How Much Has BJU Spent on its Sports Program In One Year? Over $800,000

BJU’s intercollegiate sports program, breathlessly announced in January 2012 and expanded later in the year, has proven expensive for the school. And thanks to information from the US Department of Education, we know exactly how expensive: between 6/1/2012 and 5/31/2013, BJU spent a grand total of $804,010 on its BJU Bruins teams.

This figure includes the total expenses of running the Bruins sports program, including both men’s and women’s sports. It may also include some start-up costs required to make the program happen, including the $300,000 that was spent just to install new lighting for the soccer fields (the school attempted to raise all of that money via the Annual Fund but only managed to raise about $150,000).

You can search for any school’s data here.



94 thoughts on “How Much Has BJU Spent on its Sports Program In One Year? Over $800,000

  1. Mark Smith

    I can’t figure you guys out. Students want sports programs so the school does it in an attempt to attract the current student…and you guys knock it.

    As for accreditation, there was a time when it was not necessary. Now it is. You cannot survive without it and graduate students who are employable in the marketplace or accepted into graduate school. BJU HAS NO CHOICE but to seek accreditation! And you guys ride them for it.

      1. Mark Smith

        Don’t be coy. Anyone who has visited your site knows your intent. Hit BJU all the time for everything they do. If they modernize, you remind people they opposed whatever in the past. If they don’t modernize, tell people they are stuck in the past.

      2. bjunews Post author

        @Mark Smith,

        This post merely puts out the data from the USDOE. Draw your own conclusions.

    1. formerfundy1992

      Mark… This site points out the glaring, unmitigated, ungodly hypocrisy of the administration at BJ. My family has been intrinsically linked to the school for over 6 decades. Throughout that ENTIRE time both accreditation and intercollegiate sports were denounced as government control, being of the devil himself, unnecessary, being unequally yoked with unbelievers, I could go on and on with the border-line profanity used by Junior and III about these topics. They RAILED against them. They stated that not being a part of these things was based on Biblical principle and that NEVER changes.

      So Mark, when did the Bible change?

      If the Bible didn’t change, then the something else must have to make the Board and the Administration turn from such staunchly held convictions.

      Here is what changed: Money.

      One of the biggest, over-arching problems is that the Administration sets them self up as the sole interpreter of the Bible and right and wrong. And they are VICIOUS when anyone disagrees with their papal bulls. They refuse to say “We Were Wrong. We deeply hurt people. Our actions have inhibited people seeing Christ and have also hurt your employment prospects. We are Sorry.”

      That would be a start. There are many, many people than deserve personal apologies and restitution from the school.

  2. MSK


    No college needs to attract current students. They are already attending. And people NEVER attended BJU for its sports program.

    The problems at BJU are far deeper than sports. They are firing long-time faculty at the same time that they spend $800K on a sports program. They seem to have no idea what they are doing. They have alienated, and continue to alienate, a significant percentage of their alumni – which means they have caused huge trouble for themselves, since the alumni of any school are usually boosters, sending cash and children to the alma mater.

    They aren’t seeking accreditation in any meaningful way. They have lied about accreditation for decades. THAT is why we ride them.

    Accreditation wasn’t a topic of this post, so I’m not sure why you raised the issue.

    1. Mark Smith

      MSK, thanks for the response. “Current student” meant high school students looking to come to BJU.

      As for accreditation, I am sure a presumed BJU grad like you can read my post and figure out the larger context I was addressing.

      1. MSK

        Nice try. “Current student” means “current student.”

        High school students, by way of contrast, are “prospective” students. Please consult a dictionary and learn the difference between “current” and “prospective.”

        If you can’t use words correctly, how is anyone supposed to make any sense of your posts? It’s pure guesswork, since we cannot safely assume that your usage of words is orthodox. And we would require the services of a sorcerer to conjure any sort of “larger context.”

      2. Mark Smith

        That’s an interesting universe you live in…the only place to be a student is at BJU. There aren’t “current students” anywhere else.

      3. MSK

        Okay, now you’re just being stupid. As opposed to all the other times, when you are being…

        Oh. Well, nevermind.

        If a business talks about “current employees,” they are NOT talking about everyone in the world who is employed somewhere. No. They are talking about their OWN employees who are currently employed by them: not potential employees or retired employees or otherwise departed employees. CURRENT employees. Same thing with schools at all levels.

        Are you really so simple-minded, or ignorant, that you don’t understand this?

        Perhaps you are a sophomore?

      4. MSK

        Just one issue.

        I don’t like stupidity mixed with arrogance, and I tend to call it what it is when I run across it. I gave you chances to correct yourself; to understand. You didn’t take them. In fact, you persisted in “your way.” Here’s your sign.

        Your first statement probably summed it all up: “I can’t figure you guys out.”

        If you can’t figure THIS out, there are probably quite a few things in life that you cannot figure out. I’m very sorry.

        Already had a nice day. Thanks for the good wishes.

  3. twinsmommy2005

    Because accreditation was so “sinful” and “anti-Biblical” in the past, I am now unable to pursue a Masters degree. Now that they’ve lied about it and have not pursued it wholeheartedly, I will make sure my children do not go there. I do not want their lives limited because of the games institutions like BJU play.

    1. Harrison Beckmann

      What makes you think they aren’t pursuing it wholeheartedly? The word of BJUNews, who posts half of the DOE stats?

      1. bjunews Post author

        Their “wholeheartedness” would be a matter we can’t speak to, but they’re not listed as applicants by SACS so they’re 4+ years away from regional accreditation at a minimum, and there’s no evidence as to where they stand with SACS or if SACS knows them from Adam. So to speak.

      2. formerfundy1992

        What makes me think they aren’t wholeheartedly perusing accreditation is the plethora of times the have publicly, blatantly violated the most simple, basic rules set out by SACS for application for accreditation.

        Any student who would have violated University rules like the University has violated SACS rules would have immediately been excelled. If the School eventually does receive accreditation, they will have received much greater grace and mercy than they show to students on a daily basis.

