East Texas Baptist University is bustling with activity after the 2019-20 academic school year began with August Mini-Term classes and the start of fall term classes on Aug. 19. The students’ return to campus was marked by a special chapel service and a host of activities to kick off an exciting semester.
“Whether you are beginning your first days at ETBU, continuing your college degree, or teaching your 20th year on the Hill, God has created all for His glory and His purposes,” ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn said. “When we respond to Christ’s love and His offer of grace, His purposes become our mission. Begin the school year, students, by putting belief into practice.”
Prior to the Fall 2019 semester, 23 August Mini-Term classes were offered and more than 451 students enrolled, up from 300 students last year. Mini-Terms provide students a convenient option to earn credit and apply creative and practical content, while maintaining the same academic quality and atmosphere of community as a typical 16-week format. The courses, available as one-week or two-week classes, are offered at a flat tuition rate to ensure affordability.
“When I got to ETBU, it felt like home,” freshman political science major Kelsey Roberts said. “I moved in early for the mini-mester, which I highly recommend. I’m excited that I finished that class in one week and it reassured me that I will have opportunities to meet new friends. It’s a new adventure that I’m excited for.”
During the first chapel of the semester, the Rev. James E. Webb from Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church in Marshall encouraged students to not only connect to campus, but to connect to Christ in the year to come and gave them the charge to “STOMP (Strive To Obey the Master’s Plan) the yard!”
“Regardless of whether or not you are new to the campus and regardless of whether or not you are an employee or a staff member, you still have an obligation as a believer to stomp the yard,” Webb said. “We all have plans for our life, we all put our plans on paper. But our plan does not always line up with the Lord’s plan, so the best thing we can do is strive every day to obey the master’s plan.”
To reach out to every student and provide them with opportunities to be connected on and off campus, the University hosted various events throughout the first week of the Fall 2019 Semester, including the Tiger Family Gathering, Church Day, Organization Fair and Back to School Bash.
“I’ve had the chance to participate in several events that have been held in the evenings, play games, and meet new people. It’s been really fun,” sophomore mass communication major and transfer student Sarah Ashcraft said. “Everyone I’ve met so far has been really sweet and I’m excited about getting involved in different things and continuing my education at ETBU.”
ETBU offers Tigers more than 40 social, spiritual, professional, and academic organizations to get involved in on campus and in the community. The first week of the semester is heavily focused on educating students on their options and helping them get plugged into the University community.
“One of the most rewarding aspects of my position is watching our student leaders serve the incoming students,” ETBU Director of Student Activities Laura Coursey said. “They are all full-time students volunteering, because they love ETBU and want to be a part of building community here. Seeing them in action is a great representation of the University’s mission. We host events to create an environment that establishes what it means to live and love as Christ did.”
While the activities during the first week of the semester are designed to build community, the excitement will continue throughout the remainder of the Fall Semester with events such as Convocation, Family Weekend, Homecoming and more.
- Sept. 20-22: Family Weekend
- Sept. 21: First home football game vs. Texas Lutheran
- Oct. 25-26: Homecoming
- Dec. 7: Commencement