Bob Jones University announces the search for its sixth president.
Bob Jones University focuses on educating the whole person to reflect and serve Christ. Our students come to our Greenville, S.C., campus from across the country and around the world to experience BJU’s unique combination of rigorous academic programs, personal discipleship, and character and leadership development opportunities. BJU is committed to the absolute authority of Scripture and encourages students to excel in everything they do for the glory of God.
Over 100,000 graduates and former students serve Christ around the globe. They are successful leaders in diverse ministries and vocations, as well as in their families and communities. The majority are vitally involved in the ministry of Bible-believing local churches and focused on reaching others with the truth of the Gospel.
Displayed upon the Bob Jones University crest are the words Petimus Credimus, “we seek, we trust.” We seek to inculcate into our students a thirst for knowledge of the arts and sciences, and we seek to satisfy that thirst. Above all, we trust the Bible as the inspired Word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ as the only hope of the world, and His gospel as the solution to the problems of our day.
Bob Jones University’s president is hired by and reports directly to the Board of Trustees and is the chief executive officer of the institution.
For this position, Bob Jones University is seeking a godly and Spirit-filled individual with a passion for God, His Word, evangelism, ministry and Christian education; who is totally committed to the absolute authority of the Bible, the mission of BJU and the local church; and who has successful leadership and administrative experience.
BJU is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, sex, national or ethnic origin, protected disability or veteran status, and for married students, medical needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, admission to and enrollment with the University, including but not limited to recruitment, selection, hiring, placement, transfer, promotion, training, compensation, benefits, discipline, termination, educational policies, admission policies, financial aid, scholarship and loan programs, housing, athletic and other university-administered programs and activities.
An individual who is
- godly and Spirit-filled (e.g., 1 Timothy 3:1–7; Titus 1:6–9; Galatians 5:22–23; 2 Timothy 2:23–26).
- humble, manifesting a gracious spirit, having a servant’s heart.
- patient, approachable and selfless in his relationships with others.
An individual with
- a proven record of integrity and honesty.
- a passionate, vibrant spiritually focused personality.
- a passion for God, His Word, evangelism and ministry.
- sound family relationships which are very supportive of BJU’s ministry.
An individual disciplined in his own spiritual, intellectual, physical, personal and public life.
- committed without reservation to the inspiration, inerrancy, infallibility and absolute authority of the Bible.
- committed to the fundamental doctrines of the faith as expressed in the University Creed and University position statements.
- committed to teaching, applying, and defending Scriptural principles of historical fundamentalism and biblical separation in the University and exhibiting these principles in his ministry and personal life.
- able to passionately and accurately communicate biblical truth.
- who possesses evangelistic fervor and a burden for discipleship.
- with a strong local church philosophy, as evidenced by his active membership in a local, Bible-believing church.
- committed to Christian liberal arts higher education consistent with the founding mission of the University.
- with proven leadership skills.
- able to build consensus, motivate, and impart vision and unity.
- who possesses and demonstrates sound financial and business judgment and practices.
- with the ability to inspire and lead the current generation of students.
- eager and able to represent the University on and off campus, including necessary travel.
- with a personal belief that God worked through the founder to raise up the University to serve His purposes and to accomplish His mission in this time.
Education and Experience
A preference for a BJU graduate who has an advanced degree, preferably an earned, terminal degree.
- who is an ordained preacher with at least fifteen years of combined, successful leadership, administrative, ministerial, and academic experience.
- respected by those who know him within the Bible-believing community that supports the founding mission and vision of BJU, its creed, and position statements.
- who personally demonstrates and encourages in others an ongoing spiritual and intellectual development.
Evangelist Bob Jones Sr. founded Bob Jones College in 1927 after his travels across the United States convinced him that Christian students were losing their faith at secular colleges. He had a vision for a college distinguished by academic excellence, refined standards of behavior and opportunities to appreciate the arts — and at the same time a place where Christ would be the center of all thought and conduct.
Beginning with 88 students in College Point, Florida, the college offered degrees in Bible, music and speech. Students participated in activities such as literary societies, sports, weekly Vespers, and the Classic Players — with the highlight of each day the chapel service.
Although the college survived the initial years of the Great Depression, a lack of funds forced a move in 1933 to Cleveland, Tennessee, where the college established additional academic programs and a work scholarship program to help students pay their expenses. After World War II the GI Bill helped double the size of the student body, requiring another relocation to larger facilities.
In 1946 construction began on the 210-acre campus in Greenville, South Carolina. The first 2,500 students arrived the following year. Concurrently, with the addition of six academic colleges, Bob Jones College became Bob Jones University, and the Board of Trustees elected Bob Jones Jr. president. The move to Greenville provided the space and finances for BJU to start its own radio station, a Christian film studio and the Museum & Gallery.
In 1971 Bob Jones III assumed the presidency. Under his leadership, additional academic programs were offered. In 1973 the 7000-seat Founder’s Memorial Amphitorium was completed. In 1974 BJU Press was founded to provide educational materials with a biblical worldview for K-12 Christian schools and homeschooling families.
In the 1980s BJU’s new outreaches included summer mission teams, the support of church planting ministries and the creation of the WORLD Fund to assist international students who return to minister in their home countries.
In the 2000s major improvements were made to the campus, including the construction of the Davis Field House and parking garage, the remodel of the Rodeheaver Auditorium lobby and the redesign of the main entrance. In 2004 BJU began the process of becoming an accredited member of the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. The University achieved full accreditation during the tenure of Stephen Jones, who was installed as president in 2005. In 2017 the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges granted Bob Jones University regional accreditation.
In 2012 BJU reinstated intercollegiate athletics, competing as a Division II school in the National Christian College Athletics Association (NCCAA). University teams compete in soccer, women’s volleyball, men’s golf, cross country, basketball, track and field and baseball.
Evangelist Steve Pettit was elected the fifth president in 2014. He focused on enhancing the student life and discipleship experience. Under his leadership, the University added new academic programs, including experiential learning, and other growth-driving initiatives; secured regional accreditation; added the School for Continuing, Online and Professional Education and the School of Health Professions; secured tax exemption; expanded intercollegiate sports; and increased University and student involvement in the community.
In May 2023, following the resignation of President Pettit, the Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Alan Benson to serve as acting CEO until a new president is named. His initial emphasis is on people — faculty, staff and students. He is looking at what faculty and staff are doing in their various roles and how he can provide them with the resources they need to succeed. He is also concentrating on all the components of the student experience that are intentionally designed to work together to shape student lives and help each student grow and develop as a whole person.
What was once a college of 88 students and three majors is now a university with a total enrollment of nearly 2,900 resident and online students — from 49 states and 36 countries — and over 100 undergraduate and graduate programs.
BJU offers students a total student experience package known as the BJU Premium — learning and living experiences focused on student success and rooted in our Christian liberal arts mission and our cultural emphasis and relevant to current ministry and workplace opportunities. BJU is committed to an education designed to inspire a lifelong pursuit of learning, loving and leading.
Bob Jones University is an independent, fundamental, Bible-believing liberal arts university serving primarily a biblically and socially conservative constituency across the U.S. and abroad. Founded as a non-denominational university, the institution has no denominational backing. While many of our students come from independent Baptist churches, over 25 denominations are represented in our current student body.
Since 1927, over 102,000 students have attended Bob Jones University, and over 36,230 have earned degrees. BJU alumni live, work and serve the Lord and their churches and communities in 98 countries.
Bob Jones University values our Greenville community, including the large number of local churches who welcome and serve our students along with schools, businesses, and medical facilities where our students gain teaching and experiential learning experience and serve as interns. Upstate South Carolina offers our students a vast array of cultural and recreational opportunities that enhance their college experience, and in turn, our students participate in a wide variety of community service projects. BJU also welcomes community participation in cultural, sports and other campus events.
Spiritual Position and Emphasis
Bob Jones University believes in the absolute authority of Scripture. We believe God is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. He has revealed Himself to us through the Holy Scriptures, and we hold that truth with the highest esteem. We are committed to keeping the Bible at the center of BJU’s focus.
BJU purposefully seeks a student body of regenerate Christians and asks students to describe their conversion experience on their application. Our mission with students is to help them grow in Christ-like character that is Scripturally disciplined, others-serving, God-loving and focused above.
Mandatory chapel services, held three times a week, are focused on the fervent preaching of the Scriptures. Campus and resident hall discipleship groups emphasize the practical application of what is preached in chapel. Each resident hall student attends a local church in the Greenville area. The University encourages students to be actively involved in local church activities during their college years.
Bob Jones University provides a biblically faithful, liberal arts education, offering associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. Our rigorous academic programs, infused with a biblical worldview, nurture faith and teach life and job skills for multiple vocations.
