Christian-Owned Companies

What does it look like when a follower of Jesus runs a business?

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One Question, Fifty Companies, Eight Practical Answers

What does it look like when a follower of Jesus runs a business? It’s a question we’re asking more than ever before, from the front lines of business to the front page of the newspaper to the front row of the classroom.

But our answers tend to be incomplete—personal anecdotes, media narratives, or simply revisiting the usual suspects.

Christian-Owned Companies, the stories of 50 for-profit businesses, is the most thorough investigation of the question to date, uncovering 8 practical answers.

For business leaders, it’s a road map. For academics, it’s a theory. For students, it’s a curriculum. And for a confused culture, it’s a corrective to the stereotypes of the left and the right.

Join Professor Michael Zigarelli for an in-depth look at what Christian-owned companies really do and how they do it.


Self-paced study, with video (pdf)

Complete with dozens of video links to interviews with Christian executives and business owners, this free curriculum is a 10 session self-study or small group resource.


Table of Contents

Executive Summary: What does it look like when a follower of Jesus runs a business?

Their Purpose: They Seek to Honor God in All They Do

1.  Historical Perspective: The ServiceMaster Company

2.  Chick-fil-A: Creating a Corporate Purpose

3.  Hobby Lobby: Redeeming Retail

4. Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe: Honoring God through Excellence

5. Turbocam International: Setting Captives Free Half a World Away

Their Products: They Make Products That Make a Better World

6.  Historical Perspective: Guinness Brewing Company

7.  D.light Design: A Brighter Future for Millions in the Developing World

8.  Eventide Asset Management: Investing for the Common Good

9.  CapinCrouse: Helping Nonprofits Help More People

10. The C12 Group: Building Great Businesses for a Greater Purpose

11. Big Idea Productions: A Triumphant and Tragic (Veggie)Tale

Their Profits: They Fund Faithful Causes

12. Historical Perspective: Domino’s Pizza

13. Auntie Anne’s Pretzels: Purpose Out of Pain

14. Toms Shoes: Buy One, Give One

15. Pura Vida Coffee: Great Coffee, Great Cause

16. Altar’d State: Standing Out, for Good

17. Barnhart Crane & Rigging: Starting at the Finish Line

18. Bridgeway Capital Management: Giving Back Half

19. 4 Rivers Smokehouse: Barbeque Ministry

Their People: They Treat Their Employees Like Family

20. Historical Perspective: H.J. Heinz Company

21. Broetje Orchards: The Most Generous Employer in America

22. Mary Kay Cosmetics: Praising People to Success

23. Wegmans Food Markets: Caring for the People Who Care for the Customers

24. World Wide Technology: Doing Business by the Good Book

25. Walker Manufacturing: Cutting Grass, Not People

26. Polydeck Screen Corporation: Loving Employees through a “Caring Committee”

27. Tyson Foods: Chicken and Chaplains

Their Poverty Plan: They Create Jobs for People Who Would Not Have One

28. Historical Perspective: Hershey Chocolate Company

29. Lamon Luther: Hiring the Homeless

30. Second Chance Coffee Company: Giving Felons a Fresh Start

31. Keystone Custom Homes: Alleviating Poverty through Microfinance

32. Tegu Toys: Building Blocks to Rebuild Honduras

33. Sunshine Nut Company: Transformation in Mozambique

Their Planet Protection: They Value Creation Care

34. Historical Perspective: Herman Miller

35. Tom’s of Maine: Pioneering Natural Products

36. Oobe Apparel Design Group: Making Shirts from Plastic Bottles

37. Elevation Burger: Taking the Junk Out of Junk Food

38. Cardone Industries: Remanufacturing Auto Parts

39. Enviro-Stewards: How to Make More Money while Doing Less Harm

Their Principle: They Stand Firm, Regardless the Cost

40. Historical Perspective: Wanamaker’s Department Stores

41. Correct Craft: Building Boats to the Glory of God

42. Flow Automotive Companies: Going the Extra Mile No One Else Will

43. R.W. Beckett Corporation: Revealing God under the Media Microscope

44. Masterpiece Cakeshop: Reclaiming Religious Freedom

45. Conestoga Wood Specialties: Risking the Company to Remain Faithful

Their Proselytizing: They Introduce People to God

46. Historical Perspective: R.G. LeTourneau Inc.

47. Interstate Batteries: Charged Up to Change Lives

48. U.S. Plastic Corporation: Every Share of Stock to Share the Gospel

49. Pure Flix Entertainment: Faith through Film

50. In-N-Out Burger: Good Food and Great Pay, with a Side of Scripture

Appendix: 100 Best Practices of Christian-Owned Companies