  4. Harrison Beckmann

    Of course, if you go look it up for yourself, as I did, you see that they’ve also taken in that much in revenue. No telling where that revenue came from (most likely a combination of advertising, donations, and to lesser extent ticket sales), but in order to tell the whole story, as BJUNews purports to do, one must include that little detail that was left out.

    But, you know, this is an objective site. Only posting DOE stats, nothing more (unless we don’t like part of the stats).

    1. bjunews Post author

      This isn’t our area of expertise, but from pouring over the USDOE site it appears that for this kind of filing Revenue *always* = Expenses even if that doesn’t match reality. See here:

      “Your grand total reported revenues must cover your grand total reported expenses. If your initial calculations indicate that your total revenues do not cover your total expenses, you may find it helpful to work backwards. How were the bills paid? The funds used to pay them should be included in your revenues. ”

      In other words, the USDOE filing has a built in safety mechanism for schools like BJU who want to make their athletic programs look solvent: the “Not Allocated by Gender/Sport” amount is the gap between how much the Bruins program has spent and how much it’s taken in. So if it feels more objective to you, BJU lost $286,015 on their sports program this year.

    2. Beckson Harriman

      Every institution that discloses athletic program data “takes in” as much as it spends. Why? Because the federal government requires them to report the data that way. From the reporting guidelines:

      So no, looking at BJU’s information, Brody does not pay for himself. There’s that big “plug” number under the team revenues numbers that represents the amount BJU and its donors kicked in in order to balance the books per federal reporting guidelines.

      1. Beckson Harriman

        Stupid WP, dropping part of my comment. Oh, well. Looks like the blogger was pointing out the same thing, anyway.

      2. formerfundy1992

        Additionally, no matter where the money came from, they threw away $804,000 on a sports program (I recall the chancellor once referring to sports programs as throwing pearls after swine) when there are retirees that have been given a promise that is not being fulfilled; when there are faculty and staff that are being cast away – forgotten – just before their eligibility for retirement. THAT is where the money should be going.,

    3. '94 grad

      @Harrison–I’m assuming you’re a student since only a student could be naive enough to think that BJU’s sports program pays for itself. Even FBS schools with massive nationwide followings and 100,000 seat stadiums often don’t break even. As the other commenters noted, you’re being duped by an accounting trick. BJU will have to write off huge losses every year on its sports program and hope that it profits in other ways, just like every other school.

  5. David Shaffer

    Spending 800K on a sports program is a total waste when BJU has retired faculty living below the poverty level because BJU has broken their PROMISE to them. Shame on the Bruin.

  6. David Shaffer

    As of 2013 BJU is not listed as having applied for SACS. They aren’t gonna get SACS with 70 degree programs and under-qualified faculty.

    1. Harrison Beckmann

      You’re a riot. In one breath you whine that BJU is mistreating its retired faculty, and in the next, with absolutely no basis whatsoever, you say that the faculty is “under-qualified.”

      Let me guess. You’re going to say something derogatory about Jim Berg in your next comment.

      1. formerfundy1992

        No, according to SACS requirements for faculty and administration, the ARE unqualified.

        And since YOU, Harrison, went there, Berg is NOT qualified to teach any kind of counseling, let alone be the director of a rehab center. Berg teaching counseling is like someone who successfully played with their chemistry set without blowing something up claiming to be qualified to be a pharmacist.

      2. MSK


        I know of nobody who has anything but respect for the overwhelming majority of the faculty at BJU. It is not “whining” to call out the horrible (and probably illegal) practice of firing faculty just before they reach retirement age, breaking contracts and state law in the process.

        It also is not a misrepresentation (nor is it speaking “with absolutely no basis whatsoever”) to state that some BJU faculty do not meet SACS requirements. Saying they are under-qualified isn’t intended as a slam on the faculty. They have always done the best they could within the parameters they were given. If they lacked the ability to gain tenure (because tenure isn’t offered), and they were offered a job that was not in their field, what were they supposed to do? Far too many of them have degrees ONLY from BJU (especially the Bible faculty), and so they are trapped. And they were deceived by false promises that they would receive lifetime support in return for giving their lives to the Lord and to Lord Bob (not necessarily in that order). Are they to be criticized for this, on top of all the other hardships they face? Surely not! But if they don’t meet the SACS requirements for professors in the accreditation process, then it is reasonable to say that they are “under-qualified.”

        As for Jim Berg: my only memory of him was when the one and only black Bible major stood up during Christian Living Forum (Open Forum) and asked for the biblical basis for the rule prohibiting interracial dating. Berg sputtered and stammered for 20 minutes, saying NOTHING. Mark remained standing the entire time. Berg finally gave up and asked if he had answered Mark’s question. Mark said, “No, but I didn’t think you would, either.” He then sat down. Berg smiled weakly and asked if there were any other questions. Nobody else raised their hand, so we sat there and stared at each other (Administration panel vs. Student Body; exactly how things have remained to this day) in silence for another 25 minutes until the bell rang and we were released from their pestilential presence.

        What a hero Berg was that day! He wasn’t man enough to say that there was no biblical basis for the rule; nor was he man enough to defend the rule.

        And that Jim Carrey “Dumb and Dumber” haircut he chose to get!

        Oy vey.

        He is a perfect example of “under-qualified.” He appears to be a department head, but he doesn’t have a doctorate. (and don’t even start talking about the honorary doctorate he got from Taxidermy Tech back in 1999)

  7. Christopher Peterman

    I think what we really should be concerned about is the abysmally low salaries the head coach and the assistant coach make. Seriously….They make NOTHING. I make more per year then both of them combined. Smh

    1. Mike

      Everybody knows where you stand on BJU! Why don’t you send some of your vast assets to assist in enhancing the coaches’ compensation? lol

      1. zizzybaloobahBill

        Christopher has a big heart as evidenced by his concern for the victims of abuse. I have no doubt he would help BJU faculty members, if he didn’t already have to repay student loans used for a degree BJU welched on. These kinds of expulsions, the way the university “disciplines” it students, are one of the main reasons BJU will *never* get SACS accreditation.

