How did you end up at AU?
I had a few friends that went here when I was in high school. I always enjoyed it, so I ended up doing my undergraduate here. My girlfriend at the time—now my wife—and I were trying to figure out where to go. Both of our parents weren’t in favor of us going here, but ultimately we knew this was where we were supposed to be. It has been a great experience since then, and we’ve met some of our lifelong friends here. My friends from college and I coach each other’s kids in basketball together. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. There was an opening to come and teach, and I decided to take it––that’s what got me here.
How do you incorporate faith into the business topics that you teach?
I deal with a lot of money. The love of money can be the root of all evil. I hope that we are preparing students well to deal with success, and to deal with the problems in life and in business that naturally occur. Money can change you. It can amplify the good in you, and it can also amplify the bad. If I can share some of the stories of where I’ve made mistakes seeking after money only, it would hopefully deter students or at least give them some guidance along the way.
A lot of it is statistics and probability. ‘What is the probability of God parting the Red Sea?’ Not very high, but we serve a God who does the impossible, so really focusing on the fact that our God can do anything. It’s not just about the physical world and what we see, but truly his understanding far beyond ours.
You and your wife are building a space for college students to use. Tell me a little bit about that.
We’ve started to build this barn so that college students can disconnect a little bit from technology and reconnect with each other, God and nature. The idea is that they can have a space to come, whether it’s with a church small group or a sports team. We hope that it’s just a place that they can get off campus and hang out that’s free of charge and will just be open to the needs as they arise. That’s the whole point.
We’ve always had this vision of having a place for people to restore their soul because my wife and I have always found that getting away and disconnecting for a period of time was always an opportunity to hear from the Lord, so we wanted to create that space for others. So, we got this idea to build a barn. My wife knew a few folks in other parts of the country that had a barn and were working with college students to just feed them meals and engage with them.
I was giving one of my stats exam a while ago, and I had a student write on the bottom of the exam ‘I don’t know why, but God is nudging me to tell you about Zephaniah 3:17.’ I read it when I was grading, and my wife and I read it together. It didn’t mean anything to us at the time, so I asked the student if there were any more details, and she said she just felt like the Lord told her that I needed this verse. A few weeks later, we went to this old farmhouse and on the wall was Zephaniah 3:17. It was the moment of God saying that we were on the right path and confirmation that we needed along the way. When you’re trying to see God’s will, he will bring guidance along the way. From this whole process, the barn has emerged.
Who is someone that you look up to or someone who has inspired you?
That’s a good question. I don’t know if there’s a single person, because it’s usually a group of people. I’ve always tried to not put people on pedestals, because they are people. Don’t get me wrong. I can learn so much from the people that I work with every day—their faith, their hunger for the Word. I’ve met people in business who are exceptional in all of those areas. I also know that we’re all people, and we’re all broken. Different facets of someone’s life may be important to me, but as a whole, we’re all broken. I don’t ever try to say someone is the pinnacle of a person, because I usually only see the outward side of them. I look up to a lot of people for a lot of different reasons, but I don’t hold people to high esteem because it’s easy for them to disappoint you that way.
What do you hope for the future of the Falls School of Business?
There are two things that I desire for the future of the FSB. The first is that the school of business continues the long tradition of graduating students that are well prepared to tackle some of the hardest business, social and economic problems that we face by using the love and power of Jesus Christ. There are a lot of problems in the world today and our solution to them is the students we graduate. The second item is that the FSB will find new and unique ways to impact our local and regional community and in doing so will raise the awareness and the profile of Anderson University.
What do you hope will ultimately come from the barn you’re building?
To be honest, my prayer is that we (Angie and I) have only been given a small glimpse of some of the uses of the space. Our goal is to be servants and be flexible in the use with the main focus on bringing people to Jesus and bringing people together in community with each other.