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Undergraduate Catalog 2012-2013 [Archived Catalog] [Archived Catalog]

PDF copy: General Information.pdf

General Information


Liberty University is located in the heart of Virginia in Lynchburg (population 72,000) on the south banks of the historic James River with the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop. The city is over 200 years old and is noted for its culture, beauty, and educational advantages. Lynchburg is at the crossroads of U.S. highways 29 and 460 and has adequate transportation facilities by bus, railway, and air.

Liberty's campus is surrounded by beautiful mountain vistas and extends over 6,800 acres with 258 buildings that consist of over four million square feet of facilities including 215 classrooms.

The University is a religiously-oriented, private, coeducational, comprehensive institution.

“Knowledge Aflame”

Liberty University was originally formed under the auspices of Thomas Road Baptist Church. Liberty is distinctive among Christian colleges because resident students use Thomas Road Baptist Church, other local church ministries, and community service groups as a laboratory for practical application of what they learn in the classroom. While this practice is not logistically or philosophically possible for students in the online programs, Liberty University Online uses its curriculum and advising to encourage spiritual, moral and ethical development in the student body.

The University Seal, a symbol of the administrative authority of the University, depicts Thomas Road Baptist Church aflame with the fire of the Gospel, against the background of an open Bible. The flame within the Seal depicts the motto, “Knowledge Aflame,” and evokes the University’s guiding philosophy—that knowledge has validity only when viewed in the light of Biblical Truth. The Seal’s octagonal border reflects the Jeffersonian architecture of the building which first housed the University.

The Mace is a symbol of administrative authority, a symbol of continuity as the institution pursues its enduring mission, and a witness of institutional heritage.

The Eagle symbol refers to the soaring spirit of achievement the University seeks to inspire in its students, and to the patriotic spirit of the University. The school colors are blue, red, and white. The school verse is II Corinthians 3:17, “. . . where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

The Eaglehead/Liberty University Logo is symbolic of the athletic teams of the University. The name for all male sports teams is “The Flames”; all female sports teams are referred to as “The Lady Flames.” The Flames Mascot is an eagle named “Sparky.”

Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music and Associate of Arts and Associate of Applied Science degrees are offered.  The College of Arts and Sciences offers the Master of Arts degree in the fields of Counseling, English, History, Human Services, and Philosophical Studies. The Alton W. and Lois H. Graduate School of Business offers the Master of Business Administration, Master of Arts in Management and Leadership, and the Master of Science in Accounting degrees. The School of Communication offers the Master of Arts in Communication Studies. The School of Education offers the Doctor of Education, Educational Specialist, Master of Education, Master of Arts in Teaching and Master of Science in Sport Management degrees. Helms School of Government offers the Master of Arts in Public Policy.  The School of Health Sciences offers the Doctor of Philosophy in the field of Counseling, the Master of Arts degree in the fields of Counseling, and Human Services, the Master of Public Health and the Master of Science in Nursing degrees. The School of Law offers the Juris Doctorate. The School of Music offers the Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology and Master of Arts in Music and Worship degrees.  Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary offers the Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, Master of Arts in Global Studies, Master of Arts in Religion, Master of Arts in Theological Studies, Master of Arts in Worship Studies, Master of Theology, Doctor of Ministry and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.

Blue, red, and white


www.liberty.edu; www.libertyu.com; www.luonline.com

Two semesters with a Winter Intersession and Summer Session

The University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane; Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097; 404-679-4501) to award associate, bachelor, master, specialist and doctoral degrees.  The Commission may be contacted only if there is evidence that appears to support an institution’s significant non-compliance with a requirement or standard.

Liberty University School of Law is fully accredited by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association (ABA), 321 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654-7598; 312-988-5000.

Many of Liberty’s programs are accredited or otherwise recognized by specialized professional and accrediting agencies.

  • The Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and the Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering programs are accredited by the Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
  • The Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).
  • The Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program (CAAHEP).
  • The Nursing Department is approved by the Virginia Board of Nursing (VBN) and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
  • The Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education approves the School of Education teacher preparation programs.  The School of Education is accredited at the initial and advanced preparation levels by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). 
  • The Bachelor of Science in Sport Management program is accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA).

Liberty University is a member of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia.

Liberty University is authorized to confer degrees by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Pursuant to 23-276.1 - 12 of the Code of Virginia, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) is responsible for developing procedures to which certain private and all out-of-state postsecondary institutions must adhere in order to receive approval to confer degrees, certificates, or diplomas in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Certain private institutions are exempt from the requirements of certification or approval by SCHEV. 

Liberty University was incorporated in the State of Virginia on January 18, 1972.  It has operated under the same ownership since that time and has remained in good standing with the U.S. Department of Education and its accrediting body. Liberty University is an exempt institution.

SCHEV has limited or no regulatory authority over institutions exempt from certification.  Before enrolling in any institution in the Commonwealth of Virginia, students are encouraged to determine the schools regulatory relationship with SCHEV or other state regulatory agencies.  Certain consumer protection provisions required by certified schools are not present at or required by exempt institutions.

The exemption entitles Liberty University to conduct academic affairs or business without seeking or obtaining SCHEV approval.  The resulting scope of the institutional autonomy includes:

  • Offering courses or programs for degree credit;
  • Enrolling students in courses or programs;
  • Conferring or awarding degrees;
  • Initiating other programs for degree credit at a new or additional level; and
  • Offering instruction at additional or new locations.

Additional information regarding exempt institutions is available at http://www.schev.edu/students/PrivateExempt.asp

Liberty University admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, or physical disability, in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic and other school-administered programs.

Doctrinal Position

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.

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, 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.
  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, November 12, 2010

Statement on Worldview

Liberty University embraces a worldview that is both historically Christian and biblical, and that underlies the very concept and origins of the university.  We hold that God exists and is the source of all things, all truth, all knowledge, all value, and all wisdom.  We hold that God has created an orderly universe according to His design and purpose and for His glory, and that He has created human beings in His image.  God is actively at work in the world and history, governing them according to His ultimate purpose.  From these foundational principles, it follows that truth exists and that there is a standard of right and wrong.  We hold that all of creation is fallen as a result of human sin.  Finally, we hold that God has revealed Himself and His ways in the natural created order, in history, in the Bible, and supremely in Jesus Christ. God in love and through the sacrificial work of Jesus Christ is redeeming humans and the entire created order.

At Liberty University, students receive an education that integrates this Christian and biblical worldview.  Students trained with this worldview perspective will be equipped with a rational framework for understanding and interpreting reality, for comprehending the meaning of life and the value of humans and things, for making decisions and engaging in meaningful action, for studying the various academic disciplines, and for understanding the interconnectedness of all knowledge.

Highlighted text indicates a change from the official version of the catalog.

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