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About Liberty

Who We Are

Letter from the President

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Mission
Statement

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Doctrinal
Statement

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Letter from the President

Liberty University is the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation, the largest university in Virginia, and the largest Christian university in the world. Liberty was founded in 1971 by my father, the late Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr., with a vision to Train Champions for Christ as a world class university. An accredited institution, Liberty now offers more than 450 unique programs of study. Liberty’s more than 7,000-acre campus boasts millions of square feet of technologically advanced academic, residential, and recreational space, the vast majority of which was constructed in the last 15 years. Liberty hosts some of the world’s best-known speakers from all walks of life every semester, and our vibrant spiritual life programs are based on a solid doctrinal statement that truly sets us apart from other schools.  Our code of conduct teaches discipline and promotes a lifestyle of Biblical morality, but is well-balanced to allow students the freedom to enjoy their college experience. While academics and faith are our top priorities, Liberty also fields 20 NCAA Division I athletic teams, 32 club sport teams, and provides a host of student activities, intramural sports, and recreational opportunities. Everything we do is designed to develop Christ-centered men and women with the values, knowledge and skills essential to impact tomorrow’s world.

- President Jerry Falwell

Mission Statement

Philosophy of Education

Liberty University is a Christian academic community in the tradition of evangelical institutions of higher education. As such, Liberty continues the philosophy of education which first gave rise to the university, and which is summarized in the following propositions.

God, the infinite source of all things, has shown us truth through scripture, nature, history, and above all, in Christ.

Persons are spiritual, rational, moral, social, and physical, created in the image of God. They are, therefore, able to know and to value themselves and other persons, the universe, and God.

Education as the process of teaching and learning, involves the whole person, by developing the knowledge, values, and skills which enable each individual to change freely. Thus it occurs most effectively when both instructor and student are properly related to God and each other through Christ.

Statement of Mission and Purpose

Maintaining the vision of the founder, Dr. Jerry Falwell, Liberty University develops Christ-centered men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential to impact the world.

Through its residential and online programs, services, facilities, and collaborations, the University educates men and women who will make important contributions to their workplaces and communities, follow their chosen vocations as callings to glorify God, and fulfill the Great Commission.

Liberty University will:

  1. Emphasize excellence in teaching and learning.
  2. Foster university-level competencies in communication, critical thinking, information literacy, and mathematics in all undergraduate programs.
  3. Ensure competency in scholarship, research, and professional communication in all graduate programs and undergraduate programs where appropriate.
  4. Promote the synthesis of academic knowledge and Christian worldview in order that there might be a maturing of spiritual, intellectual, social and physical value-driven behavior.
  5. Enable students to engage in a major field of study in career-focused disciplines built on a solid foundation in the liberal arts.
  6. Promote an understanding of the Western tradition and the diverse elements of American cultural history, especially the importance of the individual in maintaining democratic and free market processes.
  7. Contribute to a knowledge and understanding of other cultures and of international events.
  8. Encourage a commitment to the Christian life, one of personal integrity, sensitivity to the needs of others, social responsibility and active communication of the Christian faith, and, as it is lived out, a life that leads people to Jesus Christ as the Lord of the universe and their own personal Savior.

Approved by the Board of Trustees March 7, 2014

Doctrinal Statement

We affirm our belief in one God, infinite Spirit, creator, and sustainer of all things, who exists eternally in three persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. These three are one in essence but distinct in person and function.

We affirm that the Father is the first person of the Trinity and the source of all that God is and does. From Him the Son is eternally generated and from Them the Spirit eternally proceeds. He is the designer of creation, the speaker of revelation, the author of redemption, and the sovereign of history.

We affirm that the Lord Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity, eternally begotten from the Father. He is God. He was conceived by the virgin Mary through a miracle of the Holy Spirit. He lives forever as perfect God and perfect man: two distinct natures inseparably united in one person.

We affirm that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, proceeding from the Father and the Son and equal in deity. He is the giver of all life, active in the creating and ordering of the universe; He is the agent of inspiration and the new birth; He restrains sin and Satan; and He indwells and sanctifies all believers.

