, important contributions were made to its stability by J. Floyd Collins and Eunice Hutto. Johnson, 180, 198.
  6. ^ Turner, 68, 101–02.
  7. ^ Turner, 57–58. On the move to Greenville see John Matzko, "'This Is It, Isn't It, Brother Stone?' The Move of Bob Jones University from Cleveland, Tennessee, to Greenville, 1946–47", South Carolina Historical Magazine, 108 (July 2007), 235–256. The former Cleveland campus currently serves as the home of Lee University, an institution supported by the Church of God.
  8. ^ Hilde S. Hein, Public Art: Thinking Museums Differently (Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, 2006), xxix.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Graham had only three campaigns scheduled that year: London, Berlin, and Greenville, South Carolina.
  13. ^ "No Bob Jones University dormitory student will be permitted to go to a single meeting of the Greenville crusade. No Bob Jones University adult student, if he is married or lives in town, may attend the crusade and remain as a student." Bob Jones, Jr., Chapel talk, February 8, 1965, Mack Library Archives, quoted in . An exception was made for Bob Jones Academy students who lived in town with their parents.
  14. ^ Turner, 205.
  15. ^
  16. ^ Bob Jones University v. United States (461 U.S. 574, 581)
  17. ^ Bob Jones University v. United States (461 U.S. 574 @725)
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Dancing with Compromise" (April 2000), The Multiracial Activist.
  20. ^
  21. ^ USA Today, November 24, 2008; Statement about Race at Bob Jones University. In the statement, the university admitted to having "conformed to the culture" rather than providing "a clear Christian counterpoint to it". Earlier that year some BJU alumni expressed concern that the university had never repudiated its racist past and petitioned the school to make a formal apology. Greenville News, November 22, 2008.
  22. ^ Statement about Race at Bob Jones University. Archived October 23, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ "Investiture of Stephen D. Pettit as Fifth President of Bob Jones University" , November 2011Christian Century.
  24. ^
  25. ^ a b c d e
  26. ^
  27. ^ , May 9, 2014Greenville News. Pettit was formally installed as president on September 19, 2014. "Investiture of Stephen D. Pettit as Fifth President of Bob Jones University" ; Greenville News, September 20, 2014, 1.
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ BJU Catalog (2011–12), 235; John Matzko, "'This is it, Isn't it, Brother, Stone?' The Move of Bob Jones University from Cleveland, Tennessee, to Greenville, 1946–47", South Carolina Historical Magazine 108:3 (July 2007), 255–56. The University updated its dining common and snack bar, which includes a Chick Fil' A, Brody's Grill, and Papa Johns.
  31. ^ a b "A Collector's Dream" Greenville Piedmont, 9 February 1989, A1.
  32. ^ a b c
  33. ^ BJU Museum & Gallery website history of the West paintings.
  34. ^ [1] Example of fundamentalist criticism of BJU for promoting Catholicism. David Gibson, , Nov 22, 2011Christian Century"Looking for Catholic art? Fundamentalist Bob Jones University has it" .
  35. ^ David Gibson, , Nov 22, 2011Christian Century"Looking for Catholic art? Fundamentalist Bob Jones University has it" .
  36. ^ "Extraordinary art made more accessible", Greenville News, March 17, 2008; "Sacred art museum opens today", Greenville News, April 19, 2008. Greenville News April 19, 2009
  37. ^ , April 9, 2006Greenville News; "A dramatic transformation: BJU's 'Living Gallery' breathes life into religious masterworks", , March 25, 2008Greenville News.
  38. ^
  39. ^ American Hymnody Collection.
  40. ^
  41. ^ J.S. Mack Library – Archives. Archived March 30, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  42. ^ The Fundamentalism File, created in 1978, has more than 100,000 non-book items, mostly articles listed under 5,000 subject headings; it also contains the papers of three notable 20th-century fundamentalists: G. Archer Weniger (1915–1982), W. O. H. Garman (1899–1983), and Gilbert Stenholm (1915–1989). BJU Library website, Fundamentalism File, Introduction to the File
  43. ^ BJU Archives Research. For instance, the archives hold decades of working scripts for university stage performances.
  44. ^
  45. ^ : "Bob Jones University has a scholarly, dedicated faculty who regard teaching as not just a profession but as a Christian calling."
