Samford University is a Christian Liberal Arts University with ten schools and colleges. The mission of Samford University is to nurture persons in their development of intellect, creativity, faith, and personhood. As a Christian university, the community fosters academic, career and ethical competency while encouraging social and civic responsibility and service to others. Faculty at Samford are leading scholars in their field and are expected to wholeheartedly support the mission of the university. While faculty have a deep faith in Jesus Christ, they arrive at Samford from both Christian and secular institutions and not all faculty have been afforded the opportunity to integrate their faith in their role as a faculty member. As Samford expects faculty members to aid in the nurturing of students in their faith, the Faith and Learning Initiative will provide resources and equip faculty to do so.

While faith and learning integration has long been part of Samford’s DNA, a more recent intentional effort began in the Spring of 2019 with the formation of the Spiritual Life Leadership Collaborative formed by Provost, Dr. Mike Hardin. As a result of a Strategic Opportunity (STRATOP) evaluation within this collaborative, the Howard College of Arts and Sciences launched a college-specific faith and learning initiative in the Fall of 2019. Then, in the Fall of 2021, in conjunction with the Provost’s vision to carry this same success to the larger university, the Faculty Success Center (FSC) created the Faith and Learning Initiative to assist in the personal and professional development of faculty to equip them to support the faith mission of the university.

Purpose Statement

“The purpose of the Faith and Learning Initiative (FLI) is to equip Samford faculty to thoughtfully integrate a commitment to faith in Jesus Christ with the pursuit of academic excellence.”

Faith and Learning Structure

The four emphasis areas of the FLI are Personal Spiritual Growth, Pedagogical Integration, Scholarship Development, and Vocational Exploration. Personal and professional development opportunities that fall under each of these four emphasis areas are held throughout the year.

Personal Spiritual Growth

Goal: To build strong community among Samford colleagues through dedicated time and resources for spiritual reflection and personal growth.

Pedagogical Integration

Goal: Make faculty aware of the freedom to integrate their faith into their pedagogy and equip them to do so.

Scholarship Development

Goal: Encourage faculty to develop and disseminate scholarship and research on the integration of faith and learning.   

Vocational Exploration

Goal: Create opportunities that will foster meaningful vocational conversations among faculty and students.