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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.
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.
In 2005, 120 of the finalists from previous years returned to BJU as freshmen.
BJU has taken the position that orthodox Christians of the late 19th and early 20th centuries (including fundamentalists) agreed that while the KJV was a substantially accurate translation, only the original manuscripts of the Bible written in Hebrew and Greek were infallible and inerrant.
The Division of Fine Arts includes an RTV department with a campus radio and television station, WBJU.
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.