In Touch: Ken Starr clarifies Baylor policy

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Recently, the Baylor University board of regents changed the language of the university’s student conduct policy. This action has been represented in a number of ways through headlines and news reports. Baylor President Ken Starr sent us the following memo to help us understand the actions of Baylor and to clarify the misunderstandings that have accompanied this action. 

Please note the following from Judge Starr:

hardage david130David Hardage“Recent news reports of changes to Baylor’s sexual conduct policy have unfortunately employed sensational headlines that have created misunderstandings about our policy.

“In fact, Baylor’s sexual conduct policy remains unchanged. Our policy continues to state that Baylor will be guided by the biblical understanding that human sexuality is a gift from God and that physical sexual intimacy is to be expressed in the context of marital fidelity. In the application of our policy, we rely on the historic Baptist expression of marriage as the uniting of one man and one woman.

“Baylor’s articulation of its policy required updating.  Previously, this policy had been called a ‘Sexual Misconduct Policy.’ As we do not identify other policies similarly—we have no ‘misspending’ policy, for example—we thought it wise to make language changes to the existing policy, which also included the elimination of an extensive but incomplete list of prohibited sexual behaviors and crimes.”

I hope this helps answer your questions or concerns.

Last week, I joined fellow Baptists in Durban, South Africa, at the World Congress of the Baptist World Alliance. This is a wonderful time of worship, celebration and collaboration with folks from around the world.

We are excited to launch Leadership Texas Baptists this fall. This initiative is aimed at identifying and equipping emerging Baptist leaders from around Texas. 

Leadership Texas Baptists is a nine-month experience to engage, equip and inform emerging leaders from churches across the state. Through this program, we look forward to creating a strong network that will serve our churches, ministries and institutions with Christ-like leadership for many years to come. Contact David Adams at for more information.

texas baptist voices right120Register now for Fiesta Ring, scheduled for Friday-Saturday, Nov. 6-7 at Shearer Hills Baptist Church in San Antonio. This training event provides opportunity for every player in your handbell choir to learn from one of the most sought-after clinicians in church music today.  

Our fourth annual National Boomer/Senior Adult Conference will be held Sept. 9-11 in the city by the river, San Antonio. Join hundreds of other leaders and volunteers to “Catch the Boomer Wave.” There will be great entertainment, excellent training and the opportunity to network with others from all over the country who are working to reach boomers. For more information, contact Keith Lowry, Texas Baptist adult Sunday school consultant, at  or (214) 828-5206. 

David Hardage is executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board.

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