Baylor > Social Work > News

Top News
•  Dr. Jon Singletary Recognized with VCU Making a Difference Alumni Award
•  Dr. Gaynor Yancey Receives Achievement Award
•  Crisis Intervention Team from Baylor Receives State Award for Volunteer Efforts in West
•  Gift from Leader in the Care of Aging Adults Establishes Endowed Chair in Baylor's School of Social Work
•  Special Fall Worship Service to Be Held in September
•  Baylor University to Hold Rethink Mission Conference in September
•  Waco Downtown Farmers Market Accepts SNAP Benefits
•  SSW Seeks to Fill Three Faculty Positions
•  Baylor, the SSW and Waco Create New Waco ISD Position to Aid Community
•  Baylor-hosted Hunger Summit Digs into Roots of Poverty
•  SSW names Kentuckian as Alumna of the Year
•  The Weight of the World: GML Cover Story in Baylor Magazine
•  Hogg Scholars Announced at Baylor's School of Social Work
•  Military Family Coping Project Receive Funding for Phase II of Research
•  GML Initiative moves ahead thanks to generous gift
•  THI kicks off No Kid Hungry statewide campaign
•  Baylor School of Social Work welcomes alumni from Carver School
•  Baylor grad uses art to capture hunger issues
•  Ministry Seeks to Share God's Love with Strangers Among Us
•  Social Work Alum Wins Spirit Award
•  "You Are What You Eat" Photo Exhibit at School Open House
•  A Conversation with Tanya Smith Brice
•  Looking to find your center of creativity? Unplug
•  Fridges Speak Volumes

Social Work Students Hear Jim Wallis' Call for a "Deep Center Committed to Being Moral"

July 30, 2007

Eleven students from the Baylor School of Social Work traveled to Dallas July 25 to hear Jim Wallis speak at the Texas Freedom Networks' Faith and Freedom Speaker Series.

Wallis, president of Sojourners/Call to Renewal, is best known for his leadership in a faith-based social justice movement encouraging Christians to address poverty in new ways. One campaign in this movement, known for its phrase "God is not a Republican or a Democrat," seeks to promote Christian interest in civic engagement.

Citing the role of people of faith in the abolitionist movement, the Civil Rights movement, and recent efforts to address poverty and AIDS in Africa, Wallis encouraged the crowd of more than 1,000 to be principled not political. Rather than criticizing the religious right or advocating a so-called religious Left, he encouraged a "deep center committed to being moral." He then presented a broader view of morality that would move Christian civic engagement beyond abortion and sexuality to issues of peacemaking, fighting poverty and caring for the environment.

"This was an extraordinary trip for our group of young leaders," said Jon Singletary, director of Baylor's Center for Family and Community Ministries. "We heard Jim speak and afterwards several of our students talked with Jim and Chris LaTondresse [special assistant to Wallis] about the issues relevant to our common understandings and desires to pursue social justice as an expression of our faith."

Singletary and Angela Dennison, CFCM associate director as an employee of Buckner Family and Children Services, accompanied the team of students as a part of the work of the center's work. Singletary, Dennison, and many of the students attending the event are members of the CFCM's "Walking Alongside: Strengthening Congregational Community Ministries" project.

Students commented that Wallis' leadership keeps them motivated and challenged to be more involved in the church's ministries to people who are poor. Using one of Wallis' examples, students discussed ways of "looking upstream to stop whoever is throwing people in" rather than merely "pulling people out of the water one by one." This example is familiar to social work students who hear it in community practice and policy classes as a way to consider the role of larger social systems in perpetuating cycles of poverty.

Mallory Homeyer, a graduate student in the SSW and George W. Truett Theological Seminary, also attended a young leaders track at the Sojourners Pentecost Gathering earlier this year in Washington, D.C.

"I think it is exciting to see our community becoming a place known for its prophetic voice for social justice," Singletary said. "From Mission Waco to our new Baptist Immigration Services and from Waco Friends of Peace to Seed Publishers. Knowing much of this is due, in part, to Baylor social work students is amazing."

For more information, contact Jon Singletary.