Audio From BJU’s Student Body G.R.A.C.E. Termination Meeting Leaked, Available Here w/Transcript

Update: After we leaked the audio from today, BJU has uploaded a video from this meeting to its website. It’s available here, along with an expanded statement. A tipster has sent us audio from this morning’s private meeting at BJU, where Stephen Jones spoke to faculty, staff and students about the school’s termination of the […]

New School Year, Same Results: BJU’s “New Students” Count Down 260 from 2012

Continuing a trend that has dogged the school for years, Bob Jones University will again host significantly fewer students this year than the last. Sources with knowledge of BJU’s admissions department confirmed to BJU News today that the “new student” count is down by over 250 year-over-year. Exact BJU enrollment numbers are always difficult to […]

BJU Publishes 2013-14 Student Handbook, Highlights Include Changes to Church Attendance, Music Policies

Bob Jones University has published its new Student Handbook for the upcoming school year, changing and updating a number of policies. A few are detailed below. Click here to download a .pdf of the new yearbook; BJU scrubs previous years from its website once  new yearbooks are published. (Pg. 51) This section on counseling is […]

Stephen Jones Updates Students on Health Status: “I’m about 70%”

Before this morning chapel service, BJU President Stephen Jones gave an update on his evolving health problems, saying he’s “about 70%” back to health, but cautioning students that complications stemming from his mysterious vertigo condition could linger “for the rest of my life.” Dr. Jones admitted to days of depression while bed-ridden in previous months, but […]

BJU Alumni Form Support Group for Gay Students, Grab Media Spotlight; BJU Responds

BJUnity, a group formed by alumni of Bob Jones University to “provide a safe harbor—a network of people and resources—for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and straight affirming people affected by fundamentalist Christianity”, has made news this week with a new website and plans to take part in a Gay Pride parade in […]

Expelled BJU Student Tells His Story via YouTube

The following post, like many on this site, contains information that can’t be completely verified. We present Mr. Peterman’s story as he tells it–if BJU publishes a response we will also publish that. Former BJU student Christopher Peterman, expelled yesterday, has chronicled his experience with the school’s disciplinary system in a new YouTube video. According […]

Pictures of BJU Student Body Fuel Speculation of Shrinking Enrollment

Several pictures taken during today’s Student Body program seem to confirm the long-running trend of dropping enrollment at Bob Jones University. Two things to keep in mind about these pictures: 1) The program today did not include any Senior year students or faculty/staff, and 2) The balcony is shown only partially here but was completely […]

An Announcement About the Future of BJU News

After nearly four years reporting on and, occasionally, breaking news about my alma mater, I’ve decided that next month I’ll no longer be updating this site or writing about Bob Jones University here or elsewhere online. My decision to become an activist against the policies and actions of BJU was made gradually, and the decision to wind down those efforts […]

Al-Jazeera Notes BJU’s Hypocrisy in Audio We Leaked

You can read all our coverage of the GRACE report here. You can read the full report of BJU’s failure to properly address abuse here, and via our copy/paste-ready shortlink: This afternoon, Al-Jazeera America posted a new article specifically noting discrepancies between the GRACE report and Steve Pettit’s response to it in the audio […]

New Leaked Audio: Pettit Contradicts GRACE, Reassures “BJU is Safe”

In today’s Chapel message, which BJU declined to release publicly but which a tipster sent to us, BJU President Steve Pettit had a message for the University family: BJU “is a safe place,” and “most” of the abuse issues the GRACE report identified “happened to people before you were even born.” Contradicting the findings of […]

Research Shows BJU’s Hypocrisy on Abuse Issues

In its apology to victims prior to the GRACE report release, Bob Jones University expressed “sincere and humble” apologies for systemic neglect, admitting that it “added to [victims’] pain and suffering.” BJU President Steve Pettit has said he wants the school to the “part of the solution” to the nationwide epidemic of assault on college […]

Former BJU Faculty Member: Costly Fine Arts Productions Weigh Heavy on BJU’s Budget

A former BJU music faculty member contacted BJU News this week with information regarding the cost of the school’s lavish fine arts productions. The information is interesting in light of BJU’s continued enrollment issues and financial struggles. According to this former music faculty member, BJU productions typically cost between $1-2 million each to stage.  Operas […]

