Spiritual Wellbeing Leave & the Holidays

November 27, 2023

As part of Baylor’s campuswide Spiritual Wellbeing initiative, the Spiritual Wellbeing Leave was implemented beginning September 1, 2023.  All eligible Baylor staff received 8 hours per year of time off dedicated to use for purposes of Spiritual Wellbeing.  In the last 3 months, staff have taken over 1,700 hours of this time to support their spiritual health.  Are you still looking for ways to take your leave?  The holidays often offer opportunities for spiritual renewal through a variety of activities.  Please see the suggestions below:

  • Volunteer with a food drive or meal service (ex: Shepherd’s Heart, Meals on Wheels Waco, etc.).  Many organizations that provide food security services often need increased help during the holidays.
  • Set aside time for Advent devotionals. (ex: Give Light offers daily devotionals online).
  • Assist your church or neighbor with decorating for the holidays.  Many churches and families like to celebrate the holidays with decorations that remind them of the reason for the season.
  • Ring in the New Year with a time of reflection.  Spend some focus time on what you accomplished in 2023 and what you’d like to accomplish in 2024.

Read more about how one of your colleagues has spent their Spiritual Wellbeing Leave so far this year and what this benefit means to them.

"My Spiritual Wellbeing hours were spent spreading the word of God in an ACTS Retreat for women.  ACTS is the acronym for Adoration, Community, Theology, and Service. These serve as the four pillars of the retreat.

I served as a member of a thirty women team from Saint Jerome Catholic Church and other surrounding participating Catholic Churches from the Waco area who led the retreat for another twenty-eight women.

The ACTS Retreat is Catholic Faith based. You do not have to be of the Catholic denomination to attend. Non-Catholics are welcome. The retreat team planned the event for other participants. They are supported with prayer and given the opportunity to enrich their faith with this spiritual experience. It is a four-day retreat that begins on Thursday.

Baylor University’s Mission Statement incorporates 'Christian commitment with a caring community.' To have access to Spiritual Wellbeing leave means that Baylor embraces this statement, by providing employees of the university to take time to develop ourselves to become a better version of who we already are. It reveals to others that faith is valued.

I appreciate the time away from work to energize, and participate in something uplifting, that makes us more positive and helps us to realize that God is Good All the Time.

I would like to Thank Baylor University for including this opportunity to staff, as it is truly time well spent."

- Elida Garza, Office of the Registrar

Spiritual Wellbeing results from our communion with God and greatly supports our mental health.  Baylor University encourages staff to use this benefit to further these endeavors in a way that is most meaningful to you personally.  You can find more information about Spiritual Wellbeing Leave at this webpage.  We would love to hear about your experience utilizing Spiritual Wellbeing Leave.  Please contact Lauren Vorderkunz at Lauren_Vorderkunz@baylor.edu to share your story.