The six major essays, five with responses, that Baylor University faculty members examined over two-day symposium in April of 2003, honoring retiring Provost Donald D. Schmeltekopf now have been published into a book, “The Baptist and Christian Character of Baylor.” The symposium brought attention from the community to address the issue of what it means to be a Christian university.
The book discusses various dimensions of Baylor University, its faith mission and its integration into the teaching, scholarship, and service offered through the university. The book deeply explores its function as a Christian school under Baptist tradition.
According to Baylor, an excerpt of “A Christian University in the Baptist Tradition: History of a Vision” from the book explains:
The school was based on the “atmospheric” model, a view of the Christian university defined by its highly moral and religious student life and campus culture so that the school would be recognized as an excellent educational institution in a “Christian environment.”
But challenges came as the university tried to incorporate the Christian faith into its intellectual life. It was later in the 1990s that the “integration” model got integrated. The integration model doesn’t put much emphasis on atmosphere alone but it looks at the Christian faith in its scripture, traditions, and theology, as the essential knowledge that could bring enlightenment and understanding to all other forms of learning.