Baylor University Institute for Faith & Learning

February 2011

In this newsletter:

From the Director

Darin H. Davis

Dear Colleagues and Friends of the Institute for Faith and Learning,

2010 was an incredibly busy and productive year for IFL. The excitement surrounding the inauguration of Judge Ken Starr as Baylor's 14th president encouraged us to continue the work we have been given and to imagine new ways that we might support Baylor as it enters the second decade of the twenty-first century. Below we have listed just some of the ways that IFL engaged Baylor faculty, staff, and students—and an audience beyond Baylor—about the intersection of faith and learning.

As we begin 2011, we look forward to new projects. In particular, we hope you can join us this fall for our fifth Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture. Convening October 27-29, "Educating for Wisdom in the 21st Century University" will explore the place of wisdom in the contemporary academy. While historically wisdom has been at the heart of education, some critics of the modern academy maintain that it too often has been relegated to second-class status among the university's other aims. How might educating for wisdom transform the academy—its teaching, research, and service? How might Christian universities—drawing upon the rich resources of the Christian traditions—seek and share wisdom and a love for what is true, best, and most beautiful? How might such wisdom be offered in the service of others, both near and far away? These questions and others will animate our conference.

Please browse our newly redesigned website for information about our work—and feel free to explore the video resources available from our most recent lectures and conferences. And by all means, please drop us a note to stay in touch. We are grateful to you for supporting our work.

On behalf of my colleagues, we send warm regards and best wishes to you.

Darin Davis

A Look Back at the Past Year

Below we have listed some of the ways that IFL engaged Baylor faculty, staff, and students—and an audience beyond Baylor—about the intersection of faith and learning.


Crane Scholars Events

Sponsored or Co-Sponsored Lectures

Spring 2010 Reading Groups

New Initiative

Spring 2011 Events

The new semester is underway, and with it more opportunities for exploring the union of the life of faith and the life of the mind at and beyond Baylor. To that end, IFL is pleased to support the following efforts.

Public Lecture on John Henry Newman

Rev. Uwe Michael Lang spoke January 25 on the topic "Heart Speaks to Heart: John Henry Newman as a Reader of the Church Fathers." Fr. Lang is a member of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri in London, the order to which the recently beatified 19th century theologian Newman belonged. The lecture was sponsored by the Institute for Faith and Learning, the Honors College, and the Department of Religion.

Faculty Reading Group: James Davison Hunter's To Change the World

IFL is hosting a reading group for faculty discussing James Davison Hunter’s To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World. Dr. Hunter is the LaBrosse-Levinson Distinguished Professor of Religion, Culture, and Social Theory at the University of Virginia and the director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. He will be visiting Baylor later in the Spring.

Performance by the St. Olaf Choir

The acclaimed St. Olaf Choir performed at Jones Concert Hall at Baylor on the snowy evening of February 3. The St. Olaf Choir is led by conductor Anton Armstrong, the Harry R. and Thora H. Tosdal Professor of Music at St. Olaf College and the winner of Baylor's 2006 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching. IFL provided tickets for the Crane Scholars and program leadership to attend.

Annual Crane Scholars Retreat

The annual Crane Scholars Retreat will be held March 25-27 at Moon River Ranch. Leadership for the retreat will be provided by David Solomon (University of Notre Dame), Thomas Hibbs (Baylor University), Susan Colón (Baylor University), and Jimmy Abbot (St. Alban's Episcopal Church, Waco). The retreat is often regarded by students as the highlight of the year for the Crane Scholars.

Communio: A Retreat for New Faculty

IFL's annual faculty retreat has been given a new name for 2011, but it offers the same opportunities for discussion, rest, and reflection as in years past. "Communio: A Retreat for New Faculty" will be held at the beautiful Laity Lodge in the Frio River valley May 16-21. Scholars who will be speaking at the retreat include Shirley J. Roels (Calvin College; NetVUE), Paul J. Wadell (St. Norbert College), and Nicholas Wolterstorff (Yale University).

Educating for Wisdom in the 21st Century University

The 2011 Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture will be held October 27-29 on the theme "Educating for Wisdom in the 21st Century University." Confirmed speakers include Walter Brueggemann (Columbia Theological Seminary), Celia Deane-Drummond (University of Chester), Andrew Delbanco (Columbia University), John Haldane (University of St Andrews), Anthony T. Kronman (Yale Law School), and Candace Vogler (University of Chicago). A call for papers and full description of the conference can be read at

Upcoming Events

Seminar on Academic Leadership in Baptist Universities

The purpose of this seminar is to provide a leadership development opportunity for academic administrators in Baptist universities in Texas. The program has been organized by the Center for Ministry Effectiveness and Educational Leadership at Baylor University in collaboration with the chief academic officers of the various Baptist universities in Texas. The 2011 seminar will be held May 15-19.

For more information, contact the Center for Ministry Effectiveness at 254-710-4677

Young Scholars in the Baptist Academy

Young Scholars in the Baptist Academy is an initiative of Georgetown College's programs for the "theological exploration of vocation" funded by a grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc. Scholars who are Baptist or who are teaching at Baptist universities are selected to join with consultants for a week of discussion on a theme related to Baptist scholarship. This year's theme is "Baptists and History" and will be held July 26-30 in Prague.

For more information, contact Dr. Roger Ward:

Institute for Faith and Learning
Baylor University
One Bear Place #97270
Waco, TX 76798-7270
254-710-4713 (fax)