Candidate status—effectively, accreditation—was obtained in April 2005, and full membership in the Association was conferred in November 2006. After BJU lost the decision in Bob Jones University v. The year following the Court decision, contributions to the university declined by 13 percent.
In 2017, rated BJU as #2 in Best Four-Year College in South Carolina; rated it #3 Best Private College in South Carolina; and Christian University Online rated it #3 Most Affordable Christian College in the U. Although BJU had admitted Asians and other ethnic groups from its inception, it did not enroll Africans or African-American students until 1971. In 2000, following a media uproar prompted by the visit of presidential candidate George W. In 2008, the university declared itself "profoundly sorry" for having allowed "institutional policies to remain in place that were racially hurtful".
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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—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.
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." 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.
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.
Nevertheless, 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.
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." 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." Bob Jones took no salary from the college and helped support the school with personal savings and income from his evangelistic campaigns. The Florida land boom had peaked in 1925, and a hurricane in September 1926 further reduced land values. Bob Jones College barely survived bankruptcy and its move to Cleveland, Tennessee in 1933.
In the same year, the college also ended participation in intercollegiate sports.
In December 2011, in response to accusations of mishandling of student reports of sexual abuse (most of which had occurred in their home churches when the students were minors) and a concurrent reporting issue at a church pastored by a university board member, Released in December 2014, the GRACE report suggested that BJU had discouraged students from reporting past sexual abuse, and though the University declined to implement many of the report's recommendations, President Steve Pettit formally apologized "to those who felt they did not receive from us genuine love, compassion, understanding, and support after suffering sexual abuse or assault." 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".