To learn how to merge our faith with our careers, we need to look back to some of the country’s first business people, according to Kent W. Seibert, professor and chair of economics and business. Seibert’s latest publication, an article in the fall issue of The Journal of Biblical Integration in Business (volume 14, fall 2011) entitled, “Living Integration: Faith of our Fathers—Contemporary Lessons from Historical Christians on Integrating Faith and Business” (found on page 73 in the PDF here), draws on the wisdom of early Christians in the U.S. and given direct application for today. Here’s Seibert’s abstract of his article:

“Efforts to integrate faith and work have existed for as long as people have followed the God of the Bible. Christian businesspeople of today have much to learn from the experiences of their forbearers. One particularly instructive community is the Quakers of eighteenth century America, particularly those who led the whaling industry based on Nantucket Island. This paper examines Quaker whaling practices in light of five principles central to the Quaker faith: work is ordained by God, the purpose of business is service, the dignity and equality of all human beings, peacemaking, and steadfast convictions. Connections to contemporary business practices are made throughout the paper, and it concludes with several challenges to current Christians in business who desired to live lives as fully integrated as their Quaker forefathers seemed to live.”