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2007 Faculty Retreat
On May 14-18, the Institute collaborated with the Division of Student Life to sponsor a retreat at Laity Lodge in the Hill Country west of San Antonio for new Baylor faculty and staff in Student Life. Vocation: Integrating Faith, Learning, and Living gathered these two groups for an unprecedented opportunity to reflect upon their roles as professionals, scholars, and teachers and the Christian ideas and practices that animate their shared aims.
The retreat was led by four invited guests: Anton Armstrong, the Harry R. and Thora H. Tosdal Professor of Music at St. Olaf College, conductor of the St. Olaf Choir, and recipient of Baylor's 2006 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching; Paul J. Contino, Professor of Literature and Associate Director of the Center for Faith and Learning at Pepperdine University; John O'Callaghan, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Jacques Maritain Center at the University of Notre Dame; and Rev. Julie Pennington-Russell, former pastor of Calvary Baptist Church of Waco, now serving as pastor of First Baptist Church, Decatur, Georgia.
The week-long program included formal presentations titled "Called to What?", "Education as a Christian Vocation", "Putting the Academic Vocation in Christian Perspective: Faith and Hope", and a panel discussion with Armstrong, Contino, and O'Callaghan titled "The Theological Exploration of Vocation: Implications for the Curriculum and Co-Curriculum." Pennington-Russell led morning and evening worship services each day of the retreat.
Retreat participants offered highly positive evaluations. One participant remarked, "The retreat provided a time to re-center on my own core convictions, and also the core convictions of Baylor University. The fellowship was life changing. I feel that I have been transformed by this experience." Another participant said, "This experience exemplified what I'd hoped joining Baylor would mean."