Faith-based leaders equipped with risk-management skills

Friday, June 4, 2010


More than 70 representative of churches, financial institutions, and the Union Gospel Mission attended the Corban Leadership Institute on May 21, 2010. This inaugural Institute, a three-hour seminar called “Peace of Mind: Managing Risks in Faith-Based Organizations,” gave faith-based leaders the tools needed to better manage risk within their organizations. 

“The Institute’s goal is to equip leaders to make a difference in the world,” said Dean of Business Jon Meyers in Salem’s Statesman Journal on May 16. (See article.) He explained, “The Institute will do this in two ways. First, by increasing awareness of key trends and issues so that leaders can develop deeper and fuller visions for their organization; and second, by providing concrete skills that give leaders the ability (not to mention the courage) to put their visions into practice.”

This first Institute featured panels of experts made up of businesspersons who advise faith-based organizations on a regular basis. It included attorneys, CPAs, technology experts and consultants, as well as members of Corban University’s business faculty. Areas of risk addressed were employment law, potential lawsuits, technology vulnerabilities/privacy, physical and virtual security, financial data, and insurance.

Faculty Secretary Jan Hopkins was flooded with positive evaluations following the event. She said, “The seminar covered a lot of very valuable information, from what insurance policies are needed on vehicles to how to lower risks at social events, such as ‘wild and crazy’ youth events.”

Meyers said, “One topic that generated significant interest for participants was the topic of managing volunteers. Almost every faith-based ministry relies on volunteers, and there are pitfalls these ministries need to be aware of — one in particular is the issue of compensating volunteers. If ministries aren’t careful, rewarding volunteers with gift certificates or other gifts can become problematic.”

Besides showcasing a panel of experts, the Institute allowed time for networking, table discussions, and a Q & A session. Participants left Corban with a CD in hand, containing articles, sample policies, step-by-step guides, and other resources on 20 different topics.

To learn more, contact Jon Meyers at 503-589-8125 or

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