Academic News

May 20, 2013

Seminary draws large crowd at Evangelical Theological Society meeting

Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary hosted the Evangelical Theological Society Eastern Region meeting March 1-2, drawing an exceptionally high turnout. The annual event usually brings in about 70-90 people, but Liberty hosted a record-setting 140 people.
Those in attendance included teachers from Christian colleges and seminaries, and scholars who work both in churches and for other ministries. Dr. Dan Wallace of Dallas Theological Seminary was the keynote speaker. Forty-five research papers were presented.
“The success is a tribute to Liberty University as a major draw for the academic community due to our reputation for excellence and strategic location,” said Dr. Fred Smith, associate professor at Liberty and then-president of the Regional ETS.
Dr. Elmer Towns, Liberty co-founder, vice president, and dean of the seminary and School of Religion, shared some of Liberty’s history and promoted the seminary during the event.

Academic teams win competitions

Several academic teams at Liberty University took home top honors in competitions this year.
The Liberty Quiz Bowl Team, part of Liberty’s Honors Program, won its seventh Big South Conference championship in eight years at Gardner-Webb University in January, going undefeated in the conference for the third-straight year. The team went 6-0 in the championship tournament.

Liberty’s Forensics Team posted top wins at the 2013 National Christian College Forensics Invitational at John Brown University in Fort Smith, Ark., March 9-11, earning the team championship in its division. Liberty’s five team members won the top five overall individual speaking awards and five individual championships, as well as four second-place and several third- and fourth-place awards.

Nine students in Liberty’s Honors Program presented research at the Big South Undergraduate Research Symposium (BigSURS) hosted by High Point University April 5-6. Six of them received first- or second-place honors.

The Liberty University Debate Team captured the sweepstakes championships for both the American Debate Association (ADA) and the Cross Exam-ination Debate Association (CEDA) for the fifth consecutive year.
Since 1995, Liberty Debate has won 33 national championships.

Faculty honored with Excellence Awards

This year’s recipients of the Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching were honored at Commencement. Learn more about the awards and read faculty bios on

New scholarships announced for high achievers, VA residents

Liberty University has increased its college scholarship offerings for both high academic achievers and Virginia residents by nearly $9 million. Beginning this fall, Liberty is offering new scholarships for select salutatorians and valedictorians. It is also increasing its Academic Achievement scholarships and scholarship amounts awarded to Virginia residents.
The Valedictorian Scholarship and the Salutatorian Scholarship will award full tuition to 100 students (50 valedictorians and 50 salutatorians) each academic year, totaling about $4.2 million in scholarships.
In addition, the Academic Achievement scholarship offerings will be increased by nearly $2 million. These scholarships reward high academic success, based on cumulative GPA, as well as scores on the SAT and ACT tests.
Liberty’s Virginia Scholarship will increase to $1,500 for all new students from the commonwealth. This investment, expected to be more than $2.8 million, reflects Liberty’s continued commitment to staying competitive among Virginia schools. Liberty also anticipates the Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant will increase, which would give even more aid to students from Virginia.

Liberty named finalist for social media award

Liberty University was named a finalist for a Shorty Award in the “Best BN (Barnes & Noble) College in Social Media” category, the only category that recognizes colleges or universities for their social media efforts.
The Shorty Awards, now in their fifth year, are the first and most prestigious awards for social media.
Liberty was also named the Vox Populi winner as the finalist receiving the most votes. All votes were placed on Twitter. Nearly 200 schools received votes in this category, which is sponsored by Barnes & Noble.

Liberty University Online launches certificate programs

Liberty University Online recently launched 40 undergraduate and graduate certificate programs, ranging from accounting to paralegal studies, criminal justice, pastoral counseling, education, and sport management.
With 13 undergraduate and 28 graduate certificate programs, students can use this new option as a way to start earning a degree or add to their bachelor’s or master’s programs.
The programs are fully accredited and classes are offered in eight-week formats continually throughout the year. Certificates can usually be completed by taking just three to six classes.
Many of Liberty Online’s 57 undergraduate programs and 100 graduate programs contain several of the same classes the certificate programs offer.
Students in the certificate programs have access to all of the resources that accompany Liberty Online’s full degree programs, including an online library, the Online Writing Center, a partnership with, Liberty Online Ministries, and knowledgeable academic advisors.

Students represent Sony at national broadcasters show in Vegas

Two Liberty University students had the opportunity to put their education into action at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas April 8-11, working alongside Sony employees.
Senior Courtney Aube and junior Matthew Atkins, both students of Liberty’s School of Communication and Creative Arts, were selected by faculty to fill two invitations from Sony to participate in its NAB Student Experience. This was the first time Liberty was invited. There were 51 students selected from 17 institutions across the country, including the University of Southern California, Baylor University, Penn State, Syracuse University, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Aube and Atkins arrived in Las Vegas April 6 for an intense three days of training before hitting the showroom floor with Sony representatives. During the conference they gave demonstrations on new equipment, answered questions, and interacted with professionals in the business.

Digital Arts students show up strong in competitions

Students from Liberty University’s Department of Studio and Digital Arts (SADA) made a statement at the Western Virginia Student ADDY Award competition Feb. 23 in Roanoke, Va. They brought home 11 gold and 17 silver awards, the second-highest number of awards in the local competition, outperforming Virginia Tech and Lynchburg College and following Radford University by a slim margin.
The ADDYs are hosted by the American Advertising Federation (AAF). It is the industry’s largest competition worldwide, drawing over 60,000 entries annually.

In addition to the success at the ADDYs, two SADA students were selected this spring as finalists in a national photography competition. Vicki Vasquez and Amber Lachniet each have a photograph featured in the 33rd Annual Photographer’s Forum Magazine Best of College and High School photography contest.

School of Business expands degree offerings

Starting this fall, Liberty University School of Business will launch its new Doctor of Business Administration and Master of Science in Information Systems.
The D.B.A. gives professionals an opportunity to develop the values, knowledge, and skills necessary to succeed at the highest levels of business. It requires 60 credit hours, made up of online classes and three one-week intensives. Students have six specializations to choose from: accounting, human resources, international business, leadership, marketing, and project management.
Liberty’s M.S.I.S. program is a 36-hour online program for professionals looking to become more proficient and marketable or advance their careers in information technology. The program provides a broad perspective of information-related issues in strategy, security, ethics, design and development, and related business process support. Two cognate tracks are available: information assurance and technology management.

Master of Public Health program graduates first class

Liberty University’s Master of Public Health program celebrated its first graduates at May’s Commencement.
The cutting-edge residential and online program was designed to meet a demand for public health professionals around the world.
Three concentrations are available: nutrition, health promotion, and global health.
More than 400 students were enrolled in classes last semester and nearly half of the residential students in the program were offered a job before they graduated. About 700 students are slated to be in the program this fall.

Pre-med students shine

As Liberty University prepares to matriculate its first class of medical students next fall, graduates of its undergraduate programs are already standing out in the scientific world. In 2011, Liberty pre-med graduates had a 100-percent acceptance rate into the medical school of their choice, and in 2012, 18 out of 21 were accepted to their No. 1 choice.
Liberty students also scored above the national average on the Medical College Administration (MCAT) test in 2012.
Liberty’s pre-med program, under the School of Health Sciences, is identified as the biomedical sciences major. Classes are designed to prepare students for medical school, dental school, physician assistant school, and related medical fields.

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