Social Entrepreneurship: Everyday Entrepreneurs Impacting the World

Today, it’s common for businesses and companies to actively participate in social causes that call for help and offer support for communities.  There are many modern-day examples of businesses improving local and global communities in need.  This movement is best described as social entrepreneurship.  

Described as the “One for One” company, TOMS has grown in prominence since the creation of the uniquely designed, one-of-a-kind shoe. 

With every pair of TOMS shoes purchased, a new pair of shoes goes to a child in need in a developing country.  Since 2006, TOMS has given more than 75 million pairs of new shoes to children in need around the world and has provided them with improved health and access to education. 

Similar to TOMS, Bombas made its mark by designing specially-engineered socks that, when purchased, donate a new pair of socks to a person in need.  

Bombas has been able to donate and provide over 7,136,758 pairs socks to those in need of them since its inception in 2013, meeting the number one need requested by homeless shelters nationwide. 

Last, but not least, Love Your Melon is an apparel brand known for its uniquely crafted hats and dedicates its mission to support the fight against pediatric cancer by giving a hat to every child battling cancer in America.  With every purchase made, 50% of profit from the sale of all Love Your Melon products is given to the Love Your Melon Fund, which supports its nonprofit partners.  

Over $4,328,259 have been donated to partners around the country, and 132,586 hats have been given to children in need.

You may recognize a pattern here.  TOMS, Bombas, and Love Your Melon are companies that were founded on and operate by principles and values rooted in social entrepreneurship.

So, what exactly is social entrepreneurship?  A field, a profession, and a movement, social entrepreneurship is described as being “a process by which citizens build or transform institutions to advance solutions to social problems” like poverty, illness, illiteracy, environmental destruction, human rights abuses and corruption to make life better for many,” according to Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know.  

Blake Mycoskie, Randy Goldberg and David Heath, Zach Quinn and Brian Keller – the founders behind TOMS, Bombas, and Love Your Melon – are all social entrepreneurs.  Though unique from one another, every social entrepreneur possesses common characteristics and exudes certain behaviors.  They: 

– Create public value

– Pursue new opportunities

– Innovate and adapt

– Act boldly

– Leverage resources they don’t control

– Exhibit a strong sense of accountability  

As a result, community members from the local scale to the global scale can be positively affected by the actions and innovations of social entrepreneurs. 

Want to learn more about social entrepreneurship and how you can incorporate it into your ministry? Consider enrolling in LEA 460: Social Entrepreneurship online for Spring B Term.  Spring B Term classes are eight weeks long and can be taken online or on campus.   

GCD Student Spotlight – Christina Reed

Mom, Hair Designer, Student

 

What do you do all day? This is a question that makes many people cringe when they hear,  because we all feel busy in our everyday lives, but can’t always recall exactly what they did all day. I know that I felt absolutely overwhelmed with the things going on in my life and wondered how people could ever add the task of school to their lives when they already worked numerous hours a week and were raising two kids, like in my case. Yet the tug at my heart would not cease the gentle but constant tug to enroll at GCD. “Me, God? Are you sure you weren’t talking to the person next to me and I just overheard?” This was a question I kicked around for a while before enrolling here at GCD. I am a hair designer and have been for 19 years. This job suits my ADD quite well and my need for instant gratification from something that doesn’t lose my attention easily. I was sure I couldn’t focus long enough to make it through a class and actually pass it. I talked myself out of enrolling for some time. I had all kinds of excuses but the biggest one was that I did not have enough time. Time is something we all get the same amount of and choose to use in the way we decide is most important.

 

I finally quit ignoring the gentle, consistent tug at my heart to enroll at GCD and took the plunge. Thank God there was an amazing person that answered the other end of the phone and literally walked me through every aspect of the process; I’m sure she was tired of seeing my number pop up on the caller ID but she always answered the phone with grace and guidance. I was ready to quit the first week of school and another student there talked me out of it, how grateful I am now for these two people that helped usher me into a new era. I now have a much more positive outlook on my journey and have earned high marks so far in all my courses here at GCD. Every single day I am proving myself wrong; there is no place for the previous negativity that once controlled my thoughts.
I am still a hair designer and raising two beautiful kiddos and have somehow found time to add in school and still go the park with my sweet babies and not miss out on the life God had planned for me. God has a plan that involves me trusting Him and letting Him manage my time. So, what do I do all day? I am walking out God’s plan for me, one step at a time.

