Stephen D. Christensen
Stephen serves as Concordia’s University’s Executive Vice President for External Relations. He is also an Instructor in the Business School teaching Entrepreneurship to MBA students. Because he is passionate about teaching entrepreneurship to young people and preparing the next generation of business leaders, Stephen created the Teen Entrepreneurship Academy (TEA) summer camp for high school students www.cui.edu/tea. He is also the Founder and volunteer President a non-profit ministry called Faith and Work Life www.faithandworklife.org.
Stephen Christensen is an entrepreneur catalyst and educational leader who passionately trains people to start businesses utilizing best business practices and biblical principles. He is certified entrepreneurship instructor who teaches a 2-unit MBA entrepreneurship class at Concordia University titled, “Best Business Practices and Biblical Principles for Starting and Growing a Sustainable Business.” He also teaches entrepreneurship training through his non-profit ministry Faith and Work Life’s and its Biblical BIZ Launch Academy at churches. He offers churches two entrepreneurship training programs: a Biz Launch Weekend Boot Camp (Friday evening and Saturday) and a more intensive 7-week (1-night per week) Certificate in Biblical Entrepreneurship Training.
He is experienced as both an intrepreneur and entrepreneur who helped launch four enterprises: a business communications company, a private equity investment company, a roundtable program for CEOs, and a non-profit ministry. As a business and ministry leader, he draws upon more than 25 years of diversified leadership, management and fund raising experience to design and implement new initiatives and innovative programs.
Since 2001, he serves as executive vice president for external relations and special assistant to the president at Concordia University in Irvine, California, USA. He also teaches in the business school and speaks frequently to many groups. In 2002, he created the University’s Faith and Business Forum. Over 7,500 business leaders have participated in the Forum events. He also founded Concordia’s Center for Faith and Business. In 2007, his development team completed the university’s $22 million capital campaign.
In 2008 he established a non-profit ministry called Faith and Work Life (FWL). As its founder and president, he oversees the ministry’s programs that helps Christians better understand work from God’s perspective and how to apply biblical principles to secular work. FWL offers events, curriculum and other programs, working with Christians in the workplace, businesses as well as churches and universities. His delights in helping churches establish work life discipleship programs and also teaching entrepreneurship classes. Participants write their business plans and are coached by successful entrepreneurs.
Prior to this, he served as the vice president of marketing at TeeHub, LLC (Irvine, CA), a start-up video communications company. He developed the company’s marketing and sales strategies that launching the business. He was also chief advancement officer at Olive Crest Foster Homes and Services for Abused Children (Santa Ana, CA), managing the external relations programs including 6 regional development officers in 3 states that raised $6 million annually.
From 1995 to 2001, he served as vice president for university relations at Chapman University, (Orange CA). Under his leadership, Chapman increased annual giving from $6 million to $17 million and raised $200 million including $25 million for a new business school building. Prior to Chapman, he was senior vice president of the Robert Sharp Company (consulting). From 1983 to 1989, he worked in the development office at the University of California, Irvine (UCI).
He has taught campaign and fund raising classes at the University of California, Riverside and California Lutheran University in their Non-Profit Management and Fund Raising Certificate programs as well as at Cal State University, Long Beach. He also taught at the University of California, Irvine Certificate program. He has conducted training seminars and programs on campaigns, fund raising principles and techniques to the western regional chapters of the Habitat for Humanity, the American Lung Association and the American Red Cross.
Born and raised in New York City, he also worked for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the New York Council, Boy Scouts of America. Stephen married Michelle (a California girl) in 1983 and relocated to southern California where they raised their 4 daughters. He is an Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America.