Posted by William Nunnelley on 2004-01-16

The Samford University Religion Department has received a $37,950 grant from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion for a study project aimed at enhancing its teaching effectiveness in its discipline.

The project is entitled "Religion for Mission at Samford University: The Religion Department as an Enabling Environment for Instructional Excellence."

The grant will enable Religion Department faculty members to study the department's history, its relationship with Alabama Baptists, how and what it is teaching, how alumni and students view its teaching, and how it relates to Samford's core curriculum.

Beyond that, the grant will provide for two site visits to religion departments at other universities, a three-day Consultation on Teaching for Mission, course development and evaluation, and research and writing on teaching and religion. The consultation will be held at the Wabash (Ind.) College Center for Inquiry in the Liberal Arts.

The Religion Department began the project in December as retired faculty member W. T. Edwards led a discussion of the department's culture and Samford's heritage and mission in the post-World War II period. Dr. Edwards wrote a historical essay that was used to initiate the discussion.

Also in December, Dr. Wayne Flynt, University Professor at Auburn University and author of the book Alabama Baptists: Southern Baptists in the Heart of Dixie , led a half-day discussion on the historic Baptist context of Samford's Religion Department and its relationship to Alabama Baptists.

"We are excited about the opportunity the grant gives us to take time to explore new and richer ways of teaching and learning in religion, to learn from other Religion departments in different parts of the country, with the purpose of contributing to the overall mission of the University," said Dr. Kenneth Roxburgh, Religion Department chair.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.