It’s time for the inaugural Baylor Line Festival, a conference designed to bring important thinkers and big ideas together for the Baylor Family. Join us for three lively days packed with 15+ sessions, plus Waco’s best barbecue, killer tacos, and some extra special magic.

Since 1946, Baylor Line has been the only independent, member-supported, and alumni-focused media organization in the Baylor Family. For over 75 years, Baylor Line has chronicled life in the Baylor Family, covering the administration, student life, and campus activities, as well as featuring stories on all the Bears across the generations and globe. Our reporting is unique, personal, and – firmly – independent of influence, bias, or sway.

LINE FEST, a first of its kind event for the Baylor Family, will be hosted in the heart of Downtown Waco at Baylor Line Foundation’s private venue space and will draw a diverse audience of movers, shakers, stakeholders, educators, students, and leaders from the Baylor Family and beyond, in person and online.

Our inaugural program includes keynotes, panels, and featured interviews with the leading authors, politicians, journalists, and prominent industry leaders across three action-packed days. Before, during, and after, you’ll find high-energy events and opportunities for networking and socializing.

All proceeds from LINE FEST support Baylor Line’s independent, nonprofit newsroom. Since its launch in 1946, our journalism has become the go-to source that keeps Baylor Bears informed and connected to campus and beyond. We have much to celebrate — hope you’ll join us.

Three Day Pass

$25

*Normally $75

One Day Pass

$10

*Normally $30

Student Pass

$3

*Normally $10

Our Sponsors

Baylor Line is supported by our sponsors! Become one today.

Featured Speakers

Join these guests at Baylor Line Festival to hear their interviews across three action-packed days

Robert F. Darden

CoAuthor, Soon and Very Soon & Retired Journalism Professor

Jeanne Bishop

Author, Grace From The Rubble & Change of Heart

Elesha Coffman

Associate Professor of History, Baylor University

Craig Cunningham

Author, One Night In a thousand Years

Andrea Barefield

Waco City Council, District 1

Patrick Svitek

Political Correspondent, The Texas Tribune

Joanne Cummings

Director, Baylor Middle East Studies Program

Mark Wingfield

Publisher & Executive Director, Baptist NewS Global

Paula Solis

Newsletter Editor,
Houston Landing

Max Kabat

Publisher,
The Big Bend Sentinel

Maisie Crow

Editor-in-chief,
The Big Bend Sentinel

Stephen Newby

Prichard Chair in the Study of Black Worship, Baylor University

Mark Long

Professor emeritus,
Baylor Interdisciplinary Core

AND MORE...

Grab Your Tickets Today To See All These Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Come close out our first LINE FEST in a big way with an interview from a leading reporter in the world of accounting and accountability.

Francine McKenna

Francine McKenna is a lecturer at the Wharton School, The University of Pennsylvania. McKenna is also an award-winning writer and teacher who migrated to investigative journalism after a career in the public accounting industry. She is a past Baylor guest lecturer.

Festival Host

Screenshot 2023-06-22 at 9.02.54 AM

Jonathon platt Editor-in-chief, Baylor Line

Join Jonathon for 14 sessions across 3 days with over 20 guests at the newest event with the biggest ideas in the Baylor Family. He'll be your guide through conversations on some of the most important ideas impacting Baylor, Texas, and our world today.

Opening Breakfast

Enjoy self-serve donuts, coffee, juice from Nightlight Donuts & Coffee.

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Grace From The Rubble: The OKC Bombing & Forgiveness

Jeanne Bishop is a public defender and an outspoken activist for the abolition of the death penalty. She is the author of Change of Heart, about the journey to forgiveness she undertook following the murder of her sister and brother-in-law, and Grace From the Rubble, a story about an unlikely friendship that formed in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing.

9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

One Night in a Thousand Years

Craig Cunningham is an novelist, poet, and filmmaker who has worked in a variety of professional creative roles over the years. He is the author of the Theology series and is a frequent contributor to Magnolia Journal. His latest work is the novel One Night in a Thousand Years, a classic coming-of-age story about being invited into the adventure of life.

