Higher education in America is in the midst of profound challenge and transformation. The cost of a college education continues to rise. Disagreements persist about what constitutes the core curriculum. Technological advances confront traditional assumptions about how instruction and research are conducted. Political conflict and social unrest have been especially visible on many college campuses. And these are only some of the signs of change and stress.
Amid these challenges, it is not clear what people expect colleges and universities to do in the first place. Should they primarily be devoted to job placement for their graduates? Should they at the same time advance research across the disciplines in ways that expand the frontiers of knowledge? Should they seek to form their students intellectually, morally, and even spiritually while preparing them for responsible citizenship and civic engagement? Should they also be the places where enthusiastic sports fans gather in grand arenas and stadiums to watch athletes pursue victory? With so many competing expectations, it is no wonder that so many institutions seem to be suffering something akin to an identity crisis.
Perhaps some of these challenges and expectations might be better navigated by considering anew the goal of higher learning.
How might the ideal of higher learning be articulated to meet the challenges of the present age? How can colleges and universities cultivate a richer conception and practice of teaching and learning across the disciplines? In what ways might the goals of intellectual, moral, and spiritual formation be advanced in order to serve the needs of students and the common good? What are the possibilities for colleges and universities—especially those with a religious identity and mission—to exemplify a winsome and faithful presence to the larger culture?
Join us as we explore these questions during the 2016 Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture, “Higher Learning,” on October 27-29.
Possible topics include (but are not limited to):
Proposals for individual papers, panel discussions, and responses to current books are welcome. Abstracts of no more than 750 words should be submitted by July 31, 2016. Call 254-710-4805 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.