According to his estimations, “We’re now the world’s largest Christian university,” says Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. When the spring semester got under way in January, more than 50,000 students were taking classes on LU’s campus in Lynchburg, and through Liberty University Online.
There are nearly 12,000 residential students and more than 45,000 online students; through early February a total of 57,371 students were enrolled.
“Dad [Jerry Falwell Sr.] originally had a goal of 5,000 students,” says Falwell Jr. “Elmer Towns [Liberty co-founder and dean of the School of Religion] has often told the story about how that vision changed almost overnight when my father suddenly declared that Liberty would one day enroll 50,000 students. He revised the vision slightly due to technological advances in education delivery methods. Over the last few years, we have seen online delivery methods become even more popular.”
Founded in 1971 as Lynchburg Baptist, the school began with 154 students. Classes were held in the Thomas Road Baptist Church Sunday school classrooms. LU has seen steady growth over the years with its student population, but has seen a boom in recent years both on campus and online. LU Online had about 27,000 students enrolled in May 2008 — that number has grown by nearly 20,000 in less than two years.
(From press release.)