Friday October 23, 2009

Integrating Faith and Work

The new Center for the Integration of Faith and Work will help business students and professionals find deeper meaning in their careers, connecting their work with their values and spirituality.

The University of Dayton announced on Friday, Oct. 23, the creation of the Center for the Integration of Faith and Work, a new program designed to help business students find the deeper meaning in their life's work.

"As business professionals, we are 'called' to use our gifts and talents, not only as a means of income and career advancement, but as an integral part of our responsibility to do good for society," said Matthew Shank, dean of the University's School of Business Administration. "By creating the Center for the Integration of Faith and Work, we are creating a focal point to help students explore the value and meaning of their chosen life's work."

The new center builds on the University's Catholic, Marianist heritage as well as a growing interest in spirituality in the business sector, according to Brother Victor Forlani, S.M., who serves as Marianist-in-Residence for the business school and founding director of the new center.

"By viewing a business career as a calling — as distinct from a series of jobs — a deeper sense of purpose and social awareness is fostered and, at the same time, creates a culture of business integrity," Forlani said. "Although ethics is very much a part of what we will explore, the work of the center will go beyond ethics and look at how values, personal commitment and character are inseparable from leadership ability. 

Forlani said the University's Catholic, Marianist heritage emphasizes the education of the whole person, the role and dignity of work and the responsibility of each individual to contribute to the common good.

The center will continue to sponsor the annual Business as a Calling symposium, now in its sixth year, which led to the development of the center. In addition, Forlani said the center will develop and offer courses, workshops and conferences; plan to host a distinguished speaker series; sponsor research; and investigate the best practices of organizations around the issues of faith and work.

The announcement was held in conjunction with the 6th annual Business as a Calling lecture series, featuring presentations by Jay Gould, a 1981 graduate of the University, who now serves as group president for the $2.4 billion Home and Family sector of Newell Rubbermaid, a global marketer of consumer and commercial products with sales of approximately $6 billion.

Gould delivered the keynote address "Creating Value with Values/Winning with New Age Capitalism" and spoke to several classes.

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, director of media relations, at 937-229-3257 or shindell@udayton.edu.