Union University
Union University School of Education
Miranda Lindsey works as a student teacher at Medina Elementary

Education Story

Dr. Phillips attends Academic Leadership in Baptist Universities

June 17, 2011 - Dr. Ben Phillips recently attended the Seminar on Academic Leadership in Baptist Universities held annually on the campus of Baylor University in Waco, Texas. University leaders from a variety of Baptist colleges and universities convened to examine contemporary issues facing Christian higher education. Dr. Phillips, the Ed.S./Ed.D. Program Director for the School of Education’s Jackson campus, represented Union University at the seminar.

Seasoned academic leaders from across the country led the discussions on topics that ranged from university finance to Baptist identity. Noted author Robert Benne opened the seminar by leading sessions about the mission of Christian universities and the moral dimensions of leadership. Paul Corts, President of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, offered his view from Washington as he highlighted trends in Christian higher education. Other topics included strategic planning, legal issues, faculty development, and academic leadership.

Prior to coming to Union University, Dr. Phillips gained his experience in educational leadership in the PreK-12 setting. He has served as high school principal in a large, urban school as well as a local Christian school. With over a decade of service in a high school setting, he said he was interested to see how academic leadership differs from secondary schools to universities.

“I was impressed by how similar the issues are in a university setting versus a secondary setting,” Phillips explained. “Leading people toward a common vision in an educational setting is fundamentally the same.” The seminar featured sessions devoted to philosophical topics, such as how Baptist doctrine has influenced Christian higher education, as well as practical topics, such as best practices in faculty hiring.

“This was a tremendous privilege for me both personally and professionally,” Phillips offered. “I look forward to taking what I learned at the seminar and putting it to good use.”

The seminar is sponsored by Baylor University’s Center for Ministry Effectiveness and Educational Leadership under the direction of Baylor’s Provost Emeritus, Don Schmeltekopf.