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On Becoming a Christian Business Person

Business students are challenged to apply what they learn in the classroom in the workplace. Teaching that challenges students can be challenging for instructors too. For Dr. Debra Grimm, “Encouraging students to define a Christian business person and identify how God calls us to ministry in the workplace made me wonder if the workplace was where I was being called to as well.”

Dr. Grimm, a former director of Ohio Christian University’s Adult and Graduate School (AGS) business programs, was responsible for making the school’s business course content applicable to the workplace.  In 2012, adhering to OCU’s faith-based mission, she developed new MBA and Master in Management degrees that include a challenge for each student to define what it means to be a Christian business person.

In April 2017, Grimm was presented an opportunity to become Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Columbus Area Integrate Health Services (CAIHS), an agency with a 50-year history of serving those with behavioral and substance abuse disorders. “I felt God opened this door, but I didn’t know agency staff were praying for the right person.” CAIHS was dealing with system issues impacting its ability to perform its mission, and Grimm has extensive experience with system analysis and implementation. So, God brought her skills to meet the agency’s need.

“A great benefit of this position is I am able to continue working with OCU,” Grimm explains.  Shortly after she started at CAIHS, the agency began a faith-based initiative, recognizing the importance of faith in clients’ healing. Now Grimm is helping facilitate collaboration between CAIHS and OCU on this initiative. The hope is collaboration will grow to include internships for OCU students.

Dr. Grimm continues teaching and developing curriculum for OCU. “I always have a class or curriculum project going. I enjoy applying illustrative examples of what I’m doing at work,” she says. “I am forever grateful to OCU students who challenged me by sharing their perspectives on what it means to be a Christian business person.”