Pettit Says Re-Gaining Tax-Exempt Status Essential to “University’s Future” in New Leaked Audio

BJU President Steve Pettit Announced a surprise new initiative for the school during last week’s “State of the University Q&A“, held on-campus for students and alumni. Pettit told the small gathering of BJU supporters that the school is looking to regain its tax-exempt status, which it lost in 1983 after the US Supreme Court found […]

Here’s Leaked Audio of Steve Pettit’s First Faculty/Staff Town Hall as BJU President

We were just sent this file, a recording of the June 16th, 2014 faculty/staff meeting, Steve Pettit’s first such meeting as President. Stephen Jones typically used these town halls as a chance to summarize the University’s current status, and Pettit appears to be following that example. [audio]   A few notes from the recording: -Pettit says his […]

BJU to Implement New “Character Probation” Program for “Struggling” Upperclassmen

  Clarification: our first version of this post stated that this letter was sent to any upperclassman who was not a “spiritual leader.” In fact, this letter was sent to a smaller group, those who had not been “recommended” for such a leadership position. Although smaller, we still believe the impact of this letter is […]

Faculty Meeting Roundup: 2 BJU Dorms to be Demolished, China, SACS, Collegian

BJU held a faculty/staff meeting yesterday, and an attendee emailed us notifying of a few pertinent details. -BJU will close and demolish two of its residence halls this summer, Siddons (Women’s) and Reveal (Men’s). These residence halls currently house graduate students and assistants, but the school’s steadily dropping enrollment has made these older buildings obsolete. Here’s […]

Greenville Pastor Pleads with BJU over GRACE Scandal: “I am personally aware of the disappointment, confusion and hurt that your decision and subsequent communication caused”

In a video that quickly went viral, local Greenville pastor Ryan Ferguson shared his thoughts about BJU’s handling of the GRACE investigation and, specifically, the University’s communication regarding the decision. The video, and a transcript, are below. Let us know how you feel about this remarkable statement in the comments. “To Stephen Jones, Larry Jackson, the […]

Remember This BJU Grad Who Said That “Only Psychos Feel Abused”?

As we trudged through one BJU grad’s recent defense of his alma mater (and his follow-up tweet saying our analysis amounted to an attempt at “mind-reading”), we couldn’t help but be reminded of another far more candid BJU defender who said this when we reported on the GRACE investigation back in January 2013: @BJUNews Went […]

Dave Doran Takes on the “Ungodly Attacks” of BJU’s Victims and Critics

In a new post on his Glory and Grace blog, Detroit-area BJU grad and pastor Dave Doran (who doesn’t list his BJU degree on his church site, by the way,), took aim at the “distractions, distortions and deceptions” of certain unnamed “character assassins” who have recently tried to “derail” ministries and leaders.  This isn’t the first […]

G.R.A.C.E. Termination Wrap-Up: Media Coverage, Alumni Response, and The Future

What began as a simple announcement last night from G.R.A.C.E. quickly escalated into another social media firestorm for BJU, as supporters and detractors of the University took to various online platforms to discuss its decision to prematurely end the independent investigation of its sexual abuse policies and history. To summarize, here is a timeline of […]

BJU Terminates GRACE Investigation: “We Respectfully Request That All Work by GRACE be Halted” [UPDATED]

In a stunning reversal, GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) today announced that BJU has asked the organization to halt its independent investigation of the school’s sexual abuse policies and history, effective immediately. No reason was given. BJU contacted GRACE in 2011, after the Chuck Phelps scandal and ensuing outrage from alumni […]

The 5 Best Comments on Bob Jones III’s Chuck Phelps Defense

This past weekend, we were given an audio recording of a meeting between a BJU alumnus and Bob Jones III that took place in 2011. The meeting was conducted in order ask Jones why BJU was continuing to defend embattled pastor and BJU grad Chuck Phelps. The Phelps scandal became national news at that time […]

BREAKING: BJU President Stephen Jones to Resign, Effective Commencement 2014

The “personnel change” we predicted earlier this week just happened. For the first time in school history, a Bob Jones University president is resigning at a young age, and due to health problems. At a “family meeting” called a few moments ago, BJU announced to students and faculty that Stephen Jones will be resigning as […]

