A group of fifteen young scholars representing Baptist colleges and universities across the nation, convened at Georgetown College from June 9-13 for Young Scholars in the Baptist Academy seminar to explore the promise and perils of Baptist higher education.
The seminar, which was sponsored by Georgetown College, Georgetown, KY, and Baylor University, Waco, TX, and funded by grant from the Lilly Endowment, addressed questions regarding the contributions that need to be made by Baptist schools in order to enhance Christian higher education and what it means to be a scholar in the Baptist tradition. It also examined how Baptist faith can enrich one's teaching.
Dr. Roger Ward, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Georgetown College, who organized the topics and facilitated the conversation at the seminar, said the seminar was one of the most successful conversations noting the passion that the young scholars had toward higher education.
“I think this seminar was one of the most successful conversations I have participated in,” Ward explained. “All the participants were engaged and well read. More than that, they had passion for the subject of the “Baptist Academy.” There was an energy and an interest in the formation of a network of scholars and conversations on the themes we introduced, and the general sense was one of great joy in discovering that there were other young scholars concerned about the Baptist intellectual tradition.”
Dr. Adam English, Assistant Professor of Religion at Campbell University, who participated in the seminar said, “I have always seen teaching as a calling, but this seminar helped me to reflect on the calling of the Christian university to higher education and to faithful witness. In other words, by joining the faculty, I not only began to fulfill my calling to teach, but I also joined the larger vision and mission of Campbell University.”
According to Rogers, the planning team is in the process of deciding how to proceed with the seminar. He said:
“The idea with most strength at this point is to call for presentations for next year’s seminar to be published in a volume. There is discussion about holding the seminar at Regent’s Park College in Oxford both to bolster the exposure of that college but also to reconnect with Regent’s Baptist foundation and archives of Baptist history which are unparalleled in the world.”