Bob Jones University

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There is no such thing as an undignified path to a physics degree… unless of course you got that degree from Bob Jones University
King Crocoduck[1]

Bob Jones University is a fundie school located in Greenville, South Carolina. It was founded by Methodist evangelist Bob Jones, Sr. and is now led by former evangelist Steve Pettit, the first president of the college not in the Jones family. [2] The institution is infamous for taking the most extreme fundamentalist positions imaginable. It finally entered the 20th century, just as the 21st century was beginning, by dropping its ban on interracial dating in 2000 and seeking and gaining accreditation by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools in 2005. Currently, BJU has candidate status with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. [3]

Until 2005, Bob Jones University held the position that accreditation was a compromise with the sinful world of academia. As such, the university was an unaccredited one for most of its history, in effect conferring degrees that might as well have come from a diploma mill. While BJU was unaccredited for most of its existence, credits easily transferred to Clemson University (which is regionally accredited and has excellent graduate programs). Credit transfer to Clemson was so common that many of the staff who got their undergraduate degrees from BJU earned Masters and Doctoral degrees from Clemson.

BJU's most famous student was the late Fred Phelps.[4]

Contents

[edit] History

Down in Carolina way
Lived a man named a big B.J.
B.J. went and got a school
Founded on Caucasian rule
Bumper sticker on his Ford
Says "Honkies if you love the Lord"

Steve Taylor

The university's history of racism is well known. They refused to admit black students until 1971, and from 1971 to 1975 they only admitted married black couples but not unmarried students. When they finally began admitting single black students in 1975 they coupled it with a ban on interracial dating, finally dropped in 2000. Their policies also cost them a whole lot of money after a 1983 SCOTUS rulingWikipedia's W.svg upheld the right of the IRS to revoke their tax-exempt status.[5]

They remain about a century behind the times, which for them is an improvement. Students are banned from dancing, going to movie theaters, watching television, having DVD players in the dorms, unfiltered Internet access, and listening to any kind of unapproved music (including jazz, country-western and Christian Rock). Anything displaying the Abercrombie & Fitch brand is also banned for whatever reason, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

The BJU "science" department promotes young earth creationism exclusively.[6] The university does not have a real geology program. Can't let geological facts get in the way now, can we?

Al Franken infiltrated Bob Jones University while researching Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by pretending to be a family friend of a prospective student who was a Christian, while making it clear he is Jewish and noting their uncomfortable er-um-er-WTF reaction. Many BJU students recognized him from Saturday Night Live — odd, given they are supposedly banned from watching television — although the faculty didn't.

In the Coen Brothers' 2004 remake of The Ladykillers, the fiercely religious African American landlady, having unknowingly avoided assassination and unexpectedly come into possession of a large quantity of stolen casino money, decides to donate all of the cash to Bob Jones University.

[edit] Intergender Relations

It is utterly untrue[7] that the sidewalks are LITERALLY painted pink and blue, as BJU's recruitment material for teens makes very clear. Rather, you're supposed to memorize from a map which public outdoor areas you are prohibited from by virtue of gender. It is also untrue that no dating is allowed whatsoever. There is good clean fun to be had at "couples' days" where young men and women are allowed to mingle under the watchful eyes of chaperones in designated community areas. Since sexual tensions are the strongest forces in the universe, BJU forbids the extended touching of a member of the other sex (who is not currently married to you). Other rules include having a chaperone present on any intersex group trips off campus, and a "four on the floor" rule requiring an open door and all 4 feet on the floor at all times during dorm visits from members of the opposite sex. A 9pm curfew for off-campus trips is also strictly enforced.

Many long and completely non-abusive marriages are alleged to result from such shallow interactions between people who are never afforded the opportunity to really get to know each other before committing to the long haul. It's also untrue that young men and women can't sit at the same table in the public dining hall… because they ran out of tables and had to consolidate.[citation needed]

The requirement for young ladies to cover their hair in a biblical fashion was lifted in the early nineties when they realized that church hats actually look really pimpin' and hence are evil. Women are still required to wear dresses that fall below the knees, and denim pants for either sex are generally frowned upon.[citation needed]

[edit] Music and media

BJU has a strict music philosophy. It does not allow any jazz, pop, electro, or rock music, not even the crappy Christian kind. BJU defines rock as any music appropriated from black people that has "sensual" vocal styles, "heavy" percussion, or overwhelming volume (looks like someone has never heard of a volume control.) They do not believe it is possible to separate the rock music style from the unholiness. This isn't just for the music department; it also applies to personal music listening. Students are not allowed to bring modern music recordings or paraphernalia on campus.

