Made possible by generous funding from the Kern Foundation’s Oikonomia Network, Nazarene Theological Seminary hosted a dialogue led by Dr. Jeff Van Duzer (pictured here, at right) on January 29, 2013 focused on the interface between Christians and the worlds of business, economics, and culture. Dr. Van Duzer is newly appointed Provost of Seattle Pacific University, having previously served as the Dean of the School of Business and Economics and Professor of Business Law and Ethics. For twenty years prior to his full-time association with the University, he practiced law in Seattle with an emphasis on finance and natural resources. He writes and speaks frequently in both church and professional settings, offering Christian perspectives on the worlds of business and economics.
In a morning lecture to the student body and visitors, Dr. Van Duzer laid out a framework for a Theology of Business, arguing that the ultimate purpose of business is for the expression of God’s creative gifting of individuals and the flourishing of communities. This vision compels the church and its pastoral leaders to treat laypersons in business as co-ministers of the Gospel, and contributors to the work of the Kingdom of God, not only in their personal lives, but in and through their business. A luncheon following the lecture brought together theology faculty, business faculty, and pastors for follow-up conversation and an opportunity to ask questions of Dr. Van Duzer. Practical helps were offered for those living in “the messy middle” between God’s ideals and the hard realities of the market.
NTS is committed to these kinds of critical conversation about ministry in the world, as such dialogue expresses our missional identity and our calling to equip pastors for transformative engagement with culture.