Faculty Steward

Jonathan Tran


Faculty Steward, Honors Residential College
Associate & Graduate Professor of Theology & Ethics, Baylor Religion Department

Ph.D., Religion (Theology & Ethics), The Graduate School, Duke University
M.Div., Duke Divinity School, Duke University
B.A., Political Science, University of California Riverside


What do you love most about serving in the HRC?

The HRC is a place where you run into folks with first-rate brains and first-rate souls. I love that our community orders the life of the mind to the Trinitarian life of God (making for that fabulous combination of brains and souls), and in ways that seeps into everything we do. From the ordered liturgical prayer life to the shared love of service to all that learning and growing together to the Toasties (you'll just have to come and see) and HRC Zombies (you'll really have to come and see) it's a place wild with all the things that make for great moral formation. What a great privilege to be around these good folks amidst such spectacular self-discovery and cultivation of dreams that matter! I love all of that.


What does Christian community mean to you?

I see Christian community as the long-haul covenanting together through life's thick-and-thins, where knowing and being known, serving and being served, loving and being loved, and celebrating and being celebrated are both promises and demands we live into. In technical philosophical lingo, it has everything to do with coming to discover together the logical constraints and entailments of our mutual attainment in language, which for Christians happens to be a language gathered around the given Word in all of its divinity and humanity. Christian community is both evidence that and the means by which God will take all the time in the world to make us a faithful people.


What is your favorite part about being the HRC's Faculty Steward?

I get to work alongside phenomenally talented students, staff, and faculty who constantly keep me on my toes but also graciously receive me for who I am, including who I am not. Visioning with this community in the full breadth of its diversity and history, honoring its traditions and seeing where those traditions lead us next, is remarkably interesting and invigorating work. Because of the amazing efforts, abilities, and passions of those who have come before, the HRC has before it an embarrassment of riches and it's great fun to be along for the ride.


Tell us about your life beyond the HRC.

Is there life beyond the HRC?!? In my spare time, I serve as Associate Professor in the Religion Department, where I work with undergraduate and graduate students. For the last few years, I have been invested in a biggish research project related to linguistic philosophy, political theory, systematic theology and theological ethics. The other loves of my life, the really big ones, are my son David, a student at Rapoport Elementary School, my daughter Tahlia, a student at Rapoport Middle School, my spouse Carrie, a Masters student at the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work here at Baylor, and our cat Cubby, a student at the School of Hard Knocks.