Faith and the Healing Professions

March 1, 2023
Faith and the Healing Professions

Chapel has been a significant part of the Baylor experience throughout its 178-year history, and it remains an important part of each Baylor student’s experience. The size and form of Chapel looks different than it did in 1845, evolving and growing alongside the campus community that nearly 20,000 students call home each semester. With a variety of faith journeys and backgrounds, Chapel options have grown to include profession-specific and experience-based small group chapels, including options for business, creatives, student-athletes and veterans.

Faith and the Healing Professions is one of these profession-specific chapels, offering a weekly haven for pre-health students to fellowship and explore the ways in which faith perspectives and spiritual practices form and prepare future healthcare professionals to deal with the challenges they will face. 

Started as a collaboration between Baylor faculty members, including William G. Hoy, D.Min., Bill Neilson, B.A. ’76, M.D., and Rich Sanker, Ph.D., the intent was to address burnout, frustration and anxiety among those in the medical profession by introducing spiritual formation and a strong Christian faith system.

“We bring in speakers who can testify to their faith and seeing God’s image when dealing with their patients,” Sanker said. “We want them to recognize that it’s a sacred opportunity to engage with the patient in that mindset and what that means in their faith system.”

Each week includes talks and discussions that emphasize the importance of healthy spiritual life and encourage the development of helpful practices early in one’s career in the medical world.

“In today’s world — particularly dealing with the health professions — a student’s faith is a precious gift,” Sanker said. 

“Baylor is in a unique space to truly help a student embrace and grow their faith through their spiritual formation in their time here in the Baylor campus community. We have a distinct opportunity within the Chapel program to give them a place to have true dialogue and discussion about faith so that they can grow into it themselves. It is one of the unique things, being part of Baylor, that we know we can truly take part in enriching a student’s life in a way that other schools cannot.”

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