Bob Jones University
Bob Jones University is a private
Private university
Private universities are universities not operated by governments, although many receive public subsidies, especially in the form of tax breaks and public student loans and grants. Depending on their location, private universities may be subject to government regulation. Private universities are...

, for-profit, non-denominational Protestant university in Greenville
Greenville, South Carolina
-Law and government:The city of Greenville adopted the Council-Manager form of municipal government in 1976.-History:The area was part of the Cherokee Nation's protected grounds after the Treaty of 1763, which ended the French and Indian War. No White man was allowed to enter, though some families...

, South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...


The university was founded in 1927 by Bob Jones, Sr.
Bob Jones, Sr.
Robert Reynolds Jones, Sr. was an American evangelist, pioneer religious broadcaster and the founder and first president of Bob Jones University.-Early years:...

 (1883–1968), an evangelist
Evangelism refers to the practice of relaying information about a particular set of beliefs to others who do not hold those beliefs. The term is often used in reference to Christianity....

 and contemporary of Billy Sunday
Billy Sunday
William Ashley "Billy" Sunday was an American athlete who, after being a popular outfielder in baseball's National League during the 1880s, became the most celebrated and influential American evangelist during the first two decades of the 20th century.Born into poverty in Iowa, Sunday spent some...

. The current president, Stephen Jones
Stephen Jones (BJU)
Stephen Benjamin Jones is the president of Bob Jones University. Born on the university campus, he graduated from Bob Jones Academy. In 1992 he received a bachelor's degree in public speaking from BJU and in 1996, a Master of Divinity. On the day he became University president in 2005, Jones...

, is the great-grandson of the founder and the fourth member of the Jones family to serve as president.

Since 2005 BJU has been accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools
Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools
The Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools is a U.S. national educational accreditation agency for Christian colleges, universities, and seminaries...

, a national accrediting organization recognized by the Department of Education
United States Department of Education
The United States Department of Education, also referred to as ED or the ED for Education Department, is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government...

 and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation
Council for Higher Education Accreditation
The Council for Higher Education Accreditation is a United States organization of degree-granting colleges and universities. It identifies its purpose as providing national advocacy for self-regulation of academic quality through accreditation in order to certify the quality of higher education...

. The university enrolls approximately 4,000 students representing every state and fifty foreign countries, employs a staff of 1,450, and conducts precollege education from pre-kindergarten through high school. In 2008, the University estimated the number of its graduates at 35,000.


Established in 1927 near Panama City
Panama City, Florida
-Personal income:The median income for a household in the city was $31,572, and the median income for a family was $40,890. Males had a median income of $30,401 versus $21,431 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,830...

, on the Florida panhandle, Bob Jones College moved to Cleveland, Tennessee
Cleveland, Tennessee
Cleveland is a city in Bradley County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 41,285 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Bradley County...

 in 1933, and to its present campus in Greenville, South Carolina
Greenville, South Carolina
-Law and government:The city of Greenville adopted the Council-Manager form of municipal government in 1976.-History:The area was part of the Cherokee Nation's protected grounds after the Treaty of 1763, which ended the French and Indian War. No White man was allowed to enter, though some families...

 in 1947, where it became Bob Jones University. There have been four presidents: Bob Jones, Sr., 1927–1947; Bob Jones, Jr.
Bob Jones, Jr.
Robert Reynolds Jones, Jr. was the second president and chancellor of Bob Jones University. Born in Montgomery, Alabama, Jones was the son of Bob Jones, Sr., the university's founder...

, 1947–1971; Bob Jones III
Bob Jones III
Robert Reynolds Jones III , third president of Bob Jones University. The son of Bob Jones, Jr., and the grandson of Bob Jones, Sr., the university's founder, Jones III served as president of BJU from 1971 to 2005.-Biography:...

, 1971–2005; and Stephen Jones
Stephen Jones (BJU)
Stephen Benjamin Jones is the president of Bob Jones University. Born on the university campus, he graduated from Bob Jones Academy. In 1992 he received a bachelor's degree in public speaking from BJU and in 1996, a Master of Divinity. On the day he became University president in 2005, Jones...

, 2005 to the present.

From its inception, BJU has been located in the South "but has never had a predominantly southern constituency." In 2006, the state with the largest number of students enrolled was South Carolina, but many of these were married students who had moved from other parts of the country to attend the University. Other states with large representations in the student body are Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Ohio.


The university consists of seven colleges and schools that offer more than 60 undergraduate majors, including fourteen associate degree programs. Although BJU has an unranked and untenured faculty, most University employees consider their positions as much ministries as jobs. 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."


The BJU creed was written in 1927 by journalist and prohibitionist Sam Small
Samuel W. Small
Samuel White Small was a journalist, Methodist evangelist, and prohibitionist.-Youth:Sam Small was born on a plantation near Knoxville, Tennessee, the son of Alexander B. Small, a newspaper editor and president of an express company...

. Students and faculty recite it four days a week at chapel services.

I believe in the inspiration of the Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 (both the Old
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 and the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

s); the creation
Creationism is the religious beliefthat humanity, life, the Earth, and the universe are the creation of a supernatural being, most often referring to the Abrahamic god. As science developed from the 18th century onwards, various views developed which aimed to reconcile science with the Genesis...

 of man by the direct act of God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

; the incarnation and virgin birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 Christ; His identification as the Son of God; His vicarious atonement for the sin
In religion, sin is the violation or deviation of an eternal divine law or standard. The term sin may also refer to the state of having committed such a violation. Christians believe the moral code of conduct is decreed by God In religion, sin (also called peccancy) is the violation or deviation...

s of mankind by the shedding of His blood on the cross; the resurrection
Resurrection refers to the literal coming back to life of the biologically dead. It is used both with respect to particular individuals or the belief in a General Resurrection of the dead at the end of the world. The General Resurrection is featured prominently in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim...

 of His body from the tomb; His power to save men from sin; the new birth through the regeneration by the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of the Hebrew Bible, but understood differently in the main Abrahamic religions.While the general concept of a "Spirit" that permeates the cosmos has been used in various religions Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of...

