Mission of the University System
Wayland Baptist University exists to educate students in an academically challenging, learning-focused and distinctively Christian environment for professional success and service to God and humankind.
Wayland Baptist University will be an environmentally responsible, international multi-campus system offering innovative, academically challenging, and distinctively Christian undergraduate and graduate education through multiple delivery systems to military and civilian students around the world.
The university seeks to educate its students by developing them intellectually, physically, spiritually, and socially, preparing them to move into a variety of professions or into further study. Wayland offers a strong liberal arts education both in a traditional setting and through degree programs that serve the needs of an older, highly mobile, employed population. Through the main campus in Plainview and multiple campuses, domestic, international, and virtual, Wayland offers courses leading to associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The university employs Christian faculty, staff, and administrators dedicated to its mission and seeks to attract a student body from diverse socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic, religious, and geographical backgrounds. Wayland serves its students and other constituencies by providing appropriate academic, technical, and professional expertise, spiritual resources, and cultural and athletic events.
The university holds to the following core values:
- Commitment to Student Learning
- Christian Distinctiveness and Baptist Heritage
- Integrity, Diversity, Trust and Respect
- Excellence, Innovation, and Adaptability
- Service to Our Communities
- Personal, Professional and Spiritual Development
- Stewardship of Our Resources
- Planning and Accountability
- Environmental Responsibility
History of the University
The oldest university in continuous existence on the High Plains of Texas, Wayland began as the dream of pioneers who respected the life-altering value of education. In 1906, the Staked Plains Baptist Association received and acted upon a proposal to establish a school. Dr. and Mrs. James Henry Wayland offered $10,000 and 25 acres of land if the Association and the citizens of Plainview would raise an additional $40,000. The Association and the city accepted both the proposal and the challenge and in 1908 applied for a charter from the State of Texas for the Wayland Literary and Technical Institute.
Construction began on the ﬁrst two buildings on the Plainview campus in 1909, and Dr. I. E. Gates (1909-1915) became president of Wayland, which was then literally only “a hole in the ground”. Although the main administration building was incomplete, classes began in September 1910 in adjacent Matador Hall. From primary grades through junior college, 241 students enrolled that ﬁrst term in the school whose name was changed the same year to Wayland Baptist College.
The second decade of the century saw slow but signiﬁcant growth. In 1911, Wayland graduated its ﬁrst student, and the administration building was completed. By 1913, the senior class had grown to four, and Wayland graduated its ﬁrst female. The following year, Wayland became one of the correlated schools afﬁliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas, a relationship which has existed ever since. By 1915, Dr. Gates believed the school was ﬁrmly established and he resigned to return to the pastorate. Dr. Orren L. Hailey (1915-1916), then pastor of Plainview’s First Baptist Church, became president in 1915, announcing his intention to make Wayland the best junior college in the state. In 1916 when he resigned to return to the pastorate, Wayland graduated twenty students, and Matador Hall was being completed as the women’s residence hall.
Dr. R. E. L. Farmer (1916-1918), former president of Canadian Academy and an area pastor, followed him as president in 1916. During his tenure, enrollment increased to 300 in the school where there was “nothing shallow but the water.” Under his leadership, Wayland took the unprecedented step of offering summer classes. Because of World War I, the college required military training of all male students for the duration of the conﬂict. Dr. Farmer served as president until his resignation in August 1918 to raise money for the school; he died in October 1918 in the inﬂuenza epidemic that swept the world.
Dr. Elmer B. Atwood (1919-1923), executive secretary of the New Mexico Baptist Convention, became president in 1919 and served until 1923. During his tenure, Wayland addressed its debt problems and broadened its appeal to students beyond the plains of Texas, especially to New Mexico, which did not have a Baptist school of its own. In his administration, Wayland concentrated on being “a Christian school with high ideals and worthy standards.”
Wayland’s ﬁfth president, Dr. George W. McDonald (1924-1947) served the institution as a professor of mathematics and dean of the college prior to being named president. His twenty-three-year tenure saw some of the most challenging days in Wayland’s existence. J. Lindsey Nunn Gymnasium was added, to bring to three the total number of campus buildings. In 1926, Wayland was admitted to membership in the American Association of Junior Colleges. With the Stock Market crash in 1929, the Great Depression had a devastating impact on the college. Enrollment declined, and the bank that held all of the school’s assets failed, leaving the college no money for its expenses. To continue to educate students, the administration and faculty agreed to serve without pay, trusting God to meet their needs. Thanks to the providence of God and their willingness to make personal sacriﬁces, they enabled Wayland to remain open at a time when so many private schools failed.
