Training Church Planters in Entrepreneurship
ON at Seattle Pacific University
Eli Ritchie, program assistant, Center for Biblical and Theological Education
In the summer of 2016, Seattle Pacific University will welcome its first cohort in the Christian Social Entrepreneurship program. Initiated at the behest of key church and academic leaders, the program is developing in the coming months through a partnership between SPU’s School of Theology and the SPU School of Business, Government and Economics. By next summer, a transformative, practical and integrated curriculum will be ready to be applied within the rich, entrepreneurial history and culture of Seattle.
Matt Sigler, the program’s director and a new faculty member at SPU, joins the university after previous experience at Southwestern College and Boston University to give leadership to this new initiative. “This program is not about trying to find creative ways to make the gospel more hip or compelling – the good news of Jesus Christ could not be more compelling. The Program for Christian Social Entrepreneurship is about prayerfully exploring fresh ways to live out the gospel in the midst of a rapidly changing culture.”
Starting June 20-29, 2016, faculty from both schools will be on hand to teach seminars during an intensive 10-day residency in Seattle, which will also serve to build a supportive cohort community and provide a foundation of experience. As participants return to their own communities to apply their learning through developing and launching new social ventures, they will receive one-on-one professional coaching, as well as peer support, and ongoing evaluation. Contact us if you are seeking more information; we hope that you will consider potential students who may benefit from the new program and refer them to us!
Service Learning in Business – for Pastors
ON at Indiana Wesleyan University
Eddy Shigley, director of the Kern Ministry Program
At Indiana Wesleyan University, we require all students in our five-year combined undergraduate/graduate pastoral degree program to take a “Service Learning Internship” course with a local business. The internship provides the student with an overview of how the personal faith of the business leader informs and directs their particular organization, and in turn adds to the economic flourishing of the American people. Developing a theology of work is critical for both economic professionals and for pastors, whose challenge of equipping the saints includes empowering people for the primary arena of their service to God in the world.
The desired student outcomes are:
- Develop a robust theology of work.
- Understand a holistic Biblical perspective on life, work, and economics.
- Clearly identify the four central themes and twelve economic wisdom principles found in the Economic Wisdom Project.
- Describe the ethical values and guidelines prominent in this particular business and develop a Code of Ethics for doing business with others.
- Identify the leadership principles learned during this internship. Evaluate business and leadership performance and integration of faith in the marketplace.
- Develop a better understanding of how to effectively communicate and relate to business leaders in your particular church.
This past summer, we had 20 students undertake this internship. Every year, these students experience life change. Most of our students have not really thought through a theology of work before; this is an introduction to a new way of thinking. Our pastoral students typically think of the marketplace only in terms of evangelism. This is an opportunity for the church to partner with local business leaders in redeeming culture, communities, and economies to the glory of God. Through this course, our ministerial students begin to think clearly about biblical principles that affect economic development, stewardship responsibility, value creation, and human flourishing – all within the context of being entrusted with a ministry of reconciliation.