Gaynor I. Yancey, D.S.W., professor of social work, Master Teacher and director of the Center for Church and Community Impact at Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, was honored April 12 during the annual Academic Honors Convocation as the 2019 Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year.
Concerned residents from throughout the nation and elected officials in Maine gathered in Augusta on March 29 to testify in favor of a bill that would criminalize clergy sexual abuse among adults.
The bill, LD 913: “An Act To Protect the Public from Clergy Sexual Abuse,” if passed, would make it illegal for clergy members use their positions of power to have sexual relations with adults.
David Pooler of Baylor University in Waco, Texas, helped find the “perfect language” to execute the bill. Language pulls from legislation in Texas and Arkansas, two of the states where the clergy sexual abuse bills have been approved. Where the previous bill was thought to be too broad, the new language narrows down its scope.
One of the principles of a Baylor education is the integration of faith and academics according to the Baylor mission statement. The Baylor School of Social Work highlights this combination as one of its core values, and strives to provide its students with the tools to achieve an ethical, faith-based social work practice. The application of this, however, looks different for every student.
The School of Social Work’s website sites the integration of faith and academics as a unique characteristic of a social work education at Baylor.
Survivors of clergy sexual abuse and experts from across the country traveled to Maine March 29 to support legislation making it a crime for clergy members to abuse their positions of trust to have sexual relations with adults.
An Act To Protect the Public from Clergy Sexual Abuse, LD 913, would make it a crime punishable by five years’ imprisonment and up to a $5,000 fine for a member of clergy in any religious denomination “in a position of trust or authority” over another person to cause that individual “to submit to or participate in [a] sexual act by exploiting the person’s emotional dependency.” Thirteen states and the District of Columbia have similar laws already on the books.
“Every state needs to criminalize clergy-perpetrated sexual abuse,” David Pooler, a professor of social work at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, testified before the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee in the Maine Legislature.
A character in Gaudy Night—a novel by Dorothy L. Sayers—heard the prayer of a well-meaning but incoherent curate and never forgot it: “Lord, teach us to take our hearts and look them in the face, however difficult it may be.”
The words “take our hearts and look them in the face” call us to action. The example of Jesus, throughout his earthly ministry, was one of calling people—especially religious leaders—to look at their heart issues. I can think of many examples that would prompt us to “take our hearts and look them in the face.”
Dr. Clay Polson and GSSW alumna, Rachel Gillespie, collaborated to explore the impact of racial/ethnic diversity on the bridging activity of religious congregations. Click here to check out the full article.