Lifelong Learning in Christian Business Education: A Framework and Case Study
Christ-centered business education aims to build Christ-honoring character in Christians engaging the marketplace. Effective faith-work integration requires a proper understanding of biblical precepts (orthodoxy) and their proper applications (orthopraxy). When professionals progress through their careers, the contextual emphasis and significance of orthopraxy inevitably evolves. A framework of a pedagogy that will properly address the lifelong learning needs of Christian professionals should incorporate the mission goals of competence, discernment, stewardship, and community as borne out in Jesus’ commissioning of his disciples in Matthew 10. A survey of existing institution-based faith-learning initiatives reveals an overall scarcity of programs addressing the dynamic, multidimensional nature of lifelong learning needs of marketplace professionals. The Center for Christianity in Business at Houston Baptist University is one program that aims to address the diverse, changing needs in the life cycle of Christian business professionals. A review of the program’s progresses and challenges shows the promises of such initiatives and helps raise the awareness of the need for more participation by and collaboration among faith-based business programs. Christian business professionals can be effective agents in the redemptive work for the Kingdom only if they are properly equipped as they grow and mature as emissaries of Christ in the marketplace. As these equipping opportunities remain largely outside the scope of traditional business pedagogy, a lifelong learning pedagogy is required to answer the needs of Christians in the marketplace.