The Graduate School

The Graduate School

Liberty University Main Campus


Terry Conner, B.S., M.A.
Associate Dean for Residential Education and Graduate Operations
Associate Professor of Business

Michael Shenkle, Ed.D.
Administrative Dean, Online Education
Online Dean of The Graduate School

G. Michele Baker, B.A., M.A., CIP
Administrative Chair of Institutional Research
Chair of the Institutional Review Board

Connor Bryant, B.S., M.P.H., M.B.A.
Administrative Chair for Animal and Biosafety Research

Tracy Godsey, B.S.
Associate Registrar for Academic Policy

Aaron Malbuff, B.S., M.Div.
Director of Graduate Student Assistantships and Grants

The Graduate School

The Graduate School, located in Green Hall, is the administrative hub for all graduate programs at Liberty University. It assists the departments and schools of the University in the planning and maintaining of high quality master’s and doctoral degrees across the disciplines. The Graduate School at Liberty University facilitates various faculty functions, such as the Graduate Senate and the Graduate Administrative & Curriculum Committee. It also coordinates a variety of services to students through the Graduate Writing Center, the Institutional Review Board, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, Institutional Biosafety Committee, and the Graduate Assistantship program.


The Graduate School at Liberty University guides the University’s schools and academic departments in developing and maintaining distinctively Christian and academically excellent graduate programs.


  1. Promote the integration of faith and learning by:
    • Fostering the development of a scholarly community with a shared Christian epistemology
    • Ensuring opportunities for dialog about integration
    • Encouraging research and scholarship that demonstrates and examines integration
  2. Ensure consistently high quality in graduate programs by upholding appropriate standards for:
    • Recruitment and retention of graduate faculty
    • Graduate-level curriculum and degree requirements
    • Admission, matriculation and student conduct
  3. Advocate for the University’s graduate programs and support services by:
    • Evaluating institutional and programmatic needs
    • Participating in the University’s planning process
    • Pursuing adequate resourcing
  4. Contribute to the scholarly community by:
    • Mentoring students to be teacher-scholars
    • Promoting and enabling research among students and faculty
    • Recognizing and encouraging scholarly activity
  5. Create a culture that fosters a dynamic relationship with Christ by:
    • Encouraging a values-sensitive environment that leads to service
    • Promoting a spiritually disciplined lifestyle
    • Offering corporate opportunities for spiritual growth

The Graduate Administrative & Curriculum Council (GACC)

This Faculty Senate Committee advises on the initiation, modification, and discontinuation of graduate programs. The GACC also reviews and recommends revisions to academic and admissions policies and procedures. It receives proposals for consideration after approval at the department and college or school level as well as various administrative proposals from administration.  The Dean of a School/College with any graduate programs will recommend one representative to the GACC to be reviewed by the executive committee and approved by the Provost and the Online Provost. Representatives must have experience related to graduate curriculum (creation, assessment, instruction, etc.).

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Liberty University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) exists to protect people who take part in research studies affiliated with the University. The IRB examines each study’s design to insure it is ethical, does not involve unnecessary risks, and includes adequate safeguards for research participants. Studies involving more than minimal risk are reviewed by a committee consisting of faculty members from various disciplines, both scientific and non-scientific, and a member who is not affiliated with the University. Liberty’s IRB may be reached by email at or through its web page.

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is charged with ensuring that all vertebrate animals used for research or instruction at Liberty University are treated ethically and humanely in accordance with the law. The IACUC reviews proposed studies involving animals to ensure that the animals are treated ethically and humanely in accordance with the laws and policies set forth by the USDA, OLAW, and Liberty University. The IACUC is also responsible for making sure that all researchers and laboratory personnel are properly trained in the handling and care of animals. Liberty’s IACUC may be reached by email at or through its web page.

Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is charged with ensuring that all research involving the use of biohazardous materials at Liberty University is done in accordance with the law. The IBC reviews proposed studies involving biohazardous materials to ensure that the materials and personnel involved are safe in accordance with the laws and policies set forth by the NIH and Liberty University. The IBC is also responsible for making sure that all researchers and laboratory personnel are properly trained and equipped to engage in research of this nature. Liberty’s IBC may be reached by email at or through its web page.

Graduate Student Assistantships

Graduate Student Assistantships are available for residential students in most of the graduate programs. These involve a stipend and tuition rebate. Application is separate from the admissions process. For detailed information and the application forms consult the Graduate Student Assistantship Program web page.

Graduate Writing Center

The mission of the Graduate Writing Center (GWC) is to assist graduate students and faculty of all disciplines and all levels of expertise to become the best writers they can be. In support of this mission, the Online Writing Center (OWC) provides free face-to-face coaching sessions (our core service), classroom presentations, workshops, and web resources to students, faculty, and staff. Peer coaches work with writers at all stages of the writing process, from topic selection to documentation.

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