Houston Christian University

The information on this page was last updated 8/31/2023. If you see errors or omissions, please email: [email protected]


HCU is an independent Christian higher education institution that offers enriched academic and student life experiences in a major metropolitan area. As a result of implementing our 12-year vision, "The Ten Pillars: Faith and Reason in a Great City," HBU is on a trajectory to become a comprehensive, national university.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Houston Christian University
7502 Fondren Rd
Houston, TX 77074

Website: hbu.edu

Phone: 281-649-3000

Email: [email protected]

Organization details

EIN: 741400699

CEO/President: Dr. Robert B Sloan Jr.


Board size: 30

Founder: Baptist General Convention of Texas

Ruling year: 1940

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 05/31

Member of ECFA: No

Member of ECFA since:


HCU offers a higher education through Undergraduate, Graduate, and Online programs. By combining faith, reason, and liberal arts into one core curriculum, we offer an education that is based not only on technical training, but the teachings of Christ, reason, and the past successes and failures of humanity. Our education puts students on a fast track to becoming leaders in their careers and in their communities. HBU strives to send students out into the world with a better understanding of how to live fulfilling, accomplished, and righteous lives.

Mission statement

The mission of Houston Christian University is to provide a learning experience that instills in students a passion for academic, spiritual and professional excellence as a result of our central confession, "Jesus Christ is Lord."

Statement of faith

The Core Convictions of HCU
Houston Christian University has a history of affirming these particular ways of thinking and living, which we hereby describe as Ten Pillars. These convictions are an essential part of the traditional beliefs and commitments of the University. They are set forth here to bring to mind the ten physical pillars that are now iconic on our campus and thus represent the durable historical and theological commitments that undergird our practices and enable us to translate our worldview, Preamble, and mission into academic programs, curricular structures, and habits of the mind and heart. HBU confesses and takes shelter under these Ten Pillars.

Pillar I: God the Creator of a Good and Knowable World
The world was created and is sustained by God the Father and through Jesus Christ his Son. It reflects his presence and power and is good, orderly, and can be known. Human beings, male and female, are made in God's image and given responsibilities to preserve, protect, and order God's creation. The world and God's ways constitute the arena and object of our academic goals for learning and teaching.

Pillar II: A Plan of Restoration
The world is fallen and, because of human rebellion, under a condition of chaos and brokenness, but God's plan of rescue, effected through the history of Israel and the nations and culminating through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ, is one whereby God will unify all who trust in Christ and will one day restore the entire creation-heaven and earth, nations, peoples, and ethnicities-through him.

Pillar III: The Importance of Human Agency
God acts through the processes of history, and, as disorderly and chaotic as the world is, his work can still be done in it. Human beings, and especially his followers, are God's agents of restoration and possess certain capacities of will, talent, and giftedness. We are thus made to do his work in the world, and we attain to our greatest flourishing when we are submissive to his plans and purposes as revealed in Christ and Scripture.

Pillar IV: A Renewed People
Through Christ and the Spirit, the church was created as the people of God who fulfill the promises made to Abraham. It is comprised of men and women from all segments of human societies and of whatever racial, ethnic, economic, national, or religious origin who confess allegiance to Christ and follow him as agents of God, empowered by the Spirit to worship, encourage, and teach one another to carry out God's restorative plans in the world. The church therefore labors with persistence to reflect now the love of God, whose purpose is the restorative summing up, the reunification, of all things in Christ. The church accomplishes its mandated mission, directed to all nations and peoples, by acts of healing, charity, service, teaching the gospel, and worshipping the Father, in the power of the Spirit, through Jesus Christ the Lord. The church does its work in a broken world and in anticipation of the return of Christ, who will raise the dead, judge the earth, and heal the nations, having subjected all things to himself.

Pillar V: A Mandate to Understand the World
The Christian university as an arm of the church participates in God's plan of rescue and does so in the sphere of long-term commitments, not immediate activism. As a university, we patiently trust God's working in history and confess that this is his world and he will accomplish his merciful intentions for it, however difficult they are to discern. God's purposes involve his use of all things good and evil and frequently require decades, centuries, and even millennia in their outworking. We nonetheless believe that his world and his ways are discernible and that, in spite of our own fallen state, we may make progress in knowledge. However, even with the ability to know, we now know only in part and must humbly examine our assumptions, methods, and conclusions, realizing that we are often mistaken, while awaiting the restoration of all things, when we will understand more fully the ways of God.

