In late February, Christianity Today announced the results of the first Best Christian Places to Work survey, a landmark study commissioned by CT and administered by the Best Christian Workplaces Institute (BCWI). It is the largest survey ever conducted on the attitudes of employees at Christian workplaces, with more than 8,500 respondents across a range of industries.

A panel of independent judges selected four companies in ten categories for special recognition. For two weeks CT is saluting the first place organizations in each category.

Small Service & Product Organizations

Christian Medical and Dental Associations
Bristol, Tennessee

When occasional hardships arise at the Christian Medical and Dental Associations (CMDA), the two top leaders in the organization look at each other knowingly.

"We remember back to when we were getting shot at with real bullets and artillery shells," says associate director Gene Rudd. Years before Rudd and executive director David Stevens began leading the CMDA, they had forged a partnership as medical missionaries, providing relief in war-ravaged countries such as Bosnia, Somalia, and Sudan.

"Friendships that are bred in foxholes of adversity and enormous challenges run really deep," says Stevens.

In addition to sharing intense experiences, Rudd and Stevens blend complementary gifts and talents with their Christian commitment in a way that makes their employees take notice. Many indicated in their surveys that the two leaders make CMDA a great place to work. "What I appreciate most about CMDA is the integrity and faithfulness of David Stevens and Gene Rudd," says Jennifer Pickel, media and research assistant. "They truly are Christlike role models."

This partnership pairs the idealistic visionary (Stevens) with the classic administrator (Rudd) in an organization that serves Christian physicians and dentists. Stevens calls it a "co-CEO" relationship, although Rudd is quick to point out that Stevens is ultimately the leader of the organization. But both feel completely at ease with having the other in charge, and both benefit from their collaboration. "Leadership at the top can be a lonely business, but we don't experience that. As co-CEOs, we share everything," says Stevens. "We can get more than twice the amount of work done with two people because of the synergy."

Related Elsewhere

Our 40 Best Christian Places to Work articles include:

The 40 Best Christian Places to Work | What makes them so good? (Hint: Not money)
The Complete List & A Closer Look at the Top Finalists | Christianity Today salutes four finalists in ten categories.
Inside CT: Great Places to Work | There is indeed much to praise and imitate in Christian companies.