Dean For University Life To Become Vice President At Belmont

Nov. 22, 2004
News Photo 2366Dr. Todd Lake

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Dr. Todd L. Lake, dean for university life at Baylor University, has resigned his position to become the new vice president for spiritual development at Belmont University in Nashville, said Dr. Eileen Hulme, vice president for student life at Baylor. Lake will remain with the university until early January.

Lake came to Baylor in 1999 from Wingate University as dean of chapel and minister to the university community and led the successful re-envisioning of the chaplain's office into University Ministries. Under Lake and his staff, University Ministries began new initiatives in intentional Christian ministry, including Baylor's resident chaplain program, which allows Truett Seminary students to live and minister in 10 residence halls; discipline-specific mission trips and service-learning opportunities; sports chaplaincy; graduate and law school Christian fellowships; and partnerships with various departments across the university for Chapel speakers in law, business, journalism, physics, theater, music, community development and other areas.

Earlier this year, Lake was named dean for university life. He also serves as an assistant director of Baylor Horizons and a faculty advisor for Habitat for Humanity and the Junior Class.

"Over the last five years, Todd Lake has expanded the traditional role of chaplain at Baylor to create a more comprehensive and pervasive approach to campus ministry," Hulme said. "While he has served as a campus pastor, he has created opportunities for students to think more deliberately about God's calling on their lives. He has truly enriched the spiritual environment on campus and we will miss him."

As vice president for spiritual development at Belmont, Lake said he will work with the university's president, his cabinet, deans, students, faculty and staff to "continue to think together about what it means to be a Christian university." Lake's wife, Dr. Joy Jordan-Lake, an author, English professor and co-director of Baylor's Art & Soul religious faith and literary art conference, has just finished a manuscript for Vanderbilt University Press and has a new novel, Blue Hole Back Home, slated for publication in late 2005.

"When this opportunity arose, Joy and I prayed for clarity because we have had such a delightful, enriching and fruitful experience at Baylor, and there was no real reason to leave," Lake said. "Although it is difficult to leave all the friendships we have made and a university that is second to none, this call to Belmont is a positive one for our family. It was affirming for Joy to be welcomed as a professional by both the English and religion faculties, and I will get in on the ground floor of deepening and broadening the Christian dimension of life at Belmont, much like where Baylor was in the 1990s. We also will be in the region where my wife grew up and closer to our children's grandparents. We will sorely miss the many friends we have made and the good folks who, under God's leadership, built University Ministries into what it is today."

A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Lake received his bachelor's degree in German studies magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1982. He studied at Princeton Seminary before earning his master of divinity degree in 1988 from Southern Seminary. In 1997, he earned his doctorate in systematic theology with a minor in church history at Boston College.

The Lakes served from 1988-97 as co-pastors of Cambridgeport Baptist Church in Cambridge, Mass., a multi-racial church composed primarily of college students that grew from from 25 to more than 200 members. During this time, Lake also served as a Baptist chaplain at Harvard and led retreats and workshops at colleges in New England.

The Lakes have two children, Julia Jordan-Lake, 9, and Justin Jordan-Lake, 5, and will be leaving for China on Nov. 27 to bring home a new daughter, Jasmine Lee Jordan-Lake, who will turn 1 on Dec. 15. They are members of Calvary Baptist Church in Waco.

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