The Liberty Story

How Far We’ve Come

“From the beginning, the goal was not to create another Bible college. The vision was to create academic excellence, world-class facilities, NCAA Division I athletics, and student activities, and to provide it all within a distinctively Christian environment.”

— President Jerry Falwell

The Liberty Story


It started with a mountain and a dream.

In 1971, the Rev. Jerry Falwell dreamed that the world could be filled with doctors, lawyers, pilots, engineers, nurses, teachers, artists, and professionals from every walk of life who loved God and were the very best at what they’d been called to be.

And when he stood on the mountain where he had hunted and hiked as a child and said a university like no other would one day cover that mountain and train students to become those professionals, some people laughed.

But some people dreamed. And then they prayed.

Fall came, and with it 154 students taught by four full-time faculty. They slept on metal cots in dilapidated hotels, they went to class in middle schools, church rooms, parking lots — anywhere they could take their books and Bibles and learn. They lived on an island in the James River and climbed out of the bus every time it crossed the rickety, wood-slatted bridge because the combined weight of the students and the bus would surely send them all plunging into the river.

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Campus Tent Then


3,000-seat tent used to hold the rapidly growing student body for Chapel in 1978

Aerial Campus Now


Aerial shot of campus in 2018 – including the Vines Center, where Convocation is now held each week


Liberty University is not just another school. It is the realization of a dream, the product of thousands of prayers. It was built to invite students into a bigger, better story.

Come join the story, and see what God can do with your dreams on this mountain.

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