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Turning Points in American Church History

Dr. Elesha Coffman is an associate professor of history at Baylor, with degrees from Wheaton and Duke. Her research focuses on American religious & intellectual history. Coffman's latest book, Turning Points in American Church History, will be released in January of 2024.

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Soon and Very Soon: Andrae Crouch

Robert F. Darden is a retired master teacher of journalism, public relations, and new media at Baylor. He is also the author of over 20 books, including his most recent (co-authored with Dr. Stephen Newby), Soon and Very Soon: Andrae Crouch, The Light Years. Darden founded the Baylor Black Gospel Restoration Program, the largest collection of digitized Black Gospel in the world. Darden is also Baylor Line's longest contributing writer, having worked with every editor since 1976. He retired from teaching in 2023 as the most awarded professor in Baylor's history.

Dr. Stephen Newby is inaugural Lev Prichard III Endowed Chair in the Study of Black Worship at the Baylor School of Music. He is the co-author of Soon and Very Soon with Robert F. Darden. Additionally, Dr. Newby serves as Ambassador for Baylor's Black Gospel Music Preservation Program. Newby's long, highly regarded career as a composer, academic, and musicologist includes serving as Minister of Worship at Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, GA, and Professor of Music at Seattle Pacific University.

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Opening Reception - Diaper Drive

Thanks to our community sponsor: McLennan County Diaper Collective.

Enjoy beer, wine, snacks, and good conversations among Line Fest attendees, speakers, sponsors, and friends. Plus, bring a pack of diapers to support the needs of local families and your drink is on us!

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Opening Breakfast

Enjoy self-serve donuts, coffee, juice from Nightlight Donuts & Coffee

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Soon and Very Soon: Andrae Crouch

Robert F. Darden is a retired master teacher of journalism, public relations, and new media at Baylor. He is also the author of over 20 books, including his most recent (co-authored with Dr. Stephen Newby), Soon and Very Soon: Andrae Crouch, The Light Years. Darden founded the Baylor Black Gospel Restoration Program, the largest collection of digitized Black Gospel in the world.

9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Grace From The Rubble: The OKC Bombing & Forgiveness

Jeanne Bishop is a public defender and an outspoken activist for the abolition of the death penalty. She is the author of Change of Heart, about the journey to forgiveness she undertook following the murder of her sister and brother-in-law, and Grace From the Rubble, a story about an unlikely friendship that formed in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing.

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Turning Points in American Church History

Dr. Elesha Coffman is an associate professor of history at Baylor, with degrees from Wheaton and Duke. Her research focuses on American religious & intellectual history. Coffman's latest book, Turning Points in American Church History, will be released in January of 2024.

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

One Night in a Thousand Years

Craig Cunningham is an novelist, poet, and filmmaker who has worked in a variety of professional creative roles over the years. He is the author of the Theology series and is a frequent contributor to Magnolia Journal. His latest work is the novel One Night in a Thousand Years, a classic coming-of-age story about being invited into the adventure of life.

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Opening Reception

Enjoy beer, wine, snacks, and good conversations among Line Fest attendees, speakers, sponsors, and friends.

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Opening Breakfast

Enjoy self-service pastries, coffee, juice from Waco's Baked Bliss Co.

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Local Government: The Future of Waco

Andrea Jackson Barefield was elected to the Waco City Council to represent District I in 2018. Andrea is the Executive Director of the Texas Brazos Trail Region – part of the Texas Heritage Trails Program. Andrea has a Public Relations degree from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas, where she met her husband Elijah. They have two sons, Drew and Jaxon. They are active members of Toliver Chapel Baptist Church.

9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Dissecting The Paxton Impeachment

Patrick Svitek is the primary political correspondent for The Texas Tribune. Patrick covers elections, state leaders, the Legislature and political trends across the state. He previously worked for the Houston Chronicle's Austin bureau. He graduated in 2014 from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. He is originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana and is based in San Antonio.

