School Research from a Christian Research 1 University Perspective

By: Jon Eckert

What does it mean to be the only protestant Christian Research 1 university in the world?

As an unambiguously Christian university, we can ground all our work in the confident humility (Grant, 2021) that comes from knowing that as Augustine asserted “All truth is God’s truth.” This means we can pursue truth without fear from all different disciplinary perspectives. In 1994, Mark Noll wrote, “The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind.” As a Christian Research 1 university, we worship God well, by conducting outstanding scholarship as followers of Christ. For us, research is about discovering truth, not merely advocacy for a position. This is what sets a university center apart from a think tank, association, or accrediting body.

For Christians, there is no better place to do research than Baylor University. I have the greatest position in the world, as I am the Lynda and Robert Copple Endowed Chair for Christians in School Leadership. Half of my time is dedicated to research, while the other half is dedicated to supporting Christian leaders as they serve faculty, staff, and students in whatever schools to which they are called through coursework and the Baylor Center for School Leadership (BCSL).

If you know the BCSL, then you know that our work is not about us. We believe that we should catalyze others’ work and track evidence of impact. That is our research agenda. There is so much amazing work going on all over the world, and as researchers, we can elevate that work by documenting evidence of thriving school communities. To that end, we have gathered outstanding Christian researchers. While we do not speak for the researchers and the researchers do not speak for the BCSL, we can bring together cross-disciplinary groups of experts in their respective areas. As we gather donors, grants, and opportunities, we have a group of remarkable scholars we can engage in ways that further our shared mission.

We expect this group to grow as our work grows. Take a look at the list of outstanding researchers we have assembled across Baylor and beyond. Click here to see.

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