  46. ^ Voice of the Alumni [publication of the BJU Alumni Association], 1996–2006. In 1993, the CFO Roy Barton said that teachers' salaries were kept as "low as possible in order to offer affordable higher education to Christians". Barton said he could name "dozens of people who work here for half or a third of what they could be earning on the outside, but they are here because of a desire to be part of the ministry of training young people". Greenville News, April 18, 1993, "Upstate Business", 11. In the same Greenville News issue, Bob Jones III said, "Everyone here is like a missionary." (10)
  47. ^ BJU webpage; "Investing in Lives for Eternity", BJU Advancement brochure (2008), 15, Bob Jones University Archives, Mack Library. The university's endowment is $7.5 million, and donations account for two to three percent of the budget.Greenville Journal, December 11, 2009, 27.
  48. ^ Financial Aid; see also Florence Williams, "Being Black at Bob Jones U.", August 14, 2003, Archived February 28, 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  49. ^ BJU School of Religion.
  50. ^
  51. ^ a b "Statement about Bible Translations", BJU website.
  52. ^
  53. ^
  54. ^ Of about 350 faculty members listed in the 2007–08 catalog, around a hundred, or roughly 30% taught in the Division of Fine Arts. Bob Jones University Catalog, 2007–08, 341–47.
  55. ^ Concert, opera, & drama series, BJU website. In 2011 the university won second place in the professional division of the National Opera Association 2009-10 video competition for its production of Samson et Dalila. NOA website.
  56. ^ . Turner gives a detailed description of the development of Vespers from a recital potpourri to a themed program with a specific Christian message. BJU website
  57. ^ a b "Investing in Lives for Eternity", BJU Advancement brochure (2008), 6, Bob Jones University Archives, Mack Library.
  58. ^ High school students to compete in Fall Festival Article from BJU website by Jeanne Petrizzo describing the festival Archived March 30, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  59. ^ article from BJU websiteCollegianBJU Archived March 30, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  60. ^
  61. ^
  62. ^
  63. ^
  64. ^
  65. ^
  66. ^ a b
  67. ^ a b Bob Jones University Catalog, 2007–08, 90.
  68. ^
  69. ^ However, in the earliest college catalog (called "An Epoch in Education") Jones wrote, "Having met all the requirements, we have made application for admission to the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools." (32)
  70. ^ a b
  71. ^ Jones to Walwoord, May 8, 1944 in
  72. ^ Jones to James O. Buswell, May 12, 1949, in
  73. ^
  74. ^ "BJU's reputation in academic circles gradually became more respected for the intellectual preparation and strong character of its graduates. By the 1960s several graduate schools actively courted university alumni, and BJU graduates were accepted into most of the major graduate programs in the country despite the school's opposition to regional accreditation."
  75. ^ a b Michael Collins, "Accreditation at Bob Jones University" (2007), unpublished paper, Bob Jones University Archives, Mack Library.
  76. ^ BJU is also a founding member of the American Association of Christian Colleges and Seminaries, a small group of institutions "clearly identified with the historic Christian fundamentalist tradition".American Association of Christian Colleges and Seminaries.
  77. ^ , December 7, 2011Greenville News. The university said that "significant changes" in SACS' approach to accreditation, including "respect [for] the stated mission of the institution, including religious mission" had addressed its earlier concerns about regional accreditation. BJU website.
  78. ^
  79. ^
  80. ^
  81. ^ "BJU ranked as 15th-best value", Greenville News, September 8, 2014, 3A;
  82. ^
  83. ^
  84. ^ ; biographical information on Sternad
  85. ^
  86. ^ "Wine of Morning was selected by the University Film Producers Association to represent the United States at the International Congress of Motion Picture and Television Schools in Cannes, France, and following a showing at the Congress, garnered praise from the international film community. Wine of Morning was also awarded four 'Christian Oscars' from the National Evangelical Film Foundation for Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Producer." . There may have been some Cold War posturing involved in the nomination of this film. The president of the UFPA wrote to Stenholm that the "excellence of your production, Wine of Morning...will provide the high quality which it is desirable to use in these international showings. We feel that the contrast between your film with its religious background and [the Russian entry] would be most revealing and that the contrast would reflect credit on our way of life." ("Bob Jones Religious Film To Represent US Colleges", The (Columbia, SC) State, May 2, 1958, 12C).
