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engaged in a controversy about the propriety of theological conservatives cooperating with theological liberals to support evangelistic campaigns, a controversy that widened an already growing rift between separatist fundamentalists and other evangelicals.
Negative publicity caused by the dispute precipitated a decline in BJU enrollment of about 10% in the years 1956–59, and seven members of the university board (of about a hundred) also resigned in support of Graham, including Graham himself and two of his staff members.
In 2004, the university began the process of joining the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. 574), the university chose to maintain its interracial dating policy and pay a million dollars in back taxes.
Candidate status—effectively, accreditation—was obtained in April 2005, and full membership in the Association was conferred in November 2006. After BJU lost the decision in Bob Jones University v. The year following the Court decision, contributions to the university declined by 13 percent.
The college, with approximately 2,500 students, is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools.
The university's athletic teams, the Bruins, compete in Division II of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA).
Undoubtedly helpful was that some of the university's strongest programs were in the areas of music, speech, and art, disciplines in which ability could be measured by audition or portfolio rather than through paper qualifications.
Nevertheless, by the early 2000s, the university quietly reexamined its position on accreditation as degree mills proliferated and some government agencies, such as local police departments, began excluding BJU graduates on the grounds that the university did not appear on appropriate federal lists.
Jones said that although he had been averse to naming the school after himself, his friends overcame his reluctance "with the argument that the school would be called by that name because of my connection with it, and to attempt to give it any other name would confuse the people".
In 1944, Jones wrote to John Walvoord of Dallas Theological Seminary that while the university had "no objection to educational work highly standardized….
We, however, cannot conscientiously let some group of educational experts or some committee of experts who may have a behavioristic or atheistic slant on education control or even influence the administrative policies of our college." Early in the history of the college, there had been some hesitancy on the part of other institutions to accept BJU credits at face value, but by the 1960s, BJU alumni were being accepted by most of the major graduate and professional schools in the United States.
In 2005, 120 of the finalists from previous years returned to BJU as freshmen.
The university's nursing major is approved by the South Carolina State Board of Nursing, and a BJU graduate with a BSN is eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination to become a registered nurse.