WACO—Baylor University’s board of regents approved a new joint master’s degree program that links the faculties, resources and classes of Truett Theological Seminary and Baylor’s School of Education.
At its annual summer meeting, the board approved the master of divinity and master of science in education/master of arts joint degree program. It is designed to prepare students as ministers who can employ the latest educational philosophies, strategies and methods in congregational ministry, as well as in public and private educational settings.
The new program is expected to begin in summer 2017. It is the fifth joint degree Baylor offers in conjunction with Truett Seminary. Others offer a master of divinity degree along with a graduate degree in music, social work, business or law.
The board also approved $2 million to improve the electrical utility and technology infrastructure along Seventh Street on campus. The work will begin this fall and be completed in spring 2017.
Update on diversity initiatives
During regent committee meetings, the academic and student affairs committee heard a presentation on diversity and collaboration. The report provided updates on new initiatives, progress on priorities identified by students regarding diversity and inclusion, and on coordinated efforts across the university to bring about cultural change among all students, faculty and staff.
“Baylor offers countless opportunities to honor each individual’s experiences, their perspectives and their rich diversity as a part of a transformational educational experience,” Interim President David Garland said.
“As one Baylor family, we must work together to practice inclusion, to live graciously with each other, to listen to each other with empathy and humility and to challenge each other with integrity both academically and spiritually in order to promote the institutional excellence and Christian identity that we all cherish.”
Board sets tuition and fees
The board also set tuition and fees for the 2017-18 academic year. Regents voted to increase undergraduate tuition by 4.25 percent, the lowest percentage increase in more than 20 years and well below the average percentage increase over the last 26 years.
With its flat-rate tuition structure, Baylor’s tuition will be $39,610 for the 2017-18 academic year, or $19,805 per semester for the fall and spring. The general student fee will be $4,180, or $2,090 per semester. Tuition for graduate and professional programs will increase similarly.
The board allocated an additional $15.2 million for merit and need-based scholarships.
“The board is fervently committed to nurturing an environment where academic rigor, spiritual life and character formation can flourish, but also one that provides access and affordability for families and their students who dream of pursuing a high-quality and distinctive Baylor degree,” said Ronald Murff, chair of the board of regents.
“The university is providing more financial assistance to students than at any other time in our history, and we are working hard to attract, retain and graduate young people who are guided by their faith and strengthened by their Baylor education to make a difference in our diverse world as global citizens and leaders.”