In the spring, a similar competition sponsored by the American Association of Christian Schools, and hosted by BJU since 1977, brings thousands of national finalists to the university from around the country.
Jones later recalled that in 1924, his friend William Jennings Bryan had leaned over to him at a Bible conference service in Winona Lake, Indiana, and said, "If schools and colleges do not quit teaching evolution as a fact, we are going to become a nation of atheists." While he himself was not a college graduate, Jones grew determined to found a college, and on September 12, 1927, he opened Bob Jones College in Panama City, with 88 students.
During the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy of the 1920s, Christian evangelist Bob Jones, Sr.
grew increasingly concerned about the secularization of higher education and the influence of religious liberalism in denominational colleges.
Nevertheless, by the early 2000s, the university quietly reexamined its position on accreditation as degree mills proliferated and various government bureaucracies, such as law enforcement agencies, began excluding BJU graduates on the grounds that the university did not appear on appropriate federal lists.
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.