Christian Education

Renowned Baylor Institute for Faith and Learning Celebrates 25th Anniversary | Media and public relations

The IFL Celebrates a Quarter Century of Supporting Baylor’s Mission to Bring the Riches of Christian Faith to the Life of the Spirit

Media contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-709-5959
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WACO, Texas (November 9, 2022) – When Baylor University Architects Institute for Faith and Learning (IFL) convened in 1997 to lay its foundations, there was no guarantee that its influence would extend beyond the Baylor campus. A quarter century later, Baylor IFL celebrates its global contributions to nurturing the synergy between faith and reason.

This month, IFL celebrates 25 years of promoting the pursuit of academic excellence and Christian commitment. Since its founding, the Institute has developed several major programs in support of Baylor’s mission, cultivating high quality research, sponsoring conferences, mentoring students and encouraging teaching faithful to the Christian intellectual tradition.

“There is a deep-rooted assumption in higher education that the life of faith and the life of the spirit cannot coexist. But this way of thinking goes against the fundamental Christian belief that faith animates all aspects of life,” said Darin H. Davis, Ph.D., IFL Director, Clinical Professor of Philosophy Ethics in the Honors Program at Baylor’s Honors College and Principal Investigator/Project Director of the Lilly Endowment-funded Survey project.

“Over the past quarter century, the Institute for Faith and Learning at Baylor University has distinguished itself among a handful of nationally recognized academic centers dedicated to faith-centered and intellectually rigorous Christian scholarship and serves as an advocate for research and for promoting a deeper understanding of the ways in which faith might shape and direct teaching and research,” Davis said. “We look forward to continuing IFL’s mission over the next 25 years to foster deeper thinking, inspire new ideas, and encourage deeper thinking about the Christian faith and its connection to learning.”

Throughout its 25 years, the impact of the Baylor Institute for Faith and Learning has touched students, faculty, and staff at Baylor and colleges and universities around the world. In figures, the IFL has:

  • Outfit 28 conferencesincluding its annual report Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture;
  • Hosted over 8,000 conference attendees from over 800 institutions;
  • Sponsored more than 350 Crane scholars in an intensive program for gifted Baylor undergraduates interested in the connections between faith and reason; and
  • Held 18 faculty retreats attended by over 700 faculty members.

“Those who work and teach in a Christian university setting are given both great honor and enormous responsibility as we are charged not only with the training of the mind but also with the spiritual development of their students,” Davis said. “One of the most important ways the IFL supports Baylor University’s mission to bring the riches of the Christian faith to its students is to create opportunities for faculty and staff to enrich and nurture their own faith.”

IFL programs for Baylor teachers include the Communion annual retreat at Laity Lodge in the Hill Country; the newly created annual seminar Assignment for new and younger faculty members to examine the depths of Baylor’s commitment to faith and learning; and teacher seminars, such as the Building character in the classroom series that allows teachers to see their teaching and mentoring as crucial expressions of character building.

The next 25 years of the IFL

On Thursday, November 10, the IFL will host [email protected], celebrating its 25th year with a panel discussion at 3:30 p.m. in the Baylor Club Ballroom at McLane Stadium. The panel on “Church, University and Culture: The Next 25 Years of Faith and Learning” will feature panelists:

The round table will be followed by a reception at 5 p.m. and a conference at 7:15 p.m. Candace Vogler, Ph.D.philosophy professor Clara E. Stern at the University of Chicago, who will speak on “Bringing Faith and Learning Together.”

For more information about the Institute for Faith and Learning at Baylor, visit the IFL website.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked 1 research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by combining interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Established in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continuously operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a wide range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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