  87. ^
  88. ^
  89. ^
  90. ^
  91. ^
  92. ^
  93. ^
  94. ^ Although it published its first trade book, a history of fundamentalism, in 1973, its first text was George Mulfinger and Emmet Williams, Physical Science for Christian Schools published in 1974.
  95. ^ Until May 2009, BJU Press offered elementary and high school classes via satellite over the BJ HomeSat Network and BJ LINC (Live Interactive Network Classroom), an interactive satellite system that allowed a teacher in Greenville to communicate with Christian school students across the country. In 2006, about 45,000 students participated in BJU's distance-learning programs. ; Greenville News, 20 September 2006, 9A; BJU Catalog, 2007–08, 329.
  96. ^
  97. ^ BJA website.
  98. ^ Greenville News, February 19, 2011. About 30% of BJA students are children of BJU staff members.
  99. ^
  100. ^ BJU website on church planting
  101. ^
  102. ^ BJU Student Life; Collegian, 24 (February 4, 2011), 1. Archived January 19, 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  103. ^ GFA Missions websiteBJU website. BJU's website calls it an "additional ministry".
  104. ^ BJU website; "Timothy program offers foreign students Bible training", , April 12, 2007Collegian. Archived February 15, 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  105. ^ Documents on the BJU-Pensacola controversy archived on a private website.
  106. ^
  107. ^ Student Handbook (pdf) (Archive)
  108. ^ BJU Student Handbook, 2014–15, 33,52.
  109. ^
  110. ^ BJU Day Student Handbook, 2007–08, 7.
  111. ^ "BJU Changes Dress Code", Greenville Journal, May 2, 2008, 18.
  112. ^ "Student Expectations", BJU website Archived November 11, 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  113. ^ BJU Student Handbook, 2014–15, 34–35.: "The following music conflicts with our mission and is therefore excluded from performance, personal listening on and off campus, or use in student organizations, societies, student productions or social media: Any music which, in whole or in part, derives from the following broadly defined genres or their subgenres: Rock, Pop, Country, Jazz, Electronic/Techno, Rap/Hip Hop or the fusion of any of these genres [or any] music in which Christian lyrics or biblical texts are set to music which is, in whole or in part, derived from any of these genres or their subgenres.
  114. ^ BJU Student Handbook, 2015–16, 34.
  115. ^ BJU Student Handbook, 2014–15, 38–40.
  116. ^ BJU Student Handbook, 2014–15, 41.
  117. ^
  118. ^ BJU Catalog (2008–09), 323–27; "BJU debate team wins national award", Greenville News, April 25, 2008. The BJU debate team "received NEDA's President's Award three years in a row in recognition of the school's outstanding debate program." "Investing in Lives for Eternity", BJU Advancement brochure (2008), 6, Bob Jones University Archives, Mack Library.
  119. ^ , December 6, 2011Greenville News.
  120. ^ BJU Catalog, 2011–12, 243.
  121. ^ BJU Catalog, 2011–12, 240.
  122. ^ The Collegian Online
  123. ^ BJU Catalog, 2011–12, 244.
  124. ^ Jeanne Petrizzo, "Nearly 100,000 lights to illuminate campus" Collegian article
  125. ^ Guinness World Records. In November 2007, BJU also broke a previous record (set a year earlier in Rochester, New York) for the largest kazoo ensemble. That year during the annual Turkey Bowl game in Alumni Stadium, 3,800 students, staff and visitors played kazoos as part of the halftime entertainment. "BJU enters Guinness Book for second time", Greenville News, July 25, 2008. Archived December 16, 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  126. ^ BJU Catalog, 2007–08, 320–21.
  127. ^
  128. ^ BJU Catalog, 2007–08, 326, 329.
  129. ^
  130. ^ She is the winner of a Christy Award and her novel Winter Birds was named one of the "one hundred best books" of 2006 by Publishers Weekly.Publishers Weekly Best Books list
  131. ^
  132. ^
  133. ^
  134. ^
  135. ^
  136. ^
  137. ^



