Degrees and Programs
Structure and Organization
Purpose of Catalog
The purpose of this catalog is to provide a general description of the programs and activities offered at Houston Baptist University. The provisions of this catalog do not constitute a contract which may be accepted by students through registration and enrollment in the University.
Inasmuch as the educational process necessitates change, the University reserves the right to establish and revise without notice course offerings, requirements for graduation and degrees, curricula, schedules, charges for tuition and other fees, and all regulations affecting students. Changes will become effective when so designated by the administration and will apply to both prospective students and those already enrolled. The University further reserves the right to require a student to withdraw from the University for cause at any time.
This publication is intended for general information only and does not purport to contain all rules, regulations, and requirements governing HBU students.
All Schools and Colleges establish certain academic requirements that must be met before a degree is granted. Advisors, department chairs, and Deans are available to help the student understand and meet these requirements. However, the student alone is responsible for fulfilling them. If, at the end of a student’s course of study, the requirements for graduation have not been satisfied, the degree will not be granted. For this reason, it is important for students to acquaint themselves with all academic requirements throughout their university career and to be responsible for completing all requirements within prescribed deadlines and time limits. The ultimate results of program offerings depend on the individual student and other factors outside the control of the University. Therefore, Houston Baptist University makes no claim or representation relating to the specific outcome of its program and degree offerings with regard to employment or qualification for employment, admission to or preparation for graduate or professional degree programs, or licensing for occupations or professions.
Notice of Nondiscrimination and Equal Access
Houston Baptist University complies with all applicable federal and state nondiscrimination laws, and does not engage in prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, nationality or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability in either employment or the provisions of services. This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access, and operation of University programs and activities. However, if a student requires special personal services or equipment, the student will be responsible for the associated expenses. This includes, but is not limited to, the expense of providing such things as medical technicians, personal tutors, and attendants.
The University is governed by an all Christian Board of Trustees and is affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. As a religious institution of higher education, Houston Baptist University is exempt from some provisions of certain civil rights laws, including some provisions of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
Houston Baptist University has designated the following student information as public or “directory information”: name, local and permanent addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, date and place of birth, classification, major fields(s) of study, classification, dates of attendance, degrees, honors, and awards received, most recent educational institution attended, participation in officially recognized sports and activities, weight and height of athletes, and photographs. Pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), the University may, at its discretion, disclose such information for any purpose. However, any enrolled student may ask the University to withhold such information by filing a written request with the Registrar during the first full week of classes for any term. By doing so, a student may ensure that his/her directory information is not released to anyone other than officials with a legitimate educational need for the information. The University assumes that failure on the part of any student to specifically request the withholding of “directory information” indicates that the student approves of such disclosure.
Houston Baptist University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the associate, baccalaureate, and graduate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia, 30033-4097, or call 404.679.4500 for questions about the accreditation of Houston Baptist University. For questions not related to accreditation, contact the University directly at Houston Baptist University, 7502 Fondren Road, Houston, TX, 77074, or call 281.649.3000.
HBU is accredited by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for the preparation of teachers for elementary and secondary schools at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The undergraduate degree programs in nursing are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Texas Board of Nursing.
