"No one has achieved anything significant without a chorus of critics", Trump told students on Saturday at the evangelical Christian university in Lynchburg, Virginia, founded by the late Rev.
"The more that a broken system tells you that you're wrong, the more certain you should be that you must keep pushing ahead", he said.
Back in D.C., the political storm from Trump's unexpected firing of FBI Director James Comey still raged on after Trump's own account of the firing clashed with the explanation given by his own aides and White House officials. Nothing is easier or more pathetic than being a critic... He urged graduates to "embrace the label" of being an outsider and to not "swim downstream so easily with the current".
Trump basked in the warm reception he received from an announced crowd of more than 50,000 at the university's football stadium, nestled in hills leading to the Blue Ridge Mountains.
On May 21 Vice President Mike Pence will address the graduates of Notre Dame, the high-profile Catholic university which bucked its tradition this year by not inviting the recently-elected president to give its commencement speech.
Mr Trump called leaders in Washington "a small group of failed voices.think they know everything and understand everyone".
"I've been working with his speech writers and I think he's going to deliver a wonderful speech that will be personal to Liberty", Falwell said in the interview.
"I hope I get to see President Trump, that would be unbelievable", said Nelson.
"Following your convictions.means you must face criticism from those who lack courage to do what is right", he said.
Speaking at a school that bills itself as the world's largest Christian university, Trump praised the Liberty graduates for their political activism, and he cited the large support of religious conservatives for his campaign. "It's why we proudly proclaim that we are one nation, under God, every time we say the Pledge of Allegiance".
The president also did not mention Virginia's June 13 primary in which Republicans and Democrats will pick their nominees for governor.
But they had a mixed response to an executive order on religious liberty that Trump signed last week.
Trump told reporters he could make a "fast decision" on a new director before he leaves for his first foreign trip on Friday. He courted Christians there in January 2016 with a speech that drew laughs from some in the audience when referred to one of the Bible's books as "Two Corinthians" instead of the more common "Second Corinthians". "In America, we don't worship government".
He asked graduates to ask themselves going forward whether they defied expectations, challenged the accepted wisdom and took on established systems.
Fisher was assistant attorney general for the department's criminal division under President George W. Bush.