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The Origins of Baptist Higher Education in America


Sponsored by the Institute for Faith and Learning and the Baylor Alumni Association

Boston College, Boston, Massachusetts

September 3-5, 1999

The Institute for Faith and Learning and the Alumni Association invite all friends and alumni of Baylor to join us at Boston College for a conference on Baptist and Catholic Higher Education and a Baptist Heritage Tour on the origins of Baptist life and Baptist higher education in America. The conference will convene on Friday afternoon preceeding the Baylor-Boston College football game. The tour will be the Sunday following the game on Saturday and will include a worship service at the historic First Baptist Church of Providence, Rhode Island, and a tour of Brown University, the first Baptist college in America. The tour organizer, Dr. Michael Beaty, director of the Institute for Faith and Learning and associate professor of philosophy, will discuss Baptist life and higher education in early America. He will also discuss how Brown University influenced other Baptist colleges and universities, including Baylor University.


Friday, September 3

Catholic and Baptist Views of Higher Education: Challenges of the Present, Promise of the Future

A conference bringing together faculty and administrators from Baylor and Boston College will be held on the Boston College Campus to discuss their different approaches to Christian higher education. From Baylor's perspective, Dr. Michael Beaty will place the evolution of Baylor‚s approach to faith and learning in the broader Baptist narrative. Baylor Provost, Dr. Don Schmeltekopf, will explain how Baylor incorporates its Baptist traditions into it current operations as well as its future goals. Then, as a segue from Baptist to Catholic higher education, Dr. Larry Lyon will contrast the results of faculty surveys on faith and learning administered at Baylor, Boston College, and Notre Dame. Boston College participants will respond to these presentations, and then an audience Q&A session will conclude the conference.

View the schedule for the first "Baptist and Catholic Higher Education" held at the University of Notre Dame.

Saturday, September 4

Baylor vs. Boston College Football Game

Sunday, September 5

Baptist History Tour

Almost from the beginning, Baptists have been a part of America‚s history. This September, alumni and friends of Baylor University will have the opportunity to visit the sites and explore the history of the earliest Baptist in America.

  • 8:30 a.m. Leave hotel in Boston for Providence.
  • 10:00 a.m. Worship, First Baptist Meeting House in America, the oldest Baptist Church in America.
  • 11:00 a.m. Tour, First Baptist Meeting House led by Stan Lemons, historian of the church. Founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, it has maintained a continuous existence since that time. The Meeting House was began in 1774 and dedicated in 1775. It is a splendid piece of colonial architecture.
  • 12:00 Lunch.
  • 1:30 p.m. Tour, Brown University. Founded in 1764 and first called Rhode Island College, it is the oldest University with a Baptist heritage in the North America.
  • 3:30 p.m. Tour, Roger Williams National Memorial Park. It commemorates the life and times of Roger Williams and is the site of the original Providence settlement. in 1636.
  • 5:30 p.m. Tour, Newport, Rhode Island, sea capital of North American and home to magnificent cottages of the "Gilded Age." Tour will include a visit to the United Baptist Church whose charter includes "full liberty in religious concernments," Trinity Church, built in 1725 and based on churches planned by Christopher Wren of London, and a walk along the Bay.
  • 7:30 p.m. Dinner, somewhere along the Narragansett Bay, Newport, Rhode Island.
  • 9:00 p.m. Return to Boston.