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. 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.

Large Service & Product Organization

Evangelical Christian Credit Union
Brea, California

The employees of Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU) could rave about their top-notch facilities, which include a fitness center with basketball and racquetball courts. Or about their compensation, which runs higher than average for Christian organizations. Or about the financial support they receive from ECCU when they go on missions trips.

But the employees tend to give the most glowing reviews to the training that they receive. Last year their company spent nearly 6 percent of its payroll (well over half a million dollars) to train and equip staff. The training opportunities included regular classes taught by company executives and a Christian-tailored program based on The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (Simon & Schuster, 1990) by Steven R. Covey.

Executive vice president Frank Borst believes that providing employees with professional development is not just a nice bonus but also a spiritual responsibility. "Throughout the Bible, there are passages on equipping people," he says. "We want to create an atmosphere where they can flourish."

ECCU believes that part of creating the right atmosphere is promoting a culture of healthy life balance, so much so that this has become a core value. "There's a mindset in the ministry community that requires our Christian workers to sacrifice," Borst says. "But we desire to make work a rewarding experience, and not at the expense of our other roles, such as being spouses and parents."

Ministry development officer David Lee recently spent a work morning watching his first-grade son compete at a district spelling bee, having been encouraged by his boss to do so. "My being there spoke volumes to my son, and I'm sure planted significant seeds in his heart and mind," says Lee, demonstrating that the effects of ECCU's training and values can travel well beyond the walls of its facility.

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.