Tom Phillips, Longstanding Friend of Gordon-Conwell, Passes Away

January 11, 2019

Mr. Thomas (Tom) Phillips of Weston, MA, a longtime friend of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, went to be with the Lord on January 9, 2019.

Tom’s commitment to integrating his faith and values in the workplace had a deep and meaningful impact on the seminary. He was instrumental in the formation of the Mockler Center for Faith and Ethics in the Workplace at Gordon-Conwell and in establishing the endowed Mockler-Phillips Professorship of Workplace Theology and Business Ethics. A faithful leader and true friend, Tom was known widely for his wisdom and welcome, particularly among those faculty and administrators who attended his monthly business leader breakfasts.

Tom Phillips was a legendary American business leader. Born in Istanbul in 1924, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and in 1948 began a long and distinguished career at Raytheon. Tom became the CEO of Raytheon in 1968 — serving until his retirement in 1991. In an extremely complex and challenging industry, Raytheon, under Tom Phillips’s leadership, became an exemplar of the highest possible ethical standards and practices — a demonstration of his deep faith in Jesus Christ.

In addition to his role at Raytheon, Tom served on multiple corporate and non-profit boards including those of Digital Equipment, SRA International, John Hancock, Knight Ridder, State Street, Massachusetts General Hospital, the Salvation Army and Gordon College. He received honorary degrees from distinguished schools such as Gordon College, Babson, UMass, Northeastern and Suffolk. Tom was well known for the key role he played in leading Chuck Colson to know the Lord and for the past several decades he has been a significant force in the faith at work movement, especially in the Boston area. He taught countless classes in churches, seminaries, business schools and conferences on how to bring faith and sound ethics into our working lives and our businesses. He mentored, generously supported, and unfailingly encouraged many of the faith at work leaders and movements in this region.

“Tom Phillips was a great friend to many of us at Gordon-Conwell. We will deeply miss his wisdom, inspiration and encouragement.”

—Dennis P. Hollinger, Ph.D.,
President & Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics


Read an interview with Tom Philips

Learn More About the Mocker Center