; and the gift of eternal life by the grace of God.

School of Religion

The School of Religion includes majors for both men and women, although only men (approximately 500 per year) train as ministerial students. Many of these students go on to a seminary
A seminary, theological college, or divinity school is an institution of secondary or post-secondary education for educating students in theology, generally to prepare them for ordination as clergy or for other ministry...

 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 fundamentalist churches across the United States.


The university encourages church planting
Church planting
Church planting is a process that results in a new Christian church being established. It should be distinguished from church development, where a new service, new worship centre or fresh expression is created that is integrated into an already established congregation...

 in areas of the United States where few fundamentalist churches exist, and it has provided financial and logistical assistance to ministerial graduates in starting more than a hundred new churches. Bob Jones III has also encouraged non-ministerial students to put their career plans on hold for two or three years to provide lay leadership in small fundamentalist churches.

Students of various majors participate in Missions Advance (formerly Mission Prayer Band), an organization that prays for missionaries and attempts to stimulate campus interest in world evangelism. During summers and Christmas breaks, approximately 150 students participate in teams that use their musical, language, trade, and aviation skills to promote Christian missions around the world.

Although formally a separate organization, Gospel Fellowship Association Missions is the mission board of BJU and is one of the largest fundamentalist mission boards in the country. Through its "Timothy Fund," the university also sponsors international students who are training for the ministry.

Fine Arts

The Division of Fine Arts has the largest faculty of the university's six undergraduate schools. Each year the university presents an opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

 in the spring semester and Shakespearean plays in both the fall and spring semesters. A service called “Vespers,” presented occasionally throughout the school year, combines music, speech, and drama. More than a hundred concerts, recitals, and laboratory theater productions are also presented annually.

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. In the spring, a similar competition sponsored by the American Association of Christian Schools
American Association of Christian Schools
The American Association of Christian Schools is a United States organization, based in East Ridge, Tennessee, that unifies individual Christian schools and statewide Christian school associations across the country for the purpose of accreditation, competition, and group benefits.-State...

, 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.


The BJU science department, which supports young-earth creationism
Young Earth creationism
Young Earth creationism is the religious belief that Heavens, Earth, and all life on Earth were created by direct acts of the Abrahamic God during a relatively short period, sometime between 5,700 and 10,000 years ago...

, offers majors in biology, chemistry, and physics and also offers courses in astronomy. In 2008 no member of the BJU science faculty held a degree in geology, and the university offered only one introductory course in the subject.Bob Jones University Catalog, 2007-08, 90. 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.

The university's nursing major is approved by the South Carolina State Board of Nursing, and a BJU graduate with a BSN
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing is an American four year academic degree in the science and principles of nursing, granted by a tertiary education university or similarly accredited school...

 is eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination to become a registered nurse
Registered nurse
A registered nurse is a nurse who has graduated from a nursing program at a university or college and has passed a national licensing exam. A registered nurse helps individuals, families, and groups to achieve health and prevent disease...

. During the first decade of the 21st century, the BJU engineering team regularly placed in the top five in robotics competitions, and BJU students who took the Medical College Admission Test
Medical College Admission Test
The Medical College Admission Test is a computer-based standardized examination for prospective medical students in the United States and Canada. It is designed to assess problem solving, critical thinking, written analysis, and writing skills in addition to knowledge of scientific concepts and...

 scored in the top 25%.


The 90000 square feet (8,361.3 m²) Mack Library (named for John Sephus Mack
John Sephus Mack
John Sephus Mack , was president of the G. C. Murphy Company, a prominent variety-store chain during the early 20th century....

) 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. (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. The "Jerusalem Chamber” is a replica of the room in Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 in which work on the King James Version of the Bible was conducted, and it displays a collection of rare Bibles. An adjoining Memorabilia Room commemorates the life of Bob Jones, Sr.
Bob Jones, Sr.
Robert Reynolds Jones, Sr. was an American evangelist, pioneer religious broadcaster and the founder and first president of Bob Jones University.-Early years:...

 and the history of the University.

The library's Fundamentalism File collects periodical articles and ephemera about social and religious matters of interest to evangelicals and fundamentalists. 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.


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
Regional accreditation
Regional accreditation is a term used in the United States to refer to educational accreditation conducted by any of several accreditation bodies established to serve six defined geographic areas of the country for accreditation of schools, colleges, and universities...

. Not surprisingly, Jones and the college were criticized for this stance, and academic recognition, as well as student and faculty recruitment, were hindered.

In 1944, Jones wrote to John Walvoord
John Walvoord
John F. Walvoord was a Christian theologian, pastor, and president of Dallas Theological Seminary from 1952 to 1986. He was the author of over 30 books, focusing primarily on eschatology and theology including The Rapture Question, and was co-editor of The Bible Knowledge Commentary with Roy B....

 of Dallas Theological Seminary
Dallas Theological Seminary
Dallas Theological Seminary is an evangelical theological seminary located in Dallas, Texas. It is known for popularizing the theological system known as Dispensationalism...

 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." 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.” 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.

Because graduates did not have the benefit of accredited degrees, the faculty felt an increased responsibility to prepare their students. Early in the history of the college, there had been some hesitancy on the part of other institutions to accept BJC 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. 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.

By the early 2000s, however, 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. In 2004, the university began the process of joining the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools
Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools
The Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools is a U.S. national educational accreditation agency for Christian colleges, universities, and seminaries...

. Candidate status—effectively, accreditation—was obtained in April 2005, and full membership in the Association was conferred in November 2006. Because TRACS grants accreditation only to evangelical Christian institutions of higher learning, the administration believed that the university could obtain the benefits of accreditation without losing its academic independence. BJU is also a founding member of the American Association of Christian Colleges and Seminaries
American Association of Christian Colleges and Seminaries
The American Association of Christian Colleges and Seminaries, Inc. is an organization of Bible colleges and Christian universities and seminaries in the continental United States and Puerto Rico...

