The Mockler Center explores the connections between Christian ethical values and the world of work. We are a bridge between church and company, seminary and business school, faith and work. We engage in research, teaching, and writing. We offer courses and seminars at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and develop educational resources for both the church and the marketplace.
The mission of the Mockler Center is to contribute, in a constructive way, the insights of biblical Christian ethics and values to today's workplace -- and to bring helpful insights and experiences from workplace laity to the church and its leadership. Through its programs and resources the Mockler Center is a bridge serving both seminary and university, academy and marketplace, church and workplace.
Mockler Center programs have three basic objectives:
- Networking: connecting people for mutual, collaborative support and growth; building vibrant communities of faith and values in the workplace; building fruitful, positive relationships between clergy and workplace laity
- Equipping: facilitating lifelong learning and growth in biblical character, knowledge, and wisdom; equipping pastors to better connect with and support their workplace parishioners; equipping workplace disciples to take their Christian faith and values to work in creative and redemptive ways
- Serving: mobilizing and supporting workplace disciples for lives and careers of faithfulness, excellence, and servant leadership in church, academy, and marketplace; mobilizing and supporting church and parachurch leaders for service, encouragement, and empowerment of their workplace constituents
The Mockler Center for Faith and Ethics in the Workplace has been a pioneer in the world of theological education. Joanna Mockler created the center in 1994 in memory of her late husband Colman Mockler (1929 – 1991), CEO of Gillette from 1975 to 1991 and exemplar of “Level Five” leadership in Jim Collins’s best-selling management book, Good to Great. He was not only a brilliant business strategist and leader but a man of deep faith and high ethics. He felt that pastors seemed ill equipped to serve the business community effectively, and wished that there could be more opportunities for seminary students and marketplace men and women to interact with one another.
After two years of discussion and planning the Mockler Center moved forward during 1996 - 1999 under the creative leadership of Pete Hammond, long-time marketplace ministry leader for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. From 1999 to 2008, Will Messenger directed the Center, bringing his rich background as a Harvard MBA with business leadership experience alongside his MDiv training and experience as a pastor. Messenger left to become Director of the Theology of Work Project. Part of Messenger’s legacy was the creation and leadership, with Haddon Robinson, of a unique seminary degree program concentration in Workplace Theology, Ethics, and Leadership leading to either a Master of Arts in Religion or Doctor of Ministry degree.
During its first dozen years, the Mockler Center often worked in close partnership with the interdenominational Marketplace Network Inc. (1991-2007) under the leadership of Dan Smick in the 1990s and Kent Kusel in the 2000s. Among the many Christian business leaders who played important roles in the development of the Mockler Center, none has contributed more than Tom Phillips, long-time CEO of the Raytheon Corporation, especially through his Mockler courses and seminars on business ethics co-hosted by Harvard, MIT, Northeastern and elsewhere.
In the fall of 2010, David W. Gill was appointed to a newly endowed faculty position as Mockler-Phillips Professor of Workplace Theology and Business Ethics and Director of the Mockler Center.
The Mockler Center pursues its mission and purpose by means of several different programs and services among which are the following:
- Monthly Mockler Round Table: gathering of all comers for discussion of any relevant workplace topic at the Gordon-Conwell campus
- Mockler Seminars, Workshops, & Conferences: from one hour to one day in length, bringing expertise and experience together for focused attention on topics such as leadership, health care, the arts, sports, financial management ethics, entrepreneurship, and the like
- Consulting & Mentoring: one-on-one or small group guidance on topics and challenges in workplace theology, ethics, and leadership
- Seminary Credit Courses: semester-length or intensive, group or individualized, courses of study in workplace theology, business and professional ethics, workplace leadership, marketing and finance in Christian perspective, technology, and the like.
- Lectures, Sermons, Retreats, and Conferences: for church and parachurch groups
- Workplace Theology and Discipleship Curricula: ideas and resources for those interested in organizing study classes in business, church and parachurch settings
- Worship Resources: sample liturgies for commissioning workplace disciples in health care, finance, technology, the arts, business management, and other fields
- Marketplace/Workplace Gatherings and Events: opportunities for small and large group networking and learning in business and workplace settings
- Business & Professional Lectures and Presentations: ethics and leadership presentations to Rotary Clubs, b-schools, Chambers of Commerce, public media, professional associations, and the like
- Research & Publication: books, articles, reviews, interviews, and other publications on workplace ethics and values
The Director: David W. Gill
Dr. David W. Gill was appointed Director of the Mockler Center and Mockler-Phillips Professor of Workplace Theology and Business Ethics in September 2010. He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley (BA), San Francisco State University (MA), and the University of Southern California (PhD). From 1977-1990 he was variously Founding Chairman of the Board, Project Director, Professor of Christian Ethics, Dean, and/or President of New College Berkeley, an interdenominational graduate school of theology and ethics for lay men and women. From 1992-2001, he served as Carl I. Lindberg Professor of Applied Ethics on the philosophy faculty of North Park University in Chicago. From 1998-2003 he was co-founder and co-director of the Institute for Business, Technology, and Ethics, with its bi-monthly magazine Ethix, based in Seattle. From 2004-2010 he was professor of business ethics in the Graduate School of Economics and Business Administration at St. Mary's College of California. He has been a frequent visiting or adjunct professor of Christian and/or business ethics at Regent College (BC), Fuller Theological Seminary, and the graduate schools of business at Seattle Pacific University and the University of San Francisco. Through his consultancy EthixBiz.com he has served many companies and organizations as ethics consultant and trainer.
Dr. Gill has published seven books including The Word of God in the Ethics of Jacques Ellul (1984), Peter the Rock: Extraordinary Insights from an Ordinary Man (1986), The Opening of the Christian Mind (1989), Should God Get Tenure? Essays on Religion and Higher Education (editor, 1997), Becoming Good: Building Moral Character (2000), Doing Right: Practicing Ethical Principles (2004), and It's About Excellence: Building Ethically Healthy Organizations (2008). He is the author of more than 200 articles, reviews, and interviews in various journals, magazines, and encyclopedias. He often gives lectures and presentations for academic, business, and civic groups -- and sermons, classes, and retreats for churches and campus fellowships of all denominations. Dr. Gill is ordained by Allen Temple Baptist Church (Oakland CA) in the Progressive National Baptist Convention.
Dr. Gill is a member of the Society of Business Ethics, the Society of Christian Ethics, the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, the Academy of Management, and the International Jacques Ellul Society (which he also serves as president). He and his wife Lucia were married in 1967 and are the parents of two and grandparents of six. They currently reside in Gloucester MA and love jazz, biking, and almost anything French. They are full or associate members of First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, Allen Temple Baptist Church of Oakland, and Solano Community Church of Albany.
Assistant to the Director: Yuna Oh
Yuna Oh joined the Mockler Center as Assistant to the Director in October 2011. She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (BA) and is an MDiv student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She brings nearly eight years of experience as assistant manager of her family's interior design business, involved in all aspects of its management and development. While at UMass she was Resident Assistant for the Asian/Asian-American Living & Learning Community, working with its Governance Board. She has worked professionally as a web designer and graphic artist and as a volunteer organizer for the Not Bread Alone soup kitchen. She plays the cello and the piano.