East Texas Baptist University, affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas, is a private, Christian university of liberal arts and sciences.


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.


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.  


Embracing Faith

Ensuring the integration of biblical faith in curricular and co-curricular experiences including opportunities while embracing our Baptist heritage.


Engaging Minds

Equipping students through excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship to explore God's truth and providing the knowledge and skills for academics success, degree completion, employment opportunity, and lifelong learning.


Empowering Leaders

Developing and deploying Christian Servant Leaders for their callings to God and to humanity.


Enhancing Community

Creating an environment conducive to the development of the whole person through relevant facilities, resources, and services which allows a diverse and growing community to utilize their God-given gifts both locally and globally. 


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.


Approximately 1450 students

Athletic Affiliation
NCAA Division III - American Southwest Conference


School Colors
Navy and Gold

Student/Faculty Ratio

Average Class Size

Other Important Information

  • Christian-focused education that emphasizes the integration of faith and learning.
  • Common for students to refer to ETBU as “home” rather than “school.”
  • More than 84% of full-time faculty have earned doctorates or terminal degrees.
  • Students are taught by faculty members, not graduate assistants.
  • Last year, ETBU students and faculty served through volunteering over 58,000 hours.
  • ETBU has been recognized by the Annual RegisteredNursing.org Registered Nurse (RN) Program State Rankings as the eighth ranked RN Program in Texas out of 114 programs evaluated and 50 ranked. ETBU Nurses have consistently achieved 100% pass rates on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and 100% of the East Texas Baptist Nursing School graduates within the last three years have received job offers upon degree completion.  


Additional Information

Centennial Council Report