Eddy Shigley, Director of the Kern Ministry Program
Indiana Wesleyan University is relatively new to the Oikonomia Network (ON), but we expect to gain significant traction with several upcoming events. Our ON program reaches undergraduate ministry students involved in our five-year degree program – sponsored by The Kern Family Foundation – as well as our graduate seminary.
In January, Ron Blue, entrepreneur, financial planner, and founder of Ronald Blue & Co., will kick off our Distinguished Lecture Series by speaking on “Biblical Financial Stewardship” to over 300 of our ministry majors from both schools. We will host a roundtable discussion following the training, as well as a Q&A session during dinner. In March, another lecture in the series will feature Patrick Johnson and Sharon Epps of Generous Church discussing “Generous Church/Better Economy.” There will be four 45-minute seminars on the topic.
We have also started an internship program that will allow ministry students from both schools to shadow top-level executive leaders at several local businesses. This internship is designed to help our students learn how business leaders think, engage their faith in the business world, and incorporate biblical stewardship principles to enhance the economy.
Our ON program launched in March 2013 with an event celebrating the publication of “How God Makes the World a Better Place: A Wesleyan Primer on Faith, Work, and Economic Transformation,” written by our president, David Wright, and published by the Acton Institute. At this event, David Kim of the Center for Faith and Work at Redeemer Presbyterian Church and Stephen Grabill of the Acton Institute discussed “The Theological Exposition of the Relationship Between Faith, Work and Economic Forces,” as well as best practices from the Center for Faith and Work. Following the lecture, faculty members and representatives from the Sagamore Institute, a think tank headquartered nearby in Indianapolis, led students in round-table discussions and Q&A sessions concerning a theology of work. We experienced a tremendous turnout of students, faculty members, local pastors, and community leaders engaged in the round-table discussion.