The Unlikely Disciple: Enter Bible Boot Camp

Jerry Falwell likes to refer to Liberty University as Bible Boot Camp. And, well, it is Bible Boot Camp. The lives of Liberty’s students is governed by a strict set of rules that are designed to help promote a Christian life according to Evangelical standards. After Kevin wrote about some of Liberty’s rules in his book, I found the rules to be stifling and reminiscent of Catholic schools in the past.

While Liberty has standard academic rules what really makes Liberty’s Honor Code stand out are the codes on dressing, sexual and non-sexual relationships, convocation, leaving campus, and internet monitoring. Liberty’s Honor Code states that students should dress with dignity and modesty when attending classes or when on campus before 4:30pm. For men the requirement is that men wear dress shirts and slacks while women should wear dresses, shirts, capris, slacks, or well fitting jeans with appropriate tops. As for convocation, all students must attend weekly convocation on campus that serves as a platform for giving announcements and worship. This also means that students have to attend all dorm hall prayer meets and campus wide hours of prayer. The rules of sexual and non-sexual relationships are a bit of an oddity at Liberty when compared to other American universities, for example students are not allowed to kiss while hugging can only last for three seconds. Liberty also bans pre-marital sexual relationships while same-sex romantic relationships are banned. This brings the post to the topic of leaving campus. Liberty forbids from leaving campus for more than four days without singing out with a student authority. This also means that students are not allowed to live off campus until they are twenty-one but if they violate Liberty’s Honor Code concerning pre-marital sexual relations, they are required to move back onto on campus housing. As for those living on campus, their dorms are inspected twice per week for cleanliness. What shocked me the most was that Liberty allowed its staff to monitor students’ Internet activity for any Internet activity that might violate Liberty’s Honor Code. Yes, that’s right students are being monitored.

Liberty University is unique not just in their Honor Code but also in the courses make up the university’s general education requirements. Kevin didn’t list all courses in the general education core but it is clear that Liberty’s goal is to arm the students with Christian apologetics towards Evangelical biblical interpretation. Yep, teaching students how to defend Evangelical biblical interpretation is the main priority of Liberty University. As for Kevin, he decided to take a few choice gen ed courses that include the History of Life (Creationism apologetics), Evangelism 101, and a course on Christian Theology (I would love to take the course!). There are some generic general education courses that Liberty offers that any other university would offer but those were too boring for Kevin to include.

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