What does spirituality and public life mean? In the Office of Spiritual Life, we believe this means that you have to gain a deeper awareness and a more mindful view of your “self” and a greater understanding of the “other,” and you have to offer both exorbitant amounts of compassion because we are all in great need of healing and wholeness.
Grounded firmly in Baylor’s Christian identity, commitment, and mission, Spirituality and Public Life begins with Jesus’s central teaching of loving God and loving your neighbor as the greatest of all commandments. This is the central vision of Christianity and the primary sense of spirituality that Jesus offers us. We are a community of neighbors in need of healing and wholeness within the Kingdom of God, and we are meant to love self and other through transformational, inter(active)-faith. And so, we offer programs, communities, and mentoring focused on storytelling and storysharing that empower students, staff, and faculty to delve deeper into their own identities and also into the perspectives of others. Understanding our own identity and the perspectives of others is the difficult but transformative path towards healing and wholeness that is called the spiritual journey.
As a Center for Public Life with the Kettering Foundation, Baylor PDI invites Baylor students, staff, and faculty as well as local community members to participate in forums about local and national issues to better understand the perspectives, possible outcomes, and trade-offs of different options.
Deliberation involves the best parts of dialogue (conversational) and debate (argument) to offer an experience where participants can learn from one another by talking through different perspectives and approaches to local and global issues and working together to come up with community action steps.
ACCEPT (Allies Cultivating Change by Empowering Positive Transformation) is a cross-system group of youth and young adults ages 13-25 from across Texas who use their lived experience and expertise to help inform and drive system improvements. ACCEPT advocates for embracing youth voice in meaningful, authentic ways. Baylor’s Peer Allies Coalition (PAC) is a local chapter of ACCEPT, where they help to plan and implement social events and stress-reduction programming, International Overdose Awareness Day, and Alcohol Use Disorder Screening day.