    2. formerfundy1992

      Christopher is absolutely correct. While BJ has said that in the last 2 years they have changed their faculty (not staff that I am aware of) pay structure and supposedly have raised the starting salary (not anywhere near the 50k another website discusses) of faculty, many faculty are surprised that when their children get their first full time jobs, they START at a significantly higher salary than they ever have or will get paid at BJ – And I am mot talking highfalutin jobs.. I am talking mall type jobs.

  8. Mike

    Dear BJU News, – I think this is one of the most hypocritical web-sites I have ever seen. Yes I am concerned that sports do not take over. To you, they are “darned if they do and darned if they don’t.” You are part of a rabid group that only wants BJU to close.

    1. maestrojhoffman

      “You are part of a rabid group that only wants BJU to close.”

      Let’s parse that, shall we:

      “rabid” = anyone who believes Bob Jones University is accountable to its alumni, its many financial donors, and the government.

      “only wants BJU to close” = an assumption of motive on the part of those of us who hold BJU to account.

      Let me say this here, as I have many other places and consistently for several years now: I don’t care whether BJU changes or closes. But those are the only two choices.

      It is not acceptable for BJU to continue down a path whereby the Joneses have operated the school for decades: reneging on promises to their employees, violating basic student rights, thumbing their noses at concerned alumni, and singling out lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex people for disdain and mistreatment, among many other concerns many alumni have.

      There are standards for governance, students’ rights, faculty rights, academic freedom, etc. that BJU has never met and it will not qualify for accreditation until it does meet them. I don’t think an accrediting body is going to be interested in granting accreditation to a school whose faculty have no tenure and are not allowed to express and defend differing opinions within their fields of expertise, and where students are routinely “suspended” (that’s what we used to call “being shipped”) from school for “not being spiritual enough” despite not having actually broken any of the rules or violated any of the provisions in the “student covenant.”

      Honestly, though, since almost no one on the BJU administration has ever been anywhere else to college, I find it highly unlikely that they can make the substantive changes necessary to meet those standards; because it is highly unlikely that they can even comprehend the massive changes in the school’s culture of abuse that are absolutely necessary to be made.

      Lastly, someone posted earlier today a startling statistic: it would seem that the per-student cost of The Bruins over the past year is almost at parity with the per-student tuition. Is that even remotely sustainable? I’m guessing not.

      1. Mike

        Maestro – Are you saying that a Christian college should retain an homosexual as a student or faculty member? Should a church retain a member that is unrepentant in sexual deviancy? The Bible is very clear about these things. I know that BJU is a human institution with a raft of human follies and foibles. I believe that in recent years they have tried hard to correct some of the things that have been wrong, most notably and commendably, the race issue. Those who try to say that sexual issues and racial issues are equal are very dishonest. I believe that we are to be compassionate with all sinners. I too am a sinner upon whom Christ has compassion and many in the body of Christ, including many at BJU, have had great compassion in dealing with me. Thank God for His marvelous grace. BTW, are you aware that Clearwater Christian College, Appalachian Bible College, and Maranatha Baptist College have regional accreditation? Many of the faculty of those schools have professors with BJU degrees. Everyone knows that, despite the faults, the academics are high at BJU.

        1. maestrojhoffman


          I think what’s happening here is that you misunderstand the nature of sexual orientation. Being gay or bisexual is something you are, not something you do. The gay students who have been singled out for mistreatment have not violated their student covenant, have not broken any rules. Students who break the rules about sexual activity, regardless of whether it is same-sex or opposite-sex activity, on the campus of a Christian college are in a completely different category from students who are and have been expelled simply for expressing their sexual orientation aloud to an administrator regardless of the fact that they were living celibate. Other students have been harassed simply because administrators suspected their sexual orientation was gay. When someone tells you “I am gay,” the only thing they are telling you is “I am sexually and romantically attracted to some, not all members of my same sex.” Period.

          Now, it is curious that you should bring up “repentance” and then segue into BJU’s abysmal record on race by saying “tried hard to correct some of the things that have been wrong, most notably and commendably, the race issue.” Can you tell me what is “notable and commendable” about a non-apologetic “Statement on Race” that doesn’t actually acknowledge the actual harm done? There are some people of color whom I know who find that “Statement on Race” to be worse than the former policies of racial discrimination, precisely because it is unrepentant and unapologetic.

          As for being a sinner, we’re all sinners. In fact, we all live in sinfulness. It’s the reality of our human condition. “IF we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” I discussed that particular reality of the Christian experience in a post last year on BJUnity’s site which you can read here:

          No one disputes that the academic standards at BJU are mostly rigorous. That does not mean that the faculty are all appropriately qualified in their fields. Regional accreditation is about peer review and qualifications. It is also about academic freedom. Read the document I posted in another thread from SACS itself, if you don’t believe me. It doesn’t matter that BJU grads teach at other regionally accredited schools. It didn’t matter back in the 1940s when they first applied for regional accreditation, and it won’t matter this time around either. What matters is things like this (direct quotes from that document):

          “The Commission on Colleges supports the right of an institution to pursue its established educational mission; the right of faculty members to teach, investigate, and publish freely; and the right of students to access opportunities for learning and for the open exchange of ideas. However, the exercise of these rights should not interfere with the overriding obligation of an institution to offer its students a sound education.”


          “The institution employs competent faculty members qualified to accomplish the mission and goals of the institution. When deter- mining acceptable qualifications of its faculty, an institution gives primary consideration to the highest earned degree in the discipline. The institution also considers competence, effectiveness, and capacity, including, as appropriate, undergraduate and graduate degrees, related work experiences in the field, professional licensure and certifications, honors and awards, continuous documented excellence in teaching, or other demonstrated competencies and achievements that contribute to effective teaching and student learning outcomes. For all cases, the institution is responsible for justifying and documenting the qualifications of its faculty.”