Houston Baptist College was created by action of the Baptist General Convention of Texas on November 15, 1960 culminating many years of work and study. The aim of the College founders was the establishment of a Christian College of the highest order in the city of Houston that stressed quality of life as well as quality of learning. In 1952, the Union Baptist Association authorized a committee to study the possibility of locating a Baptist College in Houston. With the assistance and encouragement of the Education Commission of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, the committee conducted a survey in 1955. Acting upon information obtained with the endorsement of the Education Commission, the Association approved the concept of establishing a new College. In 1956, the Executive Board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas approved a recommendation that Houston Baptists be given assurance that the Convention would support such a College when the College Committee of the Union Baptist Association had succeeded in acquiring both (1) a satisfactory site for a campus of at least one hundred acres, and (2) a minimum corpus of at least three million dollars. Of this sum, one and one-half million dollars would constitute a nucleus endowment fund; one and one-half million dollars would be designated for a physical plant. The Union Baptist Association accepted these conditions and endorsed the requirements set up by the state Baptist convention. In 1957, a Houston land developer, Frank Sharp, offered to sell Union Baptist Association 390 acres in southwest Houston for the construction of a College. The Board of Governors of Rice University agreed to lend most of the money needed with the land as collateral. To complete the funding, twenty-five business men, since called “founders,” pledged to be responsible for $10,000 each. Therefore, by 1958, a campus site of 196 acres was acquired in southwest Houston, and, in 1960, the initial financial goal of repaying the loan was reached as a result of a campaign among the churches. In 1960, the Baptist General Convention of Texas in its annual session at Lubbock, Texas elected the first Board of Trustees. This board in session in Houston, Texas on November 15, 1960 approved and signed the College charter. The next day, this charter was ratified and recorded with the Secretary of State in Austin. The way was then cleared to select administrative officers, develop a suitable physical plant, and design an appropriate academic program. Dr. W. H. Hinton began service as the first President of the College on July 1, 1962. The College opened in September 1963 with a freshman class of 193 students, a cluster of new buildings, and a teaching staff of thirty faculty. A new class was added each year until the College attained a four-year program in 1966-67. By then, the full-time faculty had grown to fifty-four members, serving an enrollment of approximately nine hundred undergraduate students.
History: Degrees and Programs
Initially, the College offered only a Bachelor of Arts degree with academic courses in five divisions: Christianity, Fine Arts, Languages, Science and Mathematics, and Social Studies. The Board of Trustees, following the recommendation of the faculty and administration, authorized the establishment of the Division of Education and Psychology in 1964 and a Division of Business and Economics in 1966. With the opening of the fall semester of 1969, the College added a Division of Nursing, offering a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.
In 1966, the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools recognized Houston Baptist College as an official candidate for accreditation. The highlight of the 1968-69 academic year was the granting of initial accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools on December 4, 1968. A visiting committee made a careful study of the College in March 1971 and upon its recommendation, the Commission on Colleges extended accreditation for ten years. This accreditation was reaffirmed in 1981, 1991, 2001, and 2012. In 1965, the Texas Education Agency first approved Houston Baptist College for the training of certified teachers for elementary and secondary Schools. During its first semester, representatives selected by the Texas Education Agency evaluated the teacher education program; approval of the program was continued.
The baccalaureate degree program in nursing received accreditation by the National League for Nursing on April 21, 1972. In July 1972, all thirty-eight members of the first nursing class successfully completed the examination required and administered by the State Board of Nurse Examiners. An Associate Degree in Nursing was added in June 1983; this program graduated its first class in 1985. Admission to the Associate Degree in Nursing program was suspended June 2010.
A study abroad program began in 1967 with a group of English majors in residence at the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon, England for the month of April. Study abroad continued with programs in Mexico, the Middle East, and Europe. Currently, study abroad and academic exchange programs include the occasional School of Humanities’ interdisciplinary summer course on culture and human experience, the Dunham College of Business’ annual international trip (BUSA 4301), and the Houston Grampian Society’s Nursing Exchange Program with Robert Gordon University (in Aberdeen, Scotland). The MBA program includes an international study component for its graduate students.
History: Structure and Organization
In 1973, Houston Baptist College officially became Houston Baptist University following completion of a formal self-study for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and approval by the Board of Trustees in November 1972. At the same time, degree programs were revised, making the Bachelor of Science option available to all graduates. The instructional divisions were completely reorganized into College units. Five Colleges headed by Deans replaced the previous structure of eight divisions. The new structure consisted of the H. B. Smith College of General Studies and four upper-level Colleges — the College of Business and Economics, the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, the College of Fine Arts and Humanities, and the College of Science and Health Professions. A sixth College was created in 1978 by separating the College of Fine Arts from the College of Humanities. The seventh College was created in 1991 by separating the College of Nursing and the College of Science and Mathematics. In 1995, a College of Arts and Humanities was again combined from the previously separate Colleges. In 2007, the Honors College was formed and classes began in that program in fall 2008. In that same year, a Philosophy major was developed. A College of Continuing Studies was initiated in 2008; operations were suspended on May 31, 2010.
