Course DescriptionThis continuing education course builds upon the SPU-produced film series, Faith & Co: Serving the World. This course re-imagines (through the lens of Christian theology) how business ought to engage with their local communities and the natural environment. The course makes extensive use of evocative short films, interviews with executives and subject matter experts. Students will be challenged to rethink some of the taken-for-granted assumptions about the role that business serves in society. They will be encouraged to assess current business models and bring a theologically-informed mindset to the mission and management of companies. How can business contribute to the redemptive reality revealed in scripture? The course will highlight stories of faith-informed practitioners who are using business to address social and environmental problems in society. Faith & Co: Serving the World films highlight companies wrestling with these issues and using business to make a difference.
Session 1: Educating women Value Creation: Adopting broader understanding of “value creation” in business
Session 2: Human Trafficking Collaborative supply chains: employment for survivors of trafficking with high-skill, computer-based work in partnership across borders.
Session 3: Homelessness, Addiction and Criminal history Healing brokenness at work: Whole People, Meaningful Work, community-support. Creating a context/culture of accountability and support in a company where most workers have a past of criminality, homelessness and/or addiction.
Session 4: Structural Inequality: employment opportunity, community-development thru education, environmental stewardship via waste-processing/minimization. (impact-oriented ownership via Nika Capital)
Session 5: Local Community: Incarnational presence in the local community to transform neighborhoods through business
Session 6: People of all abilities/Laboratory for Inclusiveness: Using business to employ people of all abilities AND fund mission impact
Session 7: Displaced People Bridging Cultures: incubating entrepreneurs among displaced people and educating locals.
Session 8: Intergenerational poverty: restoring families to land; building villages; fostering agri-businesses. Course Wrap-up
This course will:
- Encourage and equip students to make meaningful and practical connections between faith and the practice of business.
- Explore Christian theological ideas and their implications for business practices.
- Provide practical examples of how faith-based values can be expressed in business.
- Develop the integration and synthesis of business experience and theological concepts.
- Provide opportunities for self-reflection, discussion and the development of practical action plans.
WEEKLY FORMAT AND CONTENT:
- Each week’s module will “unlock” on Monday morning at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Standard Time in the order listed the Schedule (see below). You must sign on to Canvas and click “Modules” on the left column to access the modules.
- Students should complete the assignments for each week’s module by the following Sunday evening at midnight Pacific Standard Time. Each module should take 60-90 minutes to view/read the content. (This does not count time for additional reading and/or writing assignments.) Students taking the course for-credit are responsible for all Additional Resources and have specific assignments to complete.
- Each weekly module will include the following resources:
- Instructor Notes—Indicating the order of engagement, questions to discuss, and assignments.
- “Stories” (8-10 minutes in length)
- “Expert Reflections” by business leaders and subject matter experts (1-3 minutes in length)
- 1-2 short articles or chapters
- Interaction/ Community Discussion
- 2-3 discussion questions in a forum format
- A reflection on how one’s own beliefs can/should shape one’s employee practices.