Liberty University is a private, Christian university located in Lynchburg, Virginia, United States. Liberty's annual enrollment is 12,500 residential students and 80,000+ studying through Liberty University Online. When including the number of people taking its online courses, LU would be ranked as the largest Evangelical Christian university in the world, the nation's 7th largest four-year university and the largest university in Virginia. Liberty's athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Liberty Flames. They compete in the Big South Conference. It was founded as Lynchburg Baptist College in 1971 by Jerry Falwell, who was also Senior Pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church. The name was changed to Liberty Baptist College in 1976 before settling on its current name (Liberty University) in 1984, when it obtained university status. Liberty University describes itself as a Christian academic community.
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