Baylor Sponsors Research Roundtable of Global Baptist Scholars in Oxford

September 26, 2022

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-709-5959
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WACO, Texas (Sept. 26, 2022) – Baptist scholars recently gathered at Oxford University for the 2022 Baptist Scholars International Roundtable (BSIR), hosted by the Baylor University Graduate School, to promote Baptist scholarship among faculty around the world.

BSIR is co-directed by Laine Scales, Ph.D., professor in Baylor’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, and Baylor graduate João Chaves, M.T.S. ’12, Ph.D. ’17, assistant professor of evangelism and mission at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and associate director for programming at the Hispanic Theological Initiative.

This year’s BSIR provided Baptist faculty the opportunity to share academic papers on the theme “Baptists and Higher Education,” as scholars considered how Baptists around the world engage in higher education practices now and in the future.

“At the heart of the Roundtable is formation for academic stewardship in which a newer generation is welcomed into an international Baptist Academy and given guidance in their scholarly formation,” Scales said.

The BSIR selects seven to eight academic papers through a competitive process to be shaped by experienced Baptist scholars’ responses. This year’s essays will be published in a special issue of Perspectives on Religion Studies, while essays from the 2019 and 2021 BSIR meetings will appear in Baptists and the Kingdom of God, a forthcoming volume from Baylor University Press.

Christ Church at Oxford hosted the BSIR participants in its new Research Centre, and participants enjoyed the storied college setting, including worship at Evensong in Christ Church Cathedral and dining in the college’s magnificent Great Hall. Participants also toured Regents Park College, the Baptist entity that makes up the system of colleges comprising Oxford University. In the Angus Library, these Baptist scholars were introduced to rare manuscripts of early Baptist dissenters such as Thomas Helwys and John Smythe.

Baylor joins other Baptist schools and organizations in supporting the BSIR, such as the International Association of Baptists Colleges and Universities, the Consortium for Global Education, Campbell University, Samford University and Dallas Baptist University and others to ensure that scholars from around the globe can attend.

The theme for BSIR 2023 will be “Baptists and Global Mission,” an area of scholarship for both Scales and Chaves. While Scales has studied the education of Baptist women missionaries, Chaves has focused his work on the history of diaspora Christianities and the geopolitical impact of missionary work in Latin America. BSIR will extend a call for papers in October for the 2023 annual meeting and select eight papers through a competitive process.

“We expect another set of rich, diverse presentations from Baptist scholars all across the globe,” Chaves said.

For more information, please visit the BSIR website.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 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.


Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work is home to one of the leading graduate social work programs in the nation with a research agenda that explores humanity, engages spirituality and promotes equity. 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 available in Waco or online; three joint-degree options, MSW/MBA, MSW/MDiv and MSW/MTS, through a partnership with Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business and George W. Truett Theological Seminary; and an online Ph.D. program. Visit to learn more.