On June 1, 2009, the President determined, after consultation with the Provost, the Deans, and the Institutional and Strategic Planning Committee, to change the nomenclature of the Colleges to Schools and Colleges and to move some departments into other divisions in order to reflect best practices at universities and to better serve the mission of the university. The College of Education and Behavioral Sciences became the School of Education; the Department of Behavioral Sciences moved from the School of Education to the College of Arts and Humanities. The College of Business and Economics became the School of Business; the College of Nursing became the School of Nursing and Allied Health and brought in the Department of Kinesiology from the former College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. In 2012, new colleges and schools were formed as a result of further review of academic structure initiated due to continued university growth. A total of eight academic units were recognized on the HBU campus: Smith College of Liberal Arts, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, School of Humanities, School of Fine Arts, College of Business, School of Nursing and Allied Health, College of Science and Mathematics, and the School of Christian Thought. In the restructuring, the Department of Psychology was moved to the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. Two distinct schools, School of Education and School of Behavioral Sciences, were formed within the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. The School of Education houses the Department of Special Populations, Department of Curriculum and Instruction; the School of Psychology houses the Department of Psychology; the School of Education and the School of Psychology share leadership of the Department of Leadership and Counseling. In 2015, the College of Business was renamed as the Archie W. Dunham College of Business following receipt of a generous gift to the University. Also in 2015, the School of Humanities was expanded to incorporate the faculty and curriculum of the Smith College of Liberal Arts.
When the instructional areas were reorganized in 1973, the University adopted a quarter calendar that permitted multiple admission opportunities annually. Semester hours were retained as the standard credit unit. An early admissions program also was established which enabled students to secure High School diplomas at the end of the freshman year of college matriculation. The quarter calendar was reviewed by the faculty and administration in 2006-07 and the decision was made to revert to the semester calendar in fall 2008. To date, the university remains on a semester calendar.
History: Graduate Programs
Graduate studies began in 1977 with the initiation of the Master of Business Administration and the Master of Science in Nursing degrees. Graduate studies leading to the Master of Education began in 1979. The Master of Science in Management degree and the Master of Accountancy degree were added in 1980. The Master of Arts in Psychology was added in 1982. A traditional Master of Business Administration degree was introduced in 1981 that was offered both on campus and through an interactive television delivery system to corporate and educational sites within sixty miles of the campus. The Master of Liberal Arts degree was initiated in 1985. In 1993, new majors were added to the Master of Business Administration degree, and a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Psychology degree was created. This degree was phased out in 2002 and replaced with the Master of Arts in Christian Counseling program. In 1995, a Master of Science degree in Health Administration and a Master of Science in Nursing degree were initiated. In 1996, the Master of Science in Management was re-instituted for those already holding an MBA degree. The Master of Arts in Theological Studies was added in 1997. In 1999, the Master of Science in Accountancy and Information Technology was initiated, and in 2000 it was merged into the Master of Accountancy. In 2005, the Post Baccalaureate with Certification program for teacher certification was started. In 2009, the Master of Arts in Biblical Languages was initiated. In spring 2010, the Master of Fine Arts was initiated. The Master of International Business held its first classes in spring 2012. The Master of Arts in Philosophy and the Master of Arts in Apologetics were launched in spring 2013. The Master of Arts in Counseling held its first classes fall 2014. Following the Ten Pillars vision, particularly Pillar III, Dr. Robert B. Sloan, Jr. initiated the formation of The Graduate School. In 2014, the addition of a Master of Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Education was initiated. In fall 2016, the Master of Divinity began. A Doctoral program in Executive Educational Leadership began in fall of 2016 making HBU a comprehensive university.
