WILMORE, Ky.—Asbury Seminary co-hosted the Asbury Project with Asbury University, Nov. 5-6. More than 200 faculty, staff and students explored ways to use business to initiate positive social change.

“The Asbury Project encourages seminary students to consider how entrepreneurial solutions can address social needs in our society,” Dr. Moon, Director of the Office of Faith, Work and Economics, said. “Our hope is that pastors will understand how Christians can offer their work in the marketplace as a gift to God for the flourishing of society. As a result, we envision pastors that affirm and encourage their congregations to live out their missional calling in their daily jobs so that Christianity is not simply a ‘leisure time activity,’ but a transformed lifestyle that reveals God’s kingdom in their workplaces.” 

Twenty-five attendees submitted business plans as part of the Student Business Plan Competition. Each business plan needed to solve a social problem, make a profit, and inspire innovative transformation in the world.

The competition awarded a total of $10,000 in prizes–$3,000 for one grand prize winner, $2,000 for two first-place winners and $1,500 for two second-place winners. The students use their winnings to launch their businesses. They also have several opportunities to be mentored by Asbury Seminary/Asbury University faculty and local business people.

The following students placed in this year’s Student Business Plan Competition:

  • Grand Prize, Asbury University:​  Running Social — Jesse Peterson ‘16, Colton Cary ‘17 and Julie Spaulding ’17
  • First Prize, Asbury Theological Seminary:​  What’s Poppin’ — Jonathan Collins and Taylor King
  • First Prize, Asbury University: Hoops Academy — Todd Jefferson ‘15 and Wesley Springer ‘17
  • Second Prize, Asbury Theological Seminary:​ The Carpenter Shop —William O’Neal (ATS) & Josh Moon ’17 (Asbury University)
  • Second Prize, Asbury University: United Church Management — Jordan U’Wren ‘17, Matthew Morton ’16 and Tanner Record ‘17

Keynote speakers included Jenna Lee Nardella, Dr. Stephen Garber, and Bob Armstrong. Nardella is the co-founder of Blood:Water, an organization that has brought clean water to more than a million people in Africa and addressed the Aids crisis. Garber is the principal of The Washington Institute for Faith, Vocation & Culture as well as an author. Robert E. Armstrong is the district judge of Dallas County, Ala., and leader of the Bluejean Church in Selma, Ala.