Faith, Service, Ethics Center Helps MC Students Live Out the Great Commission with Their Vocations
In Matthew 28:18-20 – also known as the Great Commission – the resurrected Jesus Christ instructs His followers to “go and make disciples of all nations.” But how might Christians not called to ministry accomplish this command?
The School of Business at Mississippi College intends to provide the answer by launching “The Center for Faith, Service, and Ethics” at MC.
Billy Morehead, professor of accountancy in MC Business and director of the Center, said students can serve as the “hands and feet” of Jesus in a variety of ways. By partnering with business and faith leaders at MC and in the surrounding community, the Center will help provide a holistic view of their Christian responsibility.
“Our goal is to equip students to live out the Great Commission through their vocations,” Morehead said. “We want them to be aware there’s more to fulfilling the Great Commission than sitting behind a desk doing a job all day long. It’s a combination of being a servant leader like Christ was, modeling His life, and living it out in their daily lives, regardless of their job.
“Too many people think the only Christian vocations are pastor, missionary, minister of music, or something similar. We’re all called to go and make disciples. Some of us do that through our vocations, regardless of what they may be – as accountants, bankers, graphic designers, counselors, or teachers. Our focus at MC is to make that mission more intentional.
“As Dr. Frank Pollard, former pastor of First Baptist Church in Jackson, used to say, ‘Our job is to tell others about Jesus; our work is what we do to pay the bills.’”
Following the model of Christ and others throughout Scripture, Morehead is developing the mentoring and discipleship program to equip MC students to honor and glorify God with a life of faith, integrity, service, and leadership throughout their professional and personal lives.
“Believers are called to obey and honor God by making disciples as we go about our daily lives through our connections and relationships,” he said. “Imitating the model of Christ as a mentor in the disciple-making and relationship-building process should prove valuable in producing fruitful and mature disciples.
“Christians should initiate interactions with others in their community so they grow in fellowship and discipleship. The Center will connect students with Christian business leaders, faith-based nonprofits, and the community to fulfill not only the Center’s vision and mission, but also the higher calling of Jesus Christ in the Great Commission.”
According to Marcelo Eduardo, dean of the School of Business, the Center’s motto, “Equipping Students to Go and Make Disciples,” is in keeping with MC Business’ values.
“The mission of the Mississippi College School of Business is to provide an outstanding business education in a Christian environment,” Eduardo said. “As we strive to be recognized for our academic excellence and our commitment to the cause of Christ, we firmly believe that a significant component of the Christian environment we build is a strong focus on ethical awareness and behavior and a keen sense of service to others.
“This focus is powerfully built on the foundation of our faith. Thus, a center that advances these goals is a perfect fit for our mission.”
The Center will be focused on three foundational pillars: academics, faith and ethics, and service and leadership with Christ at “The Center.”
Through the academics pillar, the Center will support the School of Business’ goals by helping promote the quality and reputation of its academic programs. Working with faculty, the Center will review courses to ensure an ethics component is included across the business curriculum.
The Center will promote internship opportunities in profit and non-profit organizations locally, regionally, and internationally and publish a special issue of the “MC Business” magazine to include peer- and editorially reviewed articles focused on faith-based businesses, ethics, service, and leadership.
As part of the faith and ethics pillar, MC will continue its Faith and Ethics Week event created through a generous endowment by L.D. Jordan, a 1951 MC Business alum. This year, the school added a prayer guide to Faith and Ethics Week focused on devotional thought and prayer requests from Christian business leaders who shared their experiences living out their faith in the marketplace.
To expand upon Faith and Ethics Week, the Center plans to pilot a mentoring program with volunteer Christian business leaders in January 2024. MC Business students will be encouraged to volunteer as mentees in the program. Video podcasts of business leaders emphasizing faith-driven ethical behavior, service, and leadership will be available on the Center’s website.
The Center will promote and enhance a faith-driven service and leadership orientation, including outreach and community responsibility. It will sponsor and evaluate service opportunities for students, promote an increase in the number of courses with service-learning components, and encourage the addition of a Servant Leadership academic minor in the School of Business.
Morehead, a C.P.A. who holds a Ph.D. in international development from the University of Southern Mississippi, is working toward a master’s degree in discipleship at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary “to ground me in the solid Biblical principles of the Center,” he said. Eduardo said his efforts represent the guiding principles of “The Center for Faith, Service, and Ethics” at MC.
“We are very fortunate to have Dr. Billy Morehead take the reins as our first director,” Eduardo said. “He brings to the Center, and to MC, a wonderful combination of academic and professional experience. He was recently recognized as the Mississippi Society of CPAs’ 2024 outstanding accounting educator, confirming his teaching and research excellence. Additionally, he has a wealth of professional managerial experience both in the private and public sectors.
“Billy’s character, mission work, and deep ties to church exemplify his strong Christian beliefs and passion for sharing the Gospel.”
Although the Center does not occupy a physical space on the Mississippi College campus, it boasts a wide range of resources.
“As the Center begins its work, we have plans for a variety of programs impacting both our students and other stakeholders, such as the business community, nonprofit organizations, and churches,” Morehead said. “Our students will have an opportunity to grow in their faith and their profession through a mentorship program pairing them with seasoned Christian leaders. An internship program allowing students to learn and contribute to faith-based organizations is another program that should provide significant benefits to our students.
“We are also gearing up to build a library of resources and video podcast series featuring some of these leaders putting forth their advice and their experiences for our students to learn from. And there are plans for a series of workshops geared toward helping churches and faith-based nonprofits in their business practices.”
Across the spectrum of management education, the number of Christian business schools is small – and only a handful have a center focused on shaping Christian businessmen and businesswomen.
“In that respect, we occupy a unique position in that we strive for the same academic excellence as our peers do, but do so within the context of our Christian beliefs,” Morehead said. “Now we have an entity that will focus our energies on advancing the kingdom and honoring God through our Christian business education.
“Our ultimate goal is to play a significant and intentional role in developing professionals who view business as their vocation and an integral part of their Christian journey. We strive to equip them with the tools, knowledge, and experiences that will allow them to effectively intersect their work and their faith in advancing the kingdom. The Center will facilitate this mission.”
The Center for Faith, Service, and Ethics at MC will be introduced during a guest presentation at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 9, in Self Hall. Steven Smith, a 1992 MC alum and associate pastor for college and young adults groups at First Baptist Jackson, will discuss the role of discipleship for students and help formally launch the initiative in Self 210. For more information, click here to visit the Center’s website or email Morehead at firstname.lastname@example.org.