Baptist Colleges and Universities

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by PreacherTeacher, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. PreacherTeacher

    PreacherTeacher
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    I am curious. As I have read some of the comments and discussions recently, I wonder how people here feel about colleges and universities that are affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention in some way. I am aware that people here are all over the theological spectrum. I have always told my children that they had the choice of any college they wished, as long as it was Baptist. :smilewinkgrin: I graduated from one. My daughter is now a sophomore at another. Now my son is a beginning to look at his Baptist choices. (My 8 year-old son isn't looking quite yet...) As a pastor who also has people who ask about colleges, I am curious to know what some of you would say if you were asked about which Baptist undergrad school that you would suggest. You can differentiate based on academic disciplines, since that can make a difference (for instance, for music I'd tell them this, and Bible this, etc...). You can also differentiate based on regions of the country. But, try to keep it civil. :applause:
     
    #1 PreacherTeacher, Jun 29, 2010
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  2. jaigner

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    I don't think Baptist is the way to go for everyone in regard to higher education. I would suggest you prayerfully consider with an open mind what they feel led to do. They will not be shielded from youthful ills and indiscretion at any SBC school I know of.

    That being said, my undergrad is in music from Baylor. It's a great school and it's continuing to get better.

    For Christian thought, there is no better place than Wheaton College, where I did my first master's. It's been called the "Harvard of the Evangelical world." It's a safe campus is a quaint suburb and is close to culture and ministry opportunities. I can't say enough good things about Wheaton.

    Then again, I'm currently finishing a second master's at a state school in my area. Tuition is reasonable and I'm able to interact with many different viewpoints, which serves to only sharpen our minds.
     
  3. TomVols

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    Technically, only Boyce, and the colleges at SE and SW are colleges that are SBC. The other Southern Baptist colleges are under the purview of the respective state conventions. That being true, you'll find the gamut. Even in the same state you can have differences. For instance, Union University in western TN is very sound. At Carson-Newman just down the road, I'd proceed carefully in the religion dept. VA has Liberty on one end and likely schools on the other.
     
  4. Baptist Believer

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    Since you are in Texas, let me give you a rundown of the Baptist schools in Texas that I'm somewhat familiar with:

    The College at Southwestern is an SBC school on the campus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. It is my understanding that they focus on a broad-based liberal arts education (with an emphasis on the Classics), which is often preparation to continue with a seminary education. Theologically, the College should line up fairly closely with Southwestern's theological stance.

    Baylor University is a nominally-BGCT (Baptist General Convention of Texas) university that has a broad range of programs and disciplines. Theologically, you will find professors who are conservative to a few that are fairly liberal. Overall, the theological balance of the school is fairly moderate, although I would personally avoid going to Baylor for a theological education since I have heard to many stories from close friends about theology professors who tend to tear down the naive and problematic "childhood"/"youth group" faith of incoming students without providing the nurturing support and biblical foundations necessarily for many people to come to a mature and more biblical faith. As a result, a fair number of students slip into agnosticism or decide church is irrelevant. Furthermore, recent events at Baylor suggest that Baylor leadership is interested in completely secularizing the University.

    Houston Baptist University and East Texas Baptist University are two BGCT schools that tend to be fairly conservative theologically. Houston Baptist is even "fraternally related" to the Southern Baptists of Texas state convention that broke away from the BGCT a number of years ago. Both schools offer a classic liberal arts education.

    Howard Payne University, Hardin-Simmons University, Wayland Baptist University, Dallas Baptist University, and University of Mary Hardin-Baylor are BGCT schools that offer a broad-based liberal arts education. Theologically, they have a broader spectrum of theological positions in the faculty than ETBU and HBU, but they are much more supportive than Baylor with their students. In my experience, Hardin-Simmons is the most "left-leaning" of this group of schools, but that is mostly due to less representation on the most conservative side of things. I don't think you would find a real liberal on the faculty of any of these schools though.

    I know next to nothing about Criswell College, the Baptist University of the Americas or Jacksonville College, so I can't comment on those.

    As always, one person's "conservative" is another one's "liberal" (and vice-versa), so take my perspective with a few grains of salt.

    EDIT: The Southern Baptist Convention has a listing of Colleges and Universities on their website that might be helpful to you.
     
    #4 Baptist Believer, Jun 29, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2010
  5. PreacherTeacher

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    I asked this question originally because I wanted to gain some perspective on your opinions. I attended Howard Payne my freshman year, and then graduated from Baylor. My daughter attends Ouachita Baptist, and loves it. My wife just finished her M.A. in Counseling from Wayland Baptist.
    While most Baptist schools are connected to the SBC by their state conventions, they still are Southern Baptist to varying degrees. I feel very strongly about the Christian education that can be found in many of these places, and while they are not perfect or pure, they are overall going to be better than some other choices.
     
  6. Baptist Believer

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    I am an HPU alumnus. I was there from Fall 1986 to Fall 1989.

    When were you there?
     
  7. PreacherTeacher

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    I was at HPU in the 1987-1988 school year. There have been times that I wished I stayed...My son is seriously considering HPU in a couple of years. My great-grandfather, who was from Brownwood, was in the first HPU class in 1889.
     
  8. PreacherTeacher

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    I'm not as concerned about "youthful ills" from other kids. My kids have gone to public schools, and we teach in public schools. But, we are thinking of the people in charge of the college. So many other schools have coed dorms, professors that are openly hostile towards Christianity, or worse, professors who teach the wrong things about Christianity. My daughter, who goes to Ouachita, has had many positive things to report regarding the nurturing climate of faith on campus. She looked at many schools, and the Holy Spirit led her to Ouachita. Her friends, who went to state schools and other private and church-related schools, have not experienced the same.
     
  9. Tom Butler

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    I am blessed to chair the board of trustees at Mid-Continent University in Mayfield, Kentucky. Mayfield is in far Western Kentucky, 20 miles south of Paducah. It began in 1949 as a Bible College, and now is a four-year liberal arts university, devoted not only to train preachers and others called to full-time Christian service, but also to help lay Christians to be salt and light wherever the Lord puts them. The Bible College still exists within the University, and every professor is an inerrantist

    MCU is avowedly conservative and each professor teaches classes from a Christian world view (and must put in writing how it will be done). Its campus is a mission field, since many unchurched men and women are enrolled there.

    Mid-Continent is avowedly Southern Baptist and has an excellent relationship with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, but operates independently of both.

    Since MCU does not have a long list of majors, it may not work for some students. But it has carved out a niche by offering an accelerated degree program in business, with classes extending as far away as Louisville and Lexington. The large majority of the 2200 students will never see the campus until they graduate. In addition, it is now offering a Masters in Resource Management. Christian studies courses are required for every student.

    This sounds like a commercial for MCU, but the point I make is that God has allowed the school to grow, and retain its theological roots. Not every Southern Baptist-oriented school has gone liberal.
     
  10. Major B

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    Tom,

    I have been signed up for adjunct work at MCU.
     
  11. Tom Butler

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    That is great news. Thanks for letting me know about it.
     
  12. Major B

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    I will be teaching in the Christian studies part of the Advantage program, since I have an M.A.R. from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary (48 hours). My other masters degree is in International Relations.

    I wonder if a course on world affairs might be appropriate for the Advanage Program. A course in International Relations would be beneficial for all other disciplines, including Bible and Missions students.

    I would love to help put together something like that--I fear that even a lot of educated folks in our area think foreign affairs is what goes on in Tennessee and Illinois!
     

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