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The Deadly Rise of Extremism in U.S. Politics

Dr. J. Mark Long is a professor emeritus of the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core. Previously, he served as Faculty Assistant Director of the BIC from 2008-2014, and team-taught a world cultures course. Dr. Long was also the Director of Middle East Studies and an Associate Professor in the Honors College. He academic research ranges from contemporary Islamic fundamentalism and the Arab-Israeli conflict to, more recently, extremism in America. 

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Going Global: A Panel on Foreign Relations

Joanne Cummings is the director of Baylor’s Middle East Studies program and teaches in the BIC and Political Science department. She was instrumental in the development of an interfaith minor at Baylor. A retired diplomat, her experience is wide-ranging. She was most recently the Foreign Policy Advisor (POLAD) to CJTF-OIR, based in Baghdad. She has also served extensively in the Middle East, North Africa, and East Africa.

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

CANCELLED - Line Fest BBQ Feast

Unfortunately, this VIP event has been cancelled. Helberg BBQ was damaged by a fire over the weekend and is closed indefinitely.

6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Opening Breakfast

Enjoy self-service pastries, coffee, juice from Waco's Baked Bliss Co.

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Local Government: The Future of Waco

Andrea Jackson Barefield was elected to the Waco City Council to represent District I in 2018. Andrea is the Executive Director of the Texas Brazos Trail Region – part of the Texas Heritage Trails Program. Andrea has a Public Relations degree from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas, where she met her husband Elijah. They have two sons, Drew and Jaxon. They are active members of Toliver Chapel Baptist Church.

9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Dissecting The Paxton Impeachment

Patrick Svitek is the primary political correspondent for The Texas Tribune. Patrick covers elections, state leaders, the Legislature and political trends across the state. He previously worked for the Houston Chronicle's Austin bureau. He graduated in 2014 from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. He is originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana and is based in San Antonio.

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Going Global: A Panel on Foreign Relations

Joanne Cummings is the director of Baylor’s Middle East Studies program and teaches in the BIC and Political Science department. She was instrumental in the development of an interfaith minor at Baylor. A retired diplomat, her experience is wide-ranging. She was most recently the Foreign Policy Advisor (POLAD) to CJTF-OIR, based in Baghdad. She has also served extensively in the Middle East, North Africa, and East Africa.

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Line Fest BBQ Feast with [SPECIAL GUEST]

THIS IS A SEPARATE TICKETED EVENT AND NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Join us for an intimate, tasty, and exciting Waco, Texas barbecue dinner and a conversation about the state of the Lone Star State with our special guest -- to be announced soon!

6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Opening Breakfast

Enjoy self-serve kolaches, coffee, juice from Slovacek's West

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Baptist News Global: Hyper-Niche News

Mark Wingfield serves as executive director and publisher of Baptist News Global. He previously served 17 years as associate pastor of Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas. Prior to that, he spent 21 years in denominational journalism. His latest book is "Why Churches Need to Talk about Sexuality." He and his wife, Alison, are parents of two adult sons and live in Dallas.

9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Houston Landing: Local News with a Non-Profit Twist

Paula Solis is the newsletter editor for Houston Landing. Previously, she worked with Teach for America for over six years, ultimately serving as the director of national communications & public affairs. She graduated in 2014 with a degree in journalism from Baylor.

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The Big Bend Sentinel: Supporting News in a New Way

The Crow-Kabat Power Couple co-own the Big Bend Sentinel, the paper of record for Marfa, Texas and Presidio County where Maisie serves as editor and Max as publisher. They also are the owners of The Sentinel, a coffee shop-restuarant-bar concept they built to support local journalism. Maisie Crow is a documentary filmmaker. Her past work includes Jackson, a intimate, first-of-its-kind look at reproductive health care through people in the Deep South who stand on both sides of the debate, and At The Ready, about a group of seniors who train to become police officers and Border Patrol agents at El Paso’s Horizon High School, near the U.S./Mexico border. Max Kabat is the co-founder of goodDog, a brand strategy firm, and Broadsheet, a targeted ad network assisting national brands with engaging local, independent journalism.