Summary: Get Audio and Transcripts from All of BJU’s Homosexuality Sermons Here

We’ve compiled this post as an easy place to access audio and transcripts from last week’s series on Homosexuality at BJU.  BJU initially declined to post any information on these sermons but relented after BJU News leaked the audio. BJU News remains the only place to hear audio from the Q&A session as BJU has […]

More USDOE Statistics: On-Campus Crime and Further Enrollment Declines

Last week we reported on the US Department of Education’s data regarding BJU’s sports program. Here’s some further information culled from the USDOE’s data dump, featuring two areas: BJU’s on-campus crime statistics and more evidence of its dropping enrollment. Last year’s crime statistics were grim; BJU had a “significantly higher” rate of on-campus sexual assault […]

“Bruination” Blog Sees Hypocrisy in New BJU Sports Programs

UPDATE: The Bruination blog appears to have been taken offline. “This is currently just a placeholder site about how the Bruins may be the Ruination of BJU. So Bruination doesn’t stand for The Bruin Nation; it stands for The Bruin Ruination.“ A blog called Bruination is questioning BJU’s recent push for “unity” as expressed in the school’s […]

U.S. News & World Report Publishes 2014 Best College Rankings, BJU Snubbed in Favor of NGU, Furman

U.S. News & World Report yesterday published its annual ranking of American colleges and universities, honoring a number of South Carolina schools but not BJU. 32 South Carolina schools were evaluated by U.S. News, you can see that list here. The list’s most direct comparison to BJU is North Greenville University, which placed #30 in […]

BJU Admits Declining Enrollment, Claims it as a Strategy in Facebook Post

In a comment made on its Alumni Facebook page today, BJU confirmed the assertions made by this site (and many others) that its enrollment has decreased significantly in recent years, and that the decrease signals a paradigm change for the school. Direct link to the comment thread here.   This remarkable admission does put an […]

Stephen Jones Delivers Confusing, Inaccurate Summary of SACS Progress at Home Prayer Meeting

Click here to see our BJU/SACS timeline. Continuing a pattern of misdirection, Stephen Jones delivered a rambling, at times factually incorrect speech on BJU’s attempt to gain SACS accreditation at an informal home prayer meeting yesterday evening. These meetings are being held in Greenville-area homes in an attempt to strengthen the University’s image among alumni–and […]

Mike Shrock Out at BJU

Mike Shrock has been a University Representative at BJU for years, visiting BJU feeder churches and schools around the country and advertising for the school. But a search of the University website now shows he’s been scrubbed from their records, and the page he used to occupy now shows just one Representative, Chuck Kitrell. The […]

BJU Board Member Mike Harding Claims BJU Has Applied for SACS, Furthers Misinformation Campaign

In a comment posted today on fundamentalist website Sharper Iron, BJU grad, board member and pastor Mike Harding claimed that BJU has applied for regional accreditation with SACS: However, as another commenter correctly noted, BJU has not in fact applied for accreditation with SACS. As the Collegian itself admitted, BJU only began the multi-year process […]

As Music Controversy Engulfs Northland, BJU Deploys Mazak To Clarify its Stance

Update: BJU has now posted Mazak’s sermon, “Worship: Casual or Reverent?” here. Northland International University, a long-time “sister institution” of BJU, is making some waves this year by openly condoning a cardinal sin of fundamentalism: Christian rock. While we won’t detail every change and decision that’s led them to this point, suffice to say NIU […]

Bob Jones III Uses Chapel To Blast “Bloggers Who Ruin Lives”, BJU Withholds Audio [UPDATED]

According to several witnesses in Chapel today and student tweets, Bob Jones III railed against “bloggers who ruin lives” during today’s service. The tirade was seemingly in response to the revelation made last week regarding former BJU Chief Branding Officer Joseph Bartosch. BJU has so far declined to upload audio of this morning’s service to […]

Controversial Public Statements Undercut BJU’s Attempt at Re-branding

It’s no secret that for the last few years Bob Jones University has been attempting to clean up its public image. There’s a certain amount of cognitive dissonance involved in this attempt, since the school categorically denies any wrongdoing past or present (take, for instance, BJU’s current hiring of G.R.A.C.E to investigate claims of sexual […]

