Muslims at Baylor University

Hi! So I was recently admitted to Baylor. The application was free and I did a lot of research on the academics and research opportunities. I knew Baylor was really religious but I figured I’d deal with it if I got in.

Since I got in…I have to address the issue now :blush:

I’m Muslim and Baylor is a very Christian school. I’ve read articles online about how Baylor is not very accepting of students that are non-christian. I know that Baylor doesn’t allow religious students to form student organizations centered around their faith, and Waco doesn’t have many non-Christians either.

I’m a little unsure about the chapel requirement too.

I’m not making any commitments to Baylor yet, I just want to get as much information as I can so I can compare schools. Does anyone know anything about how accepting Baylor is to students who are not Christian? I know there are alternatives to the chapel requirement, what are some of the options? Are all the alternatives centered around Christianity? Please drop any information/insight you have, I’d really appreciate it!

Texas has lots of colleges. UTSA, UNT, Texas State, Houston, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, UTD that don’t require anything religious and more than likely have muslim organizations.

It seems that you are making it unnecessarily hard by focusing on a christian school and then trying to avoid that aspect.

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I am Muslim, first gen born and raised, lived in Texas my whole life. I’ve had Muslim friends and kids of friends graduate from Baylor that got through the 4 years just fine and I’ve known Muslim kids that transferred out after 1 year. No one can make that decision for you or know if you’ll be able to adjust or not. That being said, I have a senior right now and sophomore twins. Baylor isn’t on the list for our family.

If it’s private school/LAC type you’re looking for why not SMU or TCU? You’ll find more diversity at those with no religious requirement, and you’ll be in major metropolitan cities, not Waco.

Trinity University in San Antonio or even Austin College in Sherman would be better options as well.

What are you wanting to major in?

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You can email Baylor and ask what Muslim or non-religious alternatives they have for the Chapel requirements.
However your description makes it clear Baylor is not very hospitable to non-Christian students, which makes sense since they’re a Baptist school.
However if you can be OK with Chapel and classes in Christian theology etc., and you’re rather conservative socially, it could be an OK fit.
Some Christian colleges have managed to find a way to be inclusive for Muslim students (e.g., St Olaf, in Minnesota), so you could compare what these offer/require v. what Baylor offers/requires.

I’m planning on majoring in political science. One of my biggest reasons for applying to Baylor was its research programs though.

Can I ask you why you decided to rule out Baylor? Was it just the integration of Christianity in the curriculum, or was it concern about claims of Islamophobia on campus?

It’s just not a fit for my boys, they (and we) would prefer a more secular environment and something that isn’t so insular. My business partner is a Baylor grad, and she knows my kids fairly well and agreed that it wouldn’t be the best fit socially for my high school senior. My best friend’s niece went there for one year and was so miserable she would drive back home to Dallas every weekend before she transferred out. There just wasn’t much that appealed to my son so we didn’t consider it. But like I said, plenty of Muslim students find a way to make it work. Have you visited or reached out to anyone that goes there?

My son has been accepted to UTD, Texas Tech and UNT so far and is waiting to hear from Texas A&M and UT Austin. We know quite a few kids from our community at both Tech &
A&M and My nephew is at A&M currently. We’ve been to CStat quite a few times and my son felt very comfortable there.

One of my sophomore twins is interested in majoring in PoliSci, we’re looking at Austin College in Sherman for him as a consideration, they have a great reciprocal program with American University that would allow you to do a semester in Washington DC.

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I’m not a Baylor student, just a prospective one like you so I don’t have much to comment. Just wanted to say that there is tons of Christian iconography around campus, e.g. Bible quotes on sidewalks and buildings, a huge cross atop Truett etc. This wasn’t something I was aware of till I visited campus. As a Christian I loved it but I can understand that, with it being so in your face, a non-Christian might feel a bit out of place.

I believe chapel is available online this year - maybe you could give one a view and see how comfortable you feel. As well as the chapel requirements there are also the Christain Scriptures and Christian heritage classes. Definitely think about reaching out to professors in the religion department about it. As a future religion major I’ve met with quite a few of them and they are all absolutely lovely - I asked one of them about my concerns of being a Mormon at Baylor (there are no Mormon groups on campus) and he was very helpful.

Good luck!

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I haven’t logged in in awhile but when I saw this post I felt I needed to answer. My daughter is at Baylor. If you go to an admissions presentation, the first line out is “ unapologetically Christian”. They are very clear that they are a Christian school. If you aren’t interested in a Christian base and Christian foundation then why are you applying? I tire of folks bashing this school for being Christian. You know what they are about. If you don’t like it then why apply? I’m not trying to be a jerk. There are a ton of super liberal schools that everyone on cc loves. It would not be a fit for our family but I certainly don’t go on there and bash them for it or tell them they should lean more conservative.

Muslims may be (and often are) conservative, not liberal. It may make Baylor initially attractive and liberal colleges decidedly unattractive. However, how accomodating Baylor would be of a non Christian student is a question to ask Baylor. It is not “bashing” the school. It’s also important for the student to realize Baylor is likely not a good fit, even though he got in and even though it is academically rigorous and prestigious.

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