One BJU alumnus, Asa Hutchinson, has served in Congress,[137] and several others have served in state government: Michigan state senator Alan Cropsey, Pennsylvania state representative Gordon Denlinger, Pennsylvania state representative Mark M. Gillen, former Speaker Pro Tempore of the South Carolina House of Representatives Terry Haskins, member of the South Carolina House of Representatives Wendy Nanney, Pennsylvania state representative Sam Rohrer, member of the Missouri House of Representatives Ryan Silvey, Maryland state senator Bryan Simonaire, South Carolina state senator Danny Verdin.

A number of BJU graduates have become influential within fundamentalist and evangelical Christianity, including Ken Hay (founder of The Wilds Christian camps)[131] Billy Kim (former president of Baptist World Alliance),[132] and Moisés Silva (president of the Evangelical Theological Society).[133] BJU alumni also include the third pastor (1968–1976) of Riverside Church (Ernest T. Campbell), the former president of Northland Baptist Bible College (Les Ollila),[134] late president of Baptist Bible College (Ernest Pickering),[135] and the former president of Clearwater Christian College (Richard Stratton).[136]


Christian novelist Jamie Langston Turner (an alumna) teaches poetry and writing at BJU.[130]


Notable people

BJU's athletic teams compete in Division I of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) and are collectively known as the Bruins. The school began its inaugural intercollegiate season with four teams: men's soccer, men's basketball, women's soccer, and women's basketball. Intercollegiate golf and cross country teams were added in the 2013–2014 school year.[129]


Before 2015, students and faculty were required to attend a six-day Bible Conference in lieu of a traditional Spring Break.[126] However, the university announced that beginning in 2016, Bible Conference will be held in February, and students will be given a week of Spring Break in March.[127] The Conference typically attracts fundamentalist preachers and laymen from around the country, and some BJU class reunions are held during the week.[128]

Early in December, thousands of students, faculty, and visitors gather around the front campus fountain for an annual Christmas carol sing and lighting ceremony, culminating in the illumination of tens of thousands of Christmas lights.[124] On December 3, 2004, the ceremony broke the Guinness World Record for Christmas caroling with 7,514 carolers.[125]

The university requires all unmarried incoming freshman students under the age of 23 to join one of 45 "societies".[120] Societies meet about every second Friday for entertainment and fellowship; societies also hold a weekly prayer meeting. Societies field sports, debate, and Scholastic Bowl teams. The latter compete in an annual single-elimination tournament that concludes with a clash between the top two teams before a university-wide audience on the Thursday before Commencement. Questions include a wide range of biblical and academic topics.[121] The university also has a student-staffed newspaper (The Collegian),[122] and yearbook (Vintage).[123]

The teams are known as the Bruins. [119] (NCCAA) and in 2014 participated in intercollegiate soccer, basketball, cross-country, and golf.National Christian College Athletic Association In 2012, BJU joined Division I of [118] competitions, and participated at South Carolina Student science and mock trial, in intercollegiate National Educational Debate Association within the debate. The university also competed in intercollegiate water polo, and racquetball, table tennis, flag football, badminton, tennis, volleyball, softball, basketball, soccer its intramural sports program included competition in [117]After BJU abandoned intercollegiate sports in 1933,
Davis Field House


Additional rules include the requirement that freshman resident hall students sign out before leaving campus and that resident hall students abide by a campus curfew of 10:30 pm, with lights out at midnight.[112] Students are forbidden to go to movie theaters while in residence, or listen to most contemporary popular music.[113] Male students with upperclassman privileges and graduate students may have facial hair that is fully grown in prior to the start of the semester, neatly trimmed and well maintained at approximately ½ inch or less. [114] Women are expected to dress modestly and wear knee-length dresses or skirts to class and religious services.[115] The university prohibits students from wearing clothing that displays the logos of Abercrombie & Fitch or its subsidiary Hollister because these companies have "shown an unusual degree of antagonism to biblical morality".[116]

Other rules are not based on a specific biblical passage. For instance, the Handbook notes that "there is no specific Bible command that says, 'Thou shalt not be late to class', but a student who wishes to display orderliness and concern for others will not come in late to the distraction of the teacher and other students."[110] In 2008 a campus spokesman also said that one goal of the dress code was "to teach our young people to dress professionally" on campus while giving them "the ability to...choose within the biblically accepted options of dress" when they were off campus.[111]

Strict rules govern student life at BJU.[107] Some of these are based directly on the university's interpretation of the Bible. For instance, the 2015–16 Student Handbook states, "Students are to avoid any types of entertainment that could be considered immodest or that contain profanity, scatological realism, sexual perversion, erotic realism, lurid violence, occultism and false philosophical or religious assumptions." Grounds for immediate dismissal include stealing, immorality (including sexual relations between unmarried students), possession of hard-core pornography, use of alcohol or drugs, and participating in a public demonstration for a cause the university opposes.[108] Similar "moral failures" are grounds for terminating the employment of faculty and staff. In 1998, a homosexual alumnus was threatened with arrest if he visited the campus.[109]

