HBU is a distinctly Christian university with a Baptist heritage, and Houston is home to some of the largest Baptist churches in the nation. As part of the Pinson Lecture Series at HBU, Dr. David S. Dockery, president of Trinity International University (TIU) and former president of Union University, gave a lecture in Belin Chapel on Thursday, November 10, titled “Baptist Approaches to Higher Education.” Sponsored by the Baptist General Convention of Texas, the lecture brought in a large audience.
Dr. Dockery has been a national leader in Christian higher education for many years. He has spoken at more than 50 colleges, universities and seminaries, and he has acted as a consultant and advisor for numerous institutions. During his time at Union University, Dr. Dockery saw the fall enrollment grow from less than 2,000 to more than 4,000, and the annual number of graduates nearly tripled. At Union, Dr. Dockery strengthened the University’s commitment to its core values and to scholarship based in Christian intellect. When Dr. Dockery became president of TIU, he proposed a strategic plan: “Heritage and Hope: Trinity 2023,” which was unanimously approved by the Board of Regents.
After briefly covering the history of Baptist higher education in the United States, Dr. Dockery spoke about how Baptist education needs to respond to the current societal, political, and cultural climate. He pointed to humility, civility, kindness, unity, the richness of the Christian tradition, and to “an unflinching commitment to a truthful and authoritative Bible with a heartfelt gratitude for a Gospel message that has been entrusted to us.”
As the chasm between Christian evangelicals and mainstream American culture continues to deepen in our nation, Dr. Dockery’s lecture encouraged HBU to continue to remain true to our Christian faith and tradition so that we will prepare students to enter the world with an education shaped around the central confession “Jesus Christ is Lord.”