Applying for a job at a Baptist university

I’m interested in applying for a teaching job at a Baptist university. As part of the application process, I’m supposed to answer a question whether or not I am “in conflict with the fundamental doctrines and practices of the California Southern Baptist Convention as stated in the Baptist Faith and Message dated June 14, 2000.”

I’m a cradle Catholic, and I’m hesitant to answer this question if Canon Law is in conflict with these Baptist doctrines. At first glance, they seem pretty consistent with Catholic teachings and dogma. I’m wondering if anyone is familiar with these Baptist teachings, and if they should preclude me from applying for this job.

Thanks in advance.

I think you should definitely disclose that you are Catholic, because it might not be a good fit for you, especially if they expect you to witness to or teach things in contrary to Catholic doctrine.


Well, here they are or

I think you should be honest and check that box saying ‘yes’, but still try to apply.


I see issues with a few things… (Emphases mine)

“A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous, local congregation of baptized believers…”

As opposed to a Universal, Catholic Church: What we believe in as Catholics.

“The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.”

Pretty simple - basic, Real Presence versus ‘Symbolic supper’ or what have you


What will you be teaching?

There are plenty of differences between Baptist and Catholic doctrine. The Baptist doctrine I’m familiar with precludes redemptive suffering, Sacred Tradition, the magisterium, communion of saints, the Eucharist, and I could go on forever. They do not have all seven scaraments. They only have two, and even then, they are only signs. They hold no salvific grace in and of themselves.

I think the honest answer would be “yes,” and I think that’s what you should put down. If they choose not to hire you because you are Catholic, perhaps that will be what’s best for you. Unless you are going to be teaching something theology-related, you might still have a decent chance.


As Maximilian75 pointed out, there are elemental differences here. Could you truthfully say yes? It doesn’t make much difference what area of study you would be involved in, the university should know.


She may weigh in as her hubs is a Professor at a prestigious school.

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It would be dishonest for you to hide your Faith. Be up front, and don’t be surprised if you don’t get the job. Why would you WANT to teach Baptist doctrine to people?

I’m not sure you should do that. It’s not fair to you-or to them. If you get the job, they’ll find out eventually that you are a Catholic, and I’m 100% assuring you that you’ll eventually have to teach things that you don’t agree with.

Note: this link refers to the Southern Baptists Convention.

The OP listed the “California Southern Baptist Convention.” Perhaps there MAY be a difference.

Here is the website of the CSBC:

Looks as though it was copied and pasted. Good catch, though- Will edit.

It could easily be the case that you can agree to their doctrines in good conscience.

That does not, however, mean that they are going to be happy with you–it all depends on the institution.

It would be helpful if you could talk to someone who either works at the college or has knowledge of the hiring practices, and see if it is even a possibility that they would consider a Catholic for a teaching job in your subject matter area, before you get all fired up about applying.

Also, I agree about disclosing up front that you are a Catholic. If for some reason they wanted to pursue your application, you would likely get additional questions about your faith in the next rounds of interviews, so the information is going to come out.

I don’t think the OP can do that.

However, if he is teaching anything but theology, hopefully the university and the OP can agree to disagree so to speak

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Many on these forums decry that Catholic colleges have lost their Catholic identity. They cannot believe they pay tens of thousands of dollars to send their children somewhere so those kids can lose their faith.

Don’t you imagine Baptist parents feel the same way?


One thing is, Baptists don’t have the educational heritage of Catholics. That’s just plain fact.

I don’t know if Baptists go to Baptist colleges for secular matters, but Catholics certainly do.

I also don’t know if Baptist colleges have seen the same weakening that Catholic colleges have suffered since the '60s and '70s. I would mention a certain Ecumenical Council, but that would ruin this thread.

So, somewhat similar, but also different

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I didn’t see that bit–but I have heard of other Protestant statements of faith that Catholics could sign.

I went to a Baptist university for undergrad. I remember when I was shopping for schools, I did a campus visit, and we got to meet various faculty, etc. I remember them mentioning that all their professors signed an agreement that basically said they wouldn’t undermine/teach contrary to the Baptist nature of the school. Parents had other options if they wanted to send their kids to a secular school-- this one took pride in its Baptist roots and worked to preserve them.

So, if you’re applying for a job that involves teaching “Survey of the Old Testament” and “Survey of the New Testament”, that would be one thing where I could see them being wary of you bringing a Catholic perspective to scriptural interpretation. (“Help! Professor Darcsyde is teaching the REAL PRESENCE! Aughhhh!”) But if you were teaching something like “Introduction to Logic” or “Black and White Photography”, then your opinion on the Real Presence or the Chair of Peter or John 20 being the scriptural basis for the Sacrament of Reconciliation would be less of an issue, because it would never come up.

Years ago I actually called the department when applying to a Baptist school (somewhere in Texas, iirc).

“I know I’m not supposed to ask this, but how do you feel about Catholics?”

He laughed. “I’m an Episcopalian, myself. They definitely want you to believe in something here, but it doesn’t need to be Baptist.”

It was for an Economics position.



I would be honest. God will bless you for being honest. And if they don’t hire you that just means God has something better waiting for you.

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