Missouri Baptist University
|President||Keith L. Ross|
|Location||St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
|Colors||Navy blue and White
|NAIA – American Midwest|
Missouri Baptist University is a private evangelical Christian, liberal arts institution university located in western St. Louis County in Creve Coeur Missouri. As its purpose, the University offers 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 preparing students to serve in a global and culturally diverse society. There are currently 12 MBU locations including its regional learning centers throughout the St. Louis region and Illinois in addition to a 68-acre West St. Louis County campus as well as degrees offered completely online for the working adult. In 2018, MBU launched its School of Nursing. MBU was recently named the 7th top university for inspiration by peers, which was published in The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education’s top U.S. college rankings lists for 2018.
In 1957, a growing need for an evangelical Christian institution in the St. Louis area prompted the opening of a campus extension of Hannibal-LaGrange College at Tower Grove Baptist Church. Sixty-eight students were enrolled that inaugural year.
Classes for the extension center, also known as St. Louis Baptist College, met in the activities building of Tower Grove Baptist Church. In 1964, Missouri Baptist College was chartered as an evangelical Christian, four-year liberal arts college. Under the auspices of Hannibal-LaGrange College and the direction of its president, Dr. L.A. Foster, Bible courses were offered for pastors and laymen. During the second term, several liberal arts courses were requested and provided. Student influence, along with organizational work of St. Louis Baptist leaders, pastors and laymen, influenced MBU’s charter. The first meeting of the Board of Trustees for Missouri Baptist College was held in January 1964. Dr. Frank Kellogg served as the first chairman of the Board of Trustees and later as the second president.
In July 1964, leaders acquired the site of MBU’s main campus, metropolitan land near Interstate 270 and U.S. Route 40 in West Saint Louis County. In September 1968, 186 students began classes, more than tripling the institution’s size in just over a decade. In May 1973, Missouri Baptist College graduated its first class of twenty-nine students, each earning a Bachelor of Arts degree.
In 1980, Missouri Baptist College began a new chapter of its life with the completion of the Pillsbury-Huff Residence Halls, converting from a commuter campus to a residential institution. In the fall of 1986, MBC began offering courses in both Jefferson and Franklin counties.
Dr. R. Alton Lacey took the reins of Missouri Baptist University in 1995 as the University’s sixth president. Under his leadership, MBU’s enrollment has more than doubled; the University has introduced graduate and post-graduate programs and a multitude of new undergraduate degrees; MBU has seen a $10 million campaign–the largest development project in MBU’s history–successfully come to fruition.
In April 2000, the College was approved to offer the Master of Science in Education. Today the MBU graduate program includes a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and an expanded offering of its initial graduate program, the Master of Science in Education.
In the spring of 2002, the campus completed the Spirit of Excellence campaign with the dedication of the new $10 million Pillsbury Chapel and Dale Williams Fine Arts Center. The building, encompassing more than 58,000 sq ft (5,400 m2) acts as a host to musical, religious, business, educational and community events. The Spirit of Excellence campaign also led to the renovation of the Thomas and Virginia Field Academic Hall, a much larger cafeteria and bookstore, a new student lounge, an improved computer lab and numerous offices and classrooms. Also in 2002, Missouri Baptist College became Missouri Baptist University. In the fall of 2005, MBU’s enrollment reached an all-time high of 4,460 students. At its thirty-fourth commencement exercises, MBU conferred 579 degrees, yet another MBU record. During the summer of 2007, MBU's Jung-Kellogg Library was renovated and a new coffeehouse added. In the Fall Semester of 2009, the University began offering its first doctorate program, a Doctorate of Education.
In 2017, Dr. R. Alton Lacey announced his retirement after 23 years as MBU president. In the fall of 2017, Dr. Keith L. Ross was appointed as MBU's seventh president. Lacey assumed the role as University chancellor as of January 2018.
Missouri Baptist athletic teams are known as the Spartans. The university is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the American Midwest Conference. The men's lacrosse team competes at the Division II level of the Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) in the Great Rivers Lacrosse Conference (GRLC). In 2010, the women's lacrosse team became a charter member of the National Women's Lacrosse League. Missouri Baptist fields 11 men's sports and 12 women's sports:
- "Missouri Baptist University | Missouri Baptist University - Profile, Rankings and Data | Missouri Baptist University | US News Best Colleges". Colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
- "Missouri Baptist University | MBU History | About Missouri Baptist University | Baptist College". Mobap.edu. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
- "Missouri Baptist University | MBU Leadership | MBU Campus Officials | St. Louis Christian College". www.mobap.edu. Retrieved 2016-09-12.