Rules of conduct

The university requires use of the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible in its services and classrooms, but it does not hold that the KJV is the only acceptable English translation or that it has the same authority as the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts.[51] The university's position has been criticized by some other fundamentalists, including fellow conservative university Pensacola Christian College, which in 1998 produced a widely distributed videotape which argued that this "leaven of fundamentalism" was passed from the 19th-century Princeton theologian Benjamin B. Warfield (1851–1921) through Charles Brokenshire (1885–1954) to current BJU faculty members and graduates.[105][106]

[104] Through its "Timothy Fund", the university also sponsors international students who are training for the ministry.[103] The university also encourages

Religion is a major aspect of life and curriculum at BJU. The BJU Creed, written in 1927 by journalist and prohibitionist Sam Small, is recited by students and faculty four days a week at chapel services.[99]

Religious atmosphere

Student life

The university operates Bob Jones Academy, an elementary, middle, and high school.[97] The school of about 1500 students is the largest K–12 private school in the Carolinas and one of the largest in the Southeast.[98]

Pre-college programs

BJU Press also offers distance learning courses via online, DVD, and hard drive.[95] Another ancillary, the Academy of Home Education, is a "service organization for homeschooling families", that maintains student records, administers achievement testing, and issues high school diplomas. The Press sold its music division, SoundForth, to Lorenz Publishing on October 1, 2012.[96]

BJU Press originated in the need for textbooks for the burgeoning Christian school movement,[93] and today it is the largest book publisher in South Carolina.[94] The Press publishes a full range of K–12 textbooks. More than a million pre-college students around the world use BJU textbooks, and the Press has about 2,500 titles in print.

BJU Press

Unusual Films also maintains a student film production program. The Cinema Production program is designed to give professional training in all facets of motion picture production. This training combines classroom instruction with hands-on experience in a variety of areas including directing, editing, and cinematography. Before graduation, seniors produce their own high definition short film in which they write, direct, and edit.[92]

Unusual Films has produced seven feature-length films, each with an evangelistic emphasis: Wine of Morning, Red Runs the River, Flame in the Wind, Sheffey, Beyond the Night, The Printing, and Milltown Pride.[85] Wine of Morning (1955), based on a novel by Bob Jones, Jr., represented the United States at the Cannes Film Festival.[86] The first four films are historical dramas set, respectively, in the time of Christ, the U.S. Civil War, 16th-century Spain, and the late 19th-century South—the latter a fictionalized treatment of the life of Methodist evangelist, Robert Sayers Sheffey. Beyond the Night closely follows an actual 20th-century missionary saga in Central Africa, and The Printing uses composite characters to portray the persecution of believers in the former Soviet Union. In 1999, Unusual Films began producing feature film for children, including "The Treasure Map",[87] "Project Dinosaur",[88] and "Appalachian Trial".[89] They also released a short animated film for children, "The Golden Rom".[90] Unusual Films returned to their customary format in 2011 with their release of "Milltown Pride", a historical film set in 1920s Upstate South Carolina.[91]

Both Bob Jones, Sr. and Bob Jones, Jr. believed that film could be an excellent medium for mass evangelism, and in 1950, the university established Unusual Films within the School of Fine Arts.[82] (The studio name derives from a former BJU promotional slogan, "The World's Most Unusual University".)[83] Bob Jones, Jr. selected a speech teacher, Katherine Stenholm, as the first director. Although she had no experience in cinema, she took summer courses at the University of Southern California and received personal instruction from Hollywood specialists, such as Rudolph Sternad.[84]

Unusual Films

Ancillary ministries

In Forbes national university ranking, Bob Jones was unranked in 2011,[78] #606 in 2010,[79] and #279 in 2009.[80] In 2014, the Educate to Career College Ranking Index listed BJU as 15th in the nation by economic value.[81]

Nevertheless, by the early 2000s, the university quietly reexamined its position on accreditation as degree mills proliferated and various government bureaucracies, such as law enforcement agencies, began excluding BJU graduates on the grounds that the university did not appear on appropriate federal lists.[75] In 2004, the university began the process of joining the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. Candidate status—effectively, accreditation—was obtained in April 2005, and full membership in the Association was conferred in November 2006.[76] In December 2011, BJU announced its intention to apply for regional accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).[77]