We affirm that all things were created by God. Angels were created as ministering agents, though some, under the leadership of Satan, fell from their sinless state to become agents of evil. The universe was created in six historical days and is continuously sustained by God; thus it both reflects His glory and reveals His truth. Human beings were directly created, not evolved, in the very image of God. As reasoning moral agents, they are responsible under God for understanding and governing themselves and the world.

We affirm that the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, though written by men, was supernaturally inspired by God so that all its words are the written true revelation of God; it is therefore inerrant in the originals and authoritative in all matters. It is to be understood by all through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, its meaning determined by the historical, grammatical, and literary use of the author’s language, comparing Scripture with Scripture.

We affirm that Adam, the first man, willfully disobeyed God, bringing sin and death into the world. As a result, all persons are sinners from conception, which is evidenced in their willful acts of sin; and they are therefore subject to eternal punishment, under the just condemnation of a holy God.

We affirm that Jesus Christ offered Himself as a sacrifice by the appointment of the Father. He fulfilled the demands of God by His obedient life, died on the cross in full substitution and payment for the sins of all, was buried, and on the third day He arose physically and bodily from the dead. He ascended into heaven where He now intercedes for all believers.

We affirm that each person can be saved only through the work of Jesus Christ, through repentance of sin and by faith alone in Him as Savior. The believer is declared righteous, born again by the Holy Spirit, turned from sin, and assured of heaven.

We affirm that the Holy Spirit indwells all who are born again, conforming them to the likeness of Jesus Christ. This is a process completed only in Heaven. Every believer is responsible to live in obedience to the Word of God in separation from sin.

We affirm that a church is a local assembly of baptized believers, under the discipline of the Word of God and the lordship of Christ, organized to carry out the commission to evangelize, to teach, and to administer the ordinances of believer’s baptism and the Lord’s table. Its offices are pastors and deacons, and it is self-governing. It functions through the ministry of gifts given by the Holy Spirit to each believer.

We affirm that the return of Christ for all believers is imminent. It will be followed by seven years of great tribulation, and then the coming of Christ to establish His earthly kingdom for a thousand years. The unsaved will then be raised and judged according to their works and separated forever from God in hell. The saved, having been raised, will live forever in heaven in fellowship with God. 

  

 

Leadership

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History

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History

Story

In 1971, Pastor Jerry Falwell, Sr. challenged his congregation at Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Va. to establish a Christian college whose students would “go out in all walks of life to impact this world for God.” Soon after, Lynchburg Baptist College became a reality.

Through those founding years, students and faculty were inspired to influence the moral and ethical course of America. Subsequently, the school’s name officially changed to Liberty Baptist College in 1975 and the colors were changed to red, white, and blue. The college achieved full accreditation with the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1980. 

By 1985, the school had become recognized as a fully­accredited university, adding programs and garnering recognition from both mainstream culture and the world of academia. Liberty also pioneered a distance learning program that year, launching what is now known as Liberty University Online.

With the passing of the founder in 2007, his son, Jerry Falwell, Jr., became chancellor and president of the university. At the 2007 Commencement ceremony, just days after his father’s passing, the now President Falwell proclaimed, “We have prepared for this transition for 15 years or more. All is well at Liberty.”

In only four short decades, Liberty has grown to become the nation’s seventh largest university, and most importantly, the world’s largest Christian university.

Liberty’s journey has been one of facing giants, making the impossible possible, watching fervent prayer move mountains, and Training Champions for Christ.

Then & Now

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Our Founder

Jerry Falwell

Dr. Jerry Falwell

Founder of Liberty University
Aug. 11, 1933 - May 15, 2007

In June of 1956, at the age of 22, Jerry Falwell started Thomas Road Baptist Church in his hometown of Lynchburg, Va., with 35 members. Also in 1956, Falwell began the “Old Time Gospel Hour,” a nationally syndicated radio and television ministry that has led millions to Christ.

In 1967, Falwell implemented his vision to build a Christian educational system for evangelical youth. He began with the establishment of Lynchburg Christian Academy, an accredited Christian day school for grades K-12 . In 1971, he founded Liberty University, an accredited Christian university for evangelical believers. In 1985 Falwell announced his goal of 50,000 students.

Today his vision has been fulfilled, with more than 12,000 students attending classes on campus in Lynchburg, Va., and more than 90,000 students from all 50 states and 95 countries taking courses through Liberty University Online.

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Timeline

 
Title
Description
1971

Excellence

Academics

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Online

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Accreditation

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Academics

Liberty University is an accredited evangelical liberal arts institution with 15 schools and colleges and more than 450 unique programs of study from the certificate to doctoral level. By incorporating academic theory, research, and hands-on training, Liberty equips students with the knowledge and skills they need to make a lasting impact on their profession.

Liberty maintains that a university’s prestige is not defined by the exclusivity of its admittance policy. We believe a successful university is defined by how many students it educates to their full potential, not how many it turns away — that is why Liberty continues to offer tuition rates that are among the lowest in the nation.

Every course at Liberty is taught by professors with real-world experience who view their position as a calling, not just a job. With a low student-to-professor ratio and caring Christian faculty who are invested in each student’s success, Liberty fosters an environment in which learning occurs among a community of peers and instructors.

Many of Liberty’s programs are comprehensive, offering education for every level of a given discipline or profession. Preparing students for careers in medicine, education, religion, law, aeronautics, psychology, business, and more, Liberty is committed to developing tomorrow’s leaders — men and women of character who will make a positive difference in their communities and in the world.

Online

More than 90,000 of Liberty’s students study with Liberty University Online. Liberty Online is known for its high student satisfaction and retention rates. As a pioneer in distance education since 1985, Liberty Online ensures student success by providing exceptional resources including an online library, Online Writing Center, a partnership with Tutor.com, Liberty Online Communities, and knowledgeable and accessible academic advisors.

Liberty is also home to more than 27,000 members of the military community, offering them flexibility in their studies whether they are serving on the home front or overseas. Each student enjoys personalized benefits such as tuition discounts, book vouchers, credit for military training, and a highly-trained Military Affairs Office. With over 230 online degree programs for students to choose from, courses are presented in flexible, eight-week sub-terms offered continuously throughout the year. Liberty Online affords both civilian and military students the convenience to complete coursework when and where it’s most suitable for them.

Liberty University Online ›

Accreditation

Accreditation ensures that Liberty University has met strict standards with regard to degree programs, faculty, administration, student support and services. Accreditation also ensures that courses taken and degrees earned through Liberty University will be accepted by other accredited institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

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Notable
Alumni

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Athletics

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Convocation

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Notable Alumni

Liberty University graduates are equipped to impact the culture for Christ in every vocation. There are over 200,000 Liberty alumni influencing the world in their respective fields. Our graduates have found jobs with the U.S. Senate, Google, ESPN, Discovery Channel, Concerned Women for America, CNN, Bank of America, and more.

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Athletics

Athletics have been an important part of Liberty University’s vision since the university was founded. Starting with a single athletics team, Liberty now boasts a mature NCAA Division I program with 20 teams. The university also has 32 Club Sports teams and a growing intramural program for students at all athletic levels.

More than 500 student-athletes represent Liberty on the national athletics stage. The Flames have won six Big South Football Championships, 18 conference titles in the last two seasons, and 11 Sasser Cups in 16 years.

More Liberty athletics.

Convocation

Liberty University invites speakers of global significance to address its student body in a thrice-weekly Convocation - the largest weekly gathering of Christian young people in the world. Convocation speakers challenge, motivate, and inspire Liberty students as they share their stories and impart their wisdom.

A long line of influential speakers have taken the podium at Convocation, including:

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Campus & Community

Facilities

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Current
Construction

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Economic
Impact

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Lynchburg
City

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Facilities

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Economic Impact

Liberty University is a core thread in the fabric of Lynchburg, VA's infrastructure and economy. Liberty’s students and the school's business operations contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy each year. With more than 6,500 employees, it is responsible for many Central Virginia workers having the buying power to keep other local businesses thriving.

A recent study highlighted key indicators of Liberty's contributions to the community:

  • 7,000 (nearly) full-time jobs created in the region.
  • $6 million in tax revenue for the city in the fiscal year 2011-2012.
  • $81 million annual spending in the local economy by Liberty students and visitors.
  • 754,929 hours of volunteer service by Liberty students, faculty, and staff.
  • $5.5 million: estimated value of volunteer work provided by Liberty family.
  • $500,000 matching grant to assist restoration of Lynchburg’s historic Academy of Music Theatre.
Fiscal year 2011-2012

With Liberty as an ally, Lynchburg area communities are reaping benefits, like improvements to highways and travel systems, addition of recreational facilities, and budding cultural activities. Many Liberty facilities are open to the public daily, including the LaHaye Ice Center, and the Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre.