Our task is to understand all that we can of the world and his ways in it. We research, we teach, and we reflect upon the Creator, his world, and the peoples in it. We think about its origins and nature, its peoples and their histories. We study and analyze human beings, their social and political thought and behavior, their languages, philosophies, governments, and literature, and their beliefs and failures. We work for more than technological proficiency and professional expertise, as instrumental as these practices are. We preserve and retain the traditional arts of freedom-the liberal arts-to understand our purpose as humans, to build social structures of civility and justice, and to experience the liberty that enables us to be agents of order and peace, fulfilling God's purposes in the world. These tasks we do in an environment of faithful tolerance and intellectual freedom.

Pillar VI: Learning and Teaching as Discipleship
We believe that all forms of instruction, whether by teaching, counseling, performance, coaching, training, or research, are best done not only by reading and lecturing but by a kind of practicing discipleship. Professors and counselors are intended to be academic and professional leaders, well trained in their fields, knowledgeable experts who are able to teach. We also affirm that the transmission of knowledge occurs through human interaction and example, is empowered by relational engagement, and aims toward accountable and disciplined learning that produces transformed behavior and thinking. "The life of the mind" is not the cultivation of thinking and reflection in isolation. Those valuable disciplines of deep work and thought flourish in community and are intended to engender synthesis, communication, apprenticed learning, and constructive, purposeful behavior aimed at fulfilling God's mission for the world. Work therefore is a divinely mandated expression of what it means to be truly human. It is an expression of vocation, and whether compensated or voluntary, it is an act of worship, stewardship, and obedience.

Pillar VII: Life, Marriage, Gender, and Humanness
God created man and woman in his image and commissioned them as stewards and managers of his good creation. Life is therefore a purpose-driven gift of God, and we affirm the dignity of all people and the goodness of life from conception forward.

Marriage is a lifelong union of one man and one woman who are committed to each other in loving intimacy and constitutes the beginning of human community in service to God. We therefore believe in male and female genders as a gift of God reflected biologically in the genetic differences that are specific to an individual even before birth. Though the fallenness of this world and the curse of mortal corruption under which it exists can produce emotional confusion in individuals, we believe that gender identity is not self-determined or discontinuous with the bodies with which we were conceived and born.

We believe that full humanness was lost in the Fall, but incarnate in Jesus Christ, who is the very image of God. We believe that in Jesus, God has revealed the full humanity to which we are called and into which we will be transformed when we receive a resurrection body like Christ's. We believe in forgiveness through Christ, the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit, and the moral necessity to pursue even now the purity, blamelessness, and holiness that will accompany our restored humanity when God re-creates heaven and earth at the return of Christ.

We therefore believe the promised restoration of true humanness at the return of Christ stands in contradiction to all human efforts to create human beings in the image and likeness of artificial technologies, as in for example the practices of transhumanism as it aims toward a post humanist world.

We believe that living according to God's creational intent is central to purity and holiness, whereas violating God's laws, ways, and wisdom leads to the corruption of our humanness and, finally, death. The only remedy for such moral and physical corruption is the redeeming and re-creating power of God through Jesus Christ.

Pillar VIII: Governmental Institutions
We believe in governmental institutions as established by God for the purpose of justice and human flourishing. We believe in the necessity of accountability in social life, as determined by just and fair structures of government, while also insisting that the freedoms of conscience, speech, and religious liberty in all matters of faith, practice, and belief must be maintained and supported. We seek always to honor the just and necessary constraints of a civil society and will work within the social contract to fulfill our responsibilities, though always subordinating all social and political demands to our loyalty to God and his will.

Pillar IX: The Christian University
We believe that a Christian university is a particular kind of university but it also shares certain historic functions common to all universities properly so called: a respect for the conscience of others, a love of learning, and the provision of an environment conducive to listening, debate, and the preservation, discovery, synthesis, and dissemination of knowledge. These functions represent intrinsic goods worth preserving, defending, and enabling to flourish.

