With the “real world” just around the corner, Northwestern students will soon have to confront a very different attitude toward ethics than they may have encountered within the campus circle.
Princeton business ethics scholar, Dr. David Miller, will be the keynote speaker on that very topic on the fourth annual Day of Learning in Community Wednesday, Feb. 16.
Miller will speak at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. in Christ Chapel. His morning presentation will explore whether faith in the workplace is a short-term trend or the future. In the afternoon, he will present “Faith at Work: From Idea to Implementation.”
Miller is a fervent leader of the Faith at Work movement. This effort addresses the urgent need for men and women to integrate their faith with their work. Through his experience in business, academia and the church, Miller writes about how these worlds overlap in his book, “God at Work.”
He starts his book with a quote from an employee training course which he recalls from ‘79, “Whatever else you learn here, just don’t forget, religion and business simply don’t mix. Customers want solutions to their business problems, not their spiritual problems.”
Miller believes that this may have been true a couple of decades ago, but thinks that we stand today in the midst of an era with a new conversation, involving God and the workplace.
Prior to Miller’s involvement in this movement, he spent 16 years working in international business and finance. His experience includes sales and marketing for IBM and executive positions in finance, including international investment management, corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions for a private equity firm.
Miller had no desire to leave the business world and had a “lengthy wrestling match with God over it,” according an interview with Christianity Today magazine. Miller stated, “It became clear to me that God’s plan was first to equip me to understand the language of the business world and then to learn ‘God Talk’- theology- and fluently move in and out of the boardroom and the Bible.”
Miller left the marketplace to help bridge the gap between church-mode on Sunday to work-mode on Monday. Miller recalls after graduating from college he was a “quintessential compartmentalizer.”
“I focused on my work and my career, and never in my wildest dreams did I think faith might have something to do with it.” Miller said.
Miller has found that through all his work with executives and CEOs, life becomes more purposeful through the implementation of faith at work. Work becomes more satisfying and more natural. Miller articulates that implementing the two does not make work necessarily easier, but Jesus empowers us to a healthier way of living even as we struggle every day about how to do it in a truthful way.
Miller has a real interest in bringing together the often separated worlds of work and faith and is passionate about his career. “I get to swim every day in my three favorite swimming holes: business, academics and the church.”
His greatest reward comes from “helping other people—both business people and clergy—have their moment of illuminations to integrate faith and work.”
Currently Miller’s effort with the Faith at Work movement lie in his roles as director of Princeton University’s Faith and Work Initiative and teacher of his signature business ethics course, Succeeding Without Selling Your Soul, at Princeton and Yale universities.