, a small group of institutions "clearly identified with the historic Christian fundamentalist tradition."


BJU abandoned intercollegiate sports in 1933. The university's intramural sports program includes competition in soccer, basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

, softball
Softball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of 10 to 14 players. It is a direct descendant of baseball although there are some key differences: softballs are larger than baseballs, and the pitches are thrown underhand rather than overhand...

, volleyball
Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.The complete rules are extensive...

, tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

, badminton
Badminton is a racquet sport played by either two opposing players or two opposing pairs , who take positions on opposite halves of a rectangular court that is divided by a net. Players score points by striking a shuttlecock with their racquet so that it passes over the net and lands in their...

, flag football
Flag football
Flag football is a version of Canadian football or American football that is popular worldwide. The basic rules of the game are similar to those of the mainstream game , but instead of tackling players to the ground, the defensive team must remove a flag or flag belt from the ball carrier to end...

, table tennis
Table tennis
Table tennis, also known as ping-pong, is a sport in which two or four players hit a lightweight, hollow ball back and forth using table tennis rackets. The game takes place on a hard table divided by a net...

, racquetball
For other sports often called "paddleball", see Paddleball .Racquetball is a racquet sport played with a hollow rubber ball in an indoor or outdoor court...

, and water polo
Water polo
Water polo is a team water sport. The playing team consists of six field players and one goalkeeper. The winner of the game is the team that scores more goals. Game play involves swimming, treading water , players passing the ball while being defended by opponents, and scoring by throwing into a...

. The university competes in intercollegiate debate
Debate or debating is a method of interactive and representational argument. Debate is a broader form of argument than logical argument, which only examines consistency from axiom, and factual argument, which only examines what is or isn't the case or rhetoric which is a technique of persuasion...

 within the National Educational Debate Association
National Educational Debate Association
The National Educational Debate Association is a collegiate debate association emphasizing audience-centered debate. It was founded by debate educators who believe that the debate tournament is an extension of the communication classroom and that even competitive debates should provide students...

, in intercollegiate mock trial
Mock trial
A Mock Trial is an act or imitation trial. It is similar to a moot court, but mock trials simulate lower-court trials, while moot court simulates appellate court hearings. Attorneys preparing for a real trial might use a mock trial consisting of volunteers as role players to test theories or...

 and computer science
Computer science
Computer science or computing science is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and of practical techniques for their implementation and application in computer systems...

 competitions, and at South Carolina Student Legislature.

The university requires all unmarried incoming freshman students under the age of 23 to join one of 48 "literary societies." Societies meet approximately every other Friday for entertainment and fellowship and on almost all Sunday mornings for Sunday School; 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—but none from popular culture. The university also has a student-staffed newspaper (The Collegian), yearbook (Vintage) and radio and television station (WBJU
WBJU-FM and WBJU-TV are the radio and television stations located on the campus of Bob Jones University and licensed to Greenville, South Carolina. The stations exist primarily to provide Radio and Television majors experience in the media, but the studios are also used for other student...


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. On December 3, 2004, the ceremony broke the Guinness World Record for Christmas carol
Christmas carol
A Christmas carol is a carol whose lyrics are on the theme of Christmas or the winter season in general and which are traditionally sung in the period before Christmas.-History:...

ing with 7,514 carolers.

In place of a spring break
Spring break
Spring break – also known as March break, Study week or Reading week in the United Kingdom and some parts of Canada – is a recess in early spring at universities and schools in the United States, Canada, mainland China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, the United...

, students and faculty are required to attend a six-day Bible Conference in late March. The Conference attracts fundamentalist preachers and laymen from around the country, and BJU class reunions are held at the end of the week.

BJU Museum & Gallery

Bob Jones, Jr.
Bob Jones, Jr.
Robert Reynolds Jones, Jr. was the second president and chancellor of Bob Jones University. Born in Montgomery, Alabama, Jones was the son of Bob Jones, Sr., the university's founder...

 was a connoisseur of European art and began collecting after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 on about $30,000 a year authorized by the University Board of Directors. Jones first concentrated on the Italian Baroque, a style then out of favor and relatively inexpensive in the years immediately following the war. Fifty years after the opening of the gallery, the BJU collection included more than 400 European paintings from the 14th to through the 19th centuries (mostly pre-19th century), period furniture, and a notable collection of Russian icons. The museum also includes a variety of Holy Land antiquities collected in the early twentieth century by missionaries Frank and Barbara Bowen.
Not surprisingly, the gallery is especially strong in Baroque paintings and includes notable works by Rubens, Tintoretto
Tintoretto , real name Jacopo Comin, was a Venetian painter and a notable exponent of the Renaissance school. For his phenomenal energy in painting he was termed Il Furioso...

, Veronese
Paolo Veronese
Paolo Veronese was an Italian painter of the Renaissance in Venice, famous for paintings such as The Wedding at Cana and The Feast in the House of Levi...

, Cranach
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Lucas Cranach the Elder , was a German Renaissance painter and printmaker in woodcut and engraving...

, Gerard David
Gerard David
Gerard David was an Early Netherlandish painter and manuscript illuminator known for his brilliant use of color.-Life:...

, Murillo
Bartolomé Estéban Murillo
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo was a Spanish Baroque painter. Although he is best known for his religious works, Murillo also produced a considerable number of paintings of contemporary women and children...

, Mattia Preti
Mattia Preti
Mattia Preti was an Italian Baroque artist who worked in Italy and Malta.- Biography :Born in the small town of Taverna in Calabria, Preti was sometimes called Il Cavalier Calabrese...

, Ribera, van Dyck, and Doré
Dore is a village in South Yorkshire, England. The village lies on a hill above the River Sheaf, and until 1934 was part of Derbyshire, but it is now a suburb of Sheffield. It is served by Dore and Totley railway station on the Hope Valley Line...

