Dallas Baptist University’s Zeta Chi sorority raised $9,000 at a coffeehouse featuring recording artist Chris Renzema prior to the COVID-19 lockdown. The young women divided proceeds from the event among five nonprofit organizations, donating $1,800 each to GloryB, an organization that seeks to help individuals 17 and older who suffer from the acute trauma caused by sex trafficking and ritual abuse; Trafficking 911, which seeks to free youth from sex trafficking through trust-based relationships; Refuge City, a program that provides places of restoration and safety for domestic victims of human trafficking and/or sexual exploitation; Children’s Relief International, an organization whose mission is to take the light of Christ to the poor in Mozambique, Nigeria, Haiti, South Asia, Myanmar, Malawi, Uganda and Mexico; and Unbound Fort Worth, which works with schools, youth organizations and shelters to empower youth to stay safe from trafficking and exploitation. “We always say that more than anything else, we would love to be alongside different organizations rescuing girls as they are helping them physically, but that is unsafe and impossible for us to do right now. However, the best means that we can go about helping and serving our partner organizations is by educating and creating awareness alongside them and by raising funds for them,” said Sydney Carter, president of Zeta Chi.
Wayland Baptist University named Joe Rangel associate dean of its School of Christian Studies. Rangel has been with Wayland since 2016, serving as associate professor of Christian ministry and director of assessment for the School of Christian Studies. Rangel will move offices to Wayland’s San Antonio campus, which has operated since 1984. With extensive experience working with both education and ministry across Texas and Southern California, his focus is on developing relationships among Baptists in San Antonio and South Texas. Rangel will direct new graduate programs in Hispanic Church Leadership and African-American Church Leadership beginning in the fall 2020. “Dr. Rangel’s academic and ministry roots in South Texas run deep,” said Stephen Stookey, dean of the School of Christian Studies. “His expertise in cross-cultural ministry will allow Wayland to strengthen existing programs and develop new, innovative ministry collaborations across San Antonio and South Texas.” Rangel also will focus on promoting a new Bachelor of Applied Science in Business as Mission degree, a collaboration between the School of Christian Studies and the School of Business. The new degree focuses on giving students the education they need to make a successful business, then teaching them how to incorporate their faith and mission into what they do. In addition to a bachelor’s degree in Christian ministry, Wayland in San Antonio also offers several graduate-level Christian ministry degrees—the Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, the Master of Arts in Theological Studies, the Master of Divinity and the joint Master of Divinity/Master of Business Administration.
The Texas Higher Education Foundation awarded Howard Payne University a $10,000 Texas Emergency Aid Grant. The grant is initiated by the foundation in partnership with the Greater Texas Foundation and the Trellis Foundation to aid institutions during the COVID-19 crisis. HPU is one of the 57 initial grant recipients, comprised of public and private institutions of higher education from across the state of Texas. At HPU, the funding will be used to directly provide food and other household goods to stock the Food & Essentials Pantry, a service available to students and their dependents. “This grant will help us to continue to assist our students,” HPU President Cory Hines said. “I have confidence that the Lord will keep using HPU to positively impact the lives of students as we navigate through unique and trying times.”
Houston Baptist University received a $100,000 grant from The Cullen Trust for Higher Education in partnership with the Houston Food Bank to address food insecurity. The Cullen Trust, with The Spirit Golf Association’s Spirit Food Fund, will provide an opportunity for the HBU community to benefit from Houston Food Bank resources, including providing students and their families access to healthy food. “The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic shutdown has devastated families financially, and there are many hungry people who need help. We at HBU, in the footsteps of Jesus, are privileged to be a partner in the process of feeding multitudes,” said HBU President Robert Sloan.
Howard Payne University recently received a gift of $25,000 in scholarship funds from the James and Dorothy Doss Foundation, administered through TexasBank. The contribution was made to a fund the Doss Foundation and TexasBank established in 2017 to help deserving students from the Heart of Texas area attend HPU.
Wayland Baptist University no longer will require the ACT, SAT or CLT college entrance exam for admission to the university. The new policy, which went into effect May 19, applies to concurrent and first-time freshmen at the Plainview campus. It also is retroactive to all students who applied for admission for the fall 2020 academic term prior to May 19. The university made the move as part of its response to COVID-19, but Daniel Brown, vice president for enrollment management, said it was considered prior to the pandemic’s effect on college applications. “It just makes sense,” Brown said. “It is well known that standardized tests are not always the best indicator of collegiate success for students. Students are people, and people are much more complicated than any single test can really measure. College success, as with success in life in general, largely comes down to effort. If you’re willing to do the work and stay after it, you have a very good chance of succeeding.” Under the new model, admission will be based on a review of a student’s high school transcript. Students with a 2.0 or higher grade point average at the time of review will be granted admission to Wayland. Students with a 1.50 to 1.99 GPA may be admitted if their cumulative average of all high school English courses is a 75 or better. Students seeking merit or academic scholarships still need to take an entrance exam to qualify.