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Center for Faith and Spirituality

Writings and Sermons

The Rev. Kara Baylor joined the Carthage community as Campus Pastor in January 2014, bringing more than 20 years of experience in youth ministry to lead the Center for Faith and Spirituality. 

Pastor Kara writes a column for the Carthaginian, a magazine for Carthage alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends of the College. It is published three times a year by the Carthage Office of Communications. Her columns will be posted below. 

“Gifts that give more than you ever expected” — Carthaginian Winter 2017

“One of the biggest gifts I have ever received was a Lilly Endowment grant for a sabbatical that I was able to take in summer 2013. The focus of my sabbatical application was cooking. My hope was to empower myself and others to get back into the kitchen, to make our own food, and to share that food and fellowship with family and friends.” Read more

“Enveloped in a broader circle of care” — Carthaginian Summer 2016

“In Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, everyone from ages 5 to 18 rode the bus together. My memory of this is so clear because we had just moved to town in July 1977, and the first time my brothers and I got on the bus together — the boys in 10th and eighth grades and I in second — we sat in the first row and they put me right in between them.” Read more

“Piecing together a historic puzzle” — Carthaginian Spring 2016

“In November 1989, I was a sophomore at Luther College. My main concern that fall semester was making friends. My freshman year, I had suffered from an extreme case of shyness — so much that, during the fall semester of my sophomore year, other students asked if I was a transfer student, because they had no memory of me being on campus the year before.” Read more

“The big question … in search of answers” — Carthaginian Fall 2015

“My oldest daughter was away at camp for environmental education, so it was just the three of us at home on a Thursday evening. We were starting the process of cleaning up from an evening of homework, a few games, and some coloring when my youngest daughter, who is in third grade, asked a big question in the form of a statement.” Read more

“Famous people, present and future” — Carthaginian Summer 2015

“During the last week of May, I met a couple of world-famous people. I had the opportunity to meet Eddie Lacy, a running back for the Green Bay Packers. He spoke at the Greater Milwaukee Synod Assembly, which was back on the Carthage campus after a 12-year absence.” Read more

“The beauty of shared success, failure, and service” — Carthaginian Spring 2015

“As I write this article, I’m in Carefree, Arizona, at Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center with 20 other campus pastors from our sister ELCA colleges and universities. It is good to be out of the cold weather of Wisconsin and to feel temperatures above 30 degrees.” Read more

“It’s not about me - it’s all about we” — Carthaginian Fall 2014

“Have you heard? There’s a new campus pastor at Carthage, and it’s me…Kara Baylor. If you happen to live in Kenosha and receive the newspaper, you can’t help but know because my installation service was front-page news on September 29. And, again on Friday, you could find me in the Faith section of the newspaper. Yikes!!” Read more

“Building Faith Bridges” — Carthaginian Summer 2014

“As you can imagine, the question that I have answered a great deal over the last several months is, ‘So, how to do you like your new job?’ And the answer always is, ‘I love it!’ There are many reasons I love being a campus pastor, so my answer is not always the same. Today, when I was asked the question, my answer had to do with the privilege it is to walk with students on their faith journeys. Like snowflakes, no two faith journeys look alike. I knew that when I started this new call, and some of my experiences in this first semester on the job reminded me of the truth of that statement.” Read more

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

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    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from marketing to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

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    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $25,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked in the Top 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …