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The Schmeltekopf Fellowship for Educational Leadership

The Donald and Judy Schmeltekopf Fellowship is an intensive program supporting gifted students who are interested in connections between faith and learning, and who are committed to Baptist leadership in higher education.

Don and Judy Schmeltekopf

The fellowship is a tribute to the life and legacy of one of Christian education's greatest advocates, Donald Schmeltekopf. Using his model, the program helps students understand academic leadership as a form of Christian service.

Mike Arrington, former Executive Director of IABCU, says "The recognition of one outstanding student as the Schmeltekopf Scholar is a highly appropriate way to honor Don and Judy. All of us in Baptist higher education are grateful to the Schmeltekopfs' for their commitment to excellence in Baptist higher education."

Vice President for Academic Affairs at Ouachita Baptist University, Stan Poole, believes that "Naming a Schmeltekopf Scholar among the students in the Baptist College and University Scholars program is a fitting tribute to Dr. Schmeltekopf's tireless efforts to strengthen Baptist higher education."

Read Don Schmeltekopf's Baylor at the Crossroads: Memoirs of a Provost.

Read the First Things review of Baylor at the Crossroads.

Rebecca Poe Hayes, 2017-18 Schmeltekopf Fellow

Rebecca Poe Hays BCU 2015Rebecca Poe Hays graduated from Union University summa cum laude with a B.A. in English Literature and a minor in Biblical Languages. She then completed a M.Div. at Samford University and is currently pursuing her PhD in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament at Baylor University with an anticipated graduation in 2018. Rebecca’s primary research interests involve Old Testament parables and the rhetorical function of story in the Psalter. She has served in churches and non-profits in Tennessee, Alabama, and Texas and as the Associate Editor of the journal Perspectives in Religious Studies. Rebecca’s husband, Joshua, works as a researcher for Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion. Email Rebecca.

Program Activities
  • On-campus lectures: Selected lectures that engage the relationship between faith and learning, featuring both members of Baylor's faculty and other institutions are chosen for BCU Scholars attendance
  • Book provision: Schmeltekopf Fellows are provided books at no cost to themselves for use in discussions with leadership mentors
  • Mentoring experience with an academic administrator at Baylor
  • Presentation at IABCU annual meeting
  • Assist in planning two events for BCU Scholars
  • Participate in the Seminar for Academic Leadership at Baylor in May
  • Meeting/ Mentoring with Donald Schmeltekopf 1-2 times per year as appropriate
Qualifications for Entrance into the Program

The Schmeltekopf Fellowship is open to students who have completed two years of study in Baylor's BCU Scholars Program. Students must demonstrate an interest in academic leadership within Baptist colleges and universities.