          (The commission has some very clear guidelines later in the document about what denotes competence, but read it for yourself).

      2. Mark Smith

        That is what is really frustrating about the entire accreditation issue. The present academic model in our nation REQUIRES accreditation or you are considered a diploma mill. The problem, many diploma mills have regional accreditation. I can name 2 in my home city. There is simply no comparison between the academics at BJU with these “come 1 night a week for 6 months and we’ll give you a degree” degree completion programs. It truly is sad.

        The fact is BJU simply must get regional accreditation if it desires to continue to award degrees that require accreditation for professional certification. It seems BJU is trying to do that but the road is a long one, not a fast one.

        I have always thought that lacking accreditation could be worked around however, for the students who have or will graduate. For all of the claims that graduates must have come from an accredited school, graduate schools CONSTANTLY accept students from foreign schools and those lack accreditation.

      3. formerfundy1992

        Mike Christian colleges should never be in the business of disciplining an individual for how God so wonderfully created that individual – whether bit be because of the color of their skin, their gender, or their sexual orientation. I take immense umbrage with your calling God’s perfect creation sin. Being gay is not a “sexual issue.” dysfunction or sin. It is God’s perfect creation. So yes when people are being kicked out of school – being discriminated against – because God created them gay or he created them black, they bare both discrimination and they can be compared. I don’t believe this is the place to start the long discussion about this issue so I wil end this portion by saying you need to do a web search for Matthew Vines… Watch the hour long video.

        Now, if you think sitting down with Larry King and broadcasting lies about the discrimination at the school is commendable, I would hate to see what it takes to be despicable in your book.

  9. Mike

    Intercollegiate sports keeps BJU from being as isolated as it once was, gives them a relationship with other colleges and students it never had before. As long as kept in proper balance, not an altogether bad thing.

    1. MSK


      Yes, sports could be a good thing. But at this point, it is little more than putting really nice condiments on a turd sandwich. BJU needs to correct its bad philosophy and behavior on the core issues that led to its isolation, and THEN it might be time to talk about intercollegiate athletics.

        1. MSK

          Did it leave you wondering what I meant? If not, then I’d say it was very successful communication. Take notes, grasshopper, and learn.

          Are you such a delicate little flower that such language offended you deeply? Then I can just imagine you looking censuriously down your long, skinny nose at Almighty God for some of the language in the Bible.

        1. MSK

          Well, I’m used to that. I didn’t just start calling out peoples’ silliness; I’ve been doing it for decades. The silly ones NEVER appreciate it, though those who seek wisdom DO appreciate someone shouting from the housetops as a warning to others. Almost without exception, the silly ones fall back on some tired, silly old trope about “attitude” or “bitterness” because they lack the ability or the sound basis to debate the merits of the case.

          In your case, on more than one occasion, your argument has boiled down to, “OTHER people get away with it! Why can’t BJU?” It reminds me of a young child who has been told “No” by Mom or Dad, and is frustrated and rebellious about the refusal.

          I just shake my head. I can’t laugh, because there is NOTHING funny about this whole situation.

          The thing that angers me about the BJU issue is that lots and lots of good people are being hurt as BJU drags them down into the depths, like Moby Dick and Captain Ahab. And it is so unnecessary. It has been pointed out, with documentary evidence, that BJU used to require prospective students to have attended a properly accredited high school, even while they shamelessly lied about the importance of accreditation for the past five decades. It has been suggested that maybe BJU tried and failed to be granted regional accreditation back in the 1950s or thereabouts, and, in their petulance, decreed that accreditation was of the devil. Having seen the leadership in action, I can believe this story. But it doesn’t excuse their dishonesty and selfishness, especially once the consequences of an unaccredited degree became increasingly known in the late 1980s. But they persisted in the lie. This was fraud: knowingly selling a defective product. And they depended on their network to continue to funnel young people to them, and to keep them in ignorance of the issues, and to do everything in their power to shut up anyone who tried to speak up (I know all this from personal experience). Then, when the Internet made it possible for everyone to research and learn the truth, and when my generation of graduates now have children who are nearing college age, BJU lost its power to keep things secret. We are encouraging our kids to go ANYWHERE but BJU. Thus the calamitous decline in enrollment (it ain’t because of the economy!). And, as a direct consequence, thus the premature and immoral termination of long-time, loyal, excellent faculty. It is galling to watch Stephen try to put a bandaid on amputated limbs, pretending that everything is going to be fine, when it is NOT going to be fine. He should be planning how to fulfil as much of The Promise as possible…not hiding money in the Art Gallery, or China, or whatever other chicanery they are doing. At the current rate of decline, they won’t achieve accreditation before they reach insolvency, I’m pretty sure. It will end like Pillsbury Baptist Bible College: with a bunch of letters sent out over Christmas vacation, telling all the students not to come back for second semester.

          I recently had to tell all 300 of my employees that their jobs were ending, as my organization closed its biggest site in the region due to stupid decisions made by the top brass. I took VERY seriously the responsibility of finding jobs for as many of my people as possible. I felt their pain as they usually took major pay cuts in whatever new job we were able to find for them. For those who were nearing retirement, I took financial losses (and some bullets) in order to keep them employed even after I really didn’t need them anymore. I can look every single one of them in the eye, because I treated them like respected professionals. When I see them in their new workplace, I don’t feel the need to duck out of sight. I most certainly did NOT fire them for trumped-up reasons, and, at the same time, hire new people and start new programs when I knew that those things were unsustainable in the face of the looming catastrophe. That would have been insulting and immoral. The leadership at BJU has to know how dire things are. This makes their foolish spending on unneccessary toys like a sports program even more reprehensible. They are re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic that has been shredded by the iceberg of their arrogance and selfishness and pig-headedness. They are throwing the women and children overboard to ensure themselves a seat on the lifeboat. And people are still out there DEFENDING them! That angers me.

