Greg Larsen seems like your typical young Mormon: he was born and raised in Utah, served a two-year mission in San Antonio and is married — at 23 — to the woman he met as an undergrad at a Mormon university.

But the campus where he and his wife, Alyssa, met wasn't Brigham Young University in Utah. His newly minted degree comes from Southern Virginia University, a fledgling outpost of Mormonism in the heart of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains.

The 12-year-old university is 97 percent Mormon in an area better known for Baptists and Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, about 40 miles to the south.

Students like Larsen say the school's Mormon culture — even as it officially remains separate from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — was a big draw.

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