The Christian university also exists at the interface between the church as God's imperfect but representative people and the world in its brokenness. We will therefore seek to translate the cultural, world-shaping mandates embedded in our Christian worldview as far as possible into the traditional structures of higher education, while also seeking to adapt and transform those structures in ways that are faithful to the pursuit of truth in every sphere of reality and that enable us efficiently to accomplish our purpose and mission as a Christian university.

Pillar X: The Mystery of Unity in Christ
The restoration of the world involves, at its deepest levels, the reversal of human alienation from God, from other people, and from the creation. The rebellion of the human heart against God and the consequent corruption of the creation permeate the personal, social, and physical structures of human existence. Human societies embody these patterns of brokenness and are divided, racist, greedy, lustful, violent, and perverse, reflecting an idolatrous will to power. But these evidences of human pride have been denounced in Christ, the crucified and resurrected Son of God, who has conquered the powers of darkness, inaugurated the reign of God, and established his church, a community that, though itself still broken, best exemplifies in its Lord and the effects of the Spirit the beginning of a new creation, the restoration of all things. All peoples in Christ are united to one another, freed from the enslaving forces of lust, materialism, class, race, and power. Christ is reversing the prideful consequences of the Tower of Babel and creating a new people, his body, who no longer reflect the status distinctions of nations and ethnicities, slave and free, male and female, educated and foolish, Jew and Gentile. The walls of division that separate the human family are broken down in Christ, who thus establishes the true peace of God. This peace from oneness, a mystery begun in Christ and worked toward by the church, will be fully revealed at the return of Christ, when "the glory of God will fill the earth like the waters cover the sea" (Habakkuk 2:14; cf. Isaiah 11:9; John 12:20-32: Ephesians 2:1-3:21; Philippians 3:20-21).

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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Colleges/Universities

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating665 of 111094 of 129
Fund acquisition rating202 of 111130 of 129
Resource allocation rating1041 of 1111118 of 129
Asset utilization rating603 of 111083 of 129

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$33,594,765$31,996,521$32,729,949$35,859,170$44,291,071
Short-term investments$85,293,725$87,634,296$69,267,425$46,767,470$43,997,496
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$147,057,580$153,086,534$152,983,309$105,449,937$102,056,959
Long-term investments$41,921,232$41,866,721$46,984,858$46,605,312$43,751,254
Fixed assets$139,169,363$132,248,617$104,861,025$107,427,011$109,310,791
Other long-term assets$19,951,796$19,010,820$19,566,727$16,382,087$15,661,084
Total long-term assets$201,042,391$193,126,158$171,412,610$170,414,410$168,723,129
Total assets$348,099,971$346,212,692$324,395,919$275,864,347$270,780,088
Payables and accrued expenses$7,719,391$9,579,783$6,119,856$5,192,938$4,302,077
Other current liabilities$826,123$1,386,334$791,849$538,103$1,872,654
Total current liabilities$8,545,514$10,966,117$6,911,705$5,731,041$6,174,731
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$0$58,022$222,755$169,610$107,309
Total long-term liabilities$100,085,189$102,141,638$98,188,199$73,998,099$74,407,331
Total liabilities$108,630,703$113,107,755$105,099,904$79,729,140$80,582,062
Net assets20232022202120202019
Without donor restrictions$113,144,815$94,978,639$94,033,809$89,698,342$85,880,749
With donor restrictions$126,324,453$138,126,298$125,262,206$106,436,865$104,317,277
Net assets$239,469,268$233,104,937$219,296,015$196,135,207$190,198,026
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$30,338,396$40,313,283$23,896,926$14,039,257$27,900,667
Program service revenue$114,935,892$110,442,391$103,360,952$100,022,790$88,243,176
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$14,522$2,106,153$16,547,489$1,933,257$1,881,868
Other revenue$8,540,096$7,893,649$6,172,099$7,080,560$7,704,644
Total other revenue$123,490,510$120,442,193$126,080,540$109,036,607$97,829,688
Total revenue$153,828,906$160,755,476$149,977,466$123,075,864$125,730,355
Program services$102,646,889$101,360,315$94,040,170$84,854,017$80,986,802
Management and general$44,757,284$38,846,145$32,148,442$33,224,520$34,060,542
Total expenses$148,643,100$141,624,932$127,448,918$119,343,559$116,360,358
Change in net assets20232022202120202019
Surplus (deficit)$5,185,806$19,130,544$22,528,548$3,732,305$9,369,997
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$5,185,806$19,130,544$22,528,548$3,732,305$9,369,997


