Global Impact

December 13, 2011
Social Work gift supports Global Mission Leadership Initiative

Social Work gift supports Global Mission Leadership Initiative

On Nov. 10, Baylor announced a gift of $3.6 million from Carl and Martha Lindner for the establishment of the Carl and Martha Lindner Global Mission Leadership Initiative Endowed Fund benefitting the Baylor School of Social Work.

The Global Mission Leadership (GML) Initiative was launched in 2008 through a three-year grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. The Lindners' generous gift allows Baylor to continue this important program, the focus of which is to identify and educate global Christian leaders who are God-called and mission-driven to become catalysts for holistic change in international communities.

The Initiative brings to Baylor's campus international graduate students who demonstrate servant leadership and strategic thinking, possess language fluency and have experience working as Christian leaders in their impoverished communities. Upon graduation from the program, these students commit to return and serve as change agents in their native countries. The first class of five students will graduate in May; three of those students are pictured above.

"When the call came from Carl and Martha that their desire was not only to fund the Global Mission Leadership program, but to also challenge others through their incredible gift and to come alongside this vision, I was simply stunned," said Dr. Diana Garland, dean of the Baylor School of Social Work. "It was 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."

The Lindners' generous gift not only ensures the GML program's viability in perpetuity, but serves as a call to others to provide scholarship support to these students who wish to fulfill their mission of bringing hope to the nations for generations to come. The university is firmly committed to engaging other donors who wish to make substantial commitments toward scholarship funds to sustain and increase the number of students participating in the program.

"By virtue of Mr. and Mrs. Lindner's generosity and vision, many more qualified international social workers will be produced to address social injustices and issues globally," said Joshua Tan, a GML student from Malaysia. "I am certain their kindness will bear many returns in the landscape of social care and development around the world."

Carl and Martha Lindner, of Cincinnati, Ohio, are passionate Christians and committed philanthropists. They are both alums of the University of Cincinnati, where they met. Mr. Lindner is co-CEO and co-president of American Financial Group. The couple has four children: Blake, Carl, Christopher and Matthew, who is a film and digital media major at Baylor and a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

For more information on how to support the Global Mission Leadership Initiative in the Baylor School of Social Work, contact Kristen Box, Director of Development, at or (254) 710-6284. To learn more about this and other global initiatives in the Baylor School of Social Work, visit