ETBU is located on the site of the former Van Zandt Plantation, which is at the highest altitude in Harrison County. ETBU was founded as the College of Marshall in 1912, after a campaign to create a Southern Baptist college in East Texas. The campus' first building, Marshall Hall, was completed in 1916. It was designed to house a gymnasium, library, chapel/theatre, administrative offices and classrooms. The College of Marshall opened the following year in 1917 as a two year junior college and academy. It became East Texas Baptist College in 1944.
East Texas Baptist University is an institution affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas since 1912. Our purpose is the development of intellectual inquiry, social consciousness, wellness, skills for a contemporary society, global awareness, and Christian character, for we believe that these endeavors prepare students to accept the obligations and opportunities to serve humanity and the Kingdom of God. Our primary focus is on quality academic programs in the humanities, natural and social sciences, fine arts, and selected professional areas. We are committed to Christian stewardship and to providing and maintaining an environment conducive to learning, leadership development, and academic excellence. We affirm that the liberal arts form the surest foundation for education and that the Christian faith provides the surest foundation for life.
We strive to serve students of varied ages and of diverse socioeconomic, geographic, cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. We seek students who demonstrate a potential for success in our supportive and challenging environment. We employ Christian faculty who are dedicated to teaching, scholarship, advising, and service as they model the principles of the Christian faith. As a Baptist university we are committed to the integration of learning and Christian faith in the pursuit of truth.
As a Christ-centered institution, East Texas Baptist University educates students by integrating biblical faith and learning to develop mind, body, and soul through community engagement to prepare graduates to be Christian servant leaders in their calling to God and humanity.
East Texas Baptist University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and master's degrees. Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call (404)679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of East Texas Baptist University.
The University is authorized to certify teachers under authorization of the Texas Education Agency and is an accredited member of National Association of Schools of Music. The ETBU Nursing Program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and approved by the Board of Nursing for the State of Texas. The Athletic Training program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education.