Grace Business Students Explore Philanthropy in Business
From a Christian perspective, philanthropy is defined as prosocial behavior motivated by the Christian faith. It includes giving of time, talent, finances, or voice, individually or collectively through institutions. Christian philanthropy begins with recognizing everything you have belongs to God. Giving of your time, talents, and treasure is simply using the resources God gave you for His glory. Having this mindset and giving freely is a learning process, which results from growing in your faith and learning from those who model this well.
This is the mindset we have in the School of Business at Grace. Our faculty teach our students how to steward their resources with wisdom and generosity – both professionally and personally. The School of Business doesn’t just give students the technical training they need in these areas, it connects students with alumni and friends of Grace who are faithful stewards in the field of business.
Several of our faculty even invite alumni to speak in their classes about what it looks like to be a Christian in business. These speakers help inspire and excite students to boldly step into the business field as witnesses for Christ. 2008 graduate Patrick Lee and 2016 graduate Brett Hetrick have particularly enjoyed coming in to speak from their own experiences with philanthropy in business.
Patrick Lee’s Experience with Philanthropy in Business
Patrick Lee was a triple major in business management, accounting, and statistics from Grace. Dr. Roger Stichter was a particularly impactful instructor for him, encouraging him to treat his work in business as a mission field. “Dr. Stichter would always say that we should be doing all things to honor and please the Lord,” Lee said.“An accounting firm is just as much of a mission field as it is a career. Every career field needs Christians who are intentional about spreading the light of Christ.”
Currently, Lee is a Tax Partner with Kruggel Lawton CPAs. Christian philanthropy is a big part of Lee’s life and work. “Philanthropy in business is using my time, talent, and treasure for God’s glory,” Lee said. “My worldview does not break into professional and personal, but rather is one holistic view that I use in my everyday life.”
Lee shared with students that his worldview is informed by the Bible, which he views as the anchor for his entire life. Philippians 4:6, which says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God,” keeps Lee focused. “It can be easy to get anxious at times while we seek to live out our faith in a world that rejects Christ,” said Lee. “However, that doesn’t change our calling to honor the Lord in everything we do.”
Lee wants to be a philanthropist who is not anxious about how he uses his time, talent, and resources, but allows those things to flow naturally from his relationship with Christ.
Brett Hetrick’s Experience with Philanthropy in Business
Brett Hetrick graduated from Grace with her bachelors in accounting and a masters of business administration through the accelerated bachelors and masters program. Stichter’s classes were impactful to her because of the devotionals he shared about his experiences in the business world. “I enjoyed the Christ-centered environment he created,” said Hetrick. “He always emphasized that we should let our lives be formed by our relationship with God,” she said.
Hetrick started off in a CPA firm. She liked the work, but since most of her coworkers were not Christians, forming strong relationships with her coworkers proved difficult. When Brotherhood Mutual Insurance reached out with a role in their finance department as a tax accountant, Hetrick jumped at the opportunity to work for a Christ-centered company. Brotherhood encourages its employees to discuss spiritual topics and has a weekly chapel time for employees to worship God together.
Hetrick was invited to speak in Dr. Stichter’s Advanced Accounting class after she made the switch to Brotherhood. She spoke to students about her life verse, Colossians 3:23, which states, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
Hetrick’s goal is for her work and her life to be pleasing to the Lord first and foremost. She hopes that the students she speaks to at Grace will adopt that goal in their own lives and that they will be well-versed in using their resources for the Lord.
Do you want to learn more about Grace’s School of Business and the way it promotes Christian philanthropy? Find more information and read the stories of students in the School of Business here!
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