Forming Character in the Classroom

How is it possible for our classrooms to become places of transformational education where our teaching cultivates character? Given Baylor's historic mission and the more recent challenges our university has faced, the Institute for Faith and Learning, the Academy for Teaching and Learning, and the Vice President for University Mission are pleased to announce the Spring 2017 "Forming Character in the Classroom" workshops.

Each workshop will emphasize one or two significant character qualities — such as friendship, courage, wisdom, and justice — that might be part of a vibrant classroom that takes seriously Baylor's commitment to foster "spiritual maturity, strength of character, and moral virtue." The workshops seek to equip faculty to see their teaching and mentoring as crucial expressions of character formation.

Workshops will feature:

  • Lunch and a presentation by a recognized educator in his/her discipline
  • Opportunities to rethink course structure and syllabi with colleagues from across the disciplines
  • Practical ideas for lesson building with character formation as a goal

Fall 2017 Workshops TBA

Spring 2017 Workshops:

Thursday, February 16
"Virtue: An End and a Means in Your Classroom"
Mitch Neubert
Chavanne Chair of Christian Ethics in Business
Baylor University
12:30-3:00 p.m.

Mitch Neubert is the Chavanne Chair of Christian Ethics in Business and professor of management at Baylor. His research interests are focused on understanding how leadership, teams, and change processes affect the performance of people and organizations. He also is interested in how faith intersects with these research interests. Neubert is the primary investigator on a National Science Foundation grant exploring the relationship between religion and entrepreneurship.  His essays have appeared in numerous journals including Personnel Psychology, Journal of Applied Psychology, Leadership Quarterly, Christian Scholars Review, Human Relations, and Review of Religious Research. He also is the author of two textbooks and teaches in Baylor’s undergraduate, MBA, and Executive MBA programs. He received the Hanakamer School of Business’ Distinguished Professor Award in 2016 and its Teaching Excellence Award in 2013.

Monday, February 27
"Friendships as a Foundation for Learning"
Paul Wadell
Professor of Theology and Religious Studies
St. Norbert College
12:15-2:45 p.m.
Barfield Room, Bill Daniel Student Center

Paul Wadell is professor of theology and 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).

Tuesday, March 21
'Teaching for Wisdom"
Candace Vogler
David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor of Philosophy
University of Chicago
12:30-3:00 p.m.
Fifth Floor, Cashion (please note the location change)

Candace Vogler is David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor of Philosophy at the University of Chicago. From 2000–2007, she served as co-director of the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities. Her research interests include virtue ethics, social and political philosophy, cultural studies, and philosophy and literature. In 2015, she received a major Templeton Foundation grant for her project, "Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life." The project brings together philosophers, social scientists, and religious thinkers to examine the role of self-transcendence and self-transcendent goods in meaningful lives. Her books include John Stuart Mill's Deliberative Landscape: An Essay in Moral Psychology (2001), a co-edited volume The Critical Limits of Embodiment: Reflections on Disability Criticism (2001), and Reasonably Vicious (2002). She presently is writing a book on the philosophy of G.E.M. Anscombe.

Monday, April 3
"Cultivating Perseverance and Productive Struggle in an Age of Shortcuts"
Francis Su
Benediktsson-Karwa Professor of Mathematics
Harvey Mudd College
12:15-2:45 p.m.
Sid Richardson 340

Francis Su is Benediktsson-Karwa Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College. He is the outgoing president of the Mathematical Association of America. His research is in geometric combinatorics and applications to the social sciences, and he has co-authored numerous papers with undergraduates. He has received multiple National Science Foundation research grants for his work. He also has a passion for teaching and popularizing mathematics. From the Mathematical Association of America, he received the 2001 Hasse Prize for expository writing and the 2004 Alder Award and the 2013 Haimo Award for distinguished teaching. He authors the popular Math Fun Facts website and iPhone app.


To register for one or more of the workshops, click here.