Just over four hundred miles separate Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, and Columbia University in New York.

Yet, looking at images from both campuses recently, it might just as well be four hundred thousand miles, and maybe not even that close.

Antisemitic protestors continue to fill the lawns inside the gated Harlem campus, with the agitators ignoring university requests to leave. Demands include that the school divest itself from any Israeli partnerships, financial or academic.

Since the encampment began, there’s been violence and unrest – plus the cancellation of in-person classes. Keep in mind tuition at the Ivy League institution, founded in 1754, runs over $86,000 a year.

Meanwhile, the “Academic Lawn” on Liberty University’s campus was equally, if not even more full, but with a significant difference in type and tone.

Speaking to the throng gathered this past Wednesday night, chancellor Jonathan Falwell told students:

How amazing it is that Liberty students come to our lawn, and what we do rather than attacking one another is lift up the name of the only One who is worthy of our praise, and that is Jesus Christ, King of kings, and Lord of lords.

In addition to the singing of worship songs, Falwell read from 3 John, encouraging the students to stand strong in the face of a confused and wicked culture.

“Do not imitate what is evil but what is good,” wrote John (3 John 11).

“This is a choice that we have to make,” Falwell told those assembled. “But understand it’s not a choice that we have to make once, but one we have to make every single day. Every day when we wake up and put our feet on the ground, we have to decide that on this day, no matter what I face, no matter what I come up against, no matter what situations I may have to navigate, I’m going to honor God, I’m going to serve Christ, I’m going to run after Him.”

Liberty students are already demonstrating their countercultural inclinations by attending the Christian university, but the contrast is even more obvious in the wake of the reckless, outrageous, and antisemitic demonstrations springing up at Columbia and other institutions across America.

When Columbia University was first opened as King’s College in 1854, organizers published a notice in a local newspaper looking for leaders committed to:

Righteousness of Life, with a perfect Heart, and a willing Mind; and to train them up in all virtuous Habits, and all such useful Knowledge as may render them creditable to their Families and Friends, Ornaments to their Country and useful to the public in their Generations … And, finally, to lead them from the Study of Nature to the Knowledge of themselves, and of the God of Nature, and their Duty to him, themselves, and one another, and everything that can contribute to their true Happiness, both here and hereafter.

 Nobody within Columbia University would recognize this description anymore. But Liberty? Their current mission sounds similar:

Here we Train Champions for Christ. The mission of Liberty University isn’t just to help you get a degree — it’s to train up leaders who use their God-given gifts and abilities to transform the world for good.

 Two campuses. Two lawns. One clear winner.


Image from Liberty University and Getty.