History: Physical Plant
The physical plant of the University has kept pace with development in other areas. When classes began in 1963, only the Brown Academic Quadrangle and the campus dormitories were completed. The Frank and Lucille Sharp Gymnasium and the Atwood Theology Building were completed in 1964. The Moody Library, the Holcombe Mall, and the Morris Columns were constructed in 1968-69. The McDermott Plaza was completed in 1971 as a gift from trustee Ethyl Loos McDermott. The Cullen Science Center and Mabee Teaching Theater opened in 1977, providing space for the College of Science and Health Professions. In addition, in early 1977, the Memorial Hospital System Central Unit was completed on a site purchased from the University adjacent to the academic campus. The Atwood II building was completed in 1983 as a joint project of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and the University. Moreover, in 1983, an addition to the bookstore was completed that was funded by the M. D. Anderson Foundation. In 1985, the University relocated its Math and Associate Degree in Nursing departments to new housing in the Cullen Nursing Center, and the Glasscock Gymnastics Center was completed. In 1989, a new wing was added to the Moody Library, virtually doubling its library space and providing a site for the University’s Museum of Architecture and Decorative Arts – which relocated to the Morris Cultural Arts Center in 2007. In 1997, Hinton Center was dedicated, marking completion of the largest academic facility on campus. The new visual campus landmark houses the Colleges of Business and Economics and Education and Behavioral Sciences, as well as the Dillon Center conference facilities. In 1997, the University’s Dunham Family Bible in America Museum opened in Moody Library — the largest collection of American Bibles on public display in the United States. Expanded to include a massive English Bible and rare Bible collection, the museum relocated to the Morris Cultural Arts Center in 2007. A new campus apartment complex, Husky Village, was built adjacent to the University residence halls. The year 1998 marked the completion of the Baugh Center, named in honor of Eula Mae (Mrs. John) Baugh, which houses food service, recreational, counseling, study, and residential-support facilities. In the fall of 1999, the Memorial Hermann-HBU Wellness Center opened on the campus, providing access to state of the art programs and facilities for the University’s students and employees. A new addition to the Women’s Residence College was constructed in 2000, and in 2003, the Mabee Teaching Theater and the Glasscock Center were enhanced by a new lobby facility serving the conference capability of this complex. In 2007, the Joella and Stewart Morris Cultural Arts Center was dedicated. The Center provides an integrated, multi-purpose facility for the University campus. Dunham Theater, named for Linda and Archie Dunham, is a 1200 seat theater that features a full proscenium stage, a full orchestra pit, backstage shops, and full theatrical capability, including an acoustical shell to enhance musical performances. Belin Chapel and Recital Hall provides seating for 365 in a sophisticated, acoustical environment. It represents the first permanent site for worship on campus. It is used for music recitals, weddings, worship, and as an assembly space. Additionally, the Museum of American Architecture and Decorative Arts and the Dunham Bible Museum joined the Museum of Southern History in new facilities within the Morris Cultural Arts Center. McNair Hall serves as the unifying link for the theater, chapel and museums as well as an appealing locale for receptions and banquets. Williams Fountain and Lawrence Park crowns the complex, enhanced by the Ann Morgan Prayer Garden for meditation, reflection, and prayer providing an attractive space for outdoor gatherings. In August 2008, the Hodo Residence College, a six story Residence College, opened, providing over 350 beds supporting the University’s goal to become a more residential campus. The University Academic Center, opened in August 2008, provided classrooms, offices for the Honors College and the College of Arts and Humanities, and an art gallery and studios for the Department of Art. Thanks to the generosity of Sharon and William Morris, the Hamill Foundation, Joyce and Gene O’Neal, and Linda and Terry Swift, the art gallery was expanded to include the HBU Fine Arts Museum and the HBU Contemporary Art Gallery. The Looser Fountains in the Bettis Quadrangle were dedicated in 2011 honoring the forty-five year career of HBU Vice President Emeritus Dr. Don Looser and his wife Elsa Jean. In December of 2011, HBU acquired the 80,000 square foot Bradshaw Fitness Center from Memorial Hermann. The fitness center features an indoor lap pool, a gymnasium, cardiovascular and free-weight equipment, cross-fit box, and an indoor walking track, as well as offices and classrooms for various programs. In 2014, the 5,000 seat Husky Stadium opened thanks to the generosity of many members of the HBU community, but most notably Dr. Archie and Linda Dunham and Robert and Janice McNair, along with Dr. Stewart Morris, Dr. Diane and Stanley Williams, and the Tellepsen Family Foundation. The University opened a new chapter of growth and renewal in 2015 by creating a new main entryway to the campus via Belin Drive, and marked by the 89 foot tall Belin Tower, dedicated to the memory of HBU trustee Dr. Bruce J. Belin, Jr., from his wife, Mary Ann Belin. In September of 2015, with the support of Houston Endowment, the Hamill Foundation, and AT&T, the University opened the Learning Commons in Moody Library. Later that same month, McNair Plaza and the signature clock tower at the entrance of Husky Stadium was dedicated – honoring Robert and Janice McNair’s long-standing relationship with the University.
