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During the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy of the 1920s, Christian evangelist Bob Jones, Sr.

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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.

In 2005, 120 of the finalists from previous years returned to BJU as freshmen.

The university requires use of the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible in its services and classrooms, but it does not hold that the KJV is the only acceptable English translation or that it has the same authority as the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts.

The King-James-Only Movement—or more correctly, movements, since it has many variations—became a divisive force in fundamentalism only as conservative modern Bible translations, such as the New American Standard Bible (NASB) and the New International Version (NIV), began to appear in the 1970s.

The university's athletic teams, the Bruins, compete in Division II of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA).

In 2008, the university estimated the number of its graduates at 35,000; in 2017, 40,184.

More than a hundred concerts, recitals, and laboratory theater productions are also presented annually.

Each fall, as a recruiting tool, the university sponsors a "High School Festival" in which students compete in music, art, and speech (including preaching) contests with their peers from around the country.

Children of church members were attending college, only to reject the faith of their parents.

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