The 40 Best Christian Places to Work
What makes a workplace Christian? A cross hanging on its wall? An honest, church-going CEO? Company-sanctioned prayer meetings and Bible studies? The kind of products that end up on the shelves of a Christian bookstore?
Not necessarily. Not if you take to heart the scriptural instruction to workers, like that in Colossians 3:23-24: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." If everything we do, we do for Christ, then every job we perform becomes sacred, and every workplacewhether it's a cleaning business, a Christian publisher, or a seminarycan be a place of Christian vocation.
Still, on this page, Christianity Today is reporting the results of the 2006 Best Christian Places to Work Survey. The reason behind the survey's name is that it examines organizations thatin addition to employing Christiansfollow an explicitly Christian mission statement. Best Christian Workplaces Institute (BCWI), headed by Al Lopus, conducts the survey in order to see how companies with explicitly Christian mission statements walk their talk.
This year's survey included 93 self-nominated workplaces. The judges picked 40 as finalists. BCWI scrutinized a record number of employee surveys this year: More than 10,600 workers completed a confidential 50-question survey. In addition, human resources departments submitted detailed summaries of practices such as vacation and sick days, turnover rates, flex time, and maternity leave.
To avoid the unfairness that goes with comparing, say, a large organization like Bethel University with a small ministry like Apartment Life, the participants were separated into 14 categories. After independent judges weighed the data in a "blind" process, the list of 40 emerged. BCWI keeps the names of nonfinalists confidential. Because some categories were larger than others, the list names the number of finalists proportionate to the size of each group.
The panel of judges included CEOs of former finalistsBob Fryling (publisher of InterVarsity Press), Mark Holbrook (president of Evangelical Christian Credit Union), and Bill Robinson (president of Whitworth College)as well as Helen Lee, who approached Christianity Today several years ago with the idea of conducting the survey and later cofounded with Lopus the BCWI.
For more information on the survey, see www.bcwinstitute.com.
The 2006 Survey Winners
Larger Organizations (600 or more employees)
1Bethel University Saint Paul, Minnesota
2 Wycliffe Orlando, Florida
Products and Services (90 or more employees)
1Alliance Defense Fund Scottsdale, Arizona
2 Logos Research Systems Inc. Bellingham, Washington
Products and Services (89 or fewer employees)
1DeMoss Group Inc. Duluth, Georgia
2 Envoy Financial Colorado Springs, Colorado
3 MPower Systems Dallas, Texas
Higher Education (225 to 500 employees)
1Dallas Theological Seminary Dallas, Texas
2 Evangel University Springfield, Missouri
3 California Baptist University Riverside, California
4 Olivet Nazarene University Bourbonnais, Illinois
Higher Education (101 to 224 employees)
1Corban College Salem, Oregon
2 The Master's College Santa Clarita, California
3 Belhaven College Jackson, Mississippi
4 Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary South Hamilton, Massachusetts