Class of 2013
Graduation behind, adventures ahead. Now that he has completed his bachelor’s in business administration with a concentration in social enterprise at SPU, what’s next for alumnus Mark Elffers? Why, Oxford, of course!
Elffers now counts himself among the honored ranks of the alumni of the School of Business, Government, and Economics, having just completed his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in social enterprise. Did SBGE meet his expectations?
“My expectations were far exceeded. The most valuable part was the strategically small class sizes. They offered a platform where students can get to know and interact frequently with professors. I cannot overemphasize the value of the instruction I received from professors in the program.”
Elffers credits several professors with making a great impact. “I was able to take away so much from every teacher I was privileged to learn under,” he says. “I especially appreciate the entrepreneurial insights and mentorship from the late Don Summers, who taught my very first business class in Autumn 2009.”
Dr. Summers’ enthusiasm for creating sustainable business to help people and societies was highly contagious, says Elffers. He also credits Kenman Wong, whose classes in business ethics and microfinance helped him discover new ways for business to serve others. He adds that Geri Mason’s innovative teaching often facilitated intense and beneficial discussions in her economics classes.
Now, while most graduates are turning their focus from classes to career, Elffers has heard a different calling for a new challenge. This fall he plans to enter Oxford University (yes, that Oxford!) as a graduate student pursuing a degree in Christian apologetics — presenting a rational basis for and defense of the Christian faith.
“I am open to applying the training in apologetics either directly, possibly as a Christian apologetics teacher, or indirectly as an employee at a business,” he says. “The program at SBGE did a phenomenal job of emphasizing how important it is for Christians to be involved in secular work, where engaging and changing mainstream culture really takes place. We don’t have to be a pastor or missionary to be serious about your Christian faith. It is just as important for committed Christians to immerse themselves in secular work and schools, to compete for influential business positions — where cultural transformation is largely dictated and determined.”
Elffers values the wisdom he received from faculty, students, and alumni of SBGE. And now that he himself is an SBGE alumnus, he encourages fellow believers to “always remember The Great Commission, where Jesus instructs his followers not to only congregate amongst themselves but also to go out into all the world, immerse and interact with people of different faiths and worldviews, and spread the good news of the gospel.”
Thank you, Mark. Oxford University awaits you!