Most who see the name Baylor University in print think about the basketball program scandal in which one player murdered another and the coach scrambled to cover up improprieties as the media spotlight focused in on the school. Those who observe the intersection of worldview and higher education have been paying attention to what's happening at Baylor for a different reason. The university nestled in at the corner of I-35 and the Brazos River has embarked upon an ambitious quest to advance the Christian mind.
Back in 1951, William Buckley began his career as a conservative superstar with the publication of God and Man at Yale. The thesis was that the great university had abandoned its traditionally Christian roots and was actively employing the sort of faculty who would lead impressionable young people astray, that is to say, away from love of God, country, and family. The young Catholic with the million dollar vocabulary and the truckload of savoir faire had put his finger on an issue that became a staple of the conservative complaint against modernity. Buckley helped raise awareness that America's great universities, spurred on by the success of Darwinian theory and the apparent ascendancy of so-called "scientific" forms of government like communism and socialism, now embraced an account of knowledge that ignored or actively discredited the combination of Christianity and Classics that had once been dominant building blocks of the West.
Since that time, a number of small schools like Hillsdale, Grove City, Calvin College, Wheaton, and a few others have provided an alternative to the assumptions of secular liberalism embraced by most institutions of higher education. Among major universities, Notre Dame has been alone in ...1