Dr. McDonald retired in 1947, and the Board of Trustees named Dr. James W. “Bill” Marshall (1947-1952) to succeed him as president. Formerly the personnel secretary of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Foreign Mission Board, Dr. Marshall led Wayland to initiate an international student program that resulted in “Wayland of the Plains” becoming “Wayland of the World”. During Dr. Marshall’s tenure, Wayland had a higher percentage of international students than any other American college or university. In 1948, Wayland became a four-year college. McDonald Hall for men and Agnes Mays Hall for women were added, and Slaughter Hall became the school’s cafeteria. In a very controversial decision, Dr. Marshall banned smoking by any Wayland student; and enrollment was higher than ever the following fall. He secured sponsors for the women’s basketball team, which became known as the Hutcherson Flying Queens - a team that subsequently has won more games than any other women’s collegiate team nationwide. Wayland began distance learning in 1948 with a language institute in Guadalajara, Mexico. In 1951, the college took the unprecedented step of voluntarily admitting black students on an equal basis with whites. This action made Wayland the ﬁrst four-year liberal arts college in the former Confederate states to be integrated voluntarily and predated the Supreme Court’s decision banning segregation in schools by three years.
Upon Dr. Marshall’s resignation, Dr. A. Hope Owen (1953-1963), then pastor of Plainview’s First Baptist Church, became president in 1953. He served for ten years, developing a master plan called “Design for a Decade” to guide the development of the college’s physical plant. Numerous buildings were erected during his tenure: three women’s dormitories (Ferguson Hall in 1954, Fleming Hall in 1956, and Owen Hall in 1961), another men’s residence hall (Brotherhood in 1957), Van Howeling Library in 1957, and the Flores Bible Building in 1959. Married student apartments - Collier, Goodpasture, and Allison-Conkwright halls - were added in 1960 and 1961, and the Home Life Building was completed in 1962. During Dr. Owen’s term, Wayland secured full accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1956 and the approval of the Texas Education Agency to certify teachers. Finally, during his tenure, Mr. and Mrs. Shelby Flores of Tulia made the largest single gift that any Baptist college had ever received prior to that point when they donated more than twenty-seven sections of farm, ranch, and oil-bearing land to the school.
Upon Dr. Owen’s retirement in 1963, the Board of Trustees named Dr. Roy C. McClung (1963-1980), then pastor of Plainview’s First Baptist Church, as Wayland’s eighth president. He served for seventeen years in which Wayland’s physical expansion continued dramatically. The Wayland Bowl, subsequently named Hilliard Field, opened in 1965 to provide facilities for track and ﬁeld events and now soccer as well. Fleming-Mays Tower connected Bessie Fleming and Agnes Mays Halls in 1966; and Atwood Hall, the ﬁrst unit of Caprock Hall for men, opened in 1967. Harral Auditorium was dedicated in 1968, with a 58-rank Wicks pipe organ added the next year, and music and arts wings added in 1973 and 1980, respectively. In 1970, Moody Science Building was dedicated. The college’s physical education program and the men’s and women’s basketball teams found a new home in Hutcherson Physical Education Center, which opened in 1971. Completed in 1976, the Museum of the Llano Estacado was a Bicentennial project. In 1979, Brown Chapel opened, and the Division of Business moved into the newly-remodeled Nunn Building, formerly the gymnasium. In 1980, Marshall Hall opened as part of the Caprock residence complex for men; and construction began on McClung Center to house the bookstore, cafeteria, and student services ofﬁces.
Dr. McClung’s administration included more than physical growth of the Plainview campus. Wayland’s enrollment topped one thousand for the ﬁrst time. The college added the Bachelor of Science in Occupational Education degree in 1973, speciﬁcally designed for non-traditional, full-time working adult students. The college began its ﬁrst external campus experiences since 1948, with the advent of degree programs at Lubbock in 1972, at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls in 1974, Amarillo in 1976, and Honolulu, Hawaii in 1979.
Dr. David Jester (1981-1987) became Wayland’s ninth president in 1981. During his tenure, Wayland moved from college to university status. McClung University Center opened in the fall of 1982, and Wayland began offering graduate courses as well as lifelong learning programs. Distant campuses opened at San Antonio in 1984 and at Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska in 1985.
Following Dr. Jester’s resignation in 1987, Dr. Glenn Barnett (1987-1989), formerly vice-president at Texas Tech University, served as interim president for two years. During his tenure, he restructured the debt and laid the foundation for a stronger faculty voice with the establishment of the Faculty Assembly.
The Board named Dr. Lanny Hall (1989-1991) president in 1989. He served just less than two years, before resigning to assume the presidency of Hardin-Simmons University.