. Included in the Museum & Gallery collection are seven very large canvases, part of a series by Benjamin West
Benjamin West
Benjamin West, RA was an Anglo-American painter of historical scenes around and after the time of the American War of Independence...

 painted for George III, called "The Progress of Revealed Religion," which are displayed in the War Memorial Chapel. (Baroque art was created during—and often for—the Counter-Reformation
The Counter-Reformation was the period of Catholic revival beginning with the Council of Trent and ending at the close of the Thirty Years' War, 1648 as a response to the Protestant Reformation.The Counter-Reformation was a comprehensive effort, composed of four major elements:#Ecclesiastical or...

 and so, ironically, BJU has been criticized by some other fundamentalists for promoting “false Catholic doctrine” through its art gallery.)

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
Coca-Cola is a carbonated soft drink sold in stores, restaurants, and vending machines in more than 200 countries. It is produced by The Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta, Georgia, and is often referred to simply as Coke...

 bottling plant, joined the neighboring Upcountry History Museum
Upcountry History Museum
The Upcountry History Museum is a history museum in Greenville, South Carolina that displays the regional history of fifteen upstate South Carolina counties from the early 18th century to the present...

 and the Greenville Children's Museum, all of which feature "the latest in museum technology.".

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.

Unusual Films

Both Bob Jones, Sr.
Bob Jones, Sr.
Robert Reynolds Jones, Sr. was an American evangelist, pioneer religious broadcaster and the founder and first president of Bob Jones University.-Early years:...

 and Bob Jones, Jr.
Bob Jones, Jr.
Robert Reynolds Jones, Jr. was the second president and chancellor of Bob Jones University. Born in Montgomery, Alabama, Jones was the son of Bob Jones, Sr., the university's founder...

 believed that film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 could be an excellent medium for mass evangelism, and in 1950, the university established Unusual Films within the School of Fine Arts. (The studio name derives from a former BJU promotional slogan, "The World's Most Unusual University".) Bob Jones, Jr.
Bob Jones, Jr.
Robert Reynolds Jones, Jr. was the second president and chancellor of Bob Jones University. Born in Montgomery, Alabama, Jones was the son of Bob Jones, Sr., the university's founder...

 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
University of Southern California
The University of Southern California is a private, not-for-profit, nonsectarian, research university located in Los Angeles, California, United States. USC was founded in 1880, making it California's oldest private research university...

 and received personal instruction from Hollywood specialists, such as Rudolph Sternad
Rudolph Sternad
Rudolph Sternad was an American art director. He was nominated for three Academy Awards in the category Best Art Direction. He was a frequent collaborator of producer-director Stanley Kramer, working with him on virtually all of the films that Kramer directed, and many famous ones that he only...


Unusual Films has produced seven feature-length films: Wine of Morning, Red Runs the River, Flame in the Wind, Sheffey, Beyond the Night, The Printing, and Milltown Pride. Wine of Morning (1955), based on a novel by Bob Jones, Jr., represented the United States at the Cannes Film Festival
Cannes Film Festival
The Cannes International Film Festival , is an annual film festival held in Cannes, France, which previews new films of all genres including documentaries from around the world. Founded in 1946, it is among the world's most prestigious and publicized film festivals...

. The first four films are historical dramas set, respectively, in the time of Christ, the U.S. Civil War, sixteenth-century Spain, and the late nineteenth-century South—the latter a fictionalized treatment of the life of Methodist evangelist, Robert Sayers Sheffey
Robert Sheffey
Robert Sayers Sheffey was a Methodist evangelist and circuit-riding preacher, renowned for his eccentricities and power in prayer, who ministered to, and became part of the folklore of, the Appalachian region of southwest Virginia, southern West Virginia and eastern Tennessee.-Youth and...

. Beyond the Night closely follows an actual twentieth-century missionary saga in Central Africa, and The Printing uses composite characters to portray the persecution of believers in the former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. All the films have an evangelistic emphasis, and curiously, Bob Jones, Jr.
Bob Jones, Jr.
Robert Reynolds Jones, Jr. was the second president and chancellor of Bob Jones University. Born in Montgomery, Alabama, Jones was the son of Bob Jones, Sr., the university's founder...

 plays villains in four of them. For twenty years Unusual Films emphasized children's films and video production before, in 2011, it released Milltown Pride, a feature-length film
Feature film
In the film industry, a feature film is a film production made for initial distribution in theaters and being the main attraction of the screening, rather than a short film screened before it; a full length movie...

 set in 1920s
File:1920s decade montage.png|From left, clockwise: Third Tipperary Brigade Flying Column No. 2 under Sean Hogan during the Irish Civil War; Prohibition agents destroying barrels of alcohol in accordance to the 18th amendment, which made alcoholic beverages illegal throughout the entire decade; In...

 Upstate South Carolina.

Unusual Films also maintains a student film production program. Freshmen shoot and edit a project shot on 16mm reversal
Transparency (photography)
In photography, a reversal film is a type of photographic film that produces a positive image on a transparent base. Also known as dias or slide. The film is processed to produce transparencies or diapositives instead of negatives and prints...

 black-and-white film. Sophomores are also required to write and direct such a project. Before graduation, seniors produce a sizable project on 16 mm color negative film. Nevertheless, basic photography and video production are an integral part of the BJU cinema major.

BJU Press

BJU Press
BJU Press
BJU Press , founded in 1973, publishes textbooks for the Christian school and home school movements as well as trade and children's books.-History:...

 originated in the need for textbooks for the burgeoning Christian school
Christian school
A Christian school is a school run on Christian principles or by a Christian organization.The nature of Christian schools varies enormously from country to country, according to the religious, educational, and political cultures...

 movement, and today it is the largest book publisher in South Carolina. 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 approximately 2,500 titles in print.

