East Texas Baptist University celebrates the highest recorded student enrollment in the University’s 110-year history, with 1,771 total students. For three consecutive fall terms, the University’s total enrollment has exceeded 1,688, with two of the three years exceeding 1,700 students. ETBU has seen steady growth over the last decade, with this year’s enrollment marking a 36% increase since 2014. Part of the growth in the past year can be attributed to an increased focus on the retention of undergraduate students with enhanced academic success services and the expansion of graduate degree program offerings.
“As we prayed for our enrollment for Fall 2022, we worked earnestly to bring the students called by the Lord to study here on the Hill,” ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn said. “Throughout the pandemic, we prayed for God’s provision for physical, financial, and spiritual health, and God was gracious to us. We have been showered by His faithfulness and blessed by the diligence of our campus community. East Texas Baptist’s faculty and staff have remained faithful to the Lord’s call on their lives to serve our students and one another, each displaying what it means to live as committed followers of Christ.”
East Texas Baptist has seen continued growth despite the nationwide challenges over the last several years. The University holds an 84% undergraduate retention rate (2% higher than the five-year average).
“ETBU’s record total enrollment reflects the increase in this year’s incoming freshman and transfer students and the surge in graduate-level participation,” Vice President for Enrollment Dr. Jeremy Johnston said. “Our strong retention rate is partly because of the students who have persevered through the unprecedented circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The close-knit community on ETBU’s campus has faced each challenge together, trusting that the Lord will sustain our institution far into the future.”
This fall, East Texas Baptist enrolled its first students in the new Master of Science in Sport Management program. This addition brings the University’s graduate program offerings to 15, ranging from Christian Ministry to Kinesiology. Graduate program enrollment increased by 13.6% in the last year, a significant milestone as the University continues to expand the variety of programming offered to provide students with tools to advance their careers through a Christ-centered curriculum. The majority of ETBU’s graduate degrees are offered online, while others follow a hybrid model and meet in the evenings. The University constructs the programs with flexible course schedules; most are intended to be completed in 12-18 months.
“Vince Blankenship and his team of directors have done a fabulous job with graduate enrollment,” ETBU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Thomas Sanders said. “The numeric growth in the last ten years has been significant, but the greater joy is the lives impacted by Christian servant leaders equipped through graduate education for the calling God has placed on their lives.”