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The Spirit of Sports

Spirit of Sports

We had an excellent conference and look forward to hosting another next year!

Here are a few press reports highlighting The Spirit of Sports:


The Baylor Alumni Association 1

The Baylor Alumni Association 2

Fox News (local)

Inside Higher Ed

Baptist News Global

The Baptist Standard


2015 Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture
Thursday, November 5-Saturday, November 7

The love of play and the desire for competition are woven deeply into human experience. From vacant lots-turned-playing fields to modern stadiums, from pick-up games to professional leagues, from Olympic record seeking to fantasy-league deal making, sports have become a defining feature of our culture.

Sports provide us with heroes and villains, role models, platforms for social commentary, and even pulpits for evangelism. Sports cut across social barriers, uniting people from diverse ethnic, financial, and religious backgrounds. Sports also reveal the best and worst of who we can become. Through sports we can develop self-discipline and virtues of character like courage, perseverance, and honesty, or we can cultivate baser human traits like vainglory, greed, and the desire to dominate at all costs.

The 2015 Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture, The Spirit of Sports, will explore, from the perspective of religious faith, the significance of sports in our lives, especially the ways that contemporary sports both support and compromise the cultivation of human excellence and our relationships with others and God.

Featured presenters include:

  • L. Gregory Jones, former dean and Ruth W. and A. Morris Williams, Jr. Professor of Christian Ministry, Duke Divinity School
  • Randall Balmer, Dartmouth Professor in the Arts and Sciences and chair, department of religion, Dartmouth College
  • James K. A. Smith, professor of philosophy, Calvin College
  • Tracy Trothen, ethicist focusing on sports and religion, Queen’s University, Ontario
  • Patrick Kelly, SJ, associate professor of theology and religious studies, Seattle University
  • Daniel McMahon, principal, DeMatha Catholic High School, Hyattsville, Maryland
  • Grant Teaff, former head football coach, Baylor University and executive director, American Football Coaches Association
  • Dutch Baughman, executive director, Division 1A Athletic Directors’ Association
  • Judge Ken Starr, president and chancellor, Baylor University, and Louise L. Morrison Professor of Constitutional Law, Baylor Law School
  • Chris Broussard, NBA analyst and columnist, ESPN
  • Johnny Derouen, chair of the human growth and development division, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Lisa Fenn, former award-winning feature producer, ESPN
  • Paul Heintzman, teacher and scholar of sports, leisure, recreation, and the environment, Universitiy of Ottawa
  • Nina King, Deputy Director of Athletics for Administration/Legal Affairs and Chief of Staff, Duke University
  • Paula McGee, former professional basketball player, preacher, and speaker on social justice and the Black Church
  • Marcia Mount Shoop, writer, teacher, and minister focusing on race, gender, and justice in sports
  • Jeff Warren, senior pastor, Park Cities Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas
  • John Wilson, editor of Books & Culture and editor-at-large for Christinanity Today