Baylor BSM looks to new building to host expanding ministry

by Bonnie Hirschfeld, Contributing Author on November 6, 2023 in Stories of Impact

“Ministry on Baylor’s campus is growing. It’s growing through the BSM and through the unity of the local churches,” Will Bowden, director of Baylor University’s Baptist Student Ministry (BSM), said.

The BSM on Baylor University’s campus has seen tremendous growth in the past five years. Powerful ministry is happening daily through discipleship training, prayer nights and other fellowship opportunities. In order to meet the growing ministry’s needs, a new BSM building is being built on Baylor’s campus. The BSM currently does not have its own facilities and is housed in the spiritual life building on campus, which is shared with other ministries and offices.

Building a space for prayer, discipleship

The new building will be a 12,000-square-foot hub for students to attend discipleship training, worship nights and fellowship opportunities. It will have a designated space for prayer, large communal spaces, pickleball courts, a coffee shop and more. The exterior renderings show a red brick building that is bright and airy, matching the exterior of other campus buildings.

“We want it to be a place where students want to gather on a daily basis,” Mark Jones, director of the Texas Baptists Center for Collegiate Ministry, said. “As the ministry has grown, it no longer fits its current space. The ministry prioritizes prayer, discipleship and equipping students to engage the campus and the world with the gospel.”

Per an agreement approved by Baylor University Board of Regents and Texas Baptists Executive Board, Baylor will gift the BSM land on the corner of 4th Street and Daughtrey Avenue once an initial $3 million has been raised. The total capital investment will be approximately $7 million.

Texas Baptist Missions Foundation is taking the lead in fundraising for the new ministry facility. The Missions Foundation connects individuals and their resources with the work of Texas Baptists to fulfill the Great Commission and obey the Great Commandment. Prior to the Baylor BSM, The Missions Foundation also oversaw fundraising for new BSM buildings at Texas Tech University and The University of North Texas.

“TBMF is the fundraising arm, and we’re in the process of talking with donors and friends of Texas Baptists who want to make this vision a reality,” Eric Wyatt, vice president of TBMF, said.

Active ministry on Baylor’s campus

The Baylor BSM’s ministry impacts hundreds of students each week. The student leadership team oversees groups that serve intercultural students, minister in downtown Waco and host events across campus.

Pathway, a discipleship ministry led through a partnership with BSM and local churches, has 340 students who meet weekly in small groups. Upperclassmen are trained to disciple freshmen and lead them in Bible studies. It is one of the BSM’s fastest-growing ministries and is done in partnership with the local churches, which connect students to the program.

The BSM also coordinates FM72, a 72-hour prayer revival that takes place annually in the heart of Baylor’s campus. Churches from across the city take part in the event, hosting worship sessions, preaching and praying with students.

“The prayer movement at Baylor and within this generation is so big,” Bowden said. “We’ve been emphasizing it more than ever before. And at this new building, we can all pray together and have a dedicated space for continuous prayer.”

Bowden emphasized that prayer is at the heart of everything the BSM does, as is collaboration with Waco churches. He hopes the new building will also be a way for the churches to have a continued presence on campus. It will provide a space for ministers to meet with students individually or in small groups.

The building will also host the BSM’s weekly Thursday dinners, training for mission trips, worship services and other ministries.

“Bright days are ahead for the Baylor BSM,” Jones said. “We are blessed to have a strong BSM that allows churches to have a point of contact on the campus. The new building will allow the legacy of the BSM at Baylor to continue to raise up students to impact the campus and minister across the globe.”

Learn how to support the BSM at Baylor building campaign at or by contacting the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation at missionsfoundation[at] or 214.828.5343.

Texas Baptists is a movement of God’s people to share Christ and show love by strengthening churches and ministers, engaging culture and connecting the nations to Jesus.

The ministry of the convention is made possible by giving through the Texas Baptists Cooperative Program, Mary Hill Davis Offering® for Texas Missions, Texas Baptists Worldwide and Texas Baptist Missions Foundation. Thank you for your faithful and generous support.

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