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Virginia University of Lynchburg

Virginia University of Lynchburg is a private, historically black university located in Lynchburg, Virginia. The university currently offers instruction and degrees, primarily in religious studies, including a Doctorate of Ministry program.


2058 Garfield Ave
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Cadet Blue And White

College History


Virginia University of Lynchburg is the oldest school of higher learning in Lynchburg, Virginia. The school was founded in 1886 and incorporated in 1888 by the Virginia Baptist State Convention as the coeducational "Lynchburg Baptist Seminary". Classes were first held in 1890 under the name Virginia Seminary. With the offering of a collegiate program in 1900, the name was again changed, to Virginia Theological Seminary and College. In 1962, the institution was renamed to the Virginia Seminary and College. Finally, in 1996, the school was given its current name. The campus includes three historic academic buildings on 6.82 acres: Graham Hall (1917), Humbles Hall (1920�21) and the Mary Jane Cachelin Memorial Science and Library Building (1946). Also historically significant is the Hayes Monument (c. 1906). It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010. Its first President was the Rev. Phillip F. Morris, pastor of Court Street Baptist Church in Lynchburg. Seeking a financial patron, Morris agreed to step down as president rather than yield to the demand of the American Baptist Home Mission Society that he step down from the pulpit to assume full-time leadership of the school. Rev. Morris would later serve as President of the National Baptist Convention. Rev. Gregory W. Hayes, a graduate of Oberlin College, assumed the full-time position as President in 1891, serving until his death in 1906. His wife, Mary Rice Hayes Allen, mulatto daughter of a Confederate general and mother of author Carrie Allen McCray, assumed the presidency until replaced by Dr. JRL Diggs in 1908. During Hayes' administration, controversy arose between black separatists and accommodationists over the future of the school. The chief patron wished it to become a pre-collegiate manual training institution. Hayes, among the separatists, returned the patronage to retain and strengthen Black autonomy and academic integrity. This move eventually led to a schism within the National Baptist Convention. In July 2010, the school reached an agreement with Liberty University to help VUL students looking for degrees not offered at the school to complete their degrees at Liberty. Among the alumni of the university is John Chilembwe, a Nyasa (Malawian) Baptist priest and leader of the 1915 Chilembwe uprising, who graduated in 1901.

College Specialty


Virginia University of Lynchburg seeks to recognize the possibilities in every human being and maximize the gifts of the individual within the context of a thoroughly Christian and nurturing environment, which offers students opportunities to develop into able leaders and scholars. The Mission is to provide a solid Liberal Arts and Christian Education program for all students. The University continues to embrace our African American heritage along with appreciation for other cultures and ethnic groups in our global community. Virginia University of Lynchburg has, for the past 25 years, operated several teaching locations in the state of Virginia. This effort is in keeping with VUL�s historic missionary spirit of reaching out to the wider community beyond the University. This historical African American institution was founded in 1886 to meet the growing demands of our community for better-educated and trained ministers, missionaries, and public school teachers. In support of its Mission, Virginia University of Lynchburg seeks to equip its students with training and skills to: Share the Word of God with the saved and unsaved. Understand, apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information gained in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences during their educational careers and throughout their lives. Engage in a major field of study with a solid liberal arts foundation. Actualize their spiritual, academic, and vocational potentialities. Know and help fulfill the needs of others in a way that leads to the betterment of humanity. Become mature, informed, and effective Christian leaders in a complex and globally diverse society. Possess university-level competencies in writing, speaking, reading, analytical reasoning, computer literacy, library research, and appreciation of the arts. Cultivate and implement distinct Christian service ministries.