          Anger about such things is a GOOD attitude, in my book. And this “comment” is just about book length, isn’t it?

  10. formerfundy1992

    To me, some of the most telling things include the fact that the Brody program supposedly is there for the athletes to witness to their opponents… Other Christians from other Christian schools. How DARE BJ elevate themselves to the point that says “since your are not us and do not believe exactly as the Bob requires, you are not a Christian.”

    Neil Ring, in one of the YouTube videos says: “We’re carrying the banner of Christ just as high as we’re carrying the banner of the Bruins.” To me that sets the tone of his and their priorities: Brody is held high… Ok, then we’ll push that Christian banner up there too…. Christ is the afterthought. Exactly why Senior and the Faculty cancelled the first intercollegiate program.

  11. Wiley

    You misunderstand what an applicant is for accreditation. As I understand it, to be an applicant, you have to submit an application. A SACS application is not a one page form. It is a lot of material that has to be accumulated by the school from many departments and from many people that takes many months to put together. That is what BJU is doing now.

    Also, a tax exempt organization has been formed called the Bruin Foundation specifically to raise money for the athletic department. Feel free to contribute.

    1. bjunews Post author

      We’re quite familiar with the SACS application process (more familiar than BJU’s admins, if you’ll read a bit further on the blog.) We’ve simply noted that BJU has not even submitted an application to SACS and thus that its vague hints at achieving accreditation are worthless at this point, especially to current students.

      1. Mark Smith

        Say you are a sphomore education major who thinks they might move to Arizona after graduation to work in the public school system. BJU’s degree is not regionally accredited. Shouldn’t they leave and go to some other school? Why yell and complain…just go.

        1. MSK

          YES! A thousand times yes. That’s exactly what current students should do. Its too late for people like my wife and me, but we are doing our best to warn everyone we can. We get attacked by family and friends and pastors and complete strangers for our troubles, but that’s life in the big city.

        1. MSK

          Yes, for the students. Complaining to BJU is a waste of breath. They should just leave on the next available form of transportation.

          Many of us tried to talk to BJU after graduation, when we found how useless our degrees were. We were ignored or vilified for our troubles. But that doesn’t mean it is a waste of breath to expose the corruption for the benefit of those who don’t know, and might go there in their ignorance, to be snookered as we were snookered.

      2. MSK

        My wife and I were burnt pretty thoroughly by BJU. My wife’s degree was completely worthless as soon as she left South Carolina. She got fired on her third day as a substitute teacher, because her degree didn’t even qualify her to do THAT.

        I got a job because a BJU grad broke the rules to hire me. If I ever have to change jobs, I’m hosed. Good thing I’m talented enough that the organization keeps sliding me into jobs without looking at my credentials!

        Oh, by the way, we both traveled on BJU teams, singing its praises, just after graduation (I was the first and last of my family to graduate from BJU. My wife was the first of her family, and two more drank the Kool-aid after her). It was a very painful shock when we learned how we had been defrauded. We believed our parents, our pastors, our teachers…our whole world. And it was all based on a lie. When we started to tell our story, our families, pastors, and friends accused us of everything but offering goats to Satan at midnight. We have lost quite a lot.

      3. Mark Smith

        Well, I agree that those 2 disciplines require regional accreditation. Did you and your wife not realize that education jobs outside of SC required a degree from a regionally accredited school. What about working at a private school? Anyway, I’m sure these are things that you have thought of.

        The fact is BJU tried/tries to operate out of the “world system”. That has consequences for people seeking jobs IN the “world system”.

        When did you go to BJU?

        1. MSK

          No, we didn’t know that the accrediation issue was real. We believed the lies that we were told. Our world was pretty small and insular.

          My wife taught for one year at a private school in California, for 1/3 of what she would have made in the public schools. Then, when my job moved us to Colorado, the only job offer she got was for $500 per month at Hilltop Baptist School of Colorado Springs. You may have heard of them. They were in the news. Google will tell you all you need to know. We got the itchies from visiting that place, long before they made the news, and so she took a job for $7.50 per hour as a receptionist. None of her colleagues had gone beyond high school. Not cool, for someone who earned every penny to pay for her college education!

          Thanks to that BJU grad who was willing to break federal government hiring rules, I landed on my feet. I know of far too many who didn’t have a Godfather like I did…who ended up raking leaves and mowing lawns because their BJU Master’s degree was useless. We also had a friend in Colorado whos ACCREDITED Master’s degree was useless because her UNDERGRAD degree was not accredited.

          The problem REALLY is that BJU refuses to play by the rules of the game that they have chosen to play. They insist that students play by THEIR rules, but apparently, rules are for other people ONLY.

          We attended in the late ’80s to early ’90s. I graduated with Stephen.

          1. maestrojhoffman

            Here’s the problem with “why yell and complain…just go”:

            Some of the people who have been hurt the most by BJU’s lack of accreditation are the children of long-time faculty members. Now, it’s a pretty standard perquisite for colleges to offer the children of faculty a “free ride” or significant discounts to tuition. What is not standard is for those colleges to require the children of faculty members to attend their school as a condition for their parents’ continued employment. BJU has done this. Repeatedly.

            Also, if you grew up at BJU, as I did (and, no, my family weren’t faculty, but my parents were loyal alumni who opted to educate their children at BJU’s schools… at considerabl expense, I might add), you don’t have all the information you need to “just go.” It took me three years and two false starts to land on my feet in a conservatory of music in New York City after I left BJU. The Academy guidance counselor had to rummage for an SAT form when I needed to take that test a year out of high school after I had decided not to go back to BJU. Fortunately for me, I knew professors at Furman University, who gave me some of the information I needed when I asked, but I was really naive about how to get out of that system. For my faculty kid friends, leaving was even more difficult.