BJU Press also offers distance learning courses via online, DVD, and hard drive. 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 music division, SoundForth
SoundForth is a division of the Bob Jones University Press. SoundForth produces and markets religious music recordings through a music download website, as well as a mailing catalog...

, produces Christian musical arrangements and recordings in more traditional styles than do most contemporary music sources.

Pre-college programs

The university operates Bob Jones Academy, an elementary, middle, and high school. The school of approximately 1500 students is the largest K-12 private school in the Carolinas and one of the largest in the Southeast.

Billy Graham

One of the earliest controversies to center on BJU was the break that occurred in the late 1950s between separatist fundamentalists and neo-evangelicals represented by the newly prominent evangelist Billy Graham. Graham had briefly attended Bob Jones College, and the university conferred an honorary degree on him in 1948. During the 1950s, however, Graham began distancing himself from the older fundamentalism, and in preparation for his 1957 New York Crusade, he sought broad ecumenical sponsorship.

Bob Jones, Sr. argued that if members of Graham’s campaign executive committee had rejected major tenets of orthodox Christianity, such as the virgin birth and the deity of Christ, then Graham had violated 2 John 9-11, which prohibits receiving in fellowship those who do “not abide in the teaching of Christ.” In the 1960s, Graham further irritated fundamentalists by gaining the endorsement of Cardinal Richard Cushing for his Boston campaign and accepting honorary degrees from two Roman Catholic colleges.

Graham tried to remain above the fray, but members of his staff openly accused Jones of jealousy on the grounds that Jones’s evangelistic meetings had never been as large as Graham’s. Graham’s father-in-law, L. Nelson Bell
L. Nelson Bell
Lemuel Nelson Bell was a medical missionary in China and the father-in-law of famous evangelist Billy Graham. Few people had more influence on Billy Graham than Bell. -Life:Bell was born in Longdale, Virginia...

, mailed a fiery ten-page letter to most members of the BJU faculty and student body (as well as to thousands of pastors across the country) accusing Jones of “hatred, distortions, jealousies, envying, malice, false witnessing, and untruthfulness.”

In what seemed to the Joneses to be a deliberate affront, Graham held his only American campaign of 1966 in Greenville, South Carolina. Under penalty of expulsion, the university forbade any BJU dormitory student from attending the Graham meetings. In a four-page position paper delivered to students in 1965, Bob Jones, Jr., condemned Billy Graham's "ecumenical evangelism" as unscriptural and "heretical," noting that Graham shared his platform with Catholic priests and that one could not "be a good Catholic and a good, spiritual Christian." When Graham arrived in Greenville, Jones, Jr. emphasized that the basis of the university's position was scriptural and not personal. "The Bible commands that false teachers and men who deny the fundamentals of the faith should be accursed; that is, they shall be criticized and condemned. Billy approves them, Billy condones them, Billy recommends them....I think that Dr. Graham is doing more harm in the cause of Jesus Christ than any living man; that he is leading foolish and untaught Christians, simple people that do not know the Word of God, into disobedience to the Word of God."

The negative publicity caused by the rift with Graham, itself a reflection of a larger division between separatist fundamentalists and neo-evangelicals, precipitated a decline in BJU enrollment of about 10% in the years 1956-59. 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. By 1966, when Graham appeared in Greenville, BJU enrollment had strongly rebounded and continued to grow thereafter until the mid-1980s.

King James Bible

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. The King-James-Only Movement
King-James-Only Movement
The "King James Only movement" advocates the superiority of the Authorized King James Version of the Protestant Bible. The topic increased in newsworthiness in 2011, the 400th anniversary of the translation's 1611 initial publication....

—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
New American Standard Bible
The New American Standard Bible , also informally called New American Standard Version , is an English translation of the Bible....

 (NASB) and the New International Version
New International Version
The New International Version is an English translation of the Christian Bible. Published by Zondervan in the United States and by Hodder & Stoughton in the UK, it has become one of the most popular modern translations in history.-History:...

 (NIV) began to appear in the 1970s. BJU has taken the position that orthodox Christians of the late nineteenth and early twentieth 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. Bob Jones, Jr. called the KJV-only position a "heresy" and "in a very definite sense, a blasphemy."

The university's stand has been condemned by some other fundamentalists. In 1998, Pensacola Christian College
Pensacola Christian College
Pensacola Christian College is an unaccredited fundamentalist, Independent Baptist college in Pensacola, Florida, USA, founded in 1974 by Arlin Horton. The college is actively pursuing accreditation, and as of 7 November 2011 had been awarded candidate status with Transnational Association of...

 produced a widely distributed videotape, arguing that this "leaven of fundamentalism" was passed from the nineteenth-century Princeton theologian Benjamin B. Warfield (1851–1921) to Charles Brokenshire (1885–1954), who served BJU as Dean of the School of Religion, and then to current BJU faculty members and graduates. Ironically, Peter Ruckman
Peter Ruckman
Peter Sturges Ruckman is an Independent Baptist pastor, teacher, writer, and founder of Pensacola Bible Institute, an unaccredited school in Pensacola, Florida...

, a BJU graduate, has argued the most extreme version of the KJV-only position, that all translations of the Bible since the KJV have been of satanic origin.

Criticism of Catholicism and Mormonism

The three Bob Joneses, especially Bob Jones, Jr., sharply criticized the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

. For instance, Jones, Jr. once said that Catholicism was "not another Christian denomination. It is a satanic counterfeit, an ecclesiastic tyranny over the souls of men....It is the old harlot of the book of the Revelation—'the Mother of Harlots.'" All popes, Jones asserted, "are demon possessed." In 2000, then-president Bob Jones III referred, on the university's web page, to Mormons and Catholics as "cults which call themselves Christian." Furthermore, in 1966, BJU awarded an honorary doctorate to the Rev. Ian Paisley
Ian Paisley
Ian Richard Kyle Paisley, Baron Bannside, PC is a politician and church minister in Northern Ireland. As the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party , he and Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness were elected First Minister and deputy First Minister respectively on 8 May 2007.In addition to co-founding...