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Closing Keynote: Digging Up Fraud with The Dig

Francine McKenna is a former lecturer at the Wharton School, The University of Pennsylvania. McKenna is also an award-winning writer and teacher who migrated to investigative journalism after a career in the public accounting industry. She is a past Baylor guest lecturer.

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Opening Breakfast

Enjoy self-serve kolaches, coffee, juice from Slovacek's West

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Baptist News Global: Hyper-Niche News

Mark Wingfield serves as executive director and publisher of Baptist News Global. He previously served 17 years as associate pastor of Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas. Prior to that, he spent 21 years in denominational journalism. His latest book is "Why Churches Need to Talk about Sexuality." He and his wife, Alison, are parents of two adult sons and live in Dallas.

9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Houston Landing: Local News with a Non-Profit Twist

Paula Solis is the newsletter editor for Houston Landing. Previously, she worked with Teach for America for over six years, ultimately serving as the director of national communications & public affairs. She graduated in 2014 with a degree in journalism from Baylor.

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

To Be Announced

Coming Soon

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

The Big Bend Sentinel: Supporting News in a New Way

The Crow-Kabat Power Couple co-own the Big Bend Sentinel, the paper of record for Marfa, Texas and Presidio County where Maisie serves as editor and Max as publisher. They also are the owners of The Sentinel, a coffee shop-restuarant-bar concept they built to support local journalism. Maisie Crow is a documentary filmmaker. Her past work includes Jackson, a intimate, first-of-its-kind look at reproductive health care through people in the Deep South who stand on both sides of the debate, and At The Ready, about a group of seniors who train to become police officers and Border Patrol agents at El Paso’s Horizon High School, near the U.S./Mexico border. Max Kabat is the co-founder of goodDog, a brand strategy firm, and Broadsheet, a targeted ad network assisting national brands with engaging local, independent journalism.

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Closing Keynote: Digging Up Fraud with The Dig

Francine McKenna is a lecturer at the Wharton School, The University of Pennsylvania. McKenna is also an award-winning writer and teacher who migrated to investigative journalism after a career in the public accounting industry. She is a past Baylor guest lecturer.

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Late Night with The Line

A close out celebration with a live band, beer and wine, and as many breakfast tacos as you can eat.

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Tickets

LAST CALL DISCOUNTS

With less than a week until LINE FEST, save 66% on a pass!

 

Three Day Pass – $25 (Normally $75)

  • Get access to all three days of LINE FEST
  • Includes all main sessions, plus Opening Reception, Closing Keynote, and Late Night with The Line
  • Network with speakers, guests, and fellow Baylor alums
  • Does not include a ticket to Line Feast

One Day Pass – $10 (Normally $30)

  • Attend one day of LINE FEST
  • Includes all main sessions and networking events for selected day
  • Meet speakers, guests, and fellow Baylor alums
  • Does not include a ticket to Line Feast

Student Pass – $3 (Normally $10)

  • Get access to all three days of LINE FEST at a special, students-only discounted rate
  • Includes all main sessions
  • Includes a special students-only session (more info to come)
  • Grow your network with opportunities to interact with speakers, guests, and Baylor alumni
  • Does not include networking events
  • Does not include a ticket to Line Feast

– Sponsor LINE FEST –

  • Build the value of your brand at LINE FEST with Baylor Line
  • We work with you to create something that expresses your brand values while helping to meet your goals for quality engagement
  • Support Baylor Line’s independent, nonprofit newsroom
  • Add special value to all attendees, speakers, guests, and students
  • Get a VIP ticket to Line Feast
  • Contact Baylor Line today for sponsorship information

Our Sponsors

Baylor Line is supported by our sponsors! Become one today.