            Today, a large percentage of the BJU student population comes from a homeschooling environment. They REALLY don’t know how to leave… and for those who are LGBT+ — though not exclusively for LGBT+ students — it often ends up being a very sudden and abusive parting-of-the-ways as upper-classmen, saddled with massive student loan debt, when they are expelled for “not being spiritual enough to attend Bob Jones University.” I’m pretty sure this particular methodology is not going to pass muster with regional accreditors.

      4. Mark Smith

        I guess I can’t relate maestro… It was up to me to decide were to go to college. My parents didn’t “decide to educate me” at a college…they didn’t even pay a dime for me to go to college because they didn’t have any to give. At 18 I was an adult, with free will and a brain and eyes to read and figure out what I needed and where I needed to go.

        As for faculty, NO ONE MAKES YOU DO ANYTHING!! If a person with a PhD let’s someone push them around that much, that’s on them. If my boss says my kids MUST go to XYZ school…I leave or file a lawsuit. Flat out. I say this as the faculty member of a university.

        1. maestrojhoffman

          No, Mark, I would say you really can’t relate to those of us who were born at Barge Memorial Hospital and exclusively educated in Bob Jones University’s lower schools and socialized in and around the campus environment as children. You cannot relate to that at all because that is not your experience.

          “At 18 I was an adult, with free will and a brain and eyes to read and figure out what I needed and where I needed to go.”

          Good for you. For some people raised in the BJU environment as I was and as was every single faculty child on that campus, it took tremendous strength of will and independence of thought (those things BJU has tried very hard, by its own admission, to discourage at all costs — this is what BJU people deem to be “rebellion,” if you’ll recall), to arrive at that point. For many of us, it didn’t happen at eighteen years of age.. and your experiences do not invalidate the experiences of others.

          “If my boss says my kids MUST go to XYZ school…I leave or file a lawsuit. Flat out. I say this as the faculty member of a university.”

          Again, good for you. Your experiences do not invalidate the experiences of others, and your choices do not reflect the choices of others. If you’ve got two degrees from BJU and nowhere else, do you really have that much of a choice if you want to stay in your field? For many people, I daresay the answer is “no.”

          What do you say to the faculty child whose parents use these particular employment conditions to manipulate his/her choices as the school uses them to manipulate the faculty? I daresay faculty members at BJU pretty much buy into the mission of the school, regardless of your or my particular take on that. That doesn’t necessarily mean that their children do.

      5. Mark Smith

        You also say your parents were loyal BJU alumni. What did they do career wise? How did they survive given their BJU education?

        1. maestrojhoffman

          My parents started out in “Christian education” as school-teachers when they graduated. I think they realized early on the vicissitudes of attempting to raise a family on below-poverty wages in environments that afforded no job security and few benefits. So, after I was born, they began to transition to life in the secular world over time, and opted to send my brothers and I to the BJU lower schools with the automatic assumption we would also attend BJU. Nonetheless, they made a number of sacrifices financially to pay BJU’s tuitions and it was this decision they made to send us to BJU schools that necessitated my father’s transition into the secular workforce and to hold down two jobs for most of my childhood and adolescence.

          After leaving the “Christian education” space, my late mother was a “homemaker,” in the loyal Bob Jones alumnus mold — which hardly required her to have a college degree at all. She also taught private music lessons throughout my childhood.

          My father got into the nascent Information Technology space in the early 1970s when many of those jobs did not require an accredited college degree. It turned out to be a good career for him — one from which he retired — but it would be fair to say that his P.C.T. degree from BJU didn’t make a hill of beans of difference in his ability to get or keep that job. I don’t believe most of his co-workers had college degrees at all. That situation is very different today.

      6. MSK

        Mark, I hope you realize how fortunate you are that you cannot relate.

        If you have read much on cults and their mindsets, you have seen quite a lot of the way BJU operates. They exert a great deal of control; manipulation, threats of eternal consequences, literally, in chapel, praying the Lord’s wrath down on those with whom they disagree… They have their own prophets. They have their own sacred writings, which carry at least as much weight as the Bible. They separate you from the surrounding culture. They shame you in as many ways as they can devise if you deviate from THEIR path. They shun you and excommunicate you if they want to, for any reason, or for no reason at all.

        They present a beautiful face to the world. Just don’t look behind that mask.

        My parents taught me how to think. As a result, they were amazed that I graduated from BJU on time, with only 34 demerits on my record. I was amazed, too! My parents didn’t know of the issues I would face.

        1. Mark Smith

          maestro and MSK,
          Actually, all I know is what you perceive to be the reality at BJU. Your story sounds terrible, but lots of others I have heard are equally successful.

          1. maestrojhoffman

            “… what you perceive to be the reality of the University.”

            Ha ha ha. That’s rich. How many BJU alumni do you talk to on a daily basis? How many people do you know who’ve been harassed or expelled for “not being spiritual enough?”

            As the executive director of BJUnity, and as someone who spent more than 15 years of his life at BJU, let me assure you that it’s a little more than “perception” for me: I talk to LGBT+ and many other alumni on a daily basis. I know a lot of their stories very well. Those stories don’t confirm a “perception,” they confirm the reality that many people have experienced.

            I’m glad to know your personal situation is so amenable to you. That’s great that things have worked out well for you, as they have for others. But that doesn’t invalidate the experiences of, oh, say the nursing graduates (dozens of them) who, in a Facebook thread someone shared with me last night, mentioned their difficulties getting into Master’s programs and/or getting certifications or employment in states other than South Carolina.

            There are some very good people at BJU. There’s no question about it. Most of those people who’ve spent many decades of their lives there teaching for sub-poverty wages did so because they believed “The Promise” and believed in the school’s mission. Trouble is “The Promise” hasn’t been kept. Would you advise them to sue? I would. But how many will listen?

            Have you ever wondered whether Stephen Jones himself isn’t stuck there? After all, he’s never studied anywhere else — all three of his degrees are BJU degrees. Stephen and I grew up together. I got to leave. He didn’t.

