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Communio 2012: A Retreat for Faculty

May 14-18, Laity Lodge

Laity Lodge

The 2012 gathering of Communio: A Retreat for Faculty and Staff was held May 14-18 at Laity Lodge with attendance by 29 Baylor faculty and staff.

Speakers at the retreat were Heidi Bostic, professor of French and chair of modern foreign languages at Baylor; Darin Davis, director of the Institute for Faith and Learning and assistant professor of philosophy at Baylor; David I. Smith, professor of German and director of the Kuyers Institute for Christian Teaching and Learning at Calvin College; and Paul Wadell, an award-winning teacher and scholar and professor of religious studies at St. Norbert College. Our university chaplain, Burt Burleson, led our times of common prayer. He was joined by Nashville-based musicians Andy Gullahorn and Jill Phillips.

Talks were held on topics such as:

  • Faith Seeking Wisdom
  • The Texture of Teaching
  • Institutional Vocation: What We Are Called to Do Best
  • Christian Mind and Christian Practice
  • Dream of a Common Language
  • Practicing Christian Learning
  • Friendship and Intellectual Community: Creating a Culture of Charity


DARIN H. DAVIS (B.A., University of Texas; M.A., Baylor University; Ph.D., Saint Louis University) is assistant professor of philosophy and director of the Institute for Faith and Learning. Appointed as IFL's director in 2009, he oversees the annual Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture, various faculty and staff development efforts, and programs for Baylor undergraduate and graduate students, including the Crane Scholars Program and Conyers Scholars Program. He teaches a variety of courses in ethics as a faculty member of Baylor's philosophy department and is the author of articles and reviews in The Modern Schoolman, the American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, Christian Reflection, and The Southern Journal of Philosophy. His current research focuses on virtue ethics and contemporary moral theory.

PAUL J. WADELL (B.A., Bellarmine College, M.Div., M.A., Catholic Theological Union, Ph.D., University of Notre Dame) is professor of religious studies at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. A specialist on the ethics of St. Thomas Aquinas, his work additionally focuses on friendship, the role of the virtues in the moral life, theology and literature, and the mission of the church in contemporary society. He serves on the advisory council of the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE) administered by the Council for Independent Colleges. He is the author of seven books, including Friendship and the Moral Life (1989), The Primacy of Love: An Introduction to the Ethics of Thomas Aquinas (1992), Becoming Friends: Worship, Justice, and the Practice of Christian Friendship (2002), and Happiness and the Christian Moral Life: An Introduction to Christian Ethics (2007).

DAVID I. SMITH (B.A., University of Oxford; P.G.C.E., University of Nottingham; M.Phil. F., Institute for Christian Studies; Ph.D., University of London) is professor of German and director of the Kuyers Institute for Christian Teaching and Learning at Calvin College. Prior to his move to Calvin, Smith was a researcher at the Stapleford Centre, a Christian educational institute, where he was involved in an extensive curriculum project that produced foreign language course materials designed to encourage the moral and spiritual development of learners. Recognized as an expert in the field of Christian pedagogy, he speaks internationally to educators from grade school through higher education and serves as an editor of both the Journal of Higher Education and Christian Belief and the Journal of Christianity and Foreign Languages. His books include: The Gift of the Stranger: Faith, Hospitality and Foreign Language Learning (with Barbara Carvill; 2000); Learning from the Stranger: Christian Faith and Cultural Diversity (2009); and Teaching and Christian Practices: Reshaping Faith and Learning (with James K. A. Smith; 2011).

HEIDI BOSTIC (B.A., University of Nebraska at Omaha; M.A., Purdue University; D.E.A., École des Hautes Études en Sciences Socíales; Ph.D., Purdue University) is professor of French and chair of the department of modern foreign languages at Baylor University. Her research interests are in eighteenth-century French literature, women writers, contemporary French thought, the work of Luce Irigaray, and narrative studies. In 2004 she received a Fulbright Scholar Award for Lecturing and Research and in 2001 an American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies National Teaching Competition award. In addition to numerous articles and translations, Bostic is the author of The Fiction of Enlightenment: Women of Reason in the French Eighteenth Century (2010).