In 1991, Dr. Wallace Davis (1991-2001) became Wayland’s eleventh president. His ten-year administration saw enormous growth for the university. In 1996, the J. E. and L. E. Mabee Learning Resources Center opened. Housing the university’s library and the Malouf Abraham Art Gallery, the building also features the Kaltwasser Flame, the largest back-lit faceted stained-glass sculpture in the world.
The university opened distant campuses at Phoenix (1991) and Sierra Vista, Arizona (1997), and at Clovis (1997) and Albuquerque, New Mexico (1999). Wayland began an educational partnership with Kenya Baptist Theological College in 1999 to offer classes for its students on their campus near Nairobi. In 2012, the program was moved to Moffat Bible College. Also in 1999, the remodeled Van Howeling Educational Complex became home to the university’s programs for teacher-training, academic achievement, and Baptist Student Ministries. David and Myrt Wilder Baseball Complex was dedicated the same year. In 2000, Wayland achieved system status, with Dr. Davis becoming chancellor. By the end of his tenure, Plainview student enrollment had increased to almost 1100, and enrollment at the external campuses exceeded 5000.
Dr. Paul Armes (2001-2016) became Wayland’s twelfth president in 2001. An additional external campus opened at Altus, Oklahoma, and the university began offering classes through the virtual campus that same year. Construction on Wallace and Patsy Davis Hall, a dormitory for senior female resident students, was completed in 2001. By 2003, system-wide enrollment exceeded 6000, to make Wayland the fourth-largest Southern Baptist University in the United States.
In 2002, Wayland purchased a building three blocks to the west of the campus which was remodeled into the Dorothy McCoy Honors Dorm. The University also bought the structure owned by Trinity United Methodist Church in May, 2003 to house the Ofﬁce of Advancement, Alumni, Graduate Services, Web Services, the virtual campus administrative ofﬁces, and Baptist Student Ministries. Construction of the new Pete and Nelda Laney Student Activities center was completed in late 2007, and the facility was opened for use in January of 2008.
Over the last several years, major renovations have been completed in Caprock men’s dorm, Owen Hall, Fleming-Mays Tower and Ferguson Hall women’s dormitories. Designated Pioneer Hall, the president’s former home was remodeled to house male students.
In 2008, the Virtual Campus program of Wayland Baptist University became the largest campus in the Wayland system in terms of raw head count.
A new statue of Dr. James Henry Wayland, the University’s founder, was dedicated in the fall of 2008 to kick off the university’s centennial celebration.
Jimmy Dean Hall, which houses 350 students, opened in August 2012. The McClung University Center has been completely remodeled. The university began a men’s and women’s wrestling program in 2010, the only collegiate program in the state of Texas. After an absence of 70 years, football returned to campus in the fall of 2011, and the ﬁrst games were played during the 2012-13 academic year.
Upon Dr. Armes’s retirement in 2016, the Board of Trustees named Dr. Bobby Hall (2016-present), then Executive Vice President and Provost of the University, as Wayland’s thirteenth president.
Founded and maintained by pioneers unafraid of and undaunted by challenges, Wayland continues to be a pioneer in the ﬁeld of higher education, leading students of all ages to integrate faith and learning in their lives, to be productive members of their communities, and to serve God and humanity.
Wayland Baptist University is operated under the patronage and general direction of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT). The affairs are governed by policies established by a 36-member Board of Trustees, a simple majority of whom are appointed by the BGCT. Appointed by the Board of Trustees, the President of the University works directly with an advisory council to administer the academic and administrative policies and programs of the university.
The university’s academic programs are developed by the faculty of the various academic schools within the framework of university policy and under the direction of the vice president of academic affairs and the deans of each of the nine schools. These schools include: Behavioral and Social Sciences, Business, Christian Studies, Education, Fine Arts, Languages and Literature, Mathematics and Science, Music, and Nursing. (For a complete listing of programs available, visit the undergraduate and graduate academic school pages.)
The university’s external campuses operate within the framework of university policy under the direction of the vice president of academic affairs, the vice president of external campuses, and the executive directors/deans of the various campuses.
The Academic Program
Wayland has long enjoyed a tradition of helping young people prepare for a life of service to God and humankind. For more than three-quarters of a century, Wayland graduates have served throughout the world as missionaries, teachers, homemakers, doctors, ﬁnanciers, ministers, social workers, law enforcement ofﬁcers, farmers, and in virtually every occupation. This tradition is continuing and growing ever stronger as Wayland graduates take their places and contribute in unique ways to the world in which they live and to the Christian mission upon which the university was founded.
