Published on October 3, 2023 by Sofia Paglioni  
Dr Sara McCarty

The Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture strives to answer significant questions from a Christian faith perspective and foster conversations about relevant topics that impact society. This year’s topic is “Called Together in the Age of Discord”, and participants will learn how to nurture conversations and disagreements in a Christ-centered way and maintain a sense of civility, compromise and community.

Sara McCarty, the Margaret Gage Bush Distinguished Professor of Economics and Brock Scholars program coordinator, is attending the symposium Oct. 25-27 at Baylor University. She is excited about the event and said, “I am eager to learn more about how, as a Christian, I can seek to live into the teaching that ‘people of faith are called together to be instruments of truth, justice, mercy and reconciliation grounded in charity’. This is something that is consistent with what we strive for at Samford University.” McCarty is hoping to feel renewed by the conversations and looking forward to what new perspectives she can bring back to campus.

McCarty also participated in a similar conference this past summer and she felt challenged to re-examine her relationship between her faith and work. She said, “I was challenged by the keynote speaker there, as well as the keynote speaker during Faculty Institute, to reframe my thinking. Centering Jesus looks different.”

McCarty also spoke to how Samford University has encouraged her in her faith and how she incorporates it into her own teaching. She commented, “Over the past year or two, Samford has deliberately pushed us to consider faith and learning. I am grateful to work at a university that cares about this, and not just in a superficial way.”

McCarty felt honored to be invited and is excited to attend with fellow Samford colleagues. Through Samford University’s Center for Congregational Resources participation in the Lily Endowment’s grant initiative, Called to Lives and Meaning and Purpose (CLMPI), Samford was given the opportunity to send five people to Baylor’s Faith and Learning Institute. The CLMPI Coordination team, Collegeville Institute, offered to pay for five participants in the grant initiative to attend the Baylor event. The Center for Congregational Resources extended the invitation to Samford faculty. Other Samford University faculty who will be in attendance include Anthony Minnema, assistant professor of history, Jennifer West, associate professor of English, Lisa Gurley, professor of nursing, and Tim Sutton, professor of English.

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.