SBU Business School gets kudos
Magazine tabs it among the nation’s top 10 Christian business schools
By Brian Koonce
October 18, 2005
BOLIVAR – David Whitlock thinks his business school is top notch. Now he has proof.
Business Reform magazine, a Christian business publication, recently recognized Southwest Baptist University’s (SBU) College of Business and Computer Science as one of the Top 10 Christian Business Schools in the nation in two of four categories.
SBU was the only university in Missouri to be named to any of the categories in the magazine’s 2005 rankings. The September/October issue ranked SBU’s business school fourth in job placements and ninth in business faculty based on a survey of deans and administrators of Christian institutions across the nation.
David Whitlock, dean, College of Business and Computer Science, said he was not surprised his faculty was recognized, crediting their faith for their success.
“Faculty must be professing Christians, but all of our faculty are also active Christians. They are praise band leaders, bi-vocational pastors and Sunday School teachers,” he said, noting that all 15 instructors are “dedicated to their craft and integrating principles with how a Christian professional ought to act.”
Whitlock said he agreed with the magazine that SBU’s business students are leaving Bolivar ready to enter the job field. Hundreds of business cards adorning the school’s wall boasting the new employers of recent graduates offer evidence.
“What employers are finding are not only students who are well prepared, but have values and a work ethic that is consistent with what they desire,” he said.
In a world full of corporate scandal and an atmosphere where “Christianity” and “business” seem to be oxymorons, Whitlock said secular employers see the value of a Christian education in a potential employee.
“A lot of them have told me that it’s not critical to them that we’re teaching from a biblical worldview, but practically what’s happening is that our students are going out and exhibiting a work ethic and standards that are attractive to employers, Christian or not. They can trust our students.”
Whitlock said students are not just equipped to be good businessmen and women.
“They come out equipped as missionaries,” he said. “Our mission fields are the board of directors, they’re the entrepreneurial firms, they’re suppliers.”
SBU’s College of Business and Computer Science encompasses eight academic majors and is the biggest academic department of the university, with 252 students or nearly one fifth of the student population. A distinct Christian feature of the school is its “Psalm 15 Plan.”
“We hope that Psalm 15 describes each graduate that comes out of the college,” he said, referring David’s description of a man of character “who may dwell with the Lord.”
The school identified eight specific characteristics in the psalm and incorporates those into the syllabi of the business students in addition to lectures and in-class readings of C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity, Augustine’s Confessions and Jesus on Leadership.
“There is a jewel here for Missouri Baptists,” Whitlock said. “I attribute this recognition to the fact that we’re honoring God. It’s not because I’m here, it’s because we’re putting Christian principles at the heart of what we do.”