Baylor University, Philosophy Department

We have an active faculty of 13 members with nine other faculty affiliated with our department. Thus we have 22 faculty who teach, advise, direct dissertations, and mentor students regularly. The philosophy faculty has particular strengths in several areas of research, including epistemology, ethics, metaphysics, the history of philosophy (especially figures like Plato, Aquinas, Reid, Kierkegaard), and the philosophy of religion.

Two strengths of Baylor University are the teaching excellence of the faculty and the individual attention that our students receive from the faculty. Most of our faculty members have an open door policy and are easily reachable via email when off-campus. Our faculty get to know their students so that they can provide advice, encouragement, and support. Lower level undergraduate classes are small (no more than 35, but typically 10-20 students). Upper level undergraduate and graduate classes are even smaller, typically 5-10 students. The department sponsors an undergraduate philosophy club that meets on Thursday afternoons. During these meetings, philosophical topics of interest are discussed in a friendly environment.

The department supports about 30 Ph.D. students, who begin presenting at national and international conferences and publishing papers prior to their graduation. Our weekly student-led colloquia prepare graduate students for their professional scholarly life, while enhancing the generous, hospitable community that characterizes our life together. Our placement record of our graduate students is enviable. In 2014, for instance, we placed seven students in regular full-time faculty positions.

Philosophy is most fundamentally the search for and appropriation of wisdom. At a Christian university that endorses faith and reason as mutually enriching avenues to truth and wisdom, philosophy is an essential discipline and set of practices. The mission of our department is to provide high quality philosophical education, one that is both an outgrowth of Christian vocation and can contribute to students’ vocations. The faculty embraces this mission joyfully and prayerfully.

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