SOE News Briefs: Spring 2021

May 6, 2021


Identity in Action Book Cover

After publishing several academic books on higher education, especially faith-based colleges, Dr. Perry Glanzer has written a book for college-age students. In Identity in Action: Christian Excellence in All of Life, Glanzer shifts the focus from “identity politics” to personal identity, challenging students to think about their own identity and how their Christian faith informs who they are.

The book is designed to encourage readers to think about the “why” of life and empower them to be excellent. Glanzer is a professor of higher education in the Department of Educational Leadership.


Baylor School of Education’s Center for Christian Education has changed its name to the Baylor Center for School Leadership (BCSL) ( to better reflect its mission to serve school leaders.
Dr. Matt Thomas, Executive Director of the Center for School Leadership, said the name change does not reflect any change in the Center’s mission. “Be assured our mission and aim will not change, nor will the centrality of the Christian faith be diminished in any way,” he said. “In fact, this name change will enhance our ability to serve Christian schools and Christian leaders.”

The Center serves Christian independent schools and their leaders and also offers programming for Christians serving in any type of school in the U.S. and abroad. Its programs include conferences (photo, below), symposia, and field-based consultative services aimed at all levels of school leadership. Recent offerings have provided professional and leadership development opportunities for teachers (organized by grade and subject level), heads of independent schools, financial leaders and board members for independent schools, and those in public education settings.


The Center’s previous name sometimes caused confusion, Thomas said. Because the term “Christian Education” is also used to describe church services, such as Sunday School or Vacation Bible School, the Center often fields requests for church resources, rather than for school settings. In addition, the Center offers programs that are appropriate for continuing education of teachers and leaders serving in public school settings, and the new name will reduce any hesitation or bureaucratic barriers to their participation.

“We will be able to more effectively support the most influential Christian leaders in all school contexts,” Thomas said.


Dr. Jeff Strietzel

Dr. Jeff Strietzel (right) and Dr. Ryan Erck (below), both 2020 Baylor SOE PhD graduates, received the “Best Overall Paper” award at the annual Leading Change Conference of James Madison University’s School of Strategic Leadership Studies, which was held virtually in February.

Their paper was titled “Through the Fire: Using Derailment Research to Lead Change in the COVID-19 Era” and focused on best practices for leading change, drawing on Strietzel’s dissertation research data.

Dr. Ryan Erck

Both Erck and Strietzel are graduates of the Higher Education Leadership Studies (HESL) program in the Department of Educational Leadership, and both are serving the School of Education currently.

Erck is program director of the School of Education’s Impact Living-Learning Center undergraduate community in South Russell Hall, and Strietzel is a lecturer in the Leadership Minor program in the SOE’s Department of Educational Leadership.


Accelerate Graphic

Baylor launched a new pre-college program allowing high school juniors and seniors to take Baylor courses. The program includes and expands Baylor’s Summer of Discovery for incoming and continuing Baylor students, now offering spring and fall courses online in a synchronous format.

Summer registration is open now, and the School of Education will offer two courses — The Developing Child (EDP 2336) and Introduction to Education (TED 2380) during summer, fall, and spring. Please encourage aspiring teachers to sign up! For those who need help registering for SOE courses, call the School at 254-710-3111 to speak to an academic advisor.