Baylor Social Work Dean Diana Garland Honored for 'Family Ministry' Book

May 26, 2009
News Photo 4702Dr. Diana Garland, dean of the Baylor School of Social Work

Contact: Vicki Kabat, Baylor University School of Social Work, (254) 710-4417

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Baylor University School of Social Work Dean Diana Garland was honored April 30 at The Orange Conference in Atlanta for her seminal work Family Ministry: A Comprehensive Guide (InterVarsity Press, 1999), which was named 2000 Book of the Year by the Academy of Parish Clergy.

"We are grateful to Diana Garland for the way she pioneered the concept of partnering with parents and for the seeds she planted to raise a generation of Christian leaders who would dare to do ministry differently," said Reggie Joiner, author of Think Orange, which describes the group's philosophy. "Her work should be studied by anyone who is serious about combining the influence of church and family. In some ways, she is one of the Orange pioneers."

Nearly 3,500 church leaders in children's, youth, adult and family ministries gathered at the three-day event to celebrate and embrace new ways of engaging the next generation. The ecumenical group calls itself Orange to represent integration and change: a blending of yellow (the church as the light of the world) and red (the home and the heart). The organization's premise is that children need home and church working together.

"There is a different kind of culture that is established when the church understands the value of a true partnership with the family. When church staff members step out of their silo-style departmental thinking and start playing together, it creates synergy," according to the Orange website.

"I was stunned," Garland said. "I attended because they asked me to do a short presentation, but I didn't expect this. I was uncharacteristically left speechless and overwhelmed with emotion that these people found such value in my work."

Garland's other books include Sacred Stories of Ordinary Families: Living the Faith in Daily Life (Jossey-Bass, 2003) and Flawed Families of the Bible: How God's Grace Works through Imperfect Relationships (BrazosPress, 2007), which she co-authored with husband, Dr. David E. Garland, interim president of Baylor University and dean of Baylor's George W. Truett Theological Seminary.

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