History: Endowment Programs
Special endowment programs have further enriched the University. The University received three endowed chairs during the period 1971-1978 — the Herman Brown Chair of Business and Economics, the Robert H. Ray Chair of Humanities, and the John Bisagno Chair of Evangelism. In the academic year 2015-2016, the name of the John Bisagno Chair of Evangelism was changed to the John Bisagno Distinguished Professor of Christian Origins at the request of the donor and honoree. The period 1971-1978 also saw the receipt of two endowed professorships—the Rex G. Baker Professorship in the College of Business and Economics and the Prince-Chavanne Professorship of Christian Business Ethics. The John S. Dunn Research Foundation funded the Dunn Endowed Professorship in Nursing in 1994 and a professorship for Clinical Excellence in Nursing in 2001. In 1987, the Sharon Burrows Professorship in Counseling was established. In 2005, the estate of former HBU employee Juanita Pool and her sister, Phyllis, funded the Juanita and Phyllis Pool Endowed Chair of Nursing. The Elizabeth and John Gibson Chair in Apologetics was established in 2012.
The Endowed Scholarship program was begun in 1971 increasing the endowment of the University and helping assure the recruitment of top academic students. More than 350 Endowed Scholarships have been funded through this program.
In 1987, the University’s first president, Dr. W. H. Hinton was named University Chancellor. He served in that capacity until his retirement in 1991. Dr. Hinton’s successor, Dr. Edward Douglas Hodo, and his wife, Sadie, came to HBU from the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he had served as Dean of the College of Business. During the Hodo years, the University achieved a position of financial solidarity that greatly enhanced its integral strengths in other areas of its operations. In 1997, Dr. and Mrs. Hodo received the HBU Spirit of Excellence Award, the highest honor bestowed by the University. New academic programs were developed, and the physical plant was expanded to include the Hinton Center, the Baugh Center, the Husky Village Apartments, the Memorial Hermann-HBU Wellness Center, and the Glasscock Center. In 2006, construction began on the first phase of a new cultural arts center designed to include a chapel-recital hall, a theater, housing for the University museums, and an atrium gallery unifying each of the individual facilities. After 19 years of service, Dr. Hodo was named President Emeritus in July of 2006. Mr. Jack Carlson served as Interim President during August of 2006. On September 1, 2006, Dr. Robert B. Sloan, Jr., and his wife, Sue, joined the University as its President and First Lady. Dr. Sloan had served as President and Chancellor of Baylor University for over ten years. Under Dr. Sloan’s leadership, HBU has experienced growth and development in enrollment, in the academic curriculum, and in campus facilities. Former University professor Dr. Marilyn McAdams Sibley has written a history of the early years of the founding of the University, To Benefit a University: The Union Baptist Association College Property Committee, 1958-1975. A history of the University from its chartering in 1960 to its fiftieth anniversary, An Act of Providence, has been written by Dr. Don Looser, Vice President Emeritus. An archive of historical material has been assembled in the Moody Library as an extension of this research and writing project.
As envisioned by its founders and constituents, HBU is growing into a national metropolitan university that emphasizes the integration of faith and learning and a strong liberal arts foundation. HBU’s new vision document, The Ten Pillars: Faith and Reason in a Great City, may be found on the University’s website at Hbu.edu/TenPillars.
The mission of Houston Baptist University is to provide a learning experience that instills in students a passion for academic, spiritual, and professional excellence as a result of our central confession, “Jesus Christ is Lord”.
The University welcomes and extends its resources to those who strive for academic excellence. The faculty, staff, and administration are committed to providing a responsive and intellectually stimulating environment that:
- fosters spiritual maturity, strength of character, and moral virtues as the foundation for successful living;
- develops professional behaviors and personal characteristics for life-long learning and service to God and to the community;
- meets the changing needs of the community and society; and
- remains faithful to the “Nature of the Institution” statement, which is the Preamble to the By-Laws.
The University offers a broad range of programs and services committed to liberal arts education that are designed to promote the growth of the whole person. The undergraduate programs familiarize students with the principal bodies of knowledge, cultural viewpoints, belief systems, and aesthetic perspectives that affect them and their world. The graduate programs provide advanced educational opportunities to develop ethical and capable scholars and practitioners who can contribute to their academic disciplines and to society. The integration of scholarship, service, and spirituality essential to liberal arts education is nurtured in an environment of open inquiry.
The University enrolls men and women of diverse talents and abilities. Students are encouraged to think critically, to assess information from a Christian perspective, to arrive at informed and reasoned conclusions, and to become lifelong learners. The University prepares its graduates to enter the work force of the twenty-first century, to pursue advanced study, to assume leadership roles, and to be competitive in a global society.
The University faculty, staff and administrators promote learning, scholarship, creative endeavor, and service. These leaders are committed to the Preamble to the By-laws and to the fulfillment of the vision and mission of the University.
Nature of the Institution
The Preamble to the University By-Laws as stated below describes the distinctive nature of the institution.
February 22, 1974
The Christian Liberal Arts Program
The undergraduate Christian Liberal Arts program cultivates wisdom through shared theological, cultural, intellectual, and scientific traditions, and encourages exploration of concepts and issues from broadened perspectives. The Christian Liberal Arts curriculum advances primary source reading, Classical studies, and Great Texts. The curriculum provides a strong foundation for engaging students in methods of discovery for various disciplines. The integration of faith and learning promotes students’ synthesis of relationships between different fields of study while encouraging them to appreciate and experience God’s truth.
The undergraduate Christian liberal arts program has at its foundation the conviction that all worthy vocations are built on a basis of service to God and mankind. The program encourages members of the learning community to seek wisdom, give voice to a Christian worldview, increase their awareness of self and society, enhance their capacity for critical and creative thought, and demonstrate civic responsibility and Christian service in a diverse society. The program fosters a spirit of inquiry and inspiration for lifelong learning.
The Christian Liberal Arts curriculum and the majors and programs offered through the Colleges are designed to guide and instruct the next great faithful artists, musicians, authors, academics, business professionals, lawyers, doctors, nurses, teachers, scientists, and others – individuals who will understand the time we live in and understand God’s calling for their lives. We seek to produce the future leaders of the world who also live as servants in the kingdom of God.
The Campus Plan
The campus of HBU consists of 158 acres in southwest Houston bounded by the Southwest Freeway, Fondren Road, and Beechnut Street. The campus is designed as a complex of buildings surrounding a central mall that begins at the east with the Hinton Center and ends at the west with Sharp Gymnasium and the Glasscock Center. It is flanked by the Moody Library, the Cullen Nursing Center, the Cullen Science Center, the Mabee Teaching Theater, the M. D. Anderson Student Center, and the Stanley P. Brown Administrative Complex. Adjacent to the campus is the HBU-Memorial Herman Wellness Center for student and faculty use. Concentrically related to this complex are the complementary facilities for residence, athletics, and recreation. The campus master plan is being enhanced with the Morris Cultural Arts Center, the Belin Chapel, additional housing and recreational facilities, and an academic center.