Biola University’s Crowell School of Business has been a top-tier partner school of the Praxis Academy since 2016, hosting the week-long communal learning experience in 2016 and 2017. Each year, Praxis Academy brings together nearly 200 students from 80 universities with the purpose of raising up a community of next generation leaders who are pursuing redemptive entrepreneurship and innovation across all of culture.
In 2017, thirteen Biola students participated in the Praxis Academy annual gathering, hosted at Biola University. Provided below are some thoughtful reflections from a few Biola students who participated in the 2017 Praxis Academy — students that reflect a heart for business as ministry.
My week at Praxis was a time to re-center; it was a time to remember not just who I am, but whose I am; it was a chance to be in community with people who didn't just want the days to pass without purpose but were determined to hear ‘job well done, My good and faithful servant.’ Praxis brought together a community of people who are focused on the destination but also seek to praise God on the journey. Praxis Academy gave me the opportunity to grow as a woman of God, as I saw how entrepreneurship can bring together my passion with people's needs.”
Stories—that was the most impactful element of the entire academy. Jon Hart and his dedicated team were not only able to bring in some of the brightest speakers I have ever heard, but also bring the same level of students from around the country to contribute their stories to this atmosphere of creativity and growth. The fact that the entire week was built around listening was refreshing, since all of us are full of ideas and want to share, but the most impact we can have on someone is taking the time to hear them. The academy was able to foster an environment of humility, in which students could dialogue about diversity, struggles, race, as well as ventures and business. The fact you could have a conversation about the deep-rooted pains of our society today and, in the same day, talk about the hundreds of startup ideas was amazing and enriching, since we all are so much more complex than the careers and the vocations we choose.”
Praxis is a unique intersection of faith, entrepreneurship, and community. Through the Praxis community, students are able to learn together what it means to work in the entrepreneurship space. Much more than how to accomplish this task or get to the next milestone, Praxis focuses on the heart and character of the entrepreneur. Exceptional speakers, leaders, and wise counselors fill the stage each day to speak truth, knowledge, and wisdom to students that are eager to learn and soak up the information. The only downfall of Praxis seems to be the limited time in which to take in such valuable information, training and mentorship.”
Praxis Academy allowed me to see the abundant grace of God, which enables me to go forth with my passion in the world. During the week of Praxis Academy, each session not only excelled at teaching what we ought to do as Christians who are called by God for His purpose, but also at showing how to break through each difficulty we might face along the journey of redemptive entrepreneurship. I had many excuses for not putting my passion and ideas into action, but Praxis Academy gave me a clear direction of where to go and where God is along the path. Overall, the most valuable lesson I learned from interacting with advisors, leaders, faculty, and fellow entrepreneurs is that putting our faith in action is one of the clearest and loudest ways to proclaim Christ to the world that needs Him.”
Praxis Academy has blessed me in multiple ways. I was able to connect with and hear the ideas of many students already making an impact in our culture with their venues, and create close friendships with those who are pursuing redemptive entrepreneurship. I plan on staying in touch with these friends throughout my life. I was blessed to be prayed over by other entrepreneurs going through this self-examination journey of what culture, theology and entrepreneurship looks like when applied.
Listening to business owners, professors, and mentors speak on the subject of redemptive entrepreneurship was transforming for me. I took over sixty pages of notes and have been applying what I learned every day.”
I benefited from Praxis Academy in two main ways: the connections I made and the mindset it reminded me I need to have. I love that I was able to connect with successful like-minded peers who want the same things in life I want. I have been able to maintain relationships with these people beyond Praxis Academy, and I am excited for the blessings these relationships will continue to be for all of us in the future. Praxis Academy really helped me refocus and rededicate myself to entrepreneurship. With all the problems in the world and the obstacles in running a business, it can be easy to become discouraged. I had forgotten my primary aim in running my business. It was encouraging to see a group of Christians who are trying to impact the world through redemptive entrepreneurship and how I may fit into that story. Praxis Academy blessed me in more ways than this, but I didn't want to write an essay! I am grateful for the opportunity to have been able to attend.”