, future British MP, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party
Democratic Unionist Party
The Democratic Unionist Party is the larger of the two main unionist political parties in Northern Ireland. Founded by Ian Paisley and currently led by Peter Robinson, it is currently the largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly and the fourth-largest party in the House of Commons of the...

, and Moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster
Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster
The Free Presbyterian Church is a Presbyterian denomination founded by the Rev. Ian Paisley in 1951. Most of its members live in Northern Ireland...

, who has referred to the Pope as a "Roman anti-Christ."
Bob Jones III has argued that the university is not so much anti-Catholic or anti-Mormon
Anti-Mormonism is discrimination, persecution, hostility or prejudice directed at members of the Latter Day Saint movement, particularly The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints...

 as it is opposed to the idea that all men, regardless of religious beliefs, will eventually get to heaven: "Our shame would be in telling people a lie, and thereby letting them go to hell without Christ because we loved their goodwill more than we loved them and their souls…. All religion, including Catholicism, which teaches that salvation is by religious works or church dogma is false. Religion that makes the words of its leader, be he Pope or other, equal with the Word of God is false. Sola Scriptura
Sola scriptura
Sola scriptura is the doctrine that the Bible contains all knowledge necessary for salvation and holiness. Consequently, sola scriptura demands that only those doctrines are to be admitted or confessed that are found directly within or indirectly by using valid logical deduction or valid...

. From the time of the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 onward, it has been understood that there is no commonality between the Bible way, which is justification by faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and salvation by works, which the faithful, practicing Catholic embraces."


Although BJU admitted Asians and other ethnic groups from its inception, it did not enroll black students until 1971, eight years after the University of South Carolina
University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina is a public, co-educational research university located in Columbia, South Carolina, United States, with 7 surrounding satellite campuses. Its historic campus covers over in downtown Columbia not far from the South Carolina State House...

 and Clemson University
Clemson University
Clemson University is an American public, coeducational, land-grant, sea-grant, research university located in Clemson, South Carolina, United States....

 had been integrated by court order. From 1971 to 1975, BJU admitted only married blacks, although the Internal Revenue Service
Internal Revenue Service
The Internal Revenue Service is the revenue service of the United States federal government. The agency is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury, and is under the immediate direction of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue...

 (IRS) had already determined in 1970 that "private schools with racially discriminatory admissions policies" were not entitled to federal tax exemption. Late in 1971, BJU filed suit to prevent the IRS from taking its tax exemption, but in 1974, in Bob Jones University v. Simon
Bob Jones University v. Simon
Bob Jones University v. Simon, 416 U.S. 725 , was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States....

, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the university did not have standing to sue until the IRS actually assessed taxes. Four months later, on May 29, 1975, the University Board of Trustees authorized a change in policy to admit "students of any race," a move that occurred shortly before the announcement of the Supreme Court decision in Runyon v. McCrary
Runyon v. McCrary
Runyon v. McCrary, 427 U.S. 160 , was a case heard before the United States Supreme Court which held that federal law prohibited private schools from discriminating on the basis of race...

(427 U.S. 160 [1976]), which prohibited racial exclusion in private schools.

In May 1975, as it prepared to allow unmarried blacks to enroll, BJU adopted more detailed rules prohibiting interracial dating and marriage—threatening expulsion for any student who dated or married interracially, who advocated interracial marriage, who was "affiliated with any group or organization which holds as one of its goals or advocates interracial marriage," or "who espouse, promote, or encourage others to violate the university's dating rules and regulations." In a 2000 interview, the then-president, Bob Jones III, said that interracial dating had been prohibited since the 1950s and that the policy had originated in a complaint by parents of a male Asian student who believed that their son had "nearly married" a white girl.

Bob Jones University v. United States (1983)

On January 19, 1976, the Internal Revenue Service notified the university that its tax exemption had been revoked retroactively to December 1, 1970. The school appealed the IRS decision all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that the University met all other criteria for tax-exempt status and that the school's racial discrimination was based on sincerely held religious beliefs, that "God intended segregation of the races and that the Scriptures forbid interracial marriage." The university was not challenged about the origin of its interracial dating policy, and the District Court accepted "on the basis of a full evidentiary record" BJU's argument that the rule was a sincerely held religious conviction, a finding affirmed by all subsequent courts. In December 1978, the federal district court ruled in the university's favor; two years later, that decision was overturned by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

On January 8, 1982, just before the case was to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 authorized his Treasury and Justice Departments to ask that the BJU case be dropped and that the previous court decisions be vacated. Political pressure quickly brought the Reagan administration to reverse itself and to ask the Court to reinstate the case. Then, in a virtually unprecedented move, the Court invited William T. Coleman, Jr. to argue the government's position in an amicus curiae
Amicus curiae
An amicus curiae is someone, not a party to a case, who volunteers to offer information to assist a court in deciding a matter before it...

 brief, thus ensuring that the prosecution's position would be the one the Court wished to hear. The case was heard on October 12, 1982, and on May 24, 1983, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Bob Jones University in Bob Jones University v. United States
Bob Jones University v. United States
Bob Jones University v. United States, , was a decision by the United States Supreme Court that held that the Internal Revenue Service could, without the approval of the United States Congress, revoke the tax exempt status of organizations that are contrary to established public...

(461 U.S. 574). The university refused to reverse its interracial dating policy and (with difficulty) paid a million dollars in back taxes. Also, in the year following the Court decision, contributions to the university declined by 13 percent.

Dropping the no-interracial-dating rule (2000)

In 2000, following a media uproar prompted by the visit of presidential candidate George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 to the university, Bob Jones III abruptly dropped the interracial dating rule, announcing the change on CNN's
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

 "Larry King Live
Larry King Live
Larry King Live is an American talk show hosted by Larry King on CNN from 1985 to 2010. It was CNN's most watched and longest-running program, with over one million viewers nightly....

