When Christian business professors want to improve their ability to spice up the life-long knowledge they teach students with the life-changing faith that rests in their hearts, they join the Christian Business Faculty Association (CBFA). 2015 marked the 35th year faculty across the United States, and outside of it, gathered to devote time and attention to the topic, and this year Regent University served as the host site.
“So far I have learned so many teaching pedagogies, new ways of teaching my students from my colleagues, and I’m learning of so many websites students can use to enhance their learning,” said Roy Philip, associate professor of marketing at Trevecca Nazarene University in Tennessee. “I’m just learning a lot about teaching, not necessarily marketing, but how to teach and be a better teacher of marketing.”
Reason and faith together makes Regent unique, and those elements also characterize the CBFA unique. The organization had visited Regent in 2003, but the event was held exclusively at the Founders Inn. This year guests heard from speakers at various locations on Regent’s campus.
“Regent has this passion for integrating faith and reason, and that’s the purpose of the conference – integrating faith into the business disciplines,” said Dr. Joseph Bucci, department chair of business leadership and management in Regent’s College of Arts & Sciences (CAS). “We believe this is just an extension of our own mission. When talking to senior leaders about this, when talking to our dean about it, he was very passionate about doing this kind of thing, and it’s something we want to highlight as part of what we’re developing in our business major courses.”
The conference included tours of area businesses, Regent’s campus and the Christian Broadcasting Network, showcasing the entrepreneurial spirit that started Regent, and capturing the innovative drive to honor the Lord through hard work, obedience and faith.
“We are being persecuted for our faith in the U.S. It is slowly coming here,” said Philip. “I come from India where we are persecuted physically, but we’re slowly coming to that place. Churches may not be the only place for us to preach the gospel. We may have to take this to the workplace. Having Christian CEOs to implement those policies through a Christian perspective into the workplace is the best way to get non-believers to recognize there is a God.”
Taking the gospel to the workplace, personal transformation and holistic flourishing, social entrepreneurship, work and its importance, and fighting corruption were some of the topics featured at the conference. Speakers included Christian business professors and various leaders in business and policy. They provided Christian insight to financial and business knowledge.
“Our goal at AEI is to get out the ideas and show the superiority of the free enterprising economy and free society,” said Alex J. Pollock, fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). “Professors should be doing the same thing. Those ideas, over time, matter.”
Pollock works with the values and capitalism program at AEI in Washington, D.C. He delivered a keynote address to discuss the temptation of “bubbles,” taking an in-depth look at the housing bubble in the early 2000s. He showed there’s always a stable trend around which free markets fluctuate. He demonstrated how a free economy depends on people living according to values, showing that home ownership, for example, is significantly higher among married couples.
“Most importantly, of course, is to live your faith, your actions match your words and you be the example, and you have to articulate it,” said Pollock. “In leadership, one of the most important things is repetition. If you want people to understand, you have to repeat the message so that it comes through in time by repetition, and then make your actions consistent with your message.”