7th Scholars Symposium: In Search of the Meaning of Work
Charles, “Chuck” Eapen brought a generous dose of encouragement to emerging leaders among the Nyack College community during the 7th Annual Scholars Symposium on the New York City and Rockland County campuses.
Following his undergraduate engineering studies at SUNY Stony Brook, Chuck left a lucrative career stewarding high-technologies companies in the wireless communications sector to seize an opportunity to intentionally integrate his work and faith through businesses in New York and New Jersey.
At ATS, a legendary institution with a rich history of missions abroad, Eapen discovered the mission field he was called to was in the United States—not some destination oceans away—in “marketplace” ministry. Leveraging his business acumen, his theological framework and love for advancing the Great Commission through business, he graduated ATS with his MA to join The C12 Group (www.C12Group.com), America’s largest provider of peer advisory services for Christian business Owners and CEOs.
Currently serving as the New Jersey Area Chairman for The C12 Group (www.C12NorthNJ.com), a Christ-centered corporation serving business Owners/CEOs for over 20 years, he has exercised his theology of work via the language of marketplace culture where discipling and equipping opportunities are vast. Over 1,000 owners/CEOs across the US, stewarding businesses from $1MM to over $1BB, gather monthly in facilitated roundtable environments where best-in-class practices are discussed in an iron-sharpening-iron manner, real world challenges of stewarding their businesses for Christ are addressed and an intentional focus on utilizing the business as a platform for ministry into the marketplace is expected.
“Each business Owner and CEO has an opportunity to reach many who would never darken the doorway of a church in the 9-to-5 window; this represents thousands of souls the business touches by just being in business. Business is God’s platform to reach the lost and hurting right here! After all, there are over 100 million people in the US that do not have a biblical worldview much less an adequate Christian witness. But, every day these millions show up in the cubicles for work; they are in crisis and who will bring Christ’s Gospel to them except the Christian in the marketplace?”
In addition to Chuck’s work with The C12 Group, he also serves on the Christian non-profit board of Impact Paterson (www.impactpaterson.com), a privately funded business incubator and job creation non-profit ministry in urban Paterson, NJ. Entrepreneurs find a biblical worldview to marry their business objectives and plans in the largest city in Passaic County. By training, coaching and nurturing entrepreneurs and giving a “hand-up” for those desiring work, Impact Paterson hopes to redeem people and transform the community, one job at a time in Jesus’ name.
While tremendous strides are made in missional work in the “10/40 window,” Chuck believes the largest unmet “opportunity to bring others into a saving relationship with God will occur in the “9-to-5 window” here in our nation through his work at The C12 Group and through redemptive organizations like Impact Paterson.
“The CSGE is grateful to all students and faculty who participated in this year's Nyack Scholars Symposium,” says Interim Director Dr. Kevin Pinkham. “Our two plenary speakers, Dr. Kurt Ver Beek and Chuck Eapen, gave us plenty to mull over, especially Mr. Eapen's observation that the Christians in the corporate workplace have the potential to reach more people for Christ than most churches do, and Dr. Ver Beek's observation that if the work you do doesn't make someone mad, it's probably not justice work."
"Breakout sessions in which faculty and students presented their latest academic work were well attended, and both students and faculty have expressed how challenging and informative those sessions were."
The CSGE looks forward to next year's Symposium on the theme "In Search of Civic Engagement." Students and faculty are encouraged to submit presentation proposals for consideration by February 2016. For more information, contact Center_Scholarship@nyack.edu.
Photo: (Pictured l-r: CTW Director, Dr. Orlando Rivera; C12 Group Northern New Jersey Chair, Mr. Charles Eapen; and CSGE Interim Director, Dr. Kevin Pinkham.)
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