Rooted in faith. Progressive in action.
Since our founding in 1908, University Baptist Church has been known as one of Austin’s progressive voices of faith. We are rooted in our Christian (and particularly Baptist) tradition, which informs our actions in our lives, city and world. We understand Christ calls us, through the Spirit who speaks to us today and through the inspiration of the Scripture, to care the poor and meek, speak out against injustices in our world, and to be radically inclusive of all of God’s children.
Rooted in Faith.
Rooted in the Protestant tradition, University Baptist Church recognizes each person’s right to think freely, providing an open environment for intellectual as well as spiritual fulfillment. We strongly proclaim faith in God through Jesus Christ and affirm 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.
Progressive in Action.
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.
We maintain a high profile as a public church, a church that provides a democratic forum for dealing with significant religious and ethical questions. Throughout our history, UBC has taken actions that were consistent with our interpretation of the gospel, though sometimes in conflict with the views of the wider religious community and secular society. UBC began accepting Black members into full membership in the 1940s. In the 1950s we added a woman to our ministerial staff; we voted to ordain women as deacons in the 1970s; and in the 1990s we 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.
Vision Statement and Commentary
On Sunday, June 30, 2019, all members of the church were invited to discuss a draft of the Discernment Committee’s proposed vision statement for UBC. Those assembled expressed strong support for the statement while also offering insightful comments to clarify and enhance the wording. The committee reviewed those comments, revised the statement, and brought a final proposal to the called church conference last Sunday, July 7. The vision statement and supporting commentary were adopted unanimously. The final version appears below.
The vision statement and commentary will serve as an inspiration and a guide to all of us, reminding us of our aspirations and priorities as we make decisions for the future.
Guided by Christ, we build relationships to transform lives and our community through divine love in action.
University Baptist Church nurtures the spiritual journeys of our members and our neighbors so that together we work for the good of our community. We invite families and individuals from all backgrounds and circumstances to enter our doors for Christian worship, study, and prayer. We celebrate diversity, confident that by God’s grace we will learn from each other and grow in holy friendship. We partner with students, service organizations, and other communities of faith to provide food, clothing, and shelter to those in need. We reach out to the University of Texas for its expertise in innovative solutions to social injustice; we bring to the table our own abundant resources—finances, properties, people—and place them in the service of kindness and justice for the marginalized. We are enriched by the gifts of our partners as well as those we care for through our ministries. Every day we seek to be the body of Christ at the corner of 22nd and Guadalupe, extending reconciliation and hope to our neighborhood, our city, and our world.