Alan Winter

 

There are many ways to describe Alan Winter. The most consistent is friend. Alan was a friend with everyone he met. You may know Alan as one of the board members, guest instructor, or a missionary.  For those who don’t know Alan Winter, he was a Youth Pastor in Atlanta for many years then started an organization to lead short-term mission trips. Alan told me that when he was a Youth Pastor he would spend years trying to help young people change. Years later he led a missions trip with his youth group. Alan told me that the transformation he saw within two weeks surpassed the changes he saw in all the years he had worked with this group before. He was so inspired by the power to transform others by serving others that he quit his job and began an organization that helped others do the same. The past sentence misses the reality Alan faced in the process. Alan quit his full-time consistent job with benefits and a steady income as his kids were about to enroll in college because of his passion for the transformational power of loving others.

Alan’s founding of Frontline Missions was a labor of love, for everyone he met. Alan loved to make everyone that he encountered feel loved. He specialized in groups of people that no one else cared enough to do anything for them. No one escaped Alan’s hugs or fatherly love.

Alan’s relationship with Grace College of Divinity was multifaceted. He was a GCD board member, he co-taught Communicating the Relevance of God’s Story and Destiny and Calling, many students worked with Alan on missions trips and others interned with Frontline missions. In addition, Alan was a close personal friend to Dr. Crowther. Much of the mission and heart of GCD is a direct influence of Alan.

alan2

Alan was on a missions trip to Cartagena, Colombia to help train pastors in a school that was started by GCD and Frontline Missions. Alan had a stroke on his way to Columbia, and was admitted to the Hospital in Cartagena. There were complications in the medical care he received in Columbia. Alan was medevacked to the United States to receive better medical care. While in the United States he underwent several surgeries that were not able to bring Alan back to good health. Alan went to be with his Lord and Savior on Wednesday, March 1st.

Everyone is invited to a memorial service for Alan on March 15th at 11:00 am at New Hope Baptist Church (551 New Hope Rd, Fayetteville, GA 30214). His family requests donations be made to Frontline Missions in lieu of flowers. The family will be wearing Easter colors in celebration of  Alan’s life and invites all to join them. GCD will endeavor to offer an online option for students, staff, and faculty to participate if they would like and are unable to attend.

 

 

 

Grace College of Divinity was named one of the top colleges for Online Bachelor’s degree in ministry

Grace College of Divinity was named one of the best colleges for online ministry degrees by bestcolleges.com.   Bestcolleges.com examined multiple colleges with Online Bible College programs and ranked them nation-wide.  The rankings were based on courses offered, student outcomes, and other institutional metrics. Grace College of Divinity’s Bachelor of Divinity degree was ranked as the second best online Bachelor’s in Ministry in the country!

2016 GCD Christmas Party

There is an event you do NOT want to miss for this Holiday season! The `50s GCD Bandstand experience Saturday, December 10th at 7 pm in the Student Center! You can find live music, hor d’oeuvres, Christmas gifts at auction, and last but not least, great people. It is a great opportunity to bring your family to enjoy a one of a kind evening with your GCD community. Every year GCD hosts an event where marvelous creativity comes to life to reinvent a Christmas party with a different theme and entertainment. In this special event you, as part of our GCD community, have the opportunity for fellowship in a great place, and in a more relaxed environment where your only concern will be “did I wear my dancing shoes?” and enjoy every minute of the wonderful evening.

Now the music… yes the music… Wayne Tate will be performing live music of the ‘50s… yes you read that right.. WAYNE TATE.. if you came to our Christmas party last year, then you know what I am talking about when I make the emphasis ON WAYNE TATE playing live music. Now, can you picture it?.

