representative engagements

Not Just Another MBA Program

“Mark’s Multiple C-Level Experiences and His Pastor’s Heart Make Him an Effective Board Member”


I was asked to be a business advisor as Bethel University wanted to expand its adult learning programs by starting up an MBA program.


At the first meeting of the advisory board, I asked this question, which I insisted must be honestly answered before we could move ahead. The question was this: “Why does the Twin Cities need another MBA program?” There were already 20 or so programs located in the area and also included online schools offering MDA degrees.


I led the advisors through a brainstorming exercise where we listed our distinctive competencies, assets, and areas where we thought we could differentiate our new program. Then we used a radar map to confirm that we could be unique in the marketplace. We came up with three differentiators which still make the Bethel University MBA experience unique:

  • hybrid structure (60% in class, 40% online)
  • integration of ethics and values into every course, instead of offering ethics as a separate course
  • offering several areas of student-selected focus (e.g., entrepreneurial studies)


This program launched in 2004 and has been extremely successful.


I authored and taught two of the 14 courses for several years: Marketing Management and Strategic Technology Management