". Five years later when asked for his view of the rule change, the current president, Stephen Jones, replied, "I've never been more proud of my dad than the night he...lifted that policy."

Apology for "racially hurtful" policies (2008)

In November 2008, the university declared itself "profoundly sorry" for having allowed "institutional policies to remain in place that were racially hurtful." 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."

By 2005, the university had established two 501(c)(3) charitable organizations to provide scholarship assistance solely for minority students. Although BJU never reapplied for federal tax-exempt status, and it continues to pay federal taxes, a number of its ancillaries, including Bob Jones Academy and the BJU Museum & Gallery, are tax-exempt entities.


As a twelve-year-old, Bob Jones, Sr. made a twenty-minute speech in defense of the Populist Party
Populist Party (United States)
The People's Party, also known as the "Populists", was a short-lived political party in the United States established in 1891. It was most important in 1892-96, then rapidly faded away...

. Jones was a friend and admirer of William Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan was an American politician in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. He was a dominant force in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, standing three times as its candidate for President of the United States...

 but also campaigned throughout the South for Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...

 (and against Al Smith
Al Smith
Alfred Emanuel Smith. , known in private and public life as Al Smith, was an American statesman who was elected the 42nd Governor of New York three times, and was the Democratic U.S. presidential candidate in 1928...

) during the 1928 presidential election. Even the authorized history of BJU notes that both Bob Jones, Sr. and Bob Jones, Jr. “played political hardball” when dealing with the three municipalities in which the school was successively located. For instance, in 1962, Bob Jones, Sr. warned the Greenville City Council that he had “four hundred votes in his pocket and in any election he would have control over who would be elected.”

Republican powerhouse

From the inception of Bob Jones College, a majority of students and faculty were northerners, and therefore many were already Republicans living in the "Solid South
Solid South
Solid South is the electoral support of the Southern United States for the Democratic Party candidates for nearly a century from 1877, the end of Reconstruction, to 1964, during the middle of the Civil Rights era....

." After South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond
Strom Thurmond
James Strom Thurmond was an American politician who served as a United States Senator. He also ran for the Presidency of the United States in 1948 as the segregationist States Rights Democratic Party candidate, receiving 2.4% of the popular vote and 39 electoral votes...

 switched his allegiance to the Republican Party in 1964, BJU faculty members became increasingly influential in the new state Republican party, and BJU alumni were elected to local political and party offices. In 1976, candidates supported by BJU faculty and alumni captured the local Republican party with unfortunate short-term political consequences, but by 1980 the religious right and the "country club" Republican
Country club Republican
"Country club Republican" is an expression employed, usually pejoratively, to describe certain members of the United States Republican Party. Some of the characteristics attributed to country club Republicans are: Higher than average income or wealth, lack of sympathy with lower income citizens,...

s had joined forces. From then on, most Republican candidates for local and statewide offices sought the endorsement of Bob Jones III and greeted faculty/staff voters at the University Dining Common.

National Republicans soon followed. Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 spoke at the school in 1980, although the Joneses supported his opponent, John Connally
John Connally
John Bowden Connally, Jr. , was an influential American politician, serving as the 39th governor of Texas, Secretary of the Navy under President John F. Kennedy, and as Secretary of the Treasury under President Richard M. Nixon. While he was Governor in 1963, Connally was a passenger in the car in...

, in the South Carolina primary. (Later, Bob Jones III denounced Reagan as "a traitor to God's people" for choosing George H.W. Bush—whom Jones called a "devil"—as his vice president. Even later, Jones III shook Bush's hand and thanked him for being a good president.) In the 1990s, other Republicans such as Dan Quayle
Dan Quayle
James Danforth "Dan" Quayle served as the 44th Vice President of the United States, serving with President George H. W. Bush . He served as a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from the state of Indiana....

, Pat Buchanan
Pat Buchanan
Patrick Joseph "Pat" Buchanan is an American paleoconservative political commentator, author, syndicated columnist, politician and broadcaster. Buchanan was a senior adviser to American Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan, and was an original host on CNN's Crossfire. He sought...

, Phil Gramm
Phil Gramm
William Philip "Phil" Gramm is an American economist and politician, who has served as a Democratic Congressman , a Republican Congressman and a Republican Senator from Texas...

, Bob Dole
Bob Dole
Robert Joseph "Bob" Dole is an American attorney and politician. Dole represented Kansas in the United States Senate from 1969 to 1996, was Gerald Ford's Vice Presidential running mate in the 1976 presidential election, and was Senate Majority Leader from 1985 to 1987 and in 1995 and 1996...

, and Alan Keyes
Alan Keyes
Alan Lee Keyes is an American conservative political activist, author, former diplomat, and perennial candidate for public office. A doctoral graduate of Harvard University, Keyes began his diplomatic career in the U.S...

 also spoke at BJU. Democrats were rarely invited to speak at the university, in part because they took political and social positions (especially support for abortion) opposed by the Religious Right
Christian right
Christian right is a term used predominantly in the United States to describe "right-wing" Christian political groups that are characterized by their strong support of socially conservative policies...


2000 election

On February 2, 2000, George W. Bush, as candidate for President, spoke during school's chapel hour. Bush gave a standard stump speech making no specific reference to the university. His political opponents quickly noted his non-mention of the university's ban on interracial dating. During the Michigan primary, Bush was also criticized for not stating his opposition to the university's anti-Catholicism. (The John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

 campaign targeted Catholics with a "Catholic Voter Alert," phone calls reminding voters of Bush's visit to BJU.) Bush denied that he either knew of or approved what he regarded as BJU's intolerant policies. On February 26, Bush issued a formal letter of apology to Cardinal John Joseph O'Connor of New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 for failing to denounce Bob Jones University's history of anti-Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 statements. At a news conference following the letter's release, Bush said, "I make no excuses. I had an opportunity and I missed it. I regret that....I wish I had gotten up then and seized the moment to set a tone, a tone that I had set in Texas, a positive and inclusive tone." Also during the 2000 Republican primary campaign in South Carolina, Richard Hand, a BJU professor, spread a false e-mail rumor that John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

 had fathered an illegitimate child. (The McCains have an adopted daughter from Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

, and later push poll
Push poll
A push poll is a political campaign technique in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll. In a push poll, large numbers of respondents are contacted, and little or no effort is made to collect and analyze...

ing also implied that the child was biracial.)

