A vast array of residential graduate programs at one of the largest Christian universities
Since its founding in 1971 by Evangelical Pastor Jerry Falwell, Sr., Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, has grown to become one of the world's largest Christian universities. Today, Liberty's alumni number more than 250,000, with more than 100,000 students enrolled in the school's residential and online programs. Among those programs are 117 residential graduate programs and 5 residential doctoral programs, including post-graduate programs in business, clinical mental health counseling, and divinity.
The student-to-professor ratio for Liberty University's residential graduate programs in 8 to 1. The school is on the Forbes list of Top Colleges and Top Research Universities as well as on US News and World Report's list of Best National Universities. Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and many of its graduate programs are also accredited by relevant organizations such as the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling Related and Educational Programs, and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
A big campus in a small town rich in history and close to nature
Liberty's campus covers more than 7,000 acres in Lynchburg, a town of 80,000 in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Lynchburg is within two hours' drive of Monticello, Appomattox, and the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. The town itself dates back to Colonial times, and the area is home to many historical sites.
Students in Liberty's residential graduate programs may live off-campus in local rental housing, in the school's off-campus Liberty NorthPoint complex for graduate and married students, or on campus (for unmarried graduate students younger than 25 only). On campus, students will find more than 100 interest-based clubs formed around religion, fitness, community service, and activities like scuba diving, robotics, anime, fishing, and fencing. Recreation resources include the LaHaye Ice Center for skating and hockey, the Snowflex Centre for year-round snow sports, and indoor fitness and swimming facilities.
Residential graduate certificate programs at Liberty University
Liberty offers half a dozen residential graduate certificate programs for students who want to supplement their bachelor's degree for professional development and who want to earn a certificate as they work toward a master's degree. Certificate programs are available in General Business, Greek and Hebrew for divinity students, and in Global Health, Health Promotion, and Nutrition for public health students. Total course loads range from 9 to 15 credit hours, depending upon the subject.
Residential master's degree programs in religion and related fields
Liberty University's on-campus master's degree program offerings are extensive, with many offerings in theology and ministry. These include the MA in Biblical Exposition and the MA in Biblical Studies, as well as master's degree programs in Christian Apologetics and Christian Ministry.
The Master of Divinity (MDiv) program in the Rawlings School of Divinity offers students a choice of degree completion plans concentrated in:
• Biblical Languages
• Biblical Studies
• Christian Leadership & Church Ministries
• Christian Thought
• Community Chaplaincy
• Discipleship Ministries
• General Studies
• Global Studies
• Healthcare Chaplaincy
• Military Chaplaincy
• Pastoral Counseling
Total credit hour requirements for these programs range from 75 to 93 hours. All programs are designed to prepare students for ministry or chaplaincy careers.
The MA in Religion program is a 60-hour program with concentration options in Biblical Studies, Christian Apologetics, Church History, Community Chaplaincy, Discipleship and Church Ministry, Evangelism and Church Planting, Leadership, Pastoral Ministries, and other areas. The MA in Worship Studies degree program is a 45-hour program for students wishing to work in church music ministries and other worship capacities; concentrations include Worship Techniques, Leadership, and Ethnomusicology. The MA in Theological Studies is a 36-hour program for students who want to work in supportive or ministerial roles in their churches. The MA in Global Studies is a 36-hour program designed for students who want to work at a missions-based organization or overseas as a missionary.
Business and sports management master's degree programs
The on-campus MBA degree program offers 14 areas of concentration, including, but not limited to, Criminal Justice Administration, International Business, Non-profit Leadership & Management, and Supply Chain Management & Logistics. Students must complete 36 or 45 credit hours, depending on the area of concentration. The MS in Sports Management is a 36-hour program with thesis and non-thesis tracks. Concentrations are available in Coaching and Athletic Administration, Outdoor Adventure Sport, Sport Administration, Tourism, and General Studies.
