Culture > Q&A

Inquiring mind

"Inquiring mind" Continued...

Issue: "Tick, tick, tick ...," May 7, 2011

Were you able to make any changes in the way Baylor teaches psychology? Yes and no. I decided my job was to attack the problem in the sphere of influence I had and that was first and foremost to make sure the university has outstanding deans, department chairs, and faculty members. Hiring is key: Provosts and deans who fail in hiring are failing the mission of the institution.

After 10 years, amid lots of controversy, you agreed to leave. There was a very small pocket of opposition-people who said that being in a university had nothing to do with faith. One faculty member very clearly said, "We have to get rid of the Baptist and religious stuff-there are bigger fish to fry."

Now that you're at Houston Baptist, what are your hopes and aspirations? We have a 12-year plan called the Ten Pillars. It rejects the idea that to be more academic you have to give up faith, as if faith and learning are a zero sum game. Students and faculty are willing to embrace the truth of Jesus Christ and then believe that we should not treat religious knowledge as a matter of personal, private and interior emotional value and opinion.

Do you think your plan for Baylor is possible, even if not at Baylor? The world needs Christian institutions that are not just small, regional, denominationally related institutions. We need a resurgence of great institutions of learning where a Christian worldview dominates. Many students go off to get doctorates but they get trained in places where there is a separationist view regarding faith and academics. Our aspiration at HBU is to be a comprehensive university with a clear core program but also doctoral programs. So yes, I think it's possible.

Why do Christian institutions drift from their religious roots? It's always a struggle, but if the board of directors gives up and doesn't hire the right people, that's how it happens.
Listen to Marvin Olasky's complete interview with Robert Sloan.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.


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