Chapel – Dr. Sophia Kusyk Installation

President and Vice Chancellor Dr. Marjory Kerr, Provost and chief academic officer, Dr. Beth green, Vice President academic and Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Paul Franks, esteemed colleagues, honoured guests, and beloved students. Tyndale is dedicated to the pursuit of truth, to excellence in teaching, learning and research, for the enriching of mind, heart and character, to serve the church, and the world for the glory of God. Today I joined David and Absalom, To God be the glory. Amen.

As the Van Norman Chair of Business at this beloved Christian University, I stand before you, not just as a humble professor, but also a fellow Christ follower. After nearly two decades of immersion in secular academia, I am deeply grateful for a chance to fulfill my vocation, in a university that champions Christian values. In the spirit of Alice and Ian Van Norman, let us embrace this moment with vigour and audacity, for we are called to a noble quest, to testify our love for Christ, His Church, and to engage in the pursuit of excellence in both business acumen and Christian virtue.

Recently, while attending the Christian faculty Business Association in Denver, I heard an entrepreneur say, "I have more opportunity to share Christ through my business than anywhere else". Those of us studying business, and running businesses, have a tremendous opportunity to be changemakers. In these halls of Tyndale University and Chapel, we are not insulated from the tumultuous currents of the world, but poised at the vanguard of change. It is here where we must craft a business vision that has the force to change culture and the world. Business is a powerful institution for change, as it has economic, political, technological, social and cultural influence. The field of business is not for the faint of heart. It is a battleground where fierce competition and relentless ambition collide on material and spiritual grounds. Business has a well documented exploitation trajectory, of both people and planet, and the stakes include our very souls, and that temptation for greed as great. As Matthew 6:24 states, you cannot serve both God and money. Yet, in the midst of this fray, we must never lose sight of our vision. Beyond the Business as Mission, we realize that where there is community of believers, there's Ecclesia.

In the business department, we are aware that only by shifting our understanding to business as church, can we embrace a redemptive vision of the purpose of business for creative restoration through sacrifice. Through our vision, we affirm that business is part of God's plan, to heal a broken world, and to build the kingdom of God. We are here to participate in the redemptive plan that God has for a flourishing society. redemptive business raises the stakes to the cross. This means that being ethical, or what is secularly known as "good", is not good enough. It means that we must be very, very, very, very good, until it hurts. Redemptive business redefines the success script beyond wealth creation. At its essence, redemptive business is God's blessing covering the market, because sacrificial love is the world's most powerful force. Redemptive. Some amongst us may say that choosing to be a redemptive business leader is impossible, and that it is too hard. First, there is a myth that secular business practice is a sure road to riches and glory. History has shown us that at least half of businesses fail. Secondly, some cling to a false notion that the secular way of doing business is easier than the Christian way. It is hard to come into work to serve your employees. It is hard to approach your customers with generosity. It is hard to create products and services that are humanizing, beautiful, and God glorifying. However, choosing not to serve God is also challenging for a Christian. It is hard to witness the a breakdown of individuals because of exploitation. It takes hard work to deceive customers for personal gain. It's hard to participate in cutthroat, winner take all, markets, where competition reigns supreme. Choosing the redemptive model really comes down to what results do we want to see? What kind of hard are you going to choose? As spiritual beings on an earthly journey, we wear a rented suit with an expiration date. Let us not be blinded by false sense of property ownership. We're only stewards of our material possessions. True greatness lies not in the accumulation of elusive wealth or power, but in the impact we have on the world around us. Redemptive business practice compels us to humanize culture, to champion generosity in all our dealings, and to serve and love every individual that we come in contact with. Our double bottom line is redemption, and wealth creation, for the glory of God.

Can this be accomplished? Resoundingly yes. And one of the current activities of the Van Norman chair is to chronicle the testimonies of redemptive business leaders and otheir kingdom building. Our Christian calling demands that we not merely be successful, but virtuous, not just leaders, but servants of all. Today this installation is a reminder to us that the business department at Tyndale University is commissioned to carry the legacy and sacrifice of the Christian business Titans, Alice and Ian Van Norman, and to inspire generations yet to come. As the Van Norman chair, I humbly profess to honour that legacy, and to carry the torch to promote redemptive business practice with every decision we make, and every action we take.

In closing, Anne Lamott once said, "The opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. If we have certainty, we do not need faith". Much of what is currently done in Christian business can be done by someone who does not believe in God. Over the centuries, we have witnessed the horror and splendour of what secular business can accomplish. Now consider the transformative potential if businesses were imbued with a redemptive spirit, glorifying God in their actions. The world desperately needs Christian business enterprises, guided by principles of redemption. We are called to do the hard work and to step out in faith, allowing God to manifest in our lives, our businesses, and in society. To God be the glory.

Chapel – Dr. Sophia Kusyk Installation
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