Bob Jones University

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Bob Jones University (BJU) is a fundamentalist Protestant college located in Greenville, South Carolina, that teaches a liberal arts curriculum to around five thousand students[1]. Originally founded by Dr Bob Jones Sr. in 1927 in College Bowl, Florida as Bob Jones College, the campus has moved twice - first to Cleveland, Tennessee, and then in 1946 to Greenville. It achieved accreditation status on November 7, 2006, through the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS)[2].

The courses offered at Bob Jones include a large number of theology, ministry and other religious courses, but also courses across the science, humanities and arts curriculum. In the more religious courses, tuition is given to men and women separately[3].

Behavior and dress policies

Behavior and dress codes follow the school's interpretation of proper Christian conduct. The dress code requires modesty and "distinction from the world", as well as clear separation of men and women[4], while the behavior code bans consumption of alcohol and illegal drugs, as well as gambling, dancing, dishonesty, "lewdness, sensual behavior, adultery, homosexuality, sexual perversion of any kind, pornography"[5], displaying in dorm rooms posters of musicians or movie stars, listening to forbidden music (jazz, rock, New Age, country and contemporary Christian music), attending movie theaters and playing video games with violent or sexual themes[6].

Controversies

Race and inter-racial dating

BJU did not admit black students until 1971. Until 1975, it only admitted black students who were married. From 1975 onwards, it adopted a policy banning inter-racial dating or marriage of students, which caused the Internal Revenue Service to remove its tax exempt status. In 2000, the policy was revoked following a speech at by George W. Bush to the university. The college claims to now actively recruit black and minority students through scholarship funds, although, unsurprisingly, criticism of BJU's racial policies is still a live issue[7]

References

  1. Bob Jones University, Fast Facts
  2. Bob Jones University, University Accreditation
  3. Bob Jones University, Undergraduate Degrees
  4. Bob Jones University, Dress Codes
  5. Bob Jones University, Student Expectations
  6. Bob Jones University, Residence Hall Life
  7. "Good Luck! Bob Jones University Looks to Recruit Black Students", The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education 35 (Spring 2002), pp. 65-66; "Bob Jones University: A Boot Camp for Bigots", The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education 27 (Spring 2000), pp.15-16.