A Preeminent Christian Research University

September 25, 2021
America’s earliest institutions of higher education - and others, like Baylor, founded in the 18th and 19th 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, most of these schools abandoned their Christian identities; Baylor, on the other hand, has remained firmly grounded in our Christian faith in the Baptist tradition. Today, that faith inspires our pursuit of greater levels of excellence, as we understand that all truth is God’s truth.

In August 2019, Baylor University leaders officially announced plans to guide Baylor towards joining the nation’s top research universities. With its foundational Christian mission and a historic reputation for excellence in academics, growth in research is a vital next step for Baylor University, says President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

“Baylor University’s vision affirms that the world needs a preeminent research university that is unambiguously Christian, and we are uniquely positioned to achieve this goal by building on Baylor’s historic strengths and strategically investing in new areas of research and service,” says Livingstone. “Through top-tier research, scholarship and external funding support, Tier 1/R1 universities bring their voice to bear in addressing our world’s most meaningful challenges.”

Baylor’s Illuminate strategic plan has provided the framework and commitment to investment that guides the institution towards becoming a top national research university, recognized by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as an R1 Research university. The strategic plan is built upon the foundation of Four Pillars, where Baylor will be a community recognized for its:
“By strengthening scholarship, deepening learning and enhancing teaching, these initiatives support our commitment to excellence in undergraduate education and growth in graduate education,” Livingstone says.

“Growing in our capacity and impact as a research institution strengthens our presence as God’s hands in the world,” adds Provost Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D. (BA ’82). “The research our faculty, staff and students are undertaking is being pursued in order to make a difference in the world -- to reflect Christ’s compassion for our fellow human beings and his desire for our welfare and personal flourishing.”

The results are clear. Baylor has fostered dramatic growth across a number of research metrics since the implementation of Illuminate, including external research awards, research expenditures, research staff and doctorates awarded. That momentum has us on track to research R1 recognition by 2024.

With our distinct spot in the world of higher education, Baylor can guide students in the consideration of crucial issues from every possible perspective -- ethical, religious, social and intellectual -- and faculty members can serve as open and persuasive advocates for the beneficial role that faith plays in their teaching and scholarly research.

As we fulfill our mission, we will raise the bar in Christian higher education, combining the richness of undergraduate, professional and graduate education with rigorous research, celebration of the arts, championship-level athletics and unwavering faith commitment.

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.
National Research Administrators Day 2021
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