Christmas Greetings from President Pettit

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Christmas greetings from Bob Jones University. This Christmas season is a time when we all reflect on the year that’s about to end, and of course, 2020 has been a year unlike any other that we’ve experienced in our lifetime. The coronavirus swept the globe and impacted almost every aspect of our daily lives. As we think back on this past year, it would be very easy to be discouraged. And yet the message of Christmas is hope and joy which should leave us praising God for what He’s done for us.

Here at the University, we have so much to be thankful for. When the virus turned into a global pandemic in the early spring, we had to send our students home and had to pivot to online instruction. By God’s grace, both our faculty and students responded quickly and we completed the semester successfully.

We then set a goal of completing the fall semester with on-campus, in-person classes. And again with the blessing of God, in His grace and help, we were able to achieve our goal. God gave us our target enrollment, plus a few more, as our founder would say. And we were able to provide students a normal — although modified — full semester of activities including artist series and intercollegiate sports. Fact is, our men’s and ladies’ cross country teams along with our ladies’ volleyball team won the NCCAA Division II national championships.

We greatly look forward to the students’ return in January. As we go through second semester, we anticipate a gradual return to normal. As a university family, we are so thankful for the favor of God upon us over this past year.

So, during this Christmas season, may the angel’s message to the shepherds, as recorded in Luke 2, fill you with hope and joy. “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” May you experience the joy of the shepherds this season.

My wife Terry joins me in wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas.

The text of the carol “What Child is This?” points us beyond the babe in the manger to the Christ of the cross and the King of kings. We hope you’ll be blessed by this peaceful meditation set to the tune “Greensleeves,” and performed here by students in our University Chamber Orchestra.


Steve Pettit traveled for many years with the Steve Pettit Evangelistic Team before becoming president of Bob Jones University. His ultimate goal for BJU is to prepare students to serve and love others, no matter their vocation.