A Preeminent Christian Research University

September 22, 2022

The last 12 months have brought much to celebrate concerning Baylor research: R1 research recognition, the largest funded research project in University history, continued growth in meaningful research metrics, and a host of new endowed chair hires, laboratories, programs and partnerships. Embedded within those accomplishments are goals set and goals reached. However, these achievements are not a finish line. Rather, they are benchmarks that compel us to steward this unique moment as we live out our calling as a preeminent Christian research university.

At Baylor, our faith inspires our pursuit of greater levels of excellence, as we understand that all truth is God’s truth. Our research is grounded in our Christian mission, compassion for others, and a call to seek solutions to our world’s greatest challenges. Because of that, it’s not titles or honors we pursue for their own sake, but impact—the impact that comes when world-class faculty, staff, research administrators and students love our neighbors both close to home and around the globe.

The purposeful journey that brought us here guides us further still. Following a course charted by the strategic plan of Illuminate, Baylor has fostered dramatic growth as seen in research metrics such as external research awards, research expenditures, research staff and doctorates awarded. Although R1 is not mentioned in Illuminate, the vision that was carried out University-wide led Baylor to that point—far faster than expected.

When Baylor University was officially recognized by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Learning last December, President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., said:

    “Through top-tier research, scholarship and external funding support, R1 universities — that now include Baylor University — bring their voice to bear in addressing our world’s most significant challenges.

    There are not many Christian universities among the R1 universities that are not only doing the highest level of research in the country, but also maintaining the integrity of their Christian mission and thinking about how our faith perspective informs the research we’re doing.”

From that distinct spot in the world of higher education, Baylor guides students in the consideration of crucial issues from every possible perspective -- ethical, religious, social and intellectual -- and faculty members can serve as open and persuasive advocates for the beneficial role that faith plays in their teaching and scholarly research. Further, Baylor’s growth will open doors for those scholars to impact significant challenges. Baylor leaders have long talked about the “seat at the table” afforded to the nation’s top research institutions, who naturally lead in efforts to address our world’s multifaceted challenges. Our mission ensures that Baylor brings more than just another voice to that R1 table.

As Baylor University moves into the next phase of our vision, Illuminate Forward, we are committed to continuing this momentum. On National Research Administrator Day, we celebrate not a finish line, but a launching point as an R1 institution. We will continue to recruit top faculty, grow new programs and create new resources for the betterment of our future Baylor University graduates, the work they will do, and the world they will impact.