grew increasingly concerned about the secularization of higher education and the influence of religious liberalism in denominational colleges.Children of church members were attending college, only to reject the faith of their parents.In 2008, the university estimated the number of its graduates at 35,000, in 2017, 40,184.During the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy of the 1920s, Christian evangelist Bob Jones, Sr.
In December 2011, in response to accusations of mishandling of student reports of sexual abuse (most of which had occurred in their home churches when the students were minors) and a concurrent reporting issue at a church pastored by a university board member, Released in December 2014, the GRACE report suggested that BJU had discouraged students from reporting past sexual abuse, and though the University declined to implement many of the report's recommendations, President Steve Pettit formally apologized "to those who felt they did not receive from us genuine love, compassion, understanding, and support after suffering sexual abuse or assault." It is common for retiring professors to have served the university for thirty, forty, and even occasionally, fifty years, a circumstance that has contributed to the stability and conservatism of an institution of higher learning that has virtually no endowment and at which faculty salaries are "sacrificial".
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.
Enrollment quickly rebounded, and by 1970, there were 3300 students, approximately 60% more than in 1958.
Though he had served as Acting President as early as 1934, Jones' son, Bob Jones, Jr.
officially became the school's second president in 1947 just before the college moved to Greenville, South Carolina, and became Bob Jones University.