Rooted in faith. Progressive in action.
Since its founding in 1908, University Baptist Church has been known as one of Austin’s Progressive voices of faith, reaching far beyond its campus near the University of Texas to call Austinites into a dynamic relationship with God. That relationship, based on the Gospel of God’s love for all persons, is reflected in UBC’s doctrine, in its congregation and in its work in the community.
A place to think freely
University Baptist Church recognizes each person’s right to think freely, providing an open environment for intellectual as well as spiritual fulfillment. It strongly proclaims faith in God through Jesus Christ and affirms that all people are embraced by God’s grace and love. Members of the congregation are diverse in their religious roots–mainly Baptist, but also Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic, among others–and in their social, political and ethnic backgrounds. The church welcomes all persons of any age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, education, marital or family status. In UBC’s inclusive atmosphere, individuals can find family, families can find community, the injured can find healing, and all can seek truth and peace in a setting of spiritual unity and trust.
A church that means something
University Baptist maintains a high profile as a public church, a church that provides a democratic forum for dealing with significant religious and ethical questions. Throughout its history, UBC has taken actions that were consistent with its interpretation of the gospel, though sometimes in conflict with the views of the wider religious community and secular society. UBC began accepting Black members in the 1940s. In the 1950s it added a woman to its ministerial staff; it voted to ordain women as deacons in the 1970s; and in the 1990s it ordained a homosexual deacon. UBC has also acted in the Austin community at large, calling for an end to racism, sexism and violence, ministering to prison inmates, providing services to the homeless and participating in interfaith and multi-church efforts to help the less fortunate. While offering ample opportunity for service, the church recognizes each person’s freedom to set the limit of his or her community involvement.
Worship that includes everyone
Worship services, Sundays at 11 a.m., have a global, cross-generational flavor uncommon in many churches, because of UBC’s proximity to the University of Texas. In its ornate, Spanish-revival sanctuary, young people share pews with octogenarians, college students with professionals, and Americans from across the country mix with Europeans, Asians, Africans and others. Lay people as well as clergy, women as well as men, lead scripture-based worship services intended to draw people closer to one another and to God.
The church offers educational activities for every age and interest. Sunday Schools, for three-year-olds to older adults, feature interactive Bible study, emphasizing scriptures historical context and its relevance to modern life.