History of the Center
Shortly after the arrival of Jeff Van Duzer as dean in 2001, SPU’s School of Business and Economics set out with the idea that Christian theology is relevant to business practice and scholarship, and that business can be a force for great good in the world. The result was the launch of the Center for Integrity in Business.
Academic collaboration on theology, ethics, and Christian spirituality has been a central focus from the beginning, with SBE faculty co-authoring journal articles and presentations on different dimensions of a theology of business.
As dialogue around theology and business intensified, Al Erisman, executive in residence, agreed in 2004 to serve as the CIB’s part-time director, and Ethix, a bi-monthly publication exploring technology, business, and ethical issues, found a new home in the Center.
Faculty members sponsored roundtables and academic research, shaping a shared vision for SBE’s signature philosophy, “Another Way of Doing Business.” The CIB hosted a summit for practitioners titled “Bridging Sunday and Monday” at the end of the Christian Business Faculty Association annual conference at SPU in 2007. This event paved the way for the CIB’s future development.
Full-time Director and Next Steps
Soon, a generous donor provided a grant to create funding for a full-time director. John Terrill was hired prior to the 2008–09 academic year, and quickly formed an executive committee to strengthen governance and strategic oversight. Other steps included:
- Launching ambitious initiatives to promote good (and theologically informed) business practices.
- Endowing the Pete and Shirley Hammond InterVarsity Marketplace Library Collection — a vast collection of books and resources exploring topics of Christian faith and work, economics, and business/theology integration.
- Establishing the Bruce R. Kennedy Endowment for Ethical Business Leadership to fund visiting faculty. Under this endowment, the CIB connects scholars and business leaders who are creating new, redemptive models and applications for business.
Events and Conferences
Since 2009, the CIB has hosted six nationally acclaimed conferences:
Today, the CIB continues to sponsor events, research projects, learning communities, and publishing efforts aimed at empowering people in business to lead with integrity and to shape a more just and sustainable world.
In the years to come, the Center seeks to present a trusted, compelling, and prophetic voice in society, calling business leaders to higher ethical standards and encouraging business to embrace its full potential as a force for good in the world.
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