Students from various religions find home at primarily Baptist university

By Julia Lawrenz | Broadcast Reporter

Students migrate from all over and unify at Baylor, which has been recorded as the largest baptist university in the world. As a university, Baylor has stated that it encourages diversity and welcomes all religious backgrounds, despite having Baptist roots.

Ryan Richardson, Baylor’s associate chaplain and director of worship and chapel, shared his thoughts regarding different religious beliefs student may hold.

“We bring students who practice all major world religions as well as people who are intentionally non-religious,” Richardson said. “When someone comes from a different faith, we not only want to welcome that person we want accentuate what it means for them to bring their faith to bear on our learning process.”

Some of the major religions that are represented at Baylor include: Baptist, Islam, Mormon, Catholic, atheist and many more. According to Baylor institutional Research and Testing (IRT) records, the most recent demographics for the fall of 2018 showed that the religion most students affiliate with is Baptist (3,724) followed by Christian (2,553) and then Catholic (2,423).

Richardson said he believes that students on campus with differing views can interact and learn from each other in a civil manor.

“I just think that the university is built for this, this coming together, this migration of religious difference,” Richardson said. “It is important that we respect one another enough to listen and engage in cicvil dialogue. If we are going to claim to be a religious university, which we do that does not require exclusivity its requires radical inclusivity.”

As a private Baptist university, Baylor requires students to take at least two semesters of chapel and two courses in religion in order to graduate.

“The point is listen well, process well, to use all of our intellectual capability and then respond with integrity to what it is we feel and know, but then also with care for those who feel and know something that opposes what we feel and know,” Richardson said.