Conyers Leaders

Program Leaders

Dr. Laine Scales

Dr. Laine Scales received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina, her M.S.W. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and her Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Kentucky.

She began her Baylor career in 1999 as a faculty member in the School of Social Work. Since fall 2004, she has been Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Professional Development. In 2008, Dr. Scales joined the department of Educational Administration where she serves as Professor of Higher Education. She teaches in the Ph.D. program in Higher Education and Leadership Studies and serves as coordinator of the minor in Leadership Studies. Her doctoral course "Teaching & Learning in Higher Education" is popular among Baylor doctoral students from a variety of disciplines.

Dr. Scales has authored, co-authored, or co-edited ten books and over forty articles and chapters in the areas of case method teaching, rural social work, doctoral education, and history of Baptist women in higher education.

Lori Kanitz - Conyers

Dr. Lori Kanitz (B. A. University of Oklahoma; M. A. Durham University, Durham, England; Ph.D. University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Scotland) is assistant director of the Institute for Faith and Learning. Dr. Kanitz came to Baylor in August 2016 from Oral Roberts University where she served as associate professor of English, a member of the honors program faculty, and chair of the English and Modern Languages Department. Her teaching responsibilities included courses on theology and the arts, honors composition, and senior thesis. Dr. Kanitz has also held various administrative positions in which she worked extensively with university faculty in the areas of integration of faith and learning, writing across the curriculum, and general education. Dr. Kanitz has earned multiple teaching and service awards, including outstanding faculty member for her department and college in 2014 and the outstanding service award for her college in 2016. Her research interests center on the intersections between theology, literature, and language theory, particularly the epistemology of metaphor. Her doctoral dissertation focused on ways Jewish mysticism informs author Annie Dillard’s theological approach to creation, evil, suffering, and redemption. Her work has been published in Christian Higher Education, the Encyclopedia of Christian Literature, and Last Things: Essays on Ends and Endings (Peter Lang, 2015).

Robert Creech Conyers

Dr. R. Robert Creech is Professor of Christian Ministries and Director of Pastoral Ministries. He joined the Truett faculty in 2009 following twenty-two years as Senior Pastor at the University Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. He had previously taught on the faculty of Houston Baptist University, from 1979 to 1987. Robert earned his B.A. in Sociology and Christianity from Houston Baptist University, his M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and his Ph.D. from Baylor University in New Testament studies. He co-authored The Leader's Journey in 2003 and has published chapters in several other volumes. Robert is a native Texan who enjoys fishing, coffee, and gardening. He and his wife, Melinda, have three children and four grandchildren. Robert and Melinda worship with the DaySpring Baptist Church.

Michael-John DePalma Conyers

Dr. Michael-John DePalma teaches courses in rhetoric, advanced composition, technical and professional writing, composition theory, and writing pedagogy. His research interests include the intersections of rhetoric and religion, histories of rhetorical education, archival research methodologies, composition pedagogy, and community-based writing. His work has appeared in College Composition and Communication, Rhetoric Review, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Reflections: A Journal of Writing, Service Learning, and Community Literacy, and the Journal of Second Language Writing. His most recent project, Assessing Adaptive Transfer in Community-Based Writing, is forthcoming in an edited collection entitled Paving the Way for Literacy(ies): Writing and Learning through Community Engagement.

Graduate Student Leaders

Nathan Hays Conyers

Nathan Hays is a second year Old Testament PhD student from Fort Worth, Texas. His interest is in Second Temple Judaism, with his current research focusing on the Jewish priesthood in the Persian Period. Nathan hopes to teach in a college or university after graduation, although he has also enjoyed working in academic administration. He studied at Baylor University as an undergraduate and Duke Divinity School for his Master of Divinity. As an undergraduate, he participated in the Crane Scholars, which is an undergraduate program very similar to Conyers. Nathan enjoys reading and the outdoors.

Rebecca Poe Hays

Rebecca Poe Hays has roots in Louisville, Kentucky and west Tennessee. After receiving a BA in English and Biblical Languages from Union University, Rebecca and her husband Joshua earned MDiv degrees from Samford University. Now in the fifth year of a PhD in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament (anticipated graduation 2018), Rebecca’s research focuses on the function of story in the Psalms. Rebecca is the co-editor of C. S. Lewis Remembered (Zondervan, 2006) and The Good, the True, and the Beautiful (Chalice, 2007) and has served as the Associate Editor of the journal Perspectives in Religious Studies. Her other publications include both scholarly and popular pieces that deal with issues of hermeneutics, metaphor theory, and the Christian life. Church ministry has been an important part of Rebecca’s life and work, and she hopes that her academic contributions will ultimately serve the church.