Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty Receives Gift for Seminary Initiative
WACO, Texas (March 2, 2022) – A $455k grant from an anonymous donor will allow the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty (BCHP) to partner with and provide support for George W. Truett Theological Seminary's Master of Arts degree in Theology, Ecology, and Food Justice (TEFJ). The gift will help fund student scholarships for both coursework and experiential learning activities and will allow BCHP's network of researchers, policy analysts, and field workers to lend their expertise to the program. The TEFJ program is a collaborative effort between Truett, World Hunger Relief (WHR), and BCHP.
Approved by Baylor's Board of Regents last November, the new 45-hour degree will provide Truett students an opportunity to study and be formed at the intersection of faith, food justice, environmental justice, and ministry. Led by Dr. Jenny Howell, students will supplement core coursework in Christian Scriptures, Theology, and Christian Witness with innovative opportunities that address the most pressing issues in ecology and food justice, while also providing immersive coursework at the World Hunger Farm, Washington, D.C., and beyond. Dr. Howell commented that the gift will allow Truett to provide some truly unique immersive courses for our students while decreasing their financial burden." Highlighting the collaborative spirit of the gift, she added that "we know that to truly tackle some of the great challenges surrounding the care of the most vulnerable populations, we need the gifts and wisdom of academics and practitioners alike. This gift will add support and infrastructure to our ongoing efforts of building such a shared space at Baylor University."
The partnership between Truett, WHR, and BCHP grew out of a shared commitment to innovation and service. Jeremy Everett, BCHP's Executive Director, believes that each organization brings a unique and valuable set of assets to the program. He noted, "For almost thirty years, Truett seminary has been at the forefront of theological education, always faithful to its mission of training ministers, while also exploring new avenues to expand their Christian witness. World Hunger Relief has long been a laboratory for exploring ways to address food insecurity through sustainable agriculture and education. And at BCHP, we are always testing new strategies to end hunger that can be scaled and adapted for different contexts." He added, "At the risk of stretching a metaphor too thin, we have all been cultivating similar soils for quite some time. I am excited to begin formal work together in training students to share in the efforts of taking care of all God's creatures and creation."
To this point, both Everett and Jonathan Grant, WHR's Executive Director, are graduates of Truett, and Truett professors and students have a long history of serving with BCHP and WHR.
Grant noted that he is "grateful for the generous gift that will further support the ongoing educational experiences that are happening through Truett at the World Hunger Relief Farm." The inaugural cohort for the Theology, Ecology, and Food Justice program will begin in the fall of 2022. More information on the program can be found on Truett's website.
ABOUT THE BAYLOR COLLABORATIVE ON HUNGER AND POVERTY
The Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty (BCHP) cultivates scalable solutions to end hunger around the world. BCHP works to increase food security by ensuring that every individual has access to three healthy meals a day, seven days a week. They convene federal, state, and local government stakeholders with non-profits, faith communities, and business leaders to create an efficient system of accountability that increases food security in Texas, the United States, and globally. Along with its office located within the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work at Baylor, BCHP has field offices located in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Lubbock, McAllen, and San Angelo.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.