Unique institute at Baylor strengthens the bond between faith and sports

Published: Mar. 29, 2022 at 6:28 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A one-of-a-kind institute housed at Truett Seminary at Baylor University is working to strengthen the bond between sports and faith and it’s already making a huge impact in the life of a former Kansas football player from North Texas who is now serving as a chaplain in the Baylor Athletics Department.

Josh Ehambe, 25, of Arlington, is a graduate student in the Faith & Sports Institute who also serves as assistant chaplain for the Baylor men’s basketball and football teams.

The Faith and Sports Institute is a team of athletes, coaches, chaplains, and scholars who provide theological education, compelling research, and formative practices for Christians in sports.

It’s the only institute of its kind in the world. Its designation as a Christian, Division I, and R1 research university means research is being conducted at the highest level.

“I was so one dimensional, but when I came to Baylor and got into the grad program, it taught me how to focus on every dimension of my life and how to be a holistic person, and how to bring sports and faith together,” Ehambe said.

Ehambe is in his third year of a four-year program to graduate with a Master of Divinity with a concentration in Sports Ministry.

He said he’s learned so much that would have made him a better collegiate athlete had he known.

“Absolutely, I think I would not be so focused on performing and just play freely out there,” Ehambe said.

“The scripture tells us that perfect love casts away all fear and I think that because I didn’t love myself and because I wasn’t receiving the love from my coaches that I think I wanted and from home,” Ehambe said.

“I think it caused me to play timidly and not be the Josh Ehambe God called me to be, so I think if I would have had these things, I think the sky would have been the limit for me on the field.”

Ehambe is already sharing what he’s learning with others and impacting the lives of Baylor athletes.

“So often, athletes, especially myself, we pray in the locker room and leave Jesus in the locker room, but what it’s teaching is how can we pray in the locker room and bring Jesus on the field,” he said.

Cindy White, program director and co-founder of the institute, said they are ready to reinforce parents and coaches when it comes to offering guidance to young athletes. “We really just want to come alongside parents, pastors, coaches and athletic directors and just be a source of encouragement for them and equip them,” White said.

“We really believe that if we can get sports right and walk in our Christian tradition than we can get life right.”

If you want to learn more or support the Faith & Sports Institute, there are two upcoming events.

A golf scramble will be held on April 11 at Ridgewood Country Club in Waco.

A high school retreat is also being offered June 15-18.

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