• Dr. Mikeal Parsons honored as Baylor’s first University Distinguished Professor

    Dr. Mikeal Parsons portrait

    Earlier this month, Baylor introduced a new high honor for faculty — the title of “University Distinguished Professor,” an accolade expected to be given out only once or twice every two years, and even then only after an extensive review process. The honor recognizes faculty members for outstanding achievement in scholarship and/or creative activity, national and international recognition in their discipline, and mentorship of colleagues and students.

    Baylor’s first University Distinguished Professor? Dr. Mikeal Parsons, who has taught in Baylor’s Department of Religion since 1986, working his way up from lecturer to his current role as professor and Macon Chair in Religion.

    Parsons came to Baylor shortly after earning his Ph.D. from Southern Seminary. In his nearly four decades at Baylor, Parsons has authored or edited more than 30 books and 60 peer-reviewed articles and essays, and supervised some 30 doctoral dissertations. He has also served at various times as president of the Southwest Commission on Religious Studies, Society of Biblical Literature (Southwest Region), and the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion. Parsons was named the Outstanding Tenured Professor for Research by Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences in 2004, and received the Baylor URSA Undergraduate Mentor of the Year Award in 2018.

    “I am honored, humbled and deeply grateful for receiving the designation of University Distinguished Professor,” Parsons says. “The 28-year-old version of myself who began teaching at Baylor in 1986 could never have imagined such an honor coming my way. I have been privileged to work with wonderful students, staff, faculty and administrators over the years. This recognition is a testament to the supportive infrastructure, material resources and stimulating intellectual environment provided by the Department of Religion, College of Arts & Sciences and the larger University.

    “I am thankful for the love of my family, and I am especially grateful for my spouse, Heidi Hornik, chair of Baylor’s Art and Art History Department, (and co-author on so many projects), whose support and encouragement have been unfailing over the years. Again, I am deeply appreciative of this honor,” Parsons adds.

    Sic ’em, Dr. Parsons!