Working at a Faith-Based Christian University
The mission of Baylor University is to educate men and women for worldwide leadership and service by integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment within a caring community.
What does this mission mean for the university?
The University president, Dr. Linda Livingstone, often describes Baylor as “unapologetically Christian.” This can refer to both our mission, as well as the personal Christian faith that everyone who works for Baylor or supports Baylor, typically shares in common. From our President and Board of Regents to our faculty and staff, we are living out this mission in our daily activities and roles. And while Baylor students are not asked to endorse a particular faith, gaining a quality education in a Christian community is commonly cited as their reason for selecting Baylor.
What would the expectations be of a psychology intern working at the Counseling Center?
As employees of the university, interns are expected to support the Baylor Mission and the ways we carry out our roles on campus. We ask that interns have the ability and willingness to demonstrate a spiritual attitude and a Christian lifestyle consistent with the beliefs, methods, and goals of Baylor University. Our Christian faith is an integral part of who we are, and we are looking for intern candidates that can be a strong fit in this university setting.
What kind of religious activities or traditions does the university engage in, and will I be expected to participate?
The BUCC faculty respects the right of each intern to determine their spiritual or religious identity, including not identifying with a specific spiritual or religious orientation. While some departmental meetings, university faculty meetings, and classes may begin with prayer, a psychology intern is NOT expected to pray or participate in the prayer if they desire not to do so.
Does the BUCC practice Pastoral or Christian counseling?
The short answer is no, we do not practice pastoral or Christian counseling.
We view our clients’ spiritual beliefs and practices as an important aspect of diversity, and we provide a faith-affirming approach to therapy. While many of the students at Baylor do bring in a Christian faith, and want to incorporate it into their change process, there is also a broad range of religious identities and faith practices on campus. In alignment with APA ethical guidelines, we avoid actions that might pressure clients to align with our beliefs or value systems. We provide an affirming and safe space for all students, and respect and support the client’s right to self-determination.
A great multicultural benefit to our training site is that you will gain the opportunity to work with numerous religious students. Historically, those students have a wide range of experiences and levels of desire to address spirituality or religion in counseling. Some students want to lean into religious practices and community for positive coping, and others seek to heal from difficulties related to their experience in faith communities. Since we rarely know before therapy starts where a student is coming from, you will have many opportunities to assess the desires and needs of students related to religion and spirituality, and practice adapting approaches and techniques to the unique identity and experiences of the person across from you.
How does Baylor view human sexuality, and what type of community are they committed to?
Baylor University is committed to providing a caring, loving, and supportive community for students in all aspects of their lives, including the development of their sexuality. We acknowledge the complexity of issues surrounding human sexuality and desire to engage in this conversation with humility, prayerfulness and convicted civility. We believe that Baylor is in a unique position to support our students, including those who identify as LGBTQ, because of our Christian mission and the significant campus-wide resources available.
Baylor’s status as a Christian research university values the scholarly investigation of Scripture. Consequently, we are committed to the open study of Scripture and discussion of multiple perspectives, both inside and outside the classroom. Regardless of one’s viewpoint on human sexuality, Baylor supports the dignity and worth of every person and seeks to create a campus climate where each person is treated with love and respect within our caring community.
How does the university affirm its biblical understanding of gender and sexuality while also supporting their LGBTQ students?
On May 14, 2021, the university Board of Regents passed a resolution that acknowledges the University’s responsibility for serving the needs of all students based on three guiding principles:
The dignity and worth of all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, as we strive to fulfill our Christian commitment of a caring community.
The biblical understanding that sexual relations of any kind outside of marriage between a man and a woman are not in keeping with the teaching of Scripture, as summarized in the University’s Statement on Human Sexuality.
Our commitment to providing a welcoming, supportive educational environment based on civility and respect for all.
How do Baylor’s efforts toward a caring community and 3 guiding principles for serving students impact the internship training experience?
Ultimately, the BUCC doctoral internship in health service psychology trains and prepares interns to serve a diverse public, to provide ethical mental health care that values the right to self-determination, is affirming and supportive of the multiple aspects of diversity, cultural background, and identity variables that an individual endorses, and contributes to the caring community on campus. Similarly, students struggling with aspects of their identity and background, will also be affirmed and provided a caring space to explore who they want to be, find ways to grow, and reduce their distress.
Can you direct me to additional materials to more fully understand the Baylor culture and what it would be like to work here?
*Ability and willingness to uphold all Baylor University standards of conduct. You can view Baylor’s “Personnel Policies” here: