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About Liberty

Who We Are

Letter from the President

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Mission
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Doctrinal
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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 500 unique programs of study. Liberty’s 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, 35 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

Liberty University is commitment to academic excellence and to Training Champions for Christ as affirmed by our mission and doctrinal statements.

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 fully­ accredited 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 fifth 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 14,500 students attending classes on campus in Lynchburg, Va., and more than 95,000 students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries taking courses through Liberty University Online.

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Timeline

Quick Facts

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Excellence

Academics

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Online

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Accreditation

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Academics

Liberty has a broader vision than most schools. Instead of simply preparing our students for a career, we help them grow into mature men and women of character — with the confidence that comes from a quality education.

Liberty University is an accredited evangelical liberal arts institution with 16 colleges and schools, including a law school, medical school, and school of divinity. With more than 500 programs of study from the certificate to the doctoral level, Liberty equips students with both classroom theory and practical experience, effectively preparing them to enter a competitive job market.

Liberty continues to add to its academic achievements, winning awards for research and recruiting leading scholars in the arts, sciences, and theology to join its faculty. As evidence of Liberty’s commitment to scholarship, a new library, science hall, and school of music now stand in the center of campus.

In contrast to schools who pride themselves on how many applicants they turn away, Liberty believes that a successful university is defined by how many students it educates — and educates well. With a low student-to-professor ratio and caring Christian faculty who are invested in individual student success, Liberty fosters an environment in which students are challenged to do their best while celebrating the talents and gifts God has given them.

 

Online

Liberty’s commitment to Training Champions for Christ doesn’t end at the borders of the Lynchburg campus. Our online programs allow students to get the degree they want from anywhere in the world, with the same quality instruction as our residential classes.

A pioneer in distance education since 1985, Liberty provides exceptional resources to online students, including an online library, Online Writing Center, a partnership with Tutor.com, Liberty Online Communities, and knowledgeable and accessible academic advisors. Flexible eight-week sub-terms allow students to schedule their studies around family, work, and church responsibilities.

Thousands of active military, spouses, and veterans are getting their degrees through Liberty’s online programs. Military Times Edge has named Liberty a Best for Vets schools several years running, and military students are eligible for tuition discounts, book vouchers, and credit for military training.

Whenever and wherever God calls people to serve Him, Liberty provides the resources to get a world-class education.

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

Liberty’s 20 NCAA Division I and 35 Club Sports teams are dedicated not only to victory, but to superb sportsmanship, as well—and they’ve got the trophies to prove it. Winner of 11 Sasser Cups (a trophy awarded annually to the top athletics program in the Big South) over the past 18 years, Liberty Athletics also holds seven Big South football championships and over 140 NCAA Div. I conference titles. Club Sports teams hold 2015 national titles in wrestling and in women’s hockey.

Our practice and performance facilities are nationally acclaimed and provide opportunities for students studying medicine, sport management, and other health professions to work with athletes in real-world environments. Touted as the home of the best football stadium in the Big South and the No. 4 collegiate baseball stadium in the country, Liberty University provides students and alumni with a college sports experience they can be proud of.

More Liberty athletics.

Convocation

The central mission of any university is inquiry in pursuit of truth. In additional to rigorous academic instruction inside the classroom, Liberty also facilitates the exchange of ideas outside the classroom. One such avenue is Convocation, a platform that brings nationally and internationally recognized men and women of distinction to the Liberty stage on a weekly basis. Our goal is that graduates are not only proficient in their own fields of study, but that they are well-rounded, educated, and knowledgeable on a variety of subjects. Multiple times per week, students have the unique opportunity to hear from leaders across the intellectual and professional landscape and be introduced to topics outside their field of study. Speakers who have succeeded in the arts, sports, politics, ministry, entertainment, or business — among other areas — address the student body, providing insight into local and global issues and giving students a broader vision of themselves and their world.

Recent speakers include:

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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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Current Construction

Major construction projects for the $500 million rebuilding of Liberty University’s campus are in full force. These new structures will enhance the educational, recreational, and social opportunities available at the world’s largest Christian university.

The university has adopted a new master plan, charting the course for its future growth as an expected 16,000 students will call Liberty home by 2020. Major construction projects are already underway or about to begin around Liberty’s main academic corridor, but there are many more projects being planned across campus and on Liberty’s mountain property.

The newest structures are testimonies of God’s blessings on the 44-year-old university. Together with university planners, administrators are working to create a unified architectural vision for the campus while meeting the needs of expanding academic and athletic programs.

Liberty Campus Master Plan

Master Plan

 

Center for Music and Worship Arts

Center for Music and Worship Arts

 

New Student Housing

Student housing

 

Aerial view of construction

Aerial views of construction

 

Science Hall

Science Hall

 

DeMoss Hall Student Center

DeMoss Hall Student Center

 

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:

  • 10,000 (approximately) jobs in the City of Lynchburg are directly or indirectly attributable to Liberty University. 
  • $1.0 billion in economic activity generated in the Lynchburg MSA by Liberty University
  • $9.2 million in tax revenue for the city in the fiscal year 2013-14
  • $567.3 million direct spending in the Lynchburg MSA in the fiscal year 2013-14 by Liberty enterprises, tenants, students, and visitors
  • 667,415 hours of volunteer service by Liberty students
  • $5.8 million estimated value of volunteer work provided by Liberty family
  • $500,000 investment in The Plaza shopping center, which is now home to Centra Health’s Lynchburg Family Residency program and several other tenants positively contributing to the city’s tax base

The study concluded:

"In sum, Liberty University is a rapidly growing institution, that has a significant economic and fiscal impact on the Lynchburg MSA and the state of Virginia as a whole, and plays a very active and positive leadership role within its community and the state."

Liberty & Lynchburg

A Thriving Campus

Our more than 7,000-acre campus serves a diverse residential and online student body, representing all 50 states and more than 80 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 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.

Thomas Jefferson’s crowning architectural achievement, Monticello, is located in nearby Charlottesville, and his Poplar Forest is 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.


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:

  • 10,000 (approximately) jobs in the City of Lynchburg are directly or indirectly attributable to Liberty University. 
  • $1.0 billion in economic activity generated in the Lynchburg MSA by Liberty University
  • $9.2 million in tax revenue for the city in the fiscal year 2013-14
  • $567.3 million direct spending in the Lynchburg MSA in the fiscal year 2013-14 by Liberty enterprises, tenants, students, and visitors
  • 667,415 hours of volunteer service by Liberty students
  • $5.8 million estimated value of volunteer work provided by Liberty family
  • $500,000 investment in The Plaza shopping center, which is now home to Centra Health’s Lynchburg Family Residency program and several other tenants positively contributing to the city’s tax base

The study concluded:

"In sum, Liberty University is a rapidly growing institution, that has a significant economic and fiscal impact on the Lynchburg MSA and the state of Virginia as a whole, and plays a very active and positive leadership role within its community and the state."

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