Chris Holdorf ’19 (School of Business & Leadership) is bringing years of corporate, church and non profit work experience – and the influence of Regent University’s Doctorate of Strategic Leadership (DSL) program – to lead the National Christian Foundation (NCF) as its chief executive officer (CEO). NCF mobilizes resources by inspiring biblical generosity, and Holdorf provides strategic direction as the organization distributes its resources for God’s purpose and glory.
“Having been at NCF for three months, the most rewarding parts of serving as CEO are working with such deeply faithful people and facilitating God’s movement of generosity in the lives of surrendered Christians,” said Holdorf. “The opportunity to provide strategic thinking and direction is hugely satisfying as well.”
Holdorf says what he’s learning in the DSL program relates directly to marketplace leadership roles, and that the time spent on schoolwork benefits his ability to lead at NCF. Whether it’s his classes in strategy, foresight communications and messaging, human resource management, or developing organizational culture, he says Regent’s doctoral work puts him at the center of current thinking and stretches his mind.
“Certainly, most doctoral students who are working full-time feel overwhelmed,” said Holdorf. “I’ve also had to adjust to doing the best that I can in school while meeting the demands of travel and long work hours. I’ve quickly learned to relax some of the perfectionist in me. For me, a love for the DSL content is what makes it all possible.”
NCF provides donor-advised funds – what they call a Giving Fund – to simplify the giving process for Christians. The organization will work directly with Christ-centered charities to provide funds according to the interests of its donors. Giving can be in the form of cash or assets, and donors can store up contributions in the Fund, which works like a charitable savings account, and prayerfully decide the charities they’d like to support with the money at the end of a year.
“The mission of NCF is to mobilize resources by inspiring biblical generosity,” said Holdorf. “The vision statement for NCF is, ‘Every person reached and restored through the love of Christ.’ These two statements remind us of why NCF even exists: its Gospel purpose. Regent University exists to develop Christian leadership to change the world. These two purposes are completely aligned. I am simply one of many examples of where the work of leading intersects with the process of developing Christian global leaders.”
Before serving with NCF, Holdorf was a senior executive at several corporations and has served as a senior pastor and executive pastor at two churches where he led growth initiatives. He frequently speaks to business groups and consults on strategy and organizational vision, and he is currently on the board of directors for numerous charitable and civic organizations. He says leadership is about influence and says it takes credibility and integrity to lead as a Christian in today’s world.
“The challenge is living this out in a fast-changing culture that is increasingly hostile toward biblical doctrine,” said Holdorf. “Although Christian leaders today face challenging pressures, in fact, this is not new. Culture has been at war with God for all of human history. But this is our time, and so Christians must lead and seek to make a difference in the context of today’s culture.”
Holdorf says diversity inspires him to join hands with others to make a difference, whether it be racial, political or cultural. He encourages young leaders to recognize their calling to lead no matter where they are because their actions influence others to accomplish goals. He says embracing change, uncertainty, and turbulence is a key to success.
“Too many Christians mistake the immutable character of God as a reason to resist change. Nothing could be further from the truth. We live in a world of extreme change, and Christian leaders should find joy in the challenge of directing that change for the glory of God.”
Directing that change requires continually changing individually by growing in the likeness of Christ.