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Liberty University, a Christian institution in Virginia, has stopped accepting new philosophy bachelor's students after what a university spokesperson described as a decision to collapse its philosophy program. University officials pointed to negative enrollment trends for degree-seeking philosophy students across the country to explain the move.

"Due to the lack of interest, over several years, in a B.A. in Philosophy, we began in the fall of 2019 to collapse the program and to stop accepting new students as we had less than twenty students enrolled and five faculty to service them," a Liberty spokesperson said via email.

The university's master's of philosophy was dissolved in 2015.

Though the university would not confirm how many professors' roles were impacted, the spokesperson said those laid off were offered "generous severance packages" and were eligible to be rehired in other areas of the university if qualified. Outside of the university's law school, professors at Liberty are not offered tenure.

The spokesperson said Liberty's president, Jerry Falwell Jr., decided to "solidify the tenants [sic] of Christian life" in the college's general education curriculum in response to the collapse of the program.

"A team of some of Liberty’s best theologians, apologists and philosophers convened to ensure that Liberty continued to integrate and expound upon its curriculum with a deeper focus on theology, apologetics and philosophy," the spokesperson said. "It is vitally important that our students clearly understand the deity of Christ."

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