Robert B SloanOfficer$607,723
Sandra N MooneyCFO/COO$372,394
Steven PetersonVP Online/Digital Learning$318,756
Bobby SpencerAssociate VP$283,947
Sharon E SaundersVP University Relations$279,962
Stanley NapperProvost/Vp Academic Affair$275,553
James L SteenVP Enrollment Mgmt$267,828
Jerome JohnstonVP For Innovation & Strate$234,992
Charles E BacarisseVP Advancement$228,055
Victor D ShealyCoach$208,569
Steve MoniaciDirector of Athletics$207,987
Levon HayrapetyanChair, Department of Manag$168,088
Michael E RomeAssociate Provost Academic$160,800

Compensation data as of: 5/31/2023

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 8/31/2023. To update the information below, please email: [email protected]


Houston Baptist College was created by action of the Baptist General Convention of Texas on November 15, 1960 culminating many years of work and study. The aim of the College founders was the establishment of a Christian College of the highest order in the city of Houston that stressed quality of life as well as quality of learning. In 1952, the Union Baptist Association authorized a committee to study the possibility of locating a Baptist College in Houston. With the assistance and encouragement of the Education Commission of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, the committee conducted a survey in 1955. Acting upon information obtained with the endorsement of the Education Commission, the Association approved the concept of establishing a new College. In 1956, the Executive Board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas approved a recommendation that Houston Baptists be given assurance that the Convention would support such a College when the College Committee of the Union Baptist Association had succeeded in acquiring both (1) a satisfactory site for a campus of at least one hundred acres, and (2) a minimum corpus of at least three million dollars. Of this sum, one and one-half million dollars would constitute a nucleus endowment fund; one and one-half million dollars would be designated for a physical plant. The Union Baptist Association accepted these conditions and endorsed the requirements set up by the state Baptist convention. In 1957, a Houston land developer, Frank Sharp, offered to sell Union Baptist Association 390 acres in southwest Houston for the construction of a College. The Board of Governors of Rice University agreed to lend most of the money needed with the land as collateral. To complete the funding, twenty-five business men, since called "founders," pledged to be responsible for $10,000 each. Therefore, by 1958, a campus site of 196 acres was acquired in southwest Houston, and, in 1960, the initial financial goal of repaying the loan was reached as a result of a campaign among the churches. In 1960, the Baptist General Convention of Texas in its annual session at Lubbock, Texas elected the first Board of Trustees. This board in session in Houston, Texas on November 15, 1960 approved and signed the College charter. The next day, this charter was ratified and recorded with the Secretary of State in Austin. The way was then cleared to select administrative officers, develop a suitable physical plant, and design an appropriate academic program. Dr. W. H. Hinton began service as the first President of the College on July 1, 1962. The College opened in September 1963 with a freshman class of 193 students, a cluster of new buildings, and a teaching staff of thirty faculty. A new class was added each year until the College attained a four-year program in 1966-67. By then, the full-time faculty had grown to fifty-four members, serving an enrollment of approximately nine hundred undergraduate students. Initially, the College offered only a Bachelor of Arts degree with academic courses in five divisions: Christianity, Fine Arts, Languages, Science and Mathematics, and Social Studies. The Board of Trustees, following the recommendation of the faculty and administration, authorized the establishment of the Division of Education and Psychology in 1964 and a Division of Business and Economics in 1966. With the opening of the fall semester of 1969, the College added a Division of Nursing, offering a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.

In 1966, the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools recognized Houston Baptist College as an official candidate for accreditation. The highlight of the 1968-69 academic year was the granting of initial accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools on December 4, 1968. A visiting committee made a careful study of the College in March 1971 and upon its recommendation, the Commission on Colleges extended accreditation for ten years. This accreditation was reaffirmed in 1981, 1991, 2001, and 2012. In 1965, the Texas Education Agency first approved Houston Baptist College for the training of certified teachers for elementary and secondary Schools. During its first semester, representatives selected by the Texas Education Agency evaluated the teacher education program; approval of the program was continued.

