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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".Many of these students go on to a seminary after completing their undergraduate degree.
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.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." 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.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.
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".
With the enactment of GI Bill at the end of World War II, the college was virtually forced to find a new location and build a new campus.
Though he had served as Acting President as early as 1934, Jones' son, Bob Jones, Jr.
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.