FAQ

While each course is different, all are designed to cultivate Christian leadership and encourage thoughtful Christian engagement in sports. Check out the “Course Offerings” page for details on specific courses. And check out our “Program Benefits” page to see why you should consider enrolling.

Any Christians involved in sports, especially those who want to grow as leaders and learners. There are no academic prerequisites to enroll. Coaches, administrators, athletes, parents, pastors, sports ministry leaders, fans—all are welcome. We do not ask anyone to prove their level of involvement in sports, but we do assume that anyone taking these classes will see sports as a major part of his or her life.

The courses are delivered online through the Canvas Catalog learning platform. Each course lasts for eight weeks, with an expected average of about 2.5 hours of learning engagement per week.

The courses are not designed to talk at you; they are not a set of lectures for which you hit “play” and then take notes. Instead, the goal is to create space for active and engaged learning. Each week includes specially-designed and selected readings and activities. While there will be no formal grading system, you will receive meaningful and constructive feedback.

To allow for maximum flexibility and to accommodate busy lifestyles, there is no required weekly class meeting time. As long as you complete the activities and assignments within a given week, you are free to do them at whatever time best fits your schedule. However, there will be opportunities for the class to meet together virtually, and class interaction in other ways will be encouraged.

Upon successful completion of each course, you will be able to print off a certificate of completion with your name, the date of completion, and the course name. Records of your completion of the course will be kept by the Baylor Continuing Education department.

Typically, all courses in the Faith & Sports Institute’s Online Certificate Program will cost $250. However, special discounts or deals on the courses will sometimes be available. These discounts are announced widely on our online and social media spaces and are made available on the course registration page.

The courses have been developed by a team of experts with experience in virtue ethics, coaching, theology, counseling, organizational planning, history, sports ministry, and biblical studies. However, each course will have an individual instructor who leads the class and provides interaction and feedback.

Instructors in 2020-21 include:

Paul Putz, Ph.D. Paul has a PhD in history and is an expert on the intersection of Christianity and sports. His writing and research on the subject has been featured at Christianity Today National Public Radio, Sports Illustrated, and more. Paul has over a decade of experience as an educator in both the high school and college classroom. He is also a former college athlete who understands the culture of competitive athletics on a personal level.

Brian Gamel, Ph.D. Brian is a teacher and scholar with an M.Div. from Duke University and a Ph.D. in New Testament from Baylor University. His first book, an academic study of the centurion’s confession in Mark 15, was published with T&T Clark. Before entering graduate school, Brian received a B.A. in Microbiology from the University of Missouri and spent six years on staff with a church. Brian will be serving as the Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Truett Sports Ministry Program beginning in June 2020.

Elizabeth Perkins, M.Div. Elizabeth graduated in May 2020 from Baylor’s Truett Seminary with an M.Div. (sports ministry concentration). Before coming to Baylor, she graduated from Hope College with a double major in Psychology and Spanish and a minor in French. While at Hope she played both basketball and soccer. Elizabeth has taken on a variety of leadership positions and roles at Baylor, working as a Faith & Sport Institute Retreat Mentor in 2018 and as Retreat Program Director in 2019, while also serving as the Volunteer Assistant Coach for Baylor Women’s Soccer.

Potentially. The courses are designed to include twenty (20) total contact hours with learning material and assignments, equal to two (2) CEU credits. Course transcripts and records are kept on file through Baylor Continuing Education, and you will receive a certificate upon satisfactory completion of the courses. However, you will need to check with the organization or association that oversees your professional development program to ensure that our courses would be eligible.

No. These are non-credit courses intended for continuing education, personal development, and growth. You will not receive academic credit upon completion. And while the classes are informed, led, and shaped by the leaders of the Truett Seminary Sports Ministry Program, they are not simply shorter versions of a seminary class. They have been created with busy professionals and ministry leaders in mind and are designed to be an affordable, accessible, and flexible entry-point or refresher for thinking theologically and holistically about sports.

Per the policy of the Baylor Continuing Education department, students who register but do not open the course or begin any coursework within the course are eligible for a refund at the discretion of the Continuing Education department. Students seeking a refund must contact the Continuing Education office, via email continuing_education@baylor.edu or phone 254-710-6440, to begin the process.

Follow the registration link on the Certificate Program home page to register for a course.

After registering for a course through the Baylor Continuing Education office, you will be sent instructions on how to register for the class through Canvas Catalog. Any additional questions can be sent to paul_putz@baylor.edu.

George W. Truett Theological Seminary