  12. David Shaffer

    A school that refuses to right wrongs against faculty, staff, students and grads doesn’t deserve to have money thrown at a big bad bear. If they wanted to show the love of Christ to the world they should have picked a less violent mascot like the BJCares Bears.

  13. Mike

    For some reason, there was no reply option on Mark Smith’s last post. Part of my point about BJU accreditation that I intended to make is that being an unapologetic fundamentalist institution, as Clearwater, Appalachian Bible College, and Maranatha Baptist College are, does not keep an institution from being regionally accredited.

    1. formerfundy1992

      Actually, Mike, that is where you were not listening at BJ. From their perspective, they have ALWAYS stated (until TRACS) that acquiring regional accreditation was becoming unequally together with unbeliever. Third railed on this.. So did Junior. From the BJ perspective, Appalachian & Maranatha were always anathema.

      One of my many positions at BJ was in the Administration building where I interacted directly with prospective students and their parents as one my duties. We were very proud of the fact that we had not stooped to the ungodly level of acquiring accreditation like so many so-called Christian institutions. We would not be controlled by the government… Yes that was another argument against accreditation.

      We were instructed to tell prospective students (since high school students are still prospective and not current students) that accreditation does not matter (lie). That it would never have impact on their future employment (lie).

      The mind/life control over the students and faculty can only be described as MSK and Maistro have described it. Faculty are paid lower that poverty level wage. Their children are required to attend or the parents position is threatened… And the parents cannot afford to go anywhere else.. It is a forced dependence on the employer. I remember one faculty family whose child was expelled while in the Academy. They were told their child may no longer live I am with them and communication with the childe was to be limited to birthday and Christmas. Students from feeder schools in NC, FL. MI, PA… all across the country, are born and groomed to attend BJ. They do not dare not attend no matter how miserable they are there. They would have no place to go but the streets.

      You are right, there are some graduates – primarily those born with a golden spoon and last name – who do have it easy…Parents have all the connections to get them where they are going. But I know way more who cannot work in their desired field in their state because of lack of accreditation… so they can spend 4 more years in college paying for a whole new degree or turn to something else. They were lied to by BJ… They were told their degree would never need accreditation.

      1. maestrojhoffman

        We published this piece last year. Notice the author’s biography:

        “Tim Tyson graduated from Bob Jones University in 1979 (B.S.) and again in 1981 (M.A.). He went on to earn his doctoral degree from the University of Illinois. He then had to earn an additional master’s degree from the U of I because BJU is unaccredited and his undergraduate and master’s degrees were not recognized by state teacher certification agencies without a master’s degree from an accredited institution. He lives in Sausalito, CA, with his husband, Steve.”

        1. Mark Smith

          Now I am starting to understand…your real beef is homosexuality. Got it.

          As for accreditation, did BJU claim in 1979 that you could teach in a public school with a degree from BJU? Outside of SC that is?

          1. maestrojhoffman


            Are you always so insultingly reductionist? Or is that just your “real beef” with alumni who want to hold the university to account?

            My “real beef” with Bob Jones University is that the school operates an abusive authoritarian system: the kind of system that made me vulnerable to a child molester they employed for many years; the kind of system that prevents students from getting confidential, qualified counseling for any number of issues; the kind of system that lies to its faculty for decades, exploits their willingness to work for sub-par wages, and then tosses them out on their ears with just three years left before retirement, the kind of system that would spend more than three-quarters of a million dollars on a pipe dream of a sports program while simultaneously charging those long-time faculty rent and giving them discount cards for meals when it very clearly stated it would provide housing and meals to them for life if they gave their lives in service at BJU; the kind of system that expels students not for violating any covenant or breaking any rules, but simply for “not being spiritual enough” or for organizing peaceful protests of the university’s policies towards sexual abuse victims. So, please tell me which part of that litany you don’t understand…

            And, yes, the University was claiming throughout the 1970s and 1980s (I was there, so I know, as was formerfundy and many others), that accreditation wasn’t necessary because “even Harvard isn’t accredited.” That’s a direct quote many of us recall coming from Bob Jones, III. As is clear from Dr. Tyson’s experience, they knew even in the mid-1980s, that alumni were having trouble with this thing and they lied to students, to us, repeatedly.

            1. Mark Smith

              Why does one have to be a BJU grad to care about BJU?

              I have many friends who are BJU grads. All of them are in ministry and remember the school fondly. When the Chuck Phelps/20-20 situation broke I went on-line and discovered that a significant number of grads hate the school they went to and also hate fundamentalism. So, I like to keep up with the latest info.

              1. maestrojhoffman

                No one said you can’t care about BJU and not be an alumnus, but perhaps you’d care to explain why you care so much about the school as to be so dismissive of the experiences and stories of those who did actually attend.

                There are plenty of us BJU/BJA alumni who work in ministry who also believe in holding the school accountable for its deceptions and misrepresntations. Why is it that you have such trouble believing their (our) stories? Could it be that you are more interested in protecting the institutions of fundamentalism than you are about doing the work of Jesus Christ? I’m curious. Very curious.

                1. Mark Smith

                  Simple reason maestro. At a public university I used to work at as faculty I served on a committee that reviewed complaints against the university. This university had around 5000 students for comparison to BJU. Anyway, I was shocked by the number of complaints filed. Alumi said the university screwed them. Community members complained about taxes. There were several accusations of sexual “assaults” (not all were technically assaults…just looking for a category name. For the record we were simply made aware of the allegation. Law enforcement did the actual investigation). Faculty complained about not being adequately paid. Same sex couples complained about not being able to sign up together on the university health insurance plan. There was a “climate survey” done by the Diversity Coordinator that year. Traditionalists thought the school was too pro-gay, and homosexual students insisted the university was anti-gay. Christians said the university was against them and so did the athiests.

                  To make a long story short, does all of this sound familiar?

              2. MSK

                Oh my word. Your sample of people satisified with their BJU experience is limited to people in “full-time Christian ministry,” and you think that sample is REPRESENTATIVE?

                It is to laugh.

