January 24, 2018 : By Liberty University News Service
Since 1972, Dr. Harold Willmington, Liberty University’s longest-serving faculty member, has been instructing students from God’s textbook for life — the Bible. The devoted educator is a best-selling author whose extensive studies on God’s Word have been distributed worldwide. Now, he is leaving a legacy at Liberty, passing his love of Scripture to future generations by making his personal collection available for free to the public.
The newly launched Liberty University Bible Resource Center is a worldwide online resource that includes Willmington’s S.W.O.R.D. project (Scripture Wisdom Organized and Rightly Divided). It consists of 16 major programs of study, with up to 1,000 of Willmington’s writings on subjects from both the Old and New Testaments. Information is gleaned from some of Willmington’s most popular works, such as “Willmington’s Guide to the Bible,” which has sold 350,000 copies worldwide and is translated into six different languages. The site is organized by subject matter, so it is easy for all students to navigate.
Willmington played an important role in Liberty’s history. In 1976, he helped launch the home correspondence course Liberty Home Bible Institute, alongside Liberty’s founder, the late Dr. Jerry Falwell. The course became the world’s largest correspondence diploma program on the Bible and positioned Liberty to be a pioneer in distance education, reaching thousands of people from their own homes. Willmington is now dean of Willmington School of the Bible, an online certificate program through Liberty that offers 20 courses and 60 credit hours that can be transferred to an undergraduate degree program at the Rawlings School of Divinity.
“My goal is, and always has been since I came here, to raise the level of Bible knowledge among God’s people,” Willmington said. “That’s where revival begins — when God’s people go back to the Bible. That’s the legacy I want to leave.”
The new center was first announced by President Jerry Falwell in Wednesday’s Convocation, where Willmington was honored for his instrumental role at Liberty University. Falwell recognized Willmington as a great teacher of the Bible who was dedicated to the progress at Liberty.
“He’s always been one of those humble people who never wanted credit for anything; he really is an unsung hero here and was a key component of making Liberty University what it is today,” Falwell said. Students gave Willmington a standing ovation.
Liberty Provost Dr. Ron Hawkins also recognized Willmington and explained that the Bible Resource Center will include contributions from other Liberty University faculty and friends of Liberty. Hawkins supervised the project, with support from Falwell and assistance from the university’s IT and Marketing departments, as well as the Jerry Falwell Library.
“We have long dreamed of making Liberty’s biblical materials available to pastors and Bible students on a global level for free; the internet now makes this possible,” Hawkins said. “Dr. Willmington’s materials will serve as the foundation for a global initiative flowing from Liberty University to every corner of the globe to better equip the church for the work God has called them to do.”
>> Learn more at Liberty.edu/BibleResourceCenter.