Baylor stands apart as a Christian research university — a position that empowers our aspiration to become America’s preeminent Christian research university. Illuminate, Baylor University’s Academic Strategic Plan, has one overarching goal: To bring light to the world as we accelerate our quest toward preeminence as a Christian research university, building on Baylor’s historic strengths and strategically investing in new areas of research and service.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
The world needs Baylor University. Our nation’s earliest institutions of higher education — and others, like Baylor, founded in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries — were created by Christian leaders who believed the combination of faith and academic excellence was essential in preparing men and women for professional achievement and the betterment of society. Over time, however, almost all of these private schools abandoned their Christian identity in pursuit of greater research activity and prestige.
In contrast, Baylor’s institutional life has always remained firmly grounded in our Christian faith in the Baptist tradition. Today that faith is inspiring our pursuit of greater levels of academic excellence. Baylor is able to guide students in the consideration of crucial issues from every possible perspective — ethical, religious, social and intellectual — and our faculty members can serve as open and persuasive advocates for the beneficial role that faith plays in their teaching and scholarly research.
This, above all, distinguishes but does not separate Baylor from secular universities as we endeavor to be a shining light in the world.
The world needs a Baylor that raises the bar in the area of Christian higher education, combining the richness of undergraduate, professional, and graduate education with rigorous research, celebration of the arts, high-quality athletics, and unwavering faith commitment.
The world needs a Baylor that brings our religious identity, institutional resources, and human talent to bear in generating creative solutions to complex problems.
The world needs a Baylor that is committed to finishing the race we have started, striving to achieve excellence as a research university that is unambiguously Christian. When we can accomplish this goal, we will articulate and embody an exceptional vision for 21st-century Christian higher education and produce graduates with the wisdom, innovation, and leadership skills required to make a difference in the world.