Because graduates did not have the benefit of accredited degrees, the faculty felt an increased responsibility to prepare their students.[73] Early in the history of the college, there had been some hesitancy on the part of other institutions to accept BJU credits at face value, but by the 1960s, BJU alumni were being accepted by most of the major graduate and professional schools in the United States.[74] Undoubtedly helpful was that some of the university's strongest programs were in the areas of music, speech, and art, disciplines in which ability could be measured by audition or portfolio rather than through paper qualifications.[75]

In 1944, Jones wrote to John Walvoord of Dallas Theological Seminary that while the university had "no objection to educational work highly standardized…. We, however, cannot conscientiously let some group of educational experts or some committee of experts who may have a behavioristic or atheistic slant on education control or even influence the administrative policies of our college."[71] Five years later, Jones reflected that "it cost us something to stay out of an association, but we stayed out. We have lived up to our convictions."[72] In any case, lack of accreditation seems to have made little difference during the post-war period, when the university more than doubled in size.[70]

Bob Jones, Sr. was leery of academic accreditation almost from the founding of the college, and by the early 1930s, he had publicly stated his opposition to holding regional accreditation.[69] Not surprisingly, Jones and the college were criticized for this stance, and academic recognition, as well as student and faculty recruitment, were hindered.[70]

Rankings and accreditation

The university's nursing major is approved by the South Carolina State Board of Nursing, and a BJU graduate with a BSN is eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination to become a registered nurse.[67] The BJU engineering program was accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).[68]

The school offers undergraduate majors in biology (zoo and wildlife, and cell biology[63]), pre-med, chemistry, engineering, and physics and also offers courses in astronomy. Between 80% and 100% of the pre-med graduates are accepted to medical school every year.[64] The Department of Biology hosts two research programs on campus, one in cancer research, the other in animal behavior.[65] In 2008 no member of the BJU science faculty held a degree in geology,[66] and the university offered only one introductory course in the subject.[67] Although ten of the sixteen members of the science faculty have undergraduate degrees from BJU, all earned their doctorates from accredited, non-religious institutions of higher learning.[66]

Bob Jones University supports young-earth creationism,[60] all their faculty are young Earth creationists[61] and the university rejects evolution, calling it "at best an unsupportable and unworkable hypothesis".[62]

Howell Memorial Science Building


Each fall, as a recruiting tool, the university sponsors a "High School Festival" in which students compete in music, art, and speech (including preaching) contests with their peers from around the country.[58] In the spring, a similar competition sponsored by the American Association of Christian Schools, and hosted by BJU since 1977, brings thousands of national finalists to the university from around the country. In 2005, 120 of the finalists from previous years returned to BJU as freshmen.[59]

The Division of Fine Arts has the largest faculty of the university's six undergraduate schools.[54] Each year the university presents an opera in the spring semester and Shakespearean plays in both the fall and spring semesters.[55] A service called "Vespers", presented occasionally throughout the school year, combines music, speech, and drama.[56] The Division of Fine Arts includes an RTV department with a campus radio and television station, WBJU. More than a hundred concerts, recitals, and laboratory theater productions are also presented annually.[57]

Fine Arts

The university requires use of the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible in its services and classrooms, but it does not hold that the KJV is the only acceptable English translation or that it has the same authority as the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts.[51] The King-James-Only Movement—or more correctly, movements, since it has many variations—became a divisive force in fundamentalism only as conservative modern Bible translations, such as the New American Standard Bible (NASB) and the New International Version (NIV), began to appear in the 1970s. BJU has taken the position that orthodox Christians of the late 19th and early 20th centuries (including fundamentalists) agreed that while the KJV was a substantially accurate translation, only the original manuscripts of the Bible written in Hebrew and Greek were infallible and inerrant.[52] Bob Jones, Jr. called the KJV-only position a "heresy" and "in a very definite sense, a blasphemy".[53]

King James Version of the Bible

Position on the King James Version of the Bible

The seminary building at Bob Jones

The School of Religion includes majors for both men and women, although only men train as ministerial students.[49] Many of these students go on to a seminary after completing their undergraduate degree. Others take ministry positions straight from college, and rising juniors participate in a church internship program to prepare them for the pastoral ministry. In 1995 there were 1,290 BJU graduates serving as senior or associate pastors in churches across the United States.[50]

School of Religion

Religious education


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