2005 reports: Missouri Baptist University: Excellence continues - Word&Way

2005 reports: Missouri Baptist University: Excellence continues

By Bryce Chapman, Missouri Baptist University

As vivid news reports about the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina inundated the world, Missouri Baptist University's students, faculty and staff kicked off their 2005-2006 school year by assisting a struggling region.

MBU officials offered students displaced by Katrina the opportunity to enroll and live at the university for the fall 2005 semester. The MBU student body donated hundreds of dollars to an offering held after the university's annual President's Chapel.

"Missouri Baptist University continues to rapidly grow, affording us the opportunity to assist an increasing number of students as they become leaders after graduation," said president R. Alton Lacey.

"We strive for our diverse student population to grow academically and spiritually."

International ministry

After graduating from MBU this past spring, Eric Elves wasted no time putting his academic knowledge to practical use, spending a summer teaching people a world away from the primary textbook of his chosen field of study.

Alongside Curtis McClain, MBU professor of religion and chair of the humanities division, Elves traveled to Africa, touring the continent for nearly a month in an effort to spread God's love.

Student Eric Farmer celebrated Christmas last year by using his break to serve on a mission trip in Matamoros, Mexico. Erin Lenihan, another 2004 graduate, is currently living in Taiwan as a missionary.

"Our students are dedicated and passionate about reaching people for Christ here and beyond," said MBU campus pastor Fred Hampton.

Record enrollment — again

Year after year, more and more students are discovering MBU. This year has again proven no different.

According to Fall 2005 projected enrollments, the number of students attending MBU in all categories is expected to shatter previous records for the 11th year in a row.  Total enrollment is expected to surpass 4,200 students.

Six years after the master of science in education was started — the university's first-ever graduate program — MBU's graduate programs have grown exponentially both in degrees offered and students enrolled.

Sports recreation facility

MBU officials announced their intent to build the Spartan Sports and Recreation facility at the All-American Banquet held during the 2004 homecoming celebration. The $8 million facility will boast a gymnasium, fitness facility, training room, conference space, locker rooms, offices and a student lounge.

Leader of the pack

Affirming its unwavering mission to faith and learning, Missouri Baptist University has for the seventh consecutive year been deemed one of America's Best Christian Colleges.

Excellence in teaching

Ray Killebrew, instructor of communication, was presented the 2005 Missouri Baptist University Distinguished Teaching Award during the 33rd commencement ceremonies.

Mission and purpose

"Missouri Baptist University is an evangelical Christian, liberal arts institution of higher learning and has as its purpose the offering of programs of study leading to professional certificates, undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees in an environment where academic excellence is emphasized and a biblically based Christian perspective is maintained. The university is committed to enriching its students' lives spiritually, intellectually and professionally, and to providing educational services to the community." (10-19-05)