International social work program gets major gift - Word&Way

International social work program gets major gift

WACO, Texas (ABP) – Baylor University’s School of Social Work has received a $3.6 million gift for a program for international students pursuing a master’s degree in social work.

First funded by a grant in 2008, the Global Mission Leadership can now move forward thanks to a $3.6 million endowment gift from Cincinnati philanthropists and Baylor parents Carl and Martha Linder, Baylor officials announced.

Diana Garland, dean of the Baylor School of Social Work, described news of the major gift as “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,” Garland said.

There are currently five students from different countries in Southeast Asia enrolled in the Global Mission Leadership program. Three students are working on dual social work and divinity degrees, in conjunction with George W. Truett Theological Seminary. The other two students are working solely on master’s of social work degrees.

Program director Jennifer Smyer said students in the program are committed to returning to their home countries to implement what they have learned through the program.

“The vision of the program is to bring global leaders here who have been transformed by the love of God and want to work in service,” Smyer said. “The program allows them to take all of their course concepts and think about what it would look like in their home countries.”

Carl Lindner is Co-CEO and co-president of American Financial Group. The Linders have four children, one of them a film and digital media major at Baylor.


Bob Allen is managing editor of Associated Baptist Press.