March 19, 2019
After five years of existence, Opus: The Art of Work will relaunch as the Wheaton Center for Faith & Innovation, with a mission to offer resources and programming that emphasizes how Christian calling is a call to whole-life discipleship.
This coming fall, Opus: The Art of Work will relaunch as the Wheaton Center for Faith & Innovation (CFI), an initiative aimed at helping Christians pursue their work in the marketplace as an act of discipleship to Jesus Christ. Wheaton College Associate Professor of Marketing Dr. Hannah Stolze, Associate Professor of Theology Dr. Keith Johnson, and Managing Director Benjamin Norquist will be at the helm of CFI, under the oversight of Wheaton College Dean of Curriculum and Advising Dr. Sarah Miglio.
“With the relaunch of the Opus program as CFI, we will be able to invest more theological and liberal arts understanding into engagement with the marketplace, whether it is for-profit, not-for-profit, or ministry work,” said Wheaton College Provost Dr. Margaret Diddams.
In addition to providing faculty and staff development on vocation and the theology of work, CFI will also pursue a new outward-facing mission, which includes serving as a bridge between the liberal arts classroom and the workplace in a variety of ways. CFI hopes to provide more opportunities for faculty and students to network with Christians in the marketplace, and to grow the academic research at the intersection of theology, practice and innovative marketplace knowledge. The College also aims to lead national faith-and-work conversations through conferences, writing and student projects that emphasize the Christian calling to whole-life discipleship.
In the coming academic year, CFI’s main priority is vision-casting, with the help of internal and external stakeholders. Other objectives include engaging with marketplace leaders to explore best practices for integrating faith in the workplace, and launching CFI’s first annual Fall Leaders Forum, which will generate practical, academically rigorous and theologically informed conversations.
This next year’s goals also include preparation for the fall 2020 launch of a student-facing initiative called the Innovation Lab. This experiential, cross-disciplinary initiative will provide opportunities for student teams to work with a faculty or graduate student coach to apply their liberal arts learning to the pain points experienced by businesses, ministries and nonprofits.
“I am eager to see how those who encounter CFI’s research and resources will be transformed as they consider how faithful pursuit of our vocational callings can be an act of worship and discipleship,” said Miglio. “This type of integrative work often leads to changed lives as we look for ways to apply and translate our Christian liberal arts learning to our ordinary routines.”—Emily Bratcher