Students in Professor Richard Kocur’s capstone Business Policy and Strategy course at Grove City College grapple with a lot of tricky questions, but the biggest one may very well be “What does it mean to be a Christian in today’s business world?”
Addressing that question is a key writing assignment for the more than 60 senior marketing, management, accounting, finance, international business and industrial management majors who take the class. In addition to being a course requirement, the essays students write on the theme become entries in contest.
“The assignment is a unique aspect of our business department and I think demonstrates our connection with the college’s mission and values,” Kocur ’87, assistant professor of Management & Marketing, said. “The essay contest serves to support not only the mission of the college, but the Business Program’s vision of being a premier undergraduate business program where scholarship and application combine with Christian principles.”
Qualifying essays were evaluated by member of the College’s Business Program faculty and the top three received in-class recognition and a monetary award.
Senior Austin Everett, an Accounting major from Saint Joseph, Mo., took first prize. He cited Protestant reformer Martin Luther’s view that work was a calling through which God can be glorified. Everett offered three “marks” that Christians can exhibit in their work: excellence, humble service and conviction. “In a society where morality and meaning is constantly being questioned and even redefined, it is clear to see that the need for the Christian to have true conviction is more dire than ever,” Everett wrote.
Olivia Ebert ’18, a Business Management major from Grove City, secured second place. “Practicing Christianity as a business-person does not necessarily mean running around the office and pushing Jesus on all you encounter, neglecting the work for which you are being paid in place of your calling. Practicing Christianity is about working hard as to the Lord and not to men (Colossians 3:23) and can take place in the small everyday kind of tasks accomplished with the attitude of Christ,” Ebert wrote.
Third-prize winner Lindsey Lueken ’18, an Accounting major from Slippery Rock, Pa., wrote about the challenge of keeping God at the forefront in the business world. “Much too often in today's world, Christian business leaders are found compartmentalizing their faith, family, and work; yet, God calls His followers to uphold their faith in all aspects of life,” she wrote.