About UMHB

For more than a century, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor has equipped students for purposeful lives that honor God. As the oldest continually operating university in Texas, we are fiercely proud of our unique story.

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The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor is dedicated to Christian higher education 

Propelled by an unapologetically Kingdom-minded commitment, UMHB is devoted to helping students deepen their faith while championing each student’s remarkable potential. Chartered by the Republic of Texas, UMHB was established to provide the finest in Christian University higher education, and our focus on that mission has never wavered. Together, we live with purpose, on purpose.

Our Mission

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor prepares students for leadership, service and faith-informed discernment in a global society. Academic excellence, personal attention, broad-based scholarship and a commitment to a Baptist vision for education distinguish our Christ-centered learning community.

Our Values

We are the top choice for Christian higher education because we prioritize our students’ lifelong success. That’s why all our values center around supporting and enhancing the UMHB student experience.

  • Broad-based education: We believe an educated person is one who not only has mastered a chosen field of study but also has gained an understanding and appreciation for the intellectual and cultural traditions of a diverse world.
  • Christian faith and the intellectual life: We strive to develop graduates who integrate Christian perspectives and attitudes into every dimension of life: character, relationships, vocation and service. Our goal is to produce graduates who love God with their whole mind.
  • Teaching excellence: We value well-qualified, Christian educators who are committed to effective, innovative teaching that prepares students to excel in their particular fields, to think creatively and critically, and to integrate facts across disciplines.
  • Service: As a Christ-centered university, we hope to instill within students an awareness of people in need and a commitment to seeking solutions, both locally and globally.
  • Respecting students as individuals: We recognize that each UMHB student is a unique individual who has a distinct perspective on the world. Therefore, we welcome students from diverse backgrounds and understand that exposure to different cultures and experiences within a Christian environment enriches the educational process.

Our History

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor traces its distinguished history to the days when Texas had yet to gain statehood and when Baptist missionary work was just beginning in the frontier Republic. As early as 1839, representatives of churches in Washington County issued an appeal to the Home Mission Board of New York to inaugurate a missionary movement in Texas. Missionaries Rev. James Huckins and Rev. William M. Tryon were sent, and soon after, Judge R.E.B. Baylor came to Texas as a teacher, lawyer, soldier and preacher.

These leaders inspired the desire for Christian education in the area and, at a meeting of the Union Association in 1841, recommended forming an education society. War prevented action until 1843, when the Texas Baptist Education Society was organized.

Two years later, in 1845, Tryon and Baylor were appointed to prepare a charter to establish a Baptist university. On February 1, 1845, a charter was granted by the 9th Congress of the Republic of Texas, approved by President Anson Jones at Washington-on-the-Brazos, and the long awaited Baptist university became a reality.

The school initially included a Preparatory Division in addition to co-educational classes for college students. In 1851, under the same charter, a Female Department and a Male Department were created, ending co-education. In 1866, the Female Department obtained a separate charter and its own board of trustees.

In 1886, due to changing transportation and economics in the area, it was deemed necessary to move both schools. The Male Department consolidated with Waco University in Waco, Texas, retaining the name Baylor University. The Female Department (Baylor Female College since the 1866 separation) moved to Belton, Texas.

Since the move to Belton, the school has undergone several name changes including: 1925, Baylor College for Women; 1934, Mary Hardin-Baylor College (named in honor of a benefactor); and 1978, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. In 1971, the oldest college for women west of the Mississippi became co-educational.

UMHB’s illustrious history includes such notable milestones as starting the first work-study program for women in a college west of the Mississippi (1893); serving as the campus model for the Baptist Student Union (1920); establishing the first school of journalism in a college for women in America and being the second institution in Texas to offer the degree of Bachelor of Journalism (1921); and being recognized as the first Texas Baptist college accepted into full membership in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1926).

Since these auspicious “firsts,” UMHB has continued to make history as a leader in education and church leadership. Today, UMHB enjoys a robust student enrollment of about 3,600 students and employs more than 500 full-time faculty and staff committed to Christian higher education.

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