Mockler Center History

The Mockler Center for Faith and Ethics in the Workplace has been a true pioneer in the world of theological education. Joanna Mockler created the center in 1994 in memory of her late husband Colman Mockler (1929 – 1991). Mockler was 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 pastors, seminarians, and marketplace men and women to interact with one another about how faith, ethics, and work are, or could be, integrated.

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.  In 2009 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 study program focused on Workplace Theology, Ethics, and Leadership.

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.

From 2010-2016, David W. Gill served in the newly created faculty position as Mockler-Phillips Professor of Workplace Theology and Business Ethics and also as Director of the Mockler Center.  In the fall of 2016, Ken Barnes became the Mockler-Phillips Professor and currently serves as Director of the Mockler Center.

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