I have been thinking a lot about gratitude recently. Reflecting on the wonderful opportunities my career has offered me to make a positive impact in student’s educational lives, connect and work with a broad set of business leaders locally, nationally and globally, and partner with committed faculty and staff at Biola to impact the world for Jesus Christ, I can’t help but be filled with gratitude.

So it’s a good time for me to thank you for your support as we at the Crowell School of Business pursue our vision to be a leading Christ-centered business school. For all businesses and organizations, these past two years have presented significant challenges to maintaining our vision, much less extending it. Envisioning what is around the corner in times of disruption and crisis, however, may be clearer when we keep our eyes on our purpose, our mission.

I like this quote from Mark Del Rosso, former President & CEO of Genesis Motor North America: “To lead a company, especially in a time of unprecedented global crisis, I find we are laser-focused on our purpose. We know how, what and why we exist.”

At Biola, I am glad to say we’ve kept our eyes on our purpose, our mission throughout this global pandemic, and now emerging from it. We know how, what and why we exist. And at the Crowell School of Business we have a vision of a Biola business school with faculty and programs that lead in teaching, serving, and providing redemptive scholarly insights that bless our students and the local, regional, national, and global business communities.

And as we partner with our campus neighbors in Biola’s School of Science, Technology, and Health and the School of Cinema and Media Arts, we have a vision of a business school that serves as a catalyst for Biola’s “innovation hub” where science, technology, health, film, media arts, and business work together to form a redemptive entrepreneurial community like no other in Christian higher education.

And I’m so glad you are on this purposeful mission with us!

In praise of our excellent faculty

I have said it before but it bears repeating: The quality of a school rises and falls on the quality of its faculty. Expansive new buildings are nice, strong marketing and PR helps, big-name alumni are a plus and generous donors are important, but the core of a school is — and will continue to be — its faculty. It is their competence, their character and their commitment that make all the difference.

So it seems appropriate for me to highlight some examples of the good work our faculty is doing:

Dr. Shane Enete had three research articles published during 2022, focused on the relationship between emotions, money, and financial well-being. He is also producing tools for general use, such as Delightful Dollar, a micro-course and financial education tool used as a mobile app (https://delightfuldollar.com/).

Professor Jake Aguas has recently published Generation Z and the COVID-19 Crisis, which he co-wrote with Madeleine Prater, a recent Crowell School of Business alumna. Professor Aguas’ research has been instrumental in securing his reputation as an expert in helping organizations manage the talent of their multigenerational workforce, including Millennials and Gen Z.

Professor Helen Mitchell’s impact starts in the Crowell School of Business classroom and goes well beyond into the business marketplace. Recently, Helen’s work has included launching The Work Exchange in partnership with the Talbot School of Theology and Convene, whose CEO is Biola alumnus Greg Leith.

Dr. Randy Markley is our most recent published author. Professor Markley has wanted to write a textbook to more effectively support his teaching in Finance and Accounting. Now he’s released A Primer on Business Finance and Accounting: A Practical Guide for the Non-Finance & Accounting Decision Maker, the first of what will be a three-book series from Kendall Hunt.

Dr. Rachel Bodell is the designer and professor of one of our newest graduate courses, Sources of Innovation, in our Master of Arts in Leadership and Innovation program (MALI). She also recently launched a new online project, The Bible in a Year Podcast, available on all online digital platforms.

These are just a few examples of the good work our faculty are doing to support the mission of the Crowell School of Business, to be a center of biblically integrated business education, scholarship, and service, equipping women and men in mind and character to impact the world for Christ through business as ministry.

What’s next for me?

As I prepare to step down as dean and pass the baton of leadership to the school’s next dean, I’ve been spending some time on one of my abiding interests: music and songwriting. I had the privilege of recording six of my new songs with my talented friend Chris Falson. The title song, Time to Listen Now, builds on the theme found in James: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…”. It seems we are living in an impatient time, when active and patient listening is at a premium.

In 2022, I wrote a song based on Proverbs 31:10-31 that draws on the business language and terminology we find in that wisdom literature passage. In the song Lady of Wisdom, I try to paint a picture of this ancient, godly female entrepreneur whose family business ultimately brings her and her family “praise at the city gate.” To build, lead, or even be a part of a business that does its work such that it is recognized and revered by the community it serves is, I believe, a high standard that businesses would do well to aspire to these days.

I hope you will enjoy listening to these new songs and add them to your regular playlist. They are available for free on all your digital music platforms and at garylindbladmusic.com. May they encourage you in pursuing your mission and vision as you seek to share the love of Christ with those around you.

Please keep us in your prayers, as you are in ours.

Dr. Gary Lindblad
Dean, Crowell School of Business, Biola University