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Pastor Kara Baylor, Kara Baylor Carthage’s campus pastor and director of congregational relations, has more than 25 years of experience in ministry. She has always had a special interest in youth and social justice ministries and has worked with other Carthage offices to develop spiritual programs and service activities. Get to know Pastor Baylor!

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What drew you to Carthage, and how long have you been here?

“I was drawn to Carthage because I had a desire for a new challenge in ministry, specifically with helping college-aged students.”

What are the responsibilities of your job?

“I’m responsible for spiritual life on campus for everyone — not just Lutherans, not just Christians, but every worldview. My job asks students to reflect on who they want to be in the world and what type of impact they want to have. Simply put, my job is to encourage personal growth.”

What’s something you’ve learned from working with students?

“It has been a long time since I have been in my early twenties, so I love talking to students to hear their perspectives on life. I also don’t live on campus, so I need students to tell me how the Center for Faith and Spirituality (CFS) can help make life on campus even better.”

How do you encourage students to learn more about their faith and spirituality? 

“I encourage students in many ways: I hold ‘Monday Morning Motivations’ on Instagram, which are short encouraging messages for their week. The CFS also hosts worship on Thursday nights, and there are multiple different faith organizations and clubs on campus.”

What new challenges have you faced in your role?

“One of the challenges I’ve faced is students being uncertain whether they will be judged because of their different identities. I want those students to know that I am truly here for everyone no matter what their worldview is.”

What opportunities does Carthage offer for students who wish to deepen their faith and spirituality?

“There are so many opportunities. I think Interfaith Lunch is one of the best events we hold out of CFS. It is a chance to learn more about other faith traditions, and when you learn about other traditions, you tend to reflect on your own traditions.”

What has been your favorite event that the Center for Faith and Spirituality has hosted over your time at Carthage?

“I love collaborative events, so Chapel Night Live at the beginning of the year is one of my favorites. We have outside faith groups come in and food trucks — it is a blast.”

Is there anything you’d like to say to the parents of Carthage students?

“My goal is to give each student a toolbox of questions to help them reflect on life and to guide their journey. There are not always easy answers in life; however, there are great questions that will help us through life rooted in both faith and non-faith wisdom.”

What are you most proud of doing during your time at Carthage so far?

“I am most proud of creating our Interfaith Lunch program. As I mentioned, it is one of my favorite programs CFS holds.”

What is your best piece of advice for Carthage students?

“Take the risk to try something new. College is a time to learn and grow and discover more about yourself and others. Try as many new things as possible. You are still at the beginning of life, and there is still so much to learn.”