Regents approve new degrees, honor award winners at annual meeting

By Reubin Turner
Staff Writer

The Baylor University Board of Regents met today for its annual Homecoming meeting. During the meeting, the addition of two new doctoral programs to the university’s School of Music and a joint master’s degree in divinity and business administration were approved. University stadium founders and recipients of last night’s 2012-2013 Baylor Meritorious Awards were also honored.

The new doctoral degrees are expected to be offered as early as fall 2014: a Ph.D. and a D.M.A. in church music. According to a university press release, the degrees will offer students the opportunity to gain the highest skill and research possible in the study and practice of church music. Both the Ph.D. and the D.M.A. are terminal degrees in music.

Currently, there are only seven institutions in America recognized by the National Association of Music who offer recognized doctoral degrees in the area of church music. Only one of those seven institutions, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, offers the Ph.D. Baylor would be the second to do so, pending accreditation from the National Association of Music.

Dr. Randall Bradley, director of the Center for Christian Music Studies, said this decision by the board represents a significant moment not only for the university, but for the church as well.

“With this being the first doctoral degree being offered through the School of Music, I think this will open the doors for other areas of doctoral studies within the school,” he said. Bradley said it is critical Baylor continue to train leaders for the church work, as it’s one of the premier Christian institutions of higher education around the world.
The board also approved a joint Master’s degree in divinity and business administration from George W. Truett Theological Seminary and Hankamer School of Business, which is designed to train Christian ministers and businessmen and women to implement and oversee the financial and business operations of Christian institutions, said Terry S. Maness, dean of the school of business. This program is expected to begin in the fall of 2013.

“These individuals need the skill set that is developed in the master of business administration program, but they also need the biblical, theological and ministerial formation gained through a master of divinity program,” Maness said in a press release Friday.

Dr. David E. Garland, the Charles J. and Eleanor McLerran Delancey Chair of the Dean of Truett Seminary, said although many church business and financial matters often fall to the church’s senior pastor, these men and women often do not have the time and the expertise to handle such matters.

Garland added “leaders of religiously affiliated nonprofit organizations and those called to mission work overseas could benefit from this dual degree.”

University stadium founders and recipients of last night’s 2012-2013 Baylor Meritorious Awards were also honored. Some of the recipients, including Baylor alumni John Eddie Williams, Jr. (BBA ’76, JD ’78), and Paul Foster (BBA ’79), are also stadium founders who have given generous donations to the university to help bring about the construction of the new campus football stadium, set to be completed by the fall of 2014.