• Meet Baylor’s faculty expert on Christian ethics

    Dr. Paul Martens portrait

    Baylor University has plenty of faculty members, across all disciplines, who bring an ethical foundation to their research and teaching; it’s one of the distinct benefits of a Baylor education. That doesn’t just happen on its own; it’s an intentional effort by the university, supported through efforts like the Baylor Ethics Initiative.

    The leader of that group? Dr. Paul Martens.

    In his primary academic role, Martens serves as associate professor of ethics, teaching in both Baylor’s religion and medical humanities departments, and as director of interdisciplinary programs in the College of Arts & Sciences. Specializing in Christian ethics, his research touches on such topics as global ethics, Anabaptist theology, and Christian articulations of pacifism and just war.

    As an author, Martens has written four books (three focused on Danish theologian and philosopher Soren Kierkegaard) and edited five others, in addition to numerous journal publications. His research has supported projects funded by the National Science Foundation, University of St. Andrews, and others.

    But while his work has reached around the world, Martens focuses a great deal of his attention on enhancing resources across Baylor’s campus to support interdisciplinary conversations and focuses on ethics. As acting director of the Baylor Ethics Initiative, Martens leads a community of scholars across campus who come together to discuss multi-disciplinary ethical issues and share ways they can elevate the role of ethics in their teaching and research.

    Since the Initiative’s founding, faculty participants have earned grants together, helped develop a bioethics certificate program, and partnered with Baylor’s Academy for Teaching and Learning to create a summer ethics seminar for faculty.

    “Three goals drive what we do: support the highest quality research in ethics, cultivate ethical literacy across our faculty, and utilize those to train our undergraduates,” Martens says. “Together, the Baylor Ethics Initiative allows us to gather across disciplines and to cultivate multiple levels of conversation across campus that have similar interests and concerns, but reach different audiences.”

    Sic ’em, Dr. Martens!