Accepting God's Invitation: Dr. Ