In addition to cultivating the intellectual life of its students, Baylor is committed to the moral and spiritual formation of its students, so that they are prepared to serve both God and the world. This commitment leads to a fundamental question about teaching and learning at Baylor: "How is it possible for our classrooms, laboratories, and lecture halls to become places of transformational education where our teaching cultivates character?” Each semester, the Forming Character in the Classroom workshop series offers opportunities for educators across the academic disciplines to reflect on how pedagogical practices might further this crucial work of the University’s Christian mission.

Each workshop will emphasize one or two significant character qualities — such as friendship, courage, wisdom, and justice — that might be part of a vibrant classroom that takes seriously Baylor's commitment to foster "spiritual maturity, strength of character, and moral virtue." The workshops seek to equip faculty to see their teaching and mentoring as crucial expressions of character formation.

Workshops will feature:

  • Lunch and a presentation by a recognized educator in his/her discipline
  • Opportunities to rethink course structure and syllabi with colleagues from across the disciplines
  • Practical ideas for lesson building with character formation as a goal

Fall 2017 Workshops:

Monday, October 16
"Getting Started: Practical Strategies for Character Formation in the Classroom"
Ian Gravagne
Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Baylor University
12:15-2:45 p.m.
White Room and Beckham Room, Bill Daniel Student Center


Ian Gravagne (Ph.D., Clemson University) is associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Baylor University. His research interests include energy system modeling (with a special interest in solar energy), distributed control systems, robotics and swarm intelligence. Though varied, they are tied together through the common theme of mathematical modeling of dynamical systems. He was also founding faculty master for Teal Residential College, establishing there the structure for a robust Christian community that fosters intellectual, spiritual, and moral formation among the students.


Tuesday, November 7
"Teaching, Practical Wisdom, and the Cultivation of Character"
Mark Schwehn
Professor of Humanities
Valparaiso University
12:30-3:00 p.m.
White Room and Beckham Room, Bill Daniel Student Center


Mark Schwehn (Ph.D., Stanford University) is one of the leading voices in Christian higher education. He is currently Professor of Humanities in Christ College at Valparaiso University, having previously served as Provost from 2009 to 2014. He is also founding director of the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts, a national network of one-hundred institutions seeking to explore and strengthen the relationship between Christianity, higher education, and academic vocation. His publications include Exiles from Eden: Religion and the Academic Vocation in America (Oxford, 1993) and Everyone a Teacher (Notre Dame, 2000).

To register for one or more of the workshops, click here.

Forming Character in the Classroom is sponsored by the Institute for Faith and Learning, the Academy for Teaching and Learning, and the Vice President for University Mission.