M.B.A., Loyola University,
The corporate world can be a litmus test for one's faith, given the pressure to increase revenues, improve profits, and maintain a competitive edge. Trinity business professor John Kooyenga says the first test is the most significant one for Christians.
"In the business world, you will face situations that challenge your Christian values to see if you're willing to compromise them. If you say 'No' the first time, it will be easier to say 'No' after that. On the other hand, if you say 'Yes' the first time, it becomes easier to say 'Yes' on subsequent occasions. It's critical to remain faithful to your Christian morals and ethics.
"Students need to be prepared for their responsibilities as professionals. They must first be Christians, then business professionals. I think those two values can be combined effectively. I've had a good number of our alumni tell me they've been able to do that."
Kooyenga, chairman of the business/accounting/economics department, has taught at Trinity for more than 20 years. He attended Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, where he received his bachelor's degree in business administration and business education. He then earned his master's in business administration from Loyola University-Chicago and became a certified public accountant at the University of Illinois.
Before joining the faculty, Kooyenga spent 12 years teaching at neighboring Chicago Christian High School. He came to Trinity because it gave him an opportunity to help build a quality business program. He now teaches business management, organizational consulting, business finance, and business mathematics.
Recognizing the conflicts that Christians experience in the business world, Kooyenga bases his teaching on the scriptural principle found in Micah 6:8, which states that God requires justice, mercy, and humility.
"It's the foundation upon which all Christian business professionals should establish their careers. We have to do what's good, we have to do what's just, and we must be humble because we can't do it by ourselves."
Kooyenga, a native of Chicago, also loves traveling, particularly driving long distances. He and his wife, Audrey, drove to Alaska to celebrate a wedding anniversary, a month-long journey that spanned more than 9,000 miles round trip.
Kooyenga, a father of two children and grandfather of one, lives with his wife in Tinley Park, Illinois. The couple attends Calvary Reformed Church of Orland Park.