In the effort to encourage and equip students to live their calling, the University created the Academy which was established in 2004 by the Division of Student Life at Baylor University to create a common place where diverse individuals studying, researching, or practicing leadership in the context of a Christian worldview will benefit from collaboration. The purpose of fostering greater synergy among leadership thinkers is guided by an aspiration to provide a meaningful forum for talented Baylor students to develop their strengths in preparation for answering a call to sustained leadership in whatever their chosen vocations, whether they be service in public life, private enterprise, social issues, or the Church.
A partnership between the School of Education (Educational Administration) and the Academy for Leader Development and Civic Engagement (Division of Student Life), the Leadership Studies Minor comprises 18 hours of courses. The key course for exploring the minor is LDS 1301: Introduction to Leadership, Leadership Development provides insight into a student's leadership strengths and developmental needs. It prepares students for leadership positions, focusing on topics such as a philosophy of leadership, the role of power and authority in leadership, and goal setting for leadership development.
The Baylor Social Innovation Collaborative (BAY-SIC) is designed to bring together faculty, staff, and students in efforts to discover and develop innovative ways to promote human flourishing. Social innovation is an approach to tackling complex, “wicked” problems that involves cross-sector collaboration and multiple strategies and experiments. It aims to create a new equilibrium by building, renewing, or transforming institutions and offering approaches to social problems that are more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than existing ones. BAY-SIC courses, team-taught and collaborative, place undergraduate and graduate students in the same classroom, allowing them to work on transdisciplinary initiatives designed toward these ends. These experiments will be diverse, designed and tailored to the particular nuances of a given problem and the context of the collaboration.
Dr. Andy Hogue, Director of the Philanthropy and Public Service Program, teaches PPS 4310: Philanthropy and the Public Good each semester. About the course, which is linked to a national consortium called The Philanthropy Lab, Dr. Hogue writes: "This program aims to ignite students' interest and participation in philanthropy. Working with local nonprofits, students in the course will conduct important research on behalf of our community, assessing needs in areas such as homelessness, food insecurity, education, health and wellness, and multigenerational poverty. Students will then use actual monies, directed in smart ways, to help meet important community needs. You can learn more about the Philanthropy Lab here.
In addition to Dr. Hogue's PPS 4310, the Philanthropy and Public Service Program offers a robust number of 1000-level courses that merit strong consideration for students seeking to cultivate servant-leadership, including Community Engagement; Servant Leadership; Family Medicine; Community Healthcare; Law; Public Service; and Poverty in Waco.
In keeping with Baylor's Christian mission to educate men and women for worldwide leadership and service, the Office of Community Engagement and Service (CES) provides the campus-wide infrastructure for coordinating, supporting, and advancing informed community engagement with the intention of leveraging the university's collective influence toward promoting positive social change. To that end, CES invests in vibrant pursuits:
Student Growth--that Baylor students will grow to become informed, engaged leaders, and culturally competent, caring global citizens;
Community Partnership--that Baylor, as an institution, will model outstanding citizenship and community partnerships on campus, in Waco and the world;
Expertise Development--that Baylor, as a university, will be a center of expertise regarding the theory and practice of effective community engagement.
Boundless opportunities for leadership await students within CES. Their office is located in Martin House.
Act Locally Waco seeks to improve the quality of life for all members of our Waco community. A non-profit, Act Locally publishes an online newsletter which includes guest blogs and an extensive list of what is happening in Waco. This organization also frequently offers internships to Baylor students. For more information and to subscribe to the Act Locally newsletter (which comes out each Friday), click on the link above.
One need only survey the neighborhoods surrounding our campus to observe need in Waco. Baylor students can reach beyond their campus to serve their local community through organizations such as Mission Waco, the Talitha Koum Institute and Therapeutic Nursery, Compassion Ministries, the Waco Community Training Center, and the Methodist Children's Home. Students can also participate in Waco city government by serving on a city commission or board. Go to the Waco Chamber of Commerce for opportunities to serve in McLennan County and review Waco Boards and Commissions that seek volunteers here.