Posted September 19, 2017 by
A Word about Vocation and the Liberal Arts
As I began the college search, only two things were entirely clear. One was that I had a strong interest in business (specifically, entrepreneurship), and another was that God had placed in me a love for gospel ministry. Wheaton was put on my radar when my sister chose to attend and it was eventually the only school to which I would apply. I entered in 2014 with majors in business and economics and biblical and theological studies, which I viewed as distinct interests. Early on, however, Wheaton’s business department and a number of mentors invited me to place the passions I once held separately into the same hand; to move from business and ministry to business as ministry.
This invitation set the trajectory of my college years, leading me to pursue social business opportunities in eastern Africa, Haiti, Germany, and eventually Kansas City as a co-founder of Resto Apparel, a business seeking to restore dignity in apparel manufacturing in Haiti, Mexico, and at home in KC. At the beginning of summer 2017, with the help of Dr. Paul Lee in the business department and Ben Norquist with Opus, a door was also opened to join twelve students from around the country (and Canada) for Praxis Lab’s Emerging Founders summer-long program.
The Emerging Founders program began in Times Square (New York) and finished in Los Angeles, Calif. Throughout and between these trips we were offered mentorship from scholars and founders of high-growth start-ups to supplement our work on our entrepreneurial ventures. The caliber of training and content was incredible. “Praxis” is where theory intersects action, and alludes to the Christian concept of orthopraxis, meaning right practice. Our cohort was offered some of the best resources on small business development, a theology of work, and “redemptive entrepreneurship.” Beyond that, however, we were directed toward proper implementation of this content into our small business development practices. As summer came to a close, I was left confident of the crucial role which entrepreneurship plays in culture-making and the reconciling of all things to God (Colossians 1).
Throughout my time at Wheaton, I have received countless gifts: Christ-centered friendships, opportunities for growth, morning omelets, etc. One of the greatest of these gifts, however, has been professors who inspire me to create out of a foundational love for Christ and desire to see his kingdom come. Astronomy … economics … communications … theology … each has undergone expansion in my mind to fit a narrative greater than simply my own. As I look back on my three years so far at Wheaton I am very thankful. Distinct interests from high school in ministry and entrepreneurship have since merged into a calling I am thrilled to pursue. It has become clear to me that people are most greatly shaped and formed by what they care about; Wheaton College has taught me to curate my love for Christ as primary and approach every venture of life with a kingdom mindset.
Michael Mitchell '18 is a triple major at Wheaton in Business/Economics, Bible and Theology, and Rhetorical Communication and the Student Chaplain of Leadership Development. His favorite class so far has been Dr. Daniel Block's Theology of Worship. Philippians 3:10 "that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death"