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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.
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".
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.
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.
It has approximately 2,800 students, and it is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools.
In 2008, the university estimated the number of its graduates at 35,000; in 2017, 40,184.