Baylor to Establish Center for Ministry Effectiveness

March 21, 1997

WACO, Texas -- Baylor University's Board of Regents today approved establishing a Center for Ministry Effectiveness aimed at supporting Christian ministers to carry out their callings effectively.

The program will be jointly sponsored by Baylor and the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

The center will be directed by Dr. W. Winfred Moore, former pastor of the First Baptist Church of Amarillo who currently serves as the W. Winfred and Elizabeth Moore Visiting Distinguished Professor in Ministry Guidance at Baylor. It will provide ministers opportunities for vocational renewal and enhancement of ministerial skills.

The center will use the resources of several areas of the university, among them the George W. Truett Theological Seminary, the Department of Religion, the School of Education, the Office of Denominational Ministries, and others.

"The goal is to help minister to ministers," said Dr. James L. Williamson, acting dean of the School of Education and the Fred and Edith Hale Professor in Education.

"There is a great need for human service programs for ministers and their families. We will help develop such programs and provide faculty assistance in such areas as counseling and educational psychology. Ministers today have a wide range of problems they must cope with, and we will offer help in as many areas as we can."

Moore added, "One of the great problems with ministers today is that many eventually face a 'burnout' period in their lives. The stress of being a minister is tremendous. Besides preaching, you have budget meetings, counseling sessions, marriages, visiting the sick, community work every day -- the list is endless.

"We hope to be a preventative force before that burnout stage ever begins. The center will provide a place for common dialogue among ministers to discuss their problems. This a much-needed program for ministers who are having those inner struggles, and it will be open to all denominations, not just Baptists."

Moore said he hopes to begin the center "as fast as possible. It's something we want to get started on just as soon as we can, because the need is there."

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