Liberal Arts and Bible Core
BJU was founded “to conduct an institution of learning for the general education of youth in the essentials of culture and in the arts and sciences.” The study of liberal arts equips students to know and imitate the Creator and enables them to understand and communicate truth. Instruction in communication, science, math, social science, philosophy, psychology, literature and the fine arts helps our students develop as image bearers and equips them to explain and defend essential doctrines, demonstrate communication skills, understand the history of our world, appreciate beauty and excellence, understand the world as God’s creation and demonstrate critical thinking skills.
Bob Jones University is also committed to teaching a core of Bible content. Knowledge of the Bible is indispensable to knowing God and implants the knowledge of God in the character and life of the believer. The abilities to appropriate Scripture properly and to apply biblical commands and principles to all of life are of first importance. BJU prepares students to embrace and defend a biblically based Christian faith and to integrate their biblical worldview into the social, intellectual, and cultural facets of their lives.
BJU offers 100 undergraduate and graduate programs through eight schools.
- College of Arts and Science
- School of Theology and Global Leadership
- School of Education and Human Services
- School of Business
- School of Fine Arts and Communication
- School of Health Professions
- School for Continuing, Online and Professional Education
- BJU Seminary
Courses are available online through the School for Continuing, Online and Professional Education. Each summer a number of Study Abroad and Study USA courses are also offered.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) granted Bob Jones University regional accreditation in 2017 and reaffirmed that accreditation in 2023. BJU was also granted national accreditation as a Category IV institution in 2006 by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS); that accreditation was reaffirmed in 2011 and again in 2021.
- Our engineering program was accredited in 2013 by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.
- The human resources management track in our business administration program is recognized by the Society for Human Resource Management as meeting the SHRN guidelines.
- BJU Teacher Education programs are accredited by the South Carolina Department of Education.
- The nursing program was accredited in 2019 by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and is approved by the South Carolina Board of Nursing.
- The Nursing program was provisionally accredited in 2021 by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.
- The speech-language pathology master’s program was awarded Level II candidacy status by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in 2023.
Top Undergraduate Majors by Enrollment
- Business Administration, BS
- Nursing, BSN
- Engineering, BS
- Kinesiology, BS
- Biblical Counseling, BS
- Accounting, BS
- Health Sciences, BS
- Premed/Predent, BS
- Biology, BS
- Interior Architecture and Design, BFA
Student Capstone Results
- 80–100% of premed graduates are accepted to medical school within one year of graduation; national average is 43%.
- The average MCAT score for Premeds over the past five years is 85th percentile. National average for student taking the MCAT is 40th percentile.
- Premed students have been accepted at more than 100 medical schools in 32 states and 5 countries.
- Over 300 graduates serve as doctors and dentists in the U.S. and around the world.
- Nursing grads have an 84% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN and typically outperform national and South Carolina pass rates.
- Engineering students had an 89% pass rate on the National Engineering Exam.
- Last year, education students had a 97% pass rate on the PRAXIS II Certification exam.
- BJU pass rate on the Actuaries Financial Mathematics exam is 71.4%; national average is 51.5%.
- BJU’s accounting grads consistently outperform state and national CPA Exam pass rates.
New Academic Programs
BJU continually assesses the demand for its programs in the marketplace and as a result periodically adds new programs to or drops existing programs from the curriculum as appropriate. Our goal is to provide programs that equip students with the knowledge and skills demanded by today’s jobs.
In the 2023–2024 academic year, the School of Health Professions added two new master’s degree programs — the MS in Speech-Language Pathology and a Master of Public Health, the School of Fine Arts and Communication added two new bachelor’s degree programs — a BS in Photography and a BMus in Guitar Performance, and the School of Theology and Global Leadership added a minor in Philosophy. Four existing undergraduate programs added a concentration and four a certificate. These additions resulted in a number of new courses.
BJU students have opportunities to participate in Army ROTC through a crosstown partnership with Furman University and in Air Force ROTC through a crosstown partnership with Clemson University.
Mack Library — The Mack Library provides access to 180,000 eBooks, 28,000 bound periodicals and nearly 400,000 total items. Advanced electronic research tools are also available for student use.
Academic Resource Center — From educational technology to academic accommodations for those with documented learning disabilities, the Academic Resource Center helps students with study needs. Services include a Writing Center which provides help with research papers or literary analysis. Academic coaches help students strengthen skills in time management, test taking, note taking, organization and goal setting. The Center coordinates peer-led study groups and tutoring services, offers technology assistance for personal computers and instructional equipment, and provides testing services for test taking outside the classroom.
First-year Experience — A number of opportunities are available to help the first-year student feel at home at BJU and help them succeed. First-year Seminar is a three-credit course covering topics helpful to first-year students, including people and resources and how to reach them. First-year advisors provide advice on selecting a major and choosing electives and extracurricular activities. First-year students living on campus are housed in first-year residence halls with intentional programming to help them adjust to college life.
Student Services Hub — The Student Services Hub is a one-stop location for students to consult their academic records and ask academic-related questions, request a transcript, pay bills, apply for financial aid, etc.
BJU’s total enrollment for the fall of 2023 is 2,893. This number includes 761 new and transfer students, of which 608 are undergraduate and 153 are graduate and online students. These students came to BJU from 49 states and 36 countries outside the United States. 47% are male and 53% female.
Regarding their educational background,
- 34% are home school graduates,
- 48% are graduates of Christian high schools,
- 16% graduated from public schools, and
- 2% graduated from a correspondence school, online high school, parochial high school, preparatory school, or a private non-Christian high school.
Of the resident student body, 67% live on campus and 33% off campus. Of undergraduate students, 74% live on campus and 26% off campus. Overall student body retention rate is 81%. Freshman to sophomore retention rate is 74% and first to second year retention rate 84%.
Student Financial Aid
Tuition for the 2023–2024 academic year is $21,210 and Room & Board is $10,100. 99% of new students applying for grants and scholarships receive them. 59.2% of our graduating senior class in 2023 have no federal loan debt. The default rate on student loans is currently 0%.
For BJU students, the average federal and institutional grant and scholarship award per student per year is $12,069. When state awards are added, the total becomes $14,113. $16,080 is the average package for South Carolina students.
The Center for Global Opportunities coordinates student outreach ministries and community service opportunities. Hundreds of students participate weekly. A monthly initiative called “Go Greenville” transports students downtown where they can initiate conversations which lead to the presentation of the Gospel.
Last summer, over 300 students ministered full-time in camps and 24 in church internships. The University sent out five mission teams to Houston, Texas; Uganda; Great Britian; Intermountain West; and Guatemala (Bruins volleyball team), as well as two medical mission teams to Ghana and Uganda — all involving 60 students and 11 faculty and staff. Dr. Marc Chetta, School of Health Professions faculty, took another medical team of 15 students and alumni to Bolivia.
Each Fall, the Center provides opportunities for ministries such as local churches, mission boards, and summer ministries to come to campus to recruit students.
Student Organizations and Leadership Development
BJU is committed to preparing students for a lifetime of humble servant leadership in their families, churches, communities and professions. Because of this, BJU emphasizes character and leadership development. Students are taught to value such things as self-discipline, integrity, and dependability.
BJU offers a full range of extracurricular activities to help students broaden their college experience beyond academic studies and develop their leadership skills. These include:
- Over 20 academic-related organizations such as the Premed Association, Criminal Justice Association, University Business Association and Collegiate Biology Association
- Student Leadership Council and Community Service Council
- Campus media, student newspaper and yearbook
- Choral and instrumental groups
- Plays, opera and musical productions
- Student Legislature and Public Policy Forum
BJU is committed to the cultural expansion of the individual through the intentional exposure to, and emphasis upon, fine arts and the social skills that enhance life. Choral and instrumental concerts, Shakespearean and opera productions, musicals, art shows, student dramatic productions and recitals are all an essential part of the BJU educational experience.
Intercollegiate and Intramural Athletics
At BJU, intercollegiate athletics is an integral part of the University and a platform for ministry. Student athletes are encouraged to disciple others in the BJU community as well as present a compelling testimony for Christ to those with whom and before they compete. BJU is a member of the NCCAA where we compete as a Division II school in:
- Men’s and women’s soccer
- Men’s and women’s basketball
- Women’s volleyball
- Men’s and women’s cross country
- Men’s and women’s track and field
- Men’s golf
BJU has won a number of regional and national championships and coach-of-the-year awards, and each year a number of students are named to the All-American teams and named scholar athletes.
BJU also maintains a vibrant intramural athletic program, affording all undergraduate students opportunities for competition through their societies.
In its 2024 Best College Rankings released Sept. 18, 2023, U.S. News & World Report again recognized Bob Jones University as one of the Best Regional Universities of the South. BJU’s rankings have improved each of the last seven years. Specific BJU rankings included:
- Best Regional Universities in the South #24
- Best Value Regional Universities in the South #2
- Top Performers on Social Mobility among Regional Universities in the South #2
Among Regional Universities in the South, BJU is the highest-ranked university for Best Value in the Carolinas.
The ranking for Best Value Regional Universities in the South is a measure of both academic quality and cost. Top Performers for Social Mobility among Regional Universities in the South recognizes the graduation rates of students awarded federal Pell grants.
BJU donors are investing in the lives of students, faculty and staff and creating an impact that will last for eternity. Since the University received tax exemption in March 2017, BJU alumni and friends have given $61 million. This funding has been primarily for:
- BJU Together General Fund — $23m,
- Student scholarships and endowments which help make a BJU education affordable for students — $13.1m,
- Building projects such as the School of Health Professions Capital Campaign and the Learning & Living Capital Campaign which renovated the first-year residence halls — $8.4m,
- Grant funding — $5.9m, and
- Academic programs — $4.1m.
The President’s Role
Spiritual Leader—Edify the Students
From the inception of BJU as a vision of Dr. Bob Jones Sr., the presidents of BJU have given themselves to the spiritual development of the students. The heartbeat of the president must be to enhance the faith of students in the deity of Christ and in the Word of God which they have been taught to believe. He should ably demonstrate theological depth, fundamentalist perspective and a spiritual discernment that understands our times and minister from a thoroughly biblical worldview.
As the spiritual leader, the president needs to practically apply God’s inspired, inerrant and infallible Word to the issues relevant to students, faculty and staff. His leadership must be evangelistic and demonstrate love for reaching the unsaved with the Gospel and a burden for discipleship.
The president is expected to interact regularly with students and demonstrate a strong commitment to the local church which will be evidenced through his active membership in a local Bible-believing church.
Shape the Strategy
The landscape of higher education is changing continually, and the president must have a clear strategy for successively navigating the future while upholding the distinctive of a biblically integrated liberal arts curriculum and a commitment to the Word of God and the fundamentals of the faith. It is critical that he casts, articulates and implements a compelling vision.
Through this means, he will highlight the unique impact BJU is making for the cause of Christ, now and in the future. The tenets of the strategy must include the founding principles of academic excellence, refined standards of behavior and opportunities to appreciate the performing and visual arts for this generation.
Inspire through Communication
BJU has a rich heritage of a passionate commitment to service for Christ that it proclaims to the world. Through intentional communication the president will engage students, faculty and staff to wholeheartedly work together to complete the mission of Christian education with gladness and devotion to Christ.
The president of BJU will be the leader in proclaiming that commitment to all constituencies around the world. He is expected to be an active recruiter of students who will benefit from an education at BJU and the faculty and staff who serve them. He will also interact with alumni and a broad range of constituents.
He must strive to build and maintain relationships and seek to elevate the understanding of what BJU is and is not. He serves as the ambassador and advocate of the mission of BJU; therefore, he must possess the ability to listen carefully and discern wise counsel. The president should effectively tell the story of BJU and our mission to those open to investing in our work. He must possess a willingness to travel frequently in order to speak on behalf of BJU and encourage likeminded ministry leaders around the world.
Lead the Organization
The infrastructure of Bob Jones University is supported on the foundation of the sacrificial offering of the lives of faculty and staff who utilize their talents for the mission of Christian higher education. The president must boldly lead appropriate change within the confines of non-negotiable biblical truth, be decisive on issues that may be divisive, and maintain integrity and unity within the organization.
The president must provide the organizational framework for faculty and staff to thrive in the successful delivery of this ministry calling they have been appointed to. He must build a leadership team comprised of competent men and women to serve with him. The chief executive officer of BJU must provide leadership for daily operational objectives of the University with a seasoned business mindset for organizational success. This balance of spiritual direction and sound business operations will provide the example for all who serve at BJU.
Vision and accountability to the execution of the mission BJU has undertaken will be the responsibility of the president. He will need to find balance in leading the diverse people and various functions. Relationships of trust with the faculty and staff will be key to accomplishing the vision of the University to serve students with excellence and spiritual fervor.