Carl And Martha Lindner Global Mission Leadership Initiative Endowed Fund Established At Baylor

November 10, 2011
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Baylor University today announced a gift of $3.6 million from Carl and Martha Lindner for the establishment of the Carl and Martha Lindner Global Mission Leadership Initiative Endowed Fund benefitting the Baylor School of Social Work.

"We are deeply grateful to Carl and Martha for their generosity to this important initiative," said Baylor University President Ken Starr. "The Lindners are passionate about the Global Mission Leadership Initiative, and their gift will keep this transformational program alive. The University and the School of Social Work are enthusiastically committed to engaging others to expand the program's impact."

The Global Mission Leadership (GML) Initiative was launched in 2008, through a three-year grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. The Lindners' generous gift allows Baylor to continue this important program, the focus of which is to identify and educate global Christian leaders who are God-called and mission-driven to become catalysts for holistic change in international communities.

"The current GML scholars are truly inspiring," said Jennifer Smyer, director of Global Mission Leadership at the Baylor School of Social Work. "They carry the heart of Joseph from the Old Testament by being men and women of Godly character with the ability and commitment to think and plan strategically for the welfare of their home countries. Each GML student is dedicated to gaining the best education he or she can for the sake of serving and helping others."

The Initiative brings to Baylor's campus international graduate students who demonstrate servant leadership and strategic thinking, possess language fluency and have experience working as Christian leaders in their impoverished communities. Upon graduation from the program, these students commit to return and serve as change agents in their native countries.

"When the call came from Carl and Martha that their desire was not only to fund the Global Mission Leadership program, but to also challenge others through their incredible gift and to come alongside this vision, I was simply stunned," said Dr. Diana Garland, dean of the Baylor School of Social Work. "It was too wonderful for words. Because of the Lindners' ability and willingness to dream with us, Christian leaders will be equipped from now until the end of time to bring hope and transformation in their own countries."

The Lindners' generous gift not only ensures the GML program's viability in perpetuity, but serves as a call to others to provide scholarship support to these students who wish to fulfill their mission of bringing hope to the nations for generations to come. The university is firmly committed to engaging other donors who wish to make substantial commitments toward scholarship funds to sustain and increase the number of students participating in the program.

"By virtue of Mr. and Mrs. Lindner's generosity and vision, many more qualified international social workers will be produced to address social injustices and issues globally," said Joshua Tan, a GML student from Malaysia. "I am certain their kindness will bear many returns in the landscape of social care and development around the world."

Carl and Martha Lindner of Cincinnati, Ohio, are passionate Christians and committed philanthropists. They are both alums of the University of Cincinnati, where they met. Mr. Lindner is Co-CEO and Co-President of American Financial Group. The couple has four children: Blake, Carl, Christopher and Matthew, who is a film and digital media major at Baylor and a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

The Lindners are actively involved in Horizon Community Church, where Carl is a founding elder and Martha helps lead women's groups and mission initiatives. The Lindners focus their philanthropy on education, world evangelism and helping the world's impoverished children. In 1988, Carl and Martha led efforts to found Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy. In 2000, Carl and his brother, Keith, and their families helped CHCA found the Otto Armleder Memorial Education Center, which is dedicated to educating inner-city children.

For more information on how to support the Global Mission Leadership Initiative in the Baylor School of Social Work, contact Kristen Box, Director of Development, at or (254) 710-6284. To learn more about this and other global initiatives in the Baylor School of Social Work, visit

About Baylor

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 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 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions.

About the Baylor School of Social Work

Established in 2005, the Baylor University School of Social Work is home to one of the leading graduate social work programs in the nation with a research agenda focused on the integration of faith and practice. Upholding its mission of preparing social workers in a Christian context for worldwide service and leadership, the School offers a baccalaureate degree (BSW), a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree and two joint-degree options (MSW/Master of Divinity and MSW/Master of Theological Studies) through a partnership with Baylor's George W. Truett Theological Seminary. Visit to learn more.

Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275