                Those are the insiders. The preferred ones. The ones who were taught that they were better than the rest of us. The ones who said in English class, to the professor, “Why should we study Shakespeare, anyway? All I need to know is in the Bible.” And, in the dorms, “All you business majors are just greedy for filthy mammon. If you were REALLY sold out for Christ, you would be Bible majors like us.”

                Direct quotes.

                My grandfather was a pastor in South Carolina for 25 years (not BJU-affiliated, though he cooperated with BJU for years before being blacklisted after too many BJU students married too many of the young people in his church). He used to snort about BJU and its attitudes…especially among the preacher boys. “Mama-called and Daddy-sent,” he used to call them.

                You should not expect representative answers from them. There are some good ones, but they have usually left their past behind. They see it for what it was, and are ashamed to have been a part of it.

      2. Mike

        Perhaps a bit of caution on dogmatic utterances would behoove all of us. When Obama said over 23 times publicly, “You can keep your insurance.,” the liberal press said, “He shouldn’t have said that.” Perhaps it’s damning to say the same of BJU as has been said about President Obama, “BJU shouldn’t have said those things about accreditation back then, at least not so dogmatically.” When you say too much too dogmatically, you sure have a lot of back-peddling to do!
        Yes, Mr. former fundy, I was listening to what they said about accreditation back then..The matter was not as critical to BJU grads back then. I know of attorneys who are BJU grads who attended UVA and WVU with no problem from BJU’s non-accreditation. One who attended Medical school at Marshall Univ. A PhD math prof at USC (Spartanburg) who was a BJU math grad. I know, limited sample. I also know of those whose BJU degrees caused them problems.

        Regional accreditation has become increasingly critical over the last couple of decades. BJU was slow to waken to this. My comments stating that regional accreditation was not a problem for Appalachian Bible College, Maranatha, and Clearwater, which are clearly Fundamentalist institutions, was saying that BJU’s fundamentalism would not keep them from being accredited. I was not trying to defend what had been said in the past. .Go back and read my previous post.

  14. maestrojhoffman

    Public universities are accountable to the public. Private universities, generally, are also accountable to the public due to their 501 (c) (3) status. Bob Jones University, on the other hand, has only ever been accountable to its ownership, the Jones family, at least since it lost its tax exempt status in 1983 and was no longer required to file IRS 990 forms so its donors could see where their money was going.

    BJU is currently under independent investigation by a qualified team from G.R.A.C.E. I am sure when they have finished and published their report your curiosities will be met with the information you seek. In the meantime, as I said, you are just trolling.

    1. Mark Smith

      A troll is a person that makes intentionally provacative statements at a forum. I have listed to all you and MSK have had to say. Where have I been disrespectful?

      1. Mark Smith

        As far as GRACE. Is the impetus behind this the accusation that BJU covered up sexual assaults on campus, or is it that they didn’t follow up when students said they had been assaulted in the past at home, etc.

        ALSO, concerning my being interested in this issue…over at the BJU News facebook page there are all kinds of negative responses about BJU, some VERY negative. Do you think all of those people are BJU alumni? Why do they care?

        1. maestrojhoffman


          You’ll just have to wait and see what the G.R.A.C.E. team uncovers in their report. They have a history of being very thorough, which you can see for yourself if you visit their website at

          The allegations I know about are numerous and the circumstances are different in each case. I am sure the G.R.A.C.E. team will investigate each lead thoroughly.

      2. MSK


        Thanks for listening. I appreciate it.

        Those of us who have turned our back on BJU do it for different reasons. We are certainly not monolithic in our thinking. We sometimes have very strong disagreements with each other. One thing I hope I have learned is how to disagree without damning the other person; to listen and learn even if I cannot ultimately agree. In short, to show respect. This is something that was never modeled for us when we were in college. Sometimes, when we hear the same old questions, the same old challenges against our integrity and intelligence and spirituality, we lash out against the one who asks. I’m glad that you have stuck around long enough to have a REAL conversation.

        Please understand that we do not hate the fundamentals of Christianity (the ACTUAL fundamentals). We simply loathe what fundamentalism has become: a bunch of petty arguments about nonessential issues; about personal preferences. A bunch of petty dictators trying to glorify themselves, denouncing everyone else. When I consider how things used to be, it is quite pathetic to see what things have become. But most of us still subscribe to the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith, and wish that our former churches would talk about THOSE things rather than the absurd arguments about hair length, clothing styles, music styles, Bible translations, et cetera.


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  17. A James

    Mike November 7, 2013 at 8:26 PM
    “Intercollegiate sports keeps BJU from being as isolated as it once was, gives them a relationship with other colleges and students it never had before. As long as kept in proper balance, not an altogether bad thing.”

    We shall see how they do better at a proper balance than the founder. $800,000 for such isn’t an encouraging start. Maybe if the faculty had been allowed to vote this time they could have saved themselves the expense.

    From Standing Without Apology:The History of Bob Jones University, chapter 4:

    “The school found that the better their team, the more the wrong kind of student was drawn to the institution because of his desire to participate. Many of these students, it was found, worshiped physical prowess and had little or no interest in spiritual things. Fans also bet on games, and fans of visiting teams left beer and whiskey bottles and other trash strewn about the campus. In time, Dr. Jones felt that football was “not conducive to the spiritual welfare of the students.” Mrs. Jones remembered after one game the team

    came back with all their honor and glory. Dr. Bob got up in chapel and announced, “I’m sorry boys and girls, we’re not going to have any more football.” Well–you’ve just never heard! You would have thought the earth had come to an end!

    “Why!? Why!?” they all said.

    “Well,” he said, “We love it too much. I love it too much. We can’t do our work and run around the country here playing football. That is not what God called this school down here to do!”

    The College abandoned intercollegiate sports in 1933. After a discussion of the problems in faculty meeting, a vote was taken, and all but three voted against having intercollegiate athletics of any kind. Dr. Jones admitted that this was a “severe test, but we did what was right.”

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