Baylor, Boston College to Discuss Christian Higher Education Sept. 3

Sept. 1, 1999

WACO, Texas -- Many of the Baylor University family will travel to Boston on Labor Day weekend to watch the Bear football team in its season opener against Boston College. However, a group of Baylor administrators and faculty will use the opportunity to meet with their counterparts at the historic Jesuit college to discuss their respective university's different approaches to Christian higher education.

Sponsored by Baylor's Institute for Faith and Learning, the conference, "Does/Ought Religion Make a Difference: A Pre-Game Conversation Between Baylor University and Boston College," will begin at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3, at the Burns Library on the Boston College campus. Approximately 16 participants from each institution, including Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. and Boston College Chancellor J. Donald Monan, are expected to attend.

"While on September 4, Boston College and Baylor will be foes in a football game, on Sept. 3 we will be allies addressing a common concern: Does and should one's religious tradition make a difference in the practices that constitute a college or university education," said Dr. Michael Beaty, director of the Institute for Faith and Learning.

Beaty, the first featured speaker at the conference, will focus on the evolution of Baylor's approach to faith and learning. Following Beaty, Dr. Donald Schmeltekopf, Baylor provost and vice president for academic affairs, will explain how the university incorporates its Baptist traditions into its current operations and future goals.

To transition from Baptist to Catholic higher education, Beaty and Dr. Larry Lyon, dean of the graduate school, then will present their results of a faculty survey on faith and learning that was administered at Boston College, the University of Notre Dame and Baylor. Providing

Boston College's response to the topic will be Dr. Patrick Byrne, professor of philosophy and associate director of the Jesuit Institute. Following an informal discussion between the presenters, the seminar will conclude at 4 p.m.

"A conference like this gives each university an opportunity to see what each can learn from the other and provides an opportunity to explore possibilities for collaboration and to learn from one another's successes and mistakes," Beaty said.

In addition to the seminar, the Institute for Faith and Learning is co-sponsoring with the Baylor Alumni Association a Baptist Heritage Tour on Sunday, Sept. 5. Participants will leave for Providence, R.I., at 8:30 a.m. to attend services at the oldest Baptist Church in America and then tour the church. The group also will visit Brown University, the oldest university with a Baptist heritage in North America, and tour Roger Williams National Memorial Park. The day will close with a visit to "The Breakers," one of the fabulous mansions in Newport, R.I., and dinner overlooking the Narragansett Bay.

"This tour offers an opportunity to become better acquainted with Baptist origins in New England and in higher education, a rich heritage about which many know too little," Beaty said.

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