Baylor University • Waco, Texas 76798 • 1-800-229-5678
We asked. They answered. Read their full response below. Keep in mind that these responses are conversational in nature, and do not necessarily reflect the official policies or standards of the school or the ACCS.
What makes this university unique?
Many universities can offer either a solid Christian liberal arts education or an apprenticeship in research with world-class scholars. Baylor, especially in the Honors College, uniquely brings together the distinctive benefits of both Christian faith and first-order research in mutually enriching ways. I don’t know any other university in the world that does this so well.
Do you offer any of the following: Great Books courses, Great Books programs, Latin or Greek studies, classical Christian teacher courses?
In addition to an ancient Classics department, Baylor has an entire academic department devoted to the study of Great Texts and offers a major in Great Texts. The courses include a core historical sequence of courses, as well as topical classes ranging from Master Works in music, drama, and the visual arts to the history of theology and the philosophy of science.
The Great Texts major can include a pre-med track or a pre-law track. Students also take a Great Texts course sequence as part of the Honors Program (two courses) and the University Scholars Program (three courses). The entire Great Texts curriculum prepares students for teaching in Classical schools.
The Great Texts major at Baylor offers an integrated humanities education which allows students to cross the usual academic divisions between the study of what we know, what we love, and how we live. At the same time, our faculty give a central place to Christian faith in the competing stories and debates that make up a Great Texts education. Because faculty are also national and international leaders in their respective disciplines, this combination of Christian faithfulness and inter-disciplinary study makes Baylor truly unique.
Do you have any comments for classically educated students?
Increasing the number of classically educated students will clearly benefit Baylor University. We seek to attract students less by marketing than by the rich and deep quality of the transformative education that we offer. Classically educated students feel at home in the Baylor Great Texts Program because we have faculty who understand their background, concerns, and goals. Our faculty in the Great Texts program include: the co-founder of a Classical school, the author of a book on Classical education, an active Classical homeschooler, members of Classical school governing and advisory boards, and providers of faculty development for Classical schools. Because of this shared understanding, our faculty are prepared to help students flourish in a way that allows them to build on what they have learned in a Classical education.
We have many students and alumni from Classical Christian high schools—too many to list. One recurring theme in student comments, including a student whose honors thesis I am now supervising, is a sense that a Baylor Great Texts education allows them to deepen what they began to learn in their Classical education, even as they go to the next level in professional and academic preparation. We are now seeing students who have graduated from Classical schools and want to go into teaching specifically so that they can contribute to the Classical education movement.
What fun and interesting activities happen at your college? Do you have unique traditions or events?
Baylor has an amazingly vibrant campus student life—from the nation’s largest and oldest homecoming parade to the many musical performances (of all types, with extraordinary levels of student participation). There is a student group for almost every shared interest. Whether you are drawn to sports (from rock-climbing to rugby) or music, or drama, or robotics, or books, the Baylor distinctive is that we offer opportunities to pursue each of these specifically as a form of Christian service, whether through an international project by Engineers with a Mission or through sports camp ministry, or local ministry to the poor. Arguably, Baylor’s most distinctive tradition is joyful and active service to others.
What is your mission statement? How do you ensure your faculty maintain your vision?
“The mission of Baylor University is to educate men and women for worldwide leadership and service by integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment within a caring community.”
Baylor has an extensive faculty development program focused on ensuring the faculty give continued attention to the mission, but the first step is hiring faculty who are committed Christians, and Baylor does that.