7 ways Baylor infuses Christian faith into everyday campus life
At Baylor, our Christian faith is not just a thing we do, another box to be checked — it’s a part of everything we do. Even as Baylor has grown over the last 175+ years, our faith remains the “why” behind what we do — from academics to student life and beyond.
Here are seven examples of how Baylor infuses Christian faith into everyday campus life:
* Helping students find a church home: Even before classes start, students are given intentional opportunities to get connected with a faith community in Waco. During Welcome Week’s Celebration of Community & Faith event, representatives from a host of local churches are welcomed to campus to introduce themselves to new students, helping them begin the journey of finding a place of worship and community while at Baylor.
* Putting chaplains in every residence hall: Every Baylor residence hall has its own resident chaplain — a Truett Seminary student who lives in the hall and serves as chaplain for the community. Offering compassion and guidance, resident chaplains engage students in spiritual formation and provide a pastoral presence. But the pastoral care doesn’t stop when students move off-campus; Baylor Spiritual Life has chaplains available to meet with any student seeking care or who may have questions concerning spiritual matters.
* Keeping Chapel a core part of the Baylor experience: As students have evolved, so has the Chapel experience. The “one size fits all” Chapel alumni might remember has been replaced by a variety of formats, giving students options in how they dive into their faith. Some are larger worship services, welcoming a few hundred students at a time; others are more “small group”-style, connecting students based on their major/career field, residence hall, or other shared interest, and allowing them to discuss what their faith means with peers. Though the format may vary, the end goal remains the same: encouraging Baylor students to grow deeper in their Christian walk.
* Providing physical spaces for spiritual nurturing: A generation ago, Tidwell’s Miller Chapel was just about the only place on campus available to students specifically for worship, prayer and reflection. Today, there are chapels and gardens all across campus, placed intentionally to allow students to spend time in prayer and worship before, between or after classes.
* Incorporating faith in the classroom: Baylor celebrates ‘a distinctive place in higher education — where research, scholarship and faith guide the mind in understanding the complex diversity of God’s creation and prepare the whole person for service and leadership.’ Whether that’s classes that open with a prayer, courses where ethics are a focus because of our faith, or research that’s pursued because all truth is God’s truth, Baylor’s classrooms and labs foster an environment where our Christian mission can flourish.
* Encouraging Christian community: Outside the classroom, nearly two dozen student organizations are centered on the Gospel. From musical groups like Heavenly Voices, to academic alliances like Christian Business Leaders, to more general student orgs such as Baptist Student Ministry, each offers students a community in which to grow in their faith.
* Teaching students to serve others: Serving others is a major part of how our faith is played out — across campus, and in life. Baylor Missions organizes both local and international service opportunities — and not just during spring break or summer, but throughout the school year. Through deepening human connection, developing a healthy worldview, and equipping servant-leaders, Baylor is providing transformational opportunities for students to love their neighbors.
Whether it’s in the classroom, in a sacred space on campus, or with others in the Baylor Family, our Christian faith is an integral part of everything we do on campus.
Sic ’em, Bears!