Consistent with its overall mission and purpose, Wayland offers Associate of Arts, Associate of Applied Science, Bachelor of Applied Science, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Christian Ministry, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of General Studies, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees. Each degree is supported by a strong liberal arts core of courses. A special non-traditional degree, the Bachelor of Applied Science, is offered to provide a ﬂexible course format which permits fully employed adults to pursue a degree program consistent with past work experience and vocational goals. In cooperation with the military services, the B.A.S. degree program supports a variety of education opportunities for service members by allowing them to progress through programs at an optimum pace while taking advantage of credit earned for their military training and work experience. Throughout the academic program, the faculty emphasize interdisciplinary concepts and relationships to relate the classroom to present and future realities of the world and its people.
The university’s strong liberal arts emphasis is designed to produce broadly educated graduates grounded in the content, themes, and unique language of their major ﬁeld of study as well as in the interrelationship between that ﬁeld and those disciplines forming the general education core. The design and delivery of each academic degree are also based on the premise that the undergraduate experience should be a time of intellectual, spiritual, social, and cultural transformation. Therefore, the academic experience is supported by a student services program designed to develop a spiritual and intellectual foundation upon which a successful life may be built.
For students on the Plainview campus who have a strong academic background and demonstrated ability to pursue more advanced studies, an Honors Program, with a special curriculum and more demanding degree requirements, is available. Students who qualify for this program are eligible for special scholarships. Wayland also offers developmental courses for students needing additional preparation before enrolling in regular academic courses.
In addition to its baccalaureate degrees, Wayland offers a two-year program of study leading to the Associate of Arts degree or Associate of Applied Science degree. The Associate of Applied Science degree includes majors in applied science, business administration, human services, criminal justice administration, and Christian ministry.
Finally, seventeen graduate programs, the Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, the Master of Arts in Counseling, the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, the Master of Arts in English, the Master of Arts in History, the Master of Arts in Human Services, the Master of Arts in Humanities, the Master of Arts in Management, the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership, the Master of Arts in Theological Studies, the Master of Business Administration, the Master of Divinity, the Master of Education, the Master of Legal Studies, the Master of Public Administration, the Master of Science in Nursing, and the Doctor of Management provide students admitted to graduate study the opportunity to pursue professional advancement.
J. E. and L. E. Mabee Learning Resources Center
The J. E. and L. E. Mabee Learning Resources Center (LRC) meets the information needs of all students regardless of location through its print and media collection, as well as its online full-text databases. The collection includes over 130,000 print volumes, 3,400 videos, and 3,200 music records and CDs. More than 49,000 electronic books are available through the online catalog. The full-text databases include access to articles from 89,432 digital/electronic periodicals and more than 10,000 electronic media. The LRC also houses several distinct areas, including a Biblical studies library, a music library, Multidisciplinary Tutorial Services, eSports lab, and an art gallery. Individual seating, group study rooms, computer workstations, and lounge areas provide spaces for research and informal contacts with the university community. Professional librarians and members of the library staff assist students with reference services and individual guidance in the use of research tools. A description of services for students attending classes virtually or on the external campuses is available on the Distance Learning Students link on the LRC web page.
The Wayland Alumni Association
The original alumni association was chartered July 2, 1952, by the American Alumni Council and renamed the Wayland Alumni Association in 2018. Membership in the Association, which does not charge dues, is open to all former Wayland students.
The alumni ofﬁce maintains the addresses, telephone numbers, e-mails, business and professional activities, achievements, advanced degrees, marriages, names and birth dates of children, and other pertinent information for all former students – graduates and non-graduates.
The purposes of the Association are to maintain communication with former students and to enlist their support in continuing to build a strong Christian university. Services to the university and alumni are administered through the Association’s ofﬁce located on the Plainview campus. These services include publishing the We are Wayland alumni magazine, and Extra, a monthly e-mailed newsletter; sponsoring an annual Homecoming Weekend; assisting with student recruitment; serving as liaison between alumni and the university; and other services to former students.
The Association hosts several special events throughout the year, including meetings of former students at various conventions and in various cities, annual recognition of outstanding alumni at Homecoming and at individual campuses, as well as faculty and staff awards in the spring.
The Association encourages pride in Wayland Baptist University and seeks to prepare undergraduates for participation in the Wayland Alumni Association upon their graduation. Each year, the Association presents awards to the Outstanding Freshman Man and Woman and sponsors the Student Alumni Council. Graduating seniors are honored and formally inducted into the Association at or near commencement. Welcome packets are presented by the Association to graduates of all campuses.
Business of the Association is conducted by the three ofﬁcers and the 11-member executive board. Ofﬁcers of the Association are president, vice president and executive director, who also serves as Director of Alumni Relations on the university staff. Jeffrey Vera, BCM ‘17, is current board president, and Teresa Young, BA ‘94, is alumni director.