So for those of you who missed last year’s GCD Christmas party, let me give you some insights of that night. The dinner: delicious; the decoration: the funky ‘70s style; and the main entertainment: the Bee Gees, performed by Chris Fletcher, Jordan Tate, and Wayne Tate, their performance was awesome! They transported attendants back to the ‘70s to a private concert with the Bee Gees. So the dancing floor was on fire, yes on fire! The people got the chance to dance their favorite songs. Oh what a great evening!. So this year Wayne Tate is performing live music of the ‘50s, so expectations should be pretty high for those who attended last year, and should be for everyone else too, because he always does a great job!.

Also if you like the retro style, but you never have the chance to show off your gowns, this can be a great opportunity to wear your favorite one!. If you do not want everyone to be jealous of your ‘50s gowns, it is perfectly fine, you can wear semi-formal attire from any era. So tell me… where can you find Live Music, dancing, and great food for FREE?! .. only at the GCD Christmas party. So join us with your family for this incredible Christmas evening. Please do not forget to RSVP so we make sure to have plenty of space on the dancing floor for you and your family!

Our Christmas day is Saturday, December 10th, at 7 pm in the Student Center! Tickets are FREE! See ya there!

Rossana Allup

GCD Student

Adam Yow Devotional

Student-ministry-intern

I am the currently a first year intern in theExperience College internship. I’m quite a simple homie. I love Jesus. I really think the biggest fight for number one in my life is Jesus and food. I am proud to confess I also love girlie drinks and I don’t care who knows about it. That’s all.

What does God REALLY want?

     Have you ever wondered what God wants the most? Have you ever just taken time out of your day to think, “Hmmm, what is the number one thing God wants from my life?” I think people, despite being a Jesus-follower or not, have asked themselves a question similar to the one I am portraying today. If you are a human being, you have a purpose, and, ultimately, that is what your life is searching for.

     Speaking from my own Jesus-following perspective, my view on what God really wants has gotten skewed through time and experience. When the question of what God really wants is brought to my attention, my natural instinct is to think of some form of work – like reading my Bible more, praying for my family, or sharing the gospel with non-Jesus followers; but I think I lead myself away from what the truth really is. Though doing things like doing ministry is good, and we should be incorporating these disciplines in our relationship with Jesus. God has been teaching me that those are not His priority for my life.

     As I have been reading through the Old Testament, specifically the Samuel’s, King’s, and Chronicle’s, God has been radically shifting my mind when I think about the main purpose of my life. Reflecting on the lives of those kings and prophets who ended well, I come to find the a common theme in all of their lives. Though they did amazing things for God, they all gave up their lives to God. Their primary focus was to constantly place their lives on the altar.

     Fast forward to Jesus, one day Jesus was asked, “What is the greatest commandment?” Essentially what is happening is someone is saying, “Yo Jesus, what does God really want? What is the most important thing to Him?” The golden question, right? And his response totally blows me away. Jesus simply says, “Just love God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. Yeah, that’s what my Pops wants the most from humanity.

     WHAT? This changes everything! Jesus Himself tells us that God is looking for people who will enter into relationship with Him, not just another religious way of living. At times we make our relationship all about “what do I need to do” with all these works in mind, but Jesus suggests  that we should consider “what do I need to give up.” You see, I have come to discover that God is not looking for those who will just do all the right things, but He is looking for those who will give Him their heart. And it is from a heart that is truly surrendered that real life change can be produced personally and publicly.

     So I encourage you, if you are in a relationship with Jesus and seek to grow closer to him, don’t start off with thinking about what you should do to fix the issue, but go to Jesus with your whole heart – the good, the broken, and the ugly – and give it up! And that is where I believe you will experience the most satisfying peace and freedom. Brothers and sisters, the best days are still ahead of us. Give up your hearts, so you do not miss out on them.

Nakiya Smith Devotional

     My name is Nakiya Smith and I am on staff here at GCD wearing many hats. My favorite has been being a TA to the Destiny and Calling class (CLG 101).  Don’t tell my previous math and physics professors, but I love problem solving, other people’s problems that is. My most favorite thing in the world is being an Auntie.  When I’m not at GCD I enjoy sampling food from various countries, working out and Latin dancing.