Withdrawal from politics

Although the March 2007 issue of Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy is a bimonthly American magazine founded in 1970 by Samuel P. Huntington and Warren Demian Manshel.Originally, the magazine was a quarterly...

listed BJU as one of "The World's Most Controversial Religious Sites" because of its past influence on American politics, BJU has seen little political controversy since Stephen Jones became president. When asked by a Newsweek
Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second-largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence...

reporter if he wished to play a political role, Stephen Jones replied, "It would not be my choice." Further, when asked if he felt ideologically closer to his father's engagement with politics or to other evangelicals who have tried to avoid civic involvement, he answered, "The gospel is for individuals. The main message we have is to individuals. We’re not here to save the culture." In a 2005 Washington Post interview, Jones dodged political questions and even admitted that he was embarrassed by "some of the more vitriolic comments" made by his predecessors. "I don't want to get specific," he said, "But there were things said back then that I wouldn't say today." In October 2007 when Bob Jones III, as "a private citizen," endorsed Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney
Willard Mitt Romney is an American businessman and politician. He was the 70th Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 and is a candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination.The son of George W...

 for the Republican nomination for president, Stephen Jones made it clear that he wished "to stay out of politics" and that neither he nor the university had endorsed anyone. Despite a hotly contested South Carolina primary, none of the candidates appeared on the platform of BJU's Founders' Memorial Amphitorium during the 2008 election cycle. In April 2008 Stephen Jones told a reporter, "I don't think I have a political bone in my body."

Student rules

Strict rules govern student life at BJU.
Some of these are based directly on the university's interpretation of the Bible. For instance, the 2005-06 Day Student Handbook states, "Loyalty to Christ results in separated living. Dishonesty, lewdness, sensual behavior, adultery, homosexuality, sexual perversion of any kind, pornography, illegal use of drugs, and drunkenness—all are clearly condemned by God's word and prohibited here." 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. 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.

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." 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.

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. Students are forbidden to go to movie theaters or listen to contemporary popular music. Male students are required to have conservative hairstyles, and facial hair is prohibited. Women are expected to dress modestly and wear knee-length dresses or skirts to class and religious services. The university will not allow anything displaying the logos of Abercrombie & Fitch
Abercrombie & Fitch
Abercrombie & Fitch is an American retailer that focuses on casual wear for consumers aged 18 to 22. It has over 300 locations in the United States, and is expanding internationally....

 or its subsidiary Hollister
Hollister Co.
Hollister Co., sometimes advertised as Hollister or HCo., is an American lifestyle brand by Abercrombie & Fitch Co. The concept was originally designed to attract consumers aged 14–18 through its SoCal-inspired image and casual wear. Goods are available in-store and through the company's online store...

 to be "worn, carried, or displayed" on campus even if the logos are covered because these companies have "shown an unusual degree of antagonism to the name of Christ and an unusual display of wickedness in their promotions."

Notable people associated with BJU

Popular culture

  • BJU was judged "The Most Square" university in a poll of college newspaper editors published by McCall's
    McCall's was a monthly American women's magazine that enjoyed great popularity through much of the 20th century, peaking at a readership of 8.4 million in the early 1960s. It was established as a small-format magazine called The Queen in 1873...

     magazine, March 1967.
  • Steve Taylor
    Steve Taylor
    Roland Stephen Taylor , is an American Christian singer, songwriter, record producer and film director.-Early life:Taylor, the eldest of three children, was born in Brawley, California. Taylor's father, Roland Taylor, was a Baptist minister. When Taylor was six years old, the family relocated to...

    (1983) On his album Meltdown
    Meltdown (Steve Taylor album)
    Meltdown is the title of the second album by singer/songwriter Steve Taylor.This album was listed at #18 in the book, CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music.-Side one:# "Meltdown " – 4:26...

    , Taylor, a CCM
    Contemporary Christian music
    Contemporary Christian music is a genre of modern popular music which is lyrically focused on matters concerned with the Christian faith...

     artist, ridiculed BJU's racial policies in the song "We Don't Need No Colour Code."
  • In The Ladykillers
    The Ladykillers (2004 film)
    The Ladykillers is a 2004 dark comedy film directed, written and produced by the Coen brothers and stars Tom Hanks, with a supporting cast that includes J. K. Simmons, Marlon Wayans, Tzi Ma, Ryan Hurst and Irma P. Hall...

    (2004), one of the main characters, an elderly black woman, sends money to Bob Jones University on a regular basis.
  • Al Franken
    Al Franken
    Alan Stuart "Al" Franken is the junior United States Senator from Minnesota. He is a member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, which affiliates with the national Democratic Party....

     (2003) Al Franken with a young male assistant posed as a potential student and mentor considering application to the university and during an interview with the admissions director asked questions that ridiculed school policies. Franken wrote about this episode in his book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them
    Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them
    Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them is a satirical book on American politics by comedian, political commentator and now Senator Al Franken, published in 2003 by Dutton, a subsidiary in the Penguin Group. Franken had a study group of 14 Harvard graduate students known as "TeamFranken" to help him...

    . At the end of the chapter he noted that he and his assistant had come to BJU "expecting to encounter racist, intolerant homophobes. Instead, we found people who were welcoming, friendly and extremely nice. A little weird, yes, and no doubt homophobic, but well meaning…kind of."

External links

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