Liberty has also worked to build a relationship with local governments and other local businesses. Campbell County Administrator David Laurrell is optimistic about the relationships between Liberty and the surrounding communities. He said, "Liberty has a lot of really exciting things going on. The university is a great working partner with the community. I think Liberty's presence has a positive economic impact on the area."

Additional Community-focus sources:

Liberty's future plans for Community Improvement

Read more about Liberty’s Impact on the Lynchburg Region

"In the past several years, Liberty, in addition to achieving its mission as a university, has simultaneously become an engine of our region's economy."

- Bryan David, executive director of the Region 2000 Economic Development Council

Liberty & Lynchburg

A Thriving Campus

For more than 40 years, Liberty University has produced graduates with the values, knowledge, and skills required to impact the world. Founded by Dr. Jerry Falwell in 1971, Liberty University is a private, coeducational, undergraduate and graduate institution.

Our more than 7,000-acre campus serves a diverse residential and online student body, respesenting all 50 states and more than 90 nations.

Liberty University is nestled in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and located on the south bank of the historic James River, in a region rich in history, culture, and outdoor recreational opportunities.


A University Town

With a population of over 75,000, Lynchburg proper is considerably smaller than many metropolitan suburbs. The city and five surrounding counties represent a population of more than 222,000, and is a region of remarkable diversity, industry, and historic significance.

Lynchburg is built on seven hills, creating spectacular vistas and a unique municipal layout. Lynchburg is home to four colleges/universities. It was ranked “2nd Best Small City” by Money Magazine and was included in the top 50 “Best Places to Raise a Family” by Reader’s Digest. Lynchburg is also one of the safest communities in the nation (ranked 7th safest according to the FBI), offering the comfort of feeling safe wherever you go.

Area rent and lifestyle expenses are below the national average, and many campus and local events are inexpensive or free. 


Living with History

Lynchburg was established by charter in 1786 at the site of Lynch’s Ferry on the James River. It was a center of commerce and manufacturing in the 19th Century. Transportation facilities included the James River, Kanawha Canal and, later, four railroads. In the American Civil War, Lynchburg was approached within one mile by the Union forces of General David Hunter as he drove south from the Shenandoah Valley. Hunter was driven back by the forces of Confederate General Jubal Early on June 18, 1864.

If your interests turn to the past, be sure to visit Thomas Jefferson’s crowning architectural achievement, Monticello, located in nearby Charlottesville (one hour north of Lynchburg). Another fascinating creation of our third President is Poplar Forest, located just outside Lynchburg. Poplar Forest was Jefferson’s personal country retreat.

Appomattox Court House National Historic Park, a twenty-minute drive from Lynchburg, preserves the history of General R.E. Lee's surrender to Lt. General U.S. Grant, signaling the beginning of the end of the Civil War. The historical village consisting of original structures and reconstructed buildings is open to visitors year-round.

Colonial Williamsburg is approximately four hours away. Experience life as it was lived when our nation began. Near Williamsburg is the vacation destination of the Mid-Atlantic states, Virginia Beach.

Washington, D.C. is approximately four hours north of Lynchburg and offers outstanding educational and cultural opportunities.


Outdoor Living

The climate offers a little of everything. Central Virginia experiences four distinct seasons, but temperatures are rarely extreme. The sheltering Blue Ridge Mountains often shield Lynchburg from eastbound winter storms.

The Blackwater Creek Natural Area offers miles of hiking and biking trails within the city limits, most of them shielded from houses and buildings by steep bluffs and wilderness. The popular Appalachian Trail is nearby and a frequent destination for hikers and campers.

On Liberty's own property, the recently-developed Liberty Mountain Trail System consists of approximately 63 miles of single track, double track, and logging roads spanning approximately 5,000 acres. The trails are open to the public during daylight hours, and offer something for all difficulty levels, from a leisurely stroll to the mountain monogram, to rigorous bike trails that meet the International Mountain Biking Association's standards.

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