Students are not allowed to view live TV or movies on campus, and in their homes they may only view G rated movies (or PG with a counselor). They are allowed to own TV's for video gaming purposes, but the games can't be rated higher than E10, and the games cannot contain any gore, violence, or (God forbid) rock music.

[edit] Homophobia

See the main article on this topic: Homophobia

Bob Jones University is so antigay that a support group, BJUnity, recently formed for students who came out after graduation. Its members demand the university apologize for a 1980 comment made by then-president and current chancellor Bob Jones III that “it would solve the problem posthaste if homosexuals were stoned.” [8] In 2015, he finally apologized for that remark, even as he visited the White House to protest extending the Civil Rights act to homosexuals. [9]

[edit] Handling of sex abuse

Many students tried to get counseling over sex abuse that happened before they entered the university. These students typically were members of Christian fundamentalist communities and abusers were part of the same social group. The university typically accused victims of lying and sinning.

One former student stated a counselor told her reporting the abuser to the police would harm "the cause of Christ". The counselor said the victim was responsible for the abuse, and told her to forgive the abuser. [10]

In an attempt to stave off criticism, the university hired GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) to study their response. GRACE, however, blasted them, and specifically called out former president (and the founder's grandson) Bob Jones III, saying "Dr. Jones, III has also repeatedly demonstrated a significant lack of understanding regarding the many painful dynamics associated with sexual abuse[...]Due to the central role Dr. Jones, III played in the many issues outlined within this report, it is recommended that the university impose personnel action upon Dr. Jones, III." [11]

[edit] Academics

"Science" Programs

BJU offers Bachelor's "degrees" in Biology (Including Molecular Biology and Biochemistry), Chemistry and Physics. The degree programs include Bible studies alongside any actual science, and Young Earth creationism is part of the curriculum. They claim that the Creation Research Society is a professional science organization. According to the BJU website:

One of the benefits of studying biology at BJU is that you’ll get a top-notch science education from a thoroughly Christian perspective. In addition to strengthening your faith in the reliability of the Bible, this perspective will also help prepare you to understand modern secular interpretations of science and apply a biblical worldview to them.[12]

Other programs

BJU also offers degrees in Business Administration, Education (including "science"), Health Sciences, Bible Studies, Church Ministries, Criminal Justice and many other programs. Like the science programs, the other degrees are stuffed with Bible classes.

Questionable Qualifications

The faculty seem to have very questionable qualifications; many of the staff hold their undergraduate and graduate degrees from Bob Jones University itself. While it is very common for a school to hire its own graduates, the problem here is the fact the people who got their degrees from BJU earned them while the university was unaccredited. An example of this is most of the seminary faculty have their Bachelors through Ph.D's (or Doctor of Ministry degrees for a few of the staff) from Bob Jones University [13]. One ministry department faculty member has a Master of Theology degree from Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary which is an unaccredited seminary in Michigan [13]. Another example of questionable standards is the fact one of the music staff members has a Masters degree from Pensacola Christian College before it gained accreditation (not that the accreditation agency it has certification from is very good to begin with) [13]. One last example is a culinary arts "instructor" only has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible from Bob Jones University [13].

[edit] Bob Jones Academy

BJU has set up an elementary/middle/high school in South Carolina.[14] It maintains an active speech and debate team[15], which may or may not feed students to the notable fundy college debate programs at Liberty University and Patrick Henry College. Creationism is heavily integrated into the curriculum. Requirements for admissions include two letters of recommendation from a church and a family interview.

[edit] BJU Press

BJU Press is purportedly the largest source of homeschooling textbooks in the US,[16] and is purportedly the largest publisher in South Carolina.[17]

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] References

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