     This morning I went walking for exercise. When walking I like to keep my heart rate up. So once I get going, it’s unconventional for me to stop until my cool down. As I was walking on the sidewalk, I came across a large earth worm. In biology we were taught that earthworms help fertilize the ground. As they slither in the earth, they are helping fertilize and move around the soil. Earthworms also cannot see.They simply have light receptors. So I was taught that when an earthworm is on the sidewalk, one should place it back it back in the grass. Well, there’s no way I’m actually touching a living earth worm. So I decided to try to nudge the earthworm back into the grassy area. This proved to be more difficult than expected and quite time consuming. I had to nudge and nudge and the worm kept curling up and not wanting to move. Two minutes later, I finally got the earthworm into the grass. My heart rate was down, but I felt I did a good service to the yard of the neighbor.

     As I kept walking I thought about how this experience reminds me of the staff here at GCD. I enjoy seeing faculty and staff nudge and nudge at and nurture the students, not only because we care, but because we see the potential of all of our students and know that you will play an important role in advancing The Kingdom. We are here to happily guide our students to good soil. This also reminds me of myself. I too have been an earthworm. Pretty lost, but following the Light. I have yet to receive hand written instructions on how to go through my day and which decisions to make, however I am reminded in Romans 15:4: For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. I am reminded that I have scriptures that can nudge me through my dark and unsure times. I am also grateful that I too have had individuals (figuratively and literally) nudge me along my Christian walk to ensure I am staying in good soil.

     Romans 15:1,2: We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.

Be great!

Nakiya Smith

Student Spotlight: Jonathan Fletcher

Bible College Student:Manna Church teaching pastor

Meet our student spotlight of the week through his answers to a few questions about his life and what he is doing right now.

What is your current occupation?

         “I am the Teaching Pastor and Executive Place Site Pastor at Manna Church.”

How did GCD help you get there?

         “GCD has helped me by providing sound Biblical training to assist in my vocation.”

What was your favorite thing about GCD?

        “My favorite thing about GCD is that we are not just about people learning information. Rather, we attempt to provide sound Biblical teaching that helps people understand more about God, while at the same time helping them use that knowledge in practical ministry experience.”

Experience at GCD.

      “I have taken classes as both an undergraduate and in the master’s program, and I have found both of those experiences to be incredibly insightful. I feel better prepared as a pastor through my involvement at GCD.” 

There you have it, Pastor Jonathan Fletcher everybody. If you want to learn more about our students here at GCD and want to see more about our students’ lives let us know in the comments below.

Adam Terry Devotional

   Adam Terry is a first year student at Grace College of Divinity. He is currently an Experience Intern at Manna Church. He He enjoys ballroom dancing and philosophical debates. He is currently spending his time at GCD seeking God and redeveloping a foundation of faith.

   Do you go the extra mile? I know this is usually the example that Christ used for us when other people make demands of us. That is not today’s focus though. Serving and loving people is important, but the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart.

   Love has no limits. What does our love for God actually look like though? Most of us as Christians have a devotional life where we spend time with God. Love is shown through sacrifice. How much do we really sacrifice for God out of love? Honestly, when I think of Christians sacrificing for God it is because we have to. We can set aside a little time for God in the morning or evening, but have I limited my love for God?

  David was a man who loved God with a reckless abandon. When I look at David’s life I see him spending time with God, but I do not see him setting limits on his relationship with God. David goes above and beyond to please God. David does not just go the extra mile, David is determined to run to God until he reaches him. We should chase God without holding back!  

   I believe that many of us think about our relationship with God in a box. What do I have to do today to not lose my blessings and fall away? We should wake up and think, how can I please my heavenly Father today? When I start to think that way, new ideas of serving, loving, and worshipping fill my mind. My motivation to have devotions is my love for the Father. Devotions are a means to an end they are not the end. If I am going to worship God to the best of my ability I cannot put restraints on how much time and energy I am going to spend on Him. Loving God is not stopping at the extra mile. Loving God is the endless journey with Him into eternity.