Health and science master's degree programs
Students building careers in counseling, the sciences, and public health have several master's degree programs to choose among at Liberty. The MS in Biomedical Sciences is a 39- hour program for students who wish to teach at the college level, go to medical school, or advance their careers. The Master of Public Health program offers concentrations in epidemiology, global health, health promotion, and nutrition. Also in health, the 35-credit hour MS in Exercise Science & Wellness lets students focus on either fitness and performance or nutrition and wellness. The MS in Human Performance, meanwhile, helps health sciences students build knowledge in the areas of clinical practice, fitness and wellness, strength training and conditioning, or nutrition.
There are Master of Science in Psychology programs available in developmental psychology and in industrial/organizational psychology. Other counseling master's degree programs at Liberty University include the:
• MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, a 60-hour program who students who wish to become licensed professional counselors in Virginia.
• MA in Human Services Counseling, a 30-hour program that doesn't lead to licensure but helps professionals refine their interpersonal and advisory skills.
• MA in Marriage and Family Counseling, a 60-hour program tailored to Virginia's requirements for licensed marriage and family therapists.
• MA in Pastoral Counseling, for ministers who want to provide non-clinical counseling as part of their religious work.
Other MA programs at Liberty University include Communication, English, History, Music Education, Public Policy, Music and Worship, Strategic Communication, and the Master of Fine Arts.
Residential doctoral and postgraduate degree programs
Liberty offers doctoral degree programs in law, osteopathic medicine, nursing practice, and anatomy and cell biology. The school also offers thesis and non-thesis postgraduate Master of Theology degree programs in the Rawlings School of Divinity, with concentrations in biblical studies, Christian apologetics, church history, global studies, homiletics, and theology.
Research support and resources at the Center for Research and Scholarship
The Center for Research and Scholarship at Liberty supports students and faculty in their academic research efforts. The school's annual Research Week draws submissions from graduate and undergraduate students from Liberty, primarily from the School of Health Sciences and the College of Arts & Sciences. Recent grants from the school's Provost Research Initiative have supported graduate-level research in the areas of nutrition, aging and gene expression; group counseling protocols for anxiety; US-Iran international relations, and qualitative research software.
Accomplished faculty members in Liberty University's graduate programs
Liberty's graduate programs are headed by faculty members who are devoted to research and scholarship in their chosen fields. For example, the head of the DNP program, Dr. Sharon Kopis, has expertise in nursing administration, population health, and grant writing; her clinical work as a family nurse practitioner focused on underserved populations. Dwight Rice, PhD, DMin, directs the Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling program; his work includes short-term pastoral counseling strategies, emotional intelligence, and behavioral assessment. Kendrick Brunson, DBA, brings his military, business, and academic experience to his role as chair of the School of Business.
Strong alumni bonds and employment prospects
With more than 250,000 Liberty alumni, the school's alumni network has chapters across the US, in Canada, and in all branches of the US military. Notable graduates include former NFL player Rashad Jennings, Fox News anchor Shannon Bream, and author Susan Wise Bauer. Liberty University graduates have gone on to work in churches and ministry groups, hospitals and healthcare clinics, major corporations, the military, K12 and higher education, and all levels of government.
Graduate scholarship and assistantship opportunities
Liberty University sponsors several scholarship programs for residential graduate students who meet scholarship fund criteria. These include:
• The Heroes Fund Scholarship for active-duty and honorably discharged military service members with Gulf War service and either a Purple Heart, a qualifying combat-related disability, or a spouse killed in Gulf War action.
• The Keesee Scholarship for Baptist residents of Virginia or the Carolinas who are enrolled in selected divinity and ministry-related graduate programs.
• The Virginia Army National Guard Scholarship for guard members in good standing.
• The Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant for Virginia residents who are pursuing either the Master of Public Health, MA Human Services Counseling, or Doctor of Nursing Practice
Full-time graduate students may also apply for a teaching assistantship or teaching fellowship that includes tuition and a stipend in exchange for twenty hours of departmental work per week. These graduate student assistants can also earn a Certificate of University Teaching as part of their experience.
Military members and veterans may qualify for college credit based on military experience, as well as other tuition benefits. Contact Liberty's Office of Military Affairs for details.