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing received accreditation by the National League for Nursing on April 21, 1972. In July 1972, all thirty-eight members of the first nursing class successfully completed the examination required and administered by the State Board of Nurse Examiners. An Associate Degree in Nursing was added in June 1983; this program graduated its first class in 1985. Admission to the Associate Degree in Nursing program was suspended June 2010.

HBU was approved to begin the EdD in Executive Educational Leadership in the fall 2016.

A study abroad program began in 1967 with a group of English majors in residence at the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon, England for the month of April. Study abroad continued with programs in Mexico, the Middle East, and Europe. Currently, study abroad and academic exchange programs include the occasional School of Humanities' interdisciplinary summer course on culture and human experience, the Archie W. Dunham College of Business' annual international trip (BUSA 4301), and the Houston Grampian Society's Nursing Exchange Program with Robert Gordon University (in Aberdeen, Scotland). The MBA program includes an international study component for its graduate students. In 1973, Houston Baptist College officially became Houston Baptist University following completion of a formal self-study for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and approval by the Board of Trustees in November 1972. At the same time, degree programs were revised, making the Bachelor of Science option available to all graduates. The instructional divisions were completely reorganized into College units. Five Colleges headed by Deans replaced the previous structure of eight divisions. The new structure consisted of the H. B. Smith College of General Studies and four upper-level Colleges - the College of Business and Economics, the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, the College of Fine Arts and Humanities, and the College of Science and Health Professions. A sixth College was created in 1978 by separating the College of Fine Arts from the College of Humanities. The seventh College was created in 1991 by separating the College of Nursing and the College of Science and Mathematics. In 1995, a College of Arts and Humanities was again combined from the previously separate Colleges. In 2007, the Honors College was formed and classes began in that program in fall 2008. In that same year, a Philosophy major was developed. A College of Continuing Studies was initiated in 2008; operations were suspended on May 31, 2010.

On June 1, 2009, the President determined, after consultation with the Provost, the Deans, and the Institutional and Strategic Planning Committee, to change the nomenclature of the Colleges to Schools and Colleges and to move some departments into other divisions in order to reflect best practices at universities and to better serve the mission of the university. The College of Education and Behavioral Sciences became the School of Education; the Department of Behavioral Sciences moved from the School of Education to the College of Arts and Humanities. The College of Business and Economics became the School of Business; the College of Nursing became the School of Nursing and Allied Health and brought in the Department of Kinesiology from the former College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. In 2012, new colleges and schools were formed as a result of further review of academic structure initiated due to continued university growth. A total of eight academic units were recognized on the HBU campus: Smith College of Liberal Arts, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, School of Humanities, School of Fine Arts, College of Business, School of Nursing and Allied Health, College of Science and Mathematics, and the School of Christian Thought. In the restructuring, the Department of Psychology was moved to the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. At that same time, the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences was divided into two schools-the School of Education and the School of Behavioral Sciences. The School of Education houses the Department of Special Populations and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction; the School of Behavioral Sciences houses the Department of Psychology; the School of Education and the School of Behavioral Sciences share leadership of the Department of Leadership and Counseling. In 2015, the College of Business was renamed as the Archie W. Dunham College of Business following receipt of a generous gift to the University. Also in 2015, the School of Humanities was expanded to incorporate the faculty and curriculum of the Smith College of Liberal Arts. In 2016, the School of Christian Thought expanded to include the newly founded Houston Theological Seminary. On January 31, 2018, the College of Engineering was commissioned.

When the instructional areas were reorganized in 1973, the University adopted a quarter calendar that permitted multiple admission opportunities annually. Semester hours were retained as the standard credit unit. An early admissions program also was established which enabled students to secure High School diplomas at the end of the freshman year of college matriculation. The quarter calendar was reviewed by the faculty and administration in 2006-07 and the decision was made to revert to the semester calendar in fall 2008. To date, the university remains on a semester calendar.

Program accomplishments

$38 Mil: Scholarships and Institutional Grants Awarded in 2020

17: NCAA Division I Sports Teams

25: Average Class Size

95%: Students Who Receive Financial Aid