UPDATE: Baylor Center for School Leadership

Spring 2024

May 30, 2024
Scenes from BCSL seminars and events, including speakers and crowd visiting

Baylor School of Education’s Center for School Leadership (BCSL) strives to be the most effective Christian leadership catalyst for educators worldwide, with a mission to help educators make a lasting impact on each student’s life. The BCSL provides tools, resources, and training for classroom teachers, school leaders, and school communities.

The BCSL has undergone significant growth in the last four years after receiving a generous gift from Lynda and Robert Copple that also supported an endowed a chair to support Christians in school leadership, filled by Dr. Jon Eckert. Eckert serves with Dr. Bill Sterrett as the co-executive directors of the BCSL alongside a team that includes Jill Anderson, Sahira Kodra, Erik Ellefsen, and Dr. Marilyn Rhames.

The BCSL set a goal to impact 300,000 K12 students by partnering with school leaders by 2025. The center has well exceeded its goal, supporting leaders in 50 states and 45 countries that collectively serve more than 4 million students.

The BCSL catalyzes improvement through collective leadership, cultivating the kind of sustainable leadership that follows Christ’s example of serving others to create thriving communities where each educator and student can flourish.

The BCSL takes a multi-pronged approach to cultivating leadership.

Professional Learning — The one-day Just Leadership Academy, hosted in February, is for school administrators — from instructional coaches to superintendents — that focuses on catalyzing change as a leadership team. The Culture of Joy is a half-day professional learning opportunity for Christian teacher-leaders offering practical help about feedback, engagement, and well-being.

Research — Faculty affiliated with the BCSL engage in broad research activities. Faculty have recently led a State Department funded grant promoting women’s education in Pakistan 
(see page 10) and are implementing a three-year federal grant with the University of Mississippi to support school communities to reduce substance abuse. The BCSL also funds research mini-awards to School of Education faculty for projects focused on cultivating leadership and contributing to Baylor’s mission.

Networking — The BCSL facilitates communication and collaborative learning among educators across schools in the U.S. and globally in virtual sessions. BCSL’s Networks are for individual professionals seeking to grow their leadership capacity by working with others. Improvement Communities are school teams working on adaptive challenges in collaboration with other schools over the course of a year.

Resources — The work of the BCSL generates multiple resources for educators. In addition to the BCSL Journal, the BCSL produces the Just Schools Podcast. Eckert interviews leaders in education, with each 20-30-minute episode offering actionable tips and encouragement. You can find it on Apple, Podbean, and Spotify. Over the past year, BCSL research has been the basis of four books, which are available at BCSL.soe.baylor.edu.


20,000+ schools
8,000 educators
50 U.S. states
45+ countries
Impact = 4 million students