Bob Jones III Comments on 2012 Election: “Neither Candidate Represents Anything That Any Of Us In This Room Believes”

Bob Jones III made some pointed comments about tomorrow’s Presidential elections in today’s Chapel, skewering both candidates but reserving his harshest critiques, as expected, for Barack Obama. We’ve transcibed the relevant portions of his pre-sermon political comments here: I trust that we’re all in prayer about tomorrow…the issues here are very great, greater than political […]

WSPA: BJU Has “Significantly Higher” Number of Forcible Sex Crimes Reported Than Any Other Area School

Citing data from the US Department of Education, WSPA Channel 7 Greenville reports today that 9 forcible sex crimes were reported at Bob Jones University in 2011, many more than were reported at other South Carolina schools–even those that dwarf BJU in size. We’ve prepared the below table to feature the information gathered by the […]

2001 BJU Accreditation Pamphlet Surfaces, Shows School’s Apparent About-Face on the Issue

  A pamphlet entitled “Taking The Higher Ground: The Accreditation Issue From The Bible Point Of View”, written by Bob Jones III 2001, has surfaced online–and its inflammatory anti-accreditation rhetoric emphasizes how completely Jones and BJU have reversed course on the issue, though without explaining that reversal. Jones’s premise in the pamphlet is that “uniting” […]

2012 BJU Enrollment

2012-13 BJU Enrollment Numbers Announced in Faculty Meeting, Detailed Here

Although BJU declined to publicly announce enrollment figures for this year, those statistics were detailed internally by Gary Weier at this morning’s Faculty/Staff meeting. A person who attended the meeting passed on the relevant numbers, listed here: -BJU welcomed 711 freshman this year, an increase from last year’s 698. -The total enrollment as of today is 3,304 […]

BJU Posts Stats on Class of 2016, No Enrollment Total Given

BJU today posted some statistics and info on its upcoming class of 2016 on its website. The photo, shown below, reveals some interesting dynamics taking shape within the student body. Of note is the lack of enrollment numbers. As recently as 2010, BJU publicly posted the size of its incoming freshman class. Last year the issue became […]

Summer Mix: Dining Common Progress, BJU Job Postings, Carl Herbster Shakeup

Progress on the BJU Dining Common renovation project is hard to gauge–the University hasn’t updated its webpage on the topic and their funding is shown at just over half–but a picture taken recently inside the building shows the extent of the planned transformation. Aramark took over control of the school’s food services on July 1st, according […]

UPDATE: BJU Still No Closer To Regional Accreditation

Despite months of preperation and attempts to convince potential students of it being a sure thing, BJU still has not even begun the multi-year process of attaining regional accreditation with SACS. The accreditation body published its June 2012 Actions Taken document last week detailing schools whose accreditation status have changed recently. BJU is nowhere to be […]

BJU to Host Conference on Sexual Abuse; Choice of Speakers Draws Criticism

Update, 7/1/2012: BJU has changed the fourth session from “Embracing Christ’s View of Children” to “Applying Grace and Truth to Hard Issues”. The new session will also be hosted by David Shumate. In apparent response to constant criticism from alumni, the media and the public, BJU has planned a conference this November on dealing with […]

BJU Adds Non-Dissent Policy To New Handbook

The 2012-13 BJU Student Handbook has been posted to the school’s website, and it contains a new policy prohibiting open dissent against the school. On page 51, under “General Grievances & Complaints”, the Handbook states: Students should keep in mind that it is not acceptable to disparage BJU through media. Any attempt to do so […]

Do Right BJU Movement Flies Plane Over BJU On Commencement Day (Updated 2x)

In a still-developing story, the Do Right BJU movement has apparently hired a plane to fly over the school’s campus this afternoon, displaying a banner with a web address and a call for transparency. Students began tweeting about the event around 4:45PM today, during the middle of the annual post-Commencement celebration around campus. The Twitter reaction seemed […]

New Chuck Phelps-Related Scandal Emerges

Former BJU Board member and University-affiliated pastor Chuck Phelps is again under fire for a decision made  years ago. The story begins with Joshua Budgett, a New Hampshire man charged today with ten counts of sexual assault against an underage girl. Police say the incidents stretch back to 2009, but this isn’t Budgett’s first brush […]

Peterman Expulsion Story Gains Media Attention, BJU Responds

South Carolina ABC affiliate WSPA Channel 7 today ran a story spotlighting the story of former BJU student Chris Peterman. Peterman was expelled on Tuesday in controversial fashion, as BJU News reported yesterday. Several other online sources have picked up the story, including, The Glee News Network, a fan site dedicate to “news and […]

Stephen Jones Set to Make Public Return April 30th

BJU President Stephen Jones will soon make his first Chapel preaching appearance in almost eight months, according to the University’s website. Jones last spoke publicly on September 5th, 2011. Blogging Without Apology, a BJU watchdog site, keeps a running total of the time since Jones’ last appearance and a countdown to his scheduled April 30th […]

Audio Leaked from 4/19/2012 Chapel, Dr. Bob III Requests $10 Per Month From Every BJU Grad

To play the clip in question, click on the gray “speaker/play” button at the end of the post and before the advertisement. BJU News has obtained an mp3 clip of a pre-sermon speech given by Bob Jones III yesterday. In the speech, Jones asks all current and future BJU students to “consider giving ten dollars […]

BJU to outsource Dining Common, Snack Shop duties? (Updated)

BJU will “probably” outsource its cafeteria and concession workload in the near future, University administrators told faculty and staff in a meeting last Friday. What this means for the school’s pending $6 million Dining Common renovation is not clear. It’s also unclear how this move would be economically feasible, since BJU would have to pay […]

BJU Room and Board, Tuition See Price Hike; Total now $18,520

A year of BJU education now costs $18,520 for on-campus students, the University’s website reveals. The price hike took place sometime this semester, but it’s not clear exactly when. The most recent record on Wayback Machine is from June 2011, showing total costs of $17,830. In addition, “Indirect costs”, which BJU says cover books, transportation […]

Bob Jones III Has a “Mitt Romney Moment”

Remember when Mitt Romney tried to identify with Florida NASCAR fans by saying he had “some friends who are NASCAR owners”? Bob Jones III had a similar gaffe this morning during the 10AM Bible Conference service, casually mentioning to his hugely underpaid employees that he spent two weeks in Italy vacationing with the speaker of […]

Greenville News Publishes Story on Stephen Jones’ Illness, BJU’s Recent Troubles

The Greenville News on Wednesday finally published its long-awaited piece on the health of Bob Jones University President Stephen Jones. The story also noted how difficult the past year has been for the school: scandal, plummeting enrollment, and sustained, forceful opposition from disaffected alumni via the internet. In short, it’s the kind of article the […]

BJU Posts “Update” on Stephen Jones’ Health.

Yesterday we received a tip from a BJU staff member. Apparently, sometime during last evening’s Bible Conference service Dr. Bob III promised a video update from Stephen Jones, the University’s President-in-abstentia (he has not been seen publicly on campus in 200 days exactly; a mysterious illness is to blame). Dr. Bob’s announcement came, notably, on […]

Of SACS, Gary Weier, and One Intriguing Email

I had an interesting experience this week, one which might be of interest to those following Bob Jones University’s increasingly comical pursuit of SACS regional accreditation. The school’s long and crooked relationship with academic relevance in the form of real accreditation has been well-documented elsewhere, but suffice to say: it’s the usual story with things […]

Bob Jones III and the Big Gamble

*** Well, it’s been a busy Autumn for Bob Jones University–and doubly so for those of us keeping tabs on the school’s less-than-honorable activities. Several stories dominated the headlines earlier this season, most notably declining enrollment and the Stephen Jones Disappearing Act. With national college enrollment trending drastically upwards in the last few years, curious […]

If the Boot Fits…(CULT!)

The following are taken from the Wikipedia entry, Cult. Now, it’s not a word I’m fond of–always seemed like more trouble than help to use. But, former/current students of BJU, Maranatha, Northland (ya know, the whole Network), you tell me if any of this sounds familiar. Maybe even scary? “a group whose beliefs or practices […]