In 2008, the university estimated the number of its graduates at 35,000, in 2017, 40,000.The university's athletic teams, the Bruins, compete in Division II of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA).
Because of a desire to preserve common history, Columbia is full of nationally important sites.During the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy of the 1920s, Christian evangelist Bob Jones, Sr.grew increasingly concerned about the secularization of higher education and the influence of religious liberalism in denominational colleges.Jones said that although he had been averse to naming the school after himself, his friends overcame his reluctance "with the argument that the school would be called by that name because of my connection with it, and to attempt to give it any other name would confuse the people." Bob Jones took no salary from the college and helped support the school with personal savings and income from his evangelistic campaigns. The Florida land boom had peaked in 1925, and a hurricane in September 1926 further reduced land values. Bob Jones College barely survived bankruptcy and its move to Cleveland, Tennessee in 1933.However, Jones's move to Cleveland proved extraordinarily advantageous.