Baylor Appoints Todd Lake as Dean of Chapel

June 25, 1999

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Baylor University President Robert B. Sloan Jr. has announced the appointment of Dr. Todd Lyle Lake, currently campus minister at Wingate University in Wingate, N.C., as Baylor's dean of chapel and minister to the university community.

Lake succeeds Dr. Milton Cunningham, who retired in May after 10 years as university chaplain and director of denominational ministries. Lake will provide direction and leadership for Christian campus ministry and spiritual formation at Baylor, and will also be responsible for the university's chapel/forum, missions, discipleship and related programs. He will officially join the university staff on Nov. 1.

"Todd Lake brings creativity, energy and a commitment to faith and learning, which I believe will make a remarkable contribution to Baylor in the years to come," said Dr. Steve Moore, vice president for student life. "His unique combination of abilities and his commitment to partnership with faculty and staff will serve students well as we seek to become even more intentional in spiritual formation on campus."

"When I thought of where I wanted to be in my career in 10 to 15 years, Baylor was always the top choice," Lake said. "It is one of the only universities in the Protestant tradition that is serious about integrating faith and learning on the undergraduate and graduate levels with a first-class faculty and student body. I hope to build on what Dr. Cunningham has accomplished with chapel/forum by exposing students to the very best people in their fields-physicists, actors, sociologists and others-and what they do outside their Christian faith. They can sometimes catch a student's attention and direct them to the rich resources already on the Baylor campus."

A native of Los Angeles, Lake received his B.A. in German studies magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1982. While at Harvard, Lake was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and received the Detur Prize, which is awarded to sophomores who attain very high academic standing in their freshman year, and the John Harvard Scholarship. He studied at Princeton Theological Seminary from 1985-86 before earning his master of divinity degree in 1988 from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. While there he received the American Bible Society Award for Excellence in Biblical Studies. In 1997, Lake completed his doctorate in systematic theology with a minor in church history at Andover-Newton Theological School at Boston College. His dissertation-Did God Command Genocide?-has been approved for publication by InterVarsity Press.

Named Wingate's campus minister in 1997, Lake focused on deepening the university's identity as a Christian institution. Among his accomplishments at Wingate are expanding the Lyceum program of Christian speakers; initiating professor-student mentoring and a campus-wide small group Bible study program; starting Wingate Works, a weekly community service ministry; linking Wingate and its freshmen with Habitat for Humanity; arranging for the first full-time Catholic campus ministry associate; and facilitating Faculty Forum discussions. As an adjunct faculty member, Lake has also taught such courses at "Religion, Ethics and Technology," "Christianity and Society," "Business Ethics" and "Introduction to Theology" at Wingate and Boston College.

Before joining Wingate, Lake served from 1988-97 as the first full-time pastor of Cambridgeport Baptist Church in Cambridge, Mass., a young church composed of students from Harvard, Massachussetts Institute of Technology, Boston University and other area colleges. During this time Lake also served as Baptist chaplain at Harvard, where he lectured and led workshops and retreats for Christian graduate and undergraduate groups at Harvard, Brown and Dartmouth, and spoke each semester on Christian apologetics and related topics at Boston University, Wellesley, Tufts and M.I.T. Lake was also minister to youth at Highland Park Second Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., from 1986-88 and served as a summer missionary in Vienna, Austria, in 1987 and at a bilingual Baptist church in Los Angeles in 1986 where he preached in both Spanish and English. He also was assistant to the pastor at Twin County Baptist Church in Kendall Park, N.J., from 1985-86.

Lake's work experience also includes a two-year stint as a Peace Corps volunteer in Santa Rosa de Lima in Paraguay; working as a legislative aide for California state senator Nicholas Petris; and assisting immigrants and recruiting volunteers as a refugee resettlement worker with the International Institute of Boston.

Lake is married to Joy Jordan-Lake, an author and professor of English. They have one daughter, Julia, who is 3 years old, and are expecting a son in August.

Looking for more news from Baylor University?