The Colangelo College of Business (CCOB) strives to graduate Christian leaders of character. To help it fulfill this objective, CCOB has three pillars: 1) servant leadership, 2) ethics and 3) entrepreneurism. As the college is part of the larger Grand Canyon University, which has a Christian foundation in terms of its business principles and character formation, those pillars directly connect to initiative, integrity and innovation. The curriculum’s competencies, domains and objectives are created in a manner that encourages students to live out those pillars and to practice Business with Purpose.
In addition to its three pillars and Christian foundation, the college also espouses aspirational concepts that constitute a higher level of educational attainment and character formation, and are thus more difficult to acquire, but certainly build off of GCU’s foundational premises. These principles are just as important and represent ideals that the college truly believes should be part of graduating students’ culture and community.
The three principles are:
1. Business as a Force for Good
Business as a force for good simply celebrates what business does for society. Businesses create and capture value by solving problems. A business’s higher purpose and stakeholder orientation leads it to generate revenue, resulting in profits. These profits are then re-invested in the business, its people, its community, the environment and other stakeholders.
CCOB students are intentional in choosing business as a vocation as they understand what business can do for a community. They have made the necessary shift away from old-school shareholder thinking to appreciating that a successful business requires a total stakeholder orientation.
Conscious capitalism is a new narrative for today celebrating the liberating and heroic spirit of business. Humanity can be elevated through free-enterprise capitalism based on purpose, stakeholder orientation, conscious servant leadership and a conscious culture.
2. Free Markets and Purpose for Prosperity
Free markets and purpose for prosperity refers to the belief in free market capitalism done with a higher purpose that, in turn, contributes to human flourishing. Capitalism has brought more people out of poverty than any other system in human history. Competition, voluntary exchange, rule of law and open trade encourage entrepreneurship creating a social cooperative system. This system has contributed to an increase in quality of life and global standard of living over the last 200+ years.1
Larry Fink, CEO and chairman of BlackRock Inc, describes how purpose and profit are not competing ideas but rather purpose gives a company a reason for existing and achieving and is necessary for stakeholders.2
Businesses need to generate revenue and create a profit to allow them to continue to serve society. The more profits earned, the more can be reinvested in the company and all stakeholders. A better term is abundance, which has a more descriptive surplus connotation. With this abundance, the company can continue to invest in their employees, the community, the environment, research and development, new products, etc. Business with purpose serves all stakeholders in a sustainable manner.
David Packard of the Hewlett-Packard company explained in a speech that the reason a company exists is to contribute to society and bring people together for a common purpose, it is not only about monetary gain.3
3. Business as Ministry
The concept of business as ministry promotes the pillar of servant leadership. As a company is generating revenue, its employees can find fulfillment in living out their purpose. The college strongly believes that companies can truly become “healing organizations,” not only in the external goods or services they produce but more so in how they operate internally.4 CCOB integrates Christian values and ethics into its curriculum and culture, so students learn how to touch lives through business.
Today, most people spend 40 to 50 hours per week at work. If a company lives out its purpose, then the time spent at work can be fulfilling and healing. People need to feel loved, cared for and supported while working together to achieve the greater good, which can only come about through cooperation. Christians living out their faith by serving others can demonstrate this via their servant leadership and in the ways they support their team and their company.
If someone has a terrible experience at work and feels disrespected and not valued, they may go home and be a much lesser version of themselves. They may be a poor husband, grumpy father, careless wife, neglectful mother, bad friend, etc., due to what happens at work — because what happens at work impacts people’s lives.
However, if going to work can be a form of ministry given the relationships, love, care and engagement the work entails, then that business becomes a healing organization for all involved, and those employees will in turn go home and be better husbands, better fathers, more loving mothers, etc. Feeling fully engaged in purposeful work is an essential part of human flourishing.
"And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, 'If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.'” Mark 9:35, ESV
What is described in the verse above is loving your neighbor, so that they can love theirs: the Christian perspective of serving others first. Leaders and companies that use this Christian perspective each day while working and sharing their gifts represent something to aspire toward. This highlights the fact that while a business may generate revenue when creating an abundance to share with its stakeholders, it serves a purpose for society both externally and internally due to its healing organizational culture.
The Colangelo College of Business teaches the foundational aspects of accounting, economics, marketing, finance, management, and servant leadership. The business accreditation body requires evidence of such educational assessment outcomes. At a higher level, business can foster outcomes of a different kind: that business can elevate humanity as a force for good, that free markets with a higher purpose can bring about prosperity for society, and that business led by servant leaders working to positively heal their teams can act as a form of ministry each week.
"They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share." 1 Timothy 6:18, ESV
The Colangelo College of Business exists to cultivate impactful Christian leaders to solve problems for society, as well as servant leadership that produces human flourishing and healing for all involved. If you are interested in business and management, check out more blogs, including blogs on conscious capitalism. To learn more about Grand Canyon University and our degree programs, click on the Request Info button at the top of your screen.
1YouTube, Hans Rosling's 200 Countries, 200 Years in July 2021
2BlackRock, Profit & Purpose in July 2021
3Battle Investment Group, Speech by Dave Packard to HP Managers in September 2021
4The Healing Organization: Awakening the Conscience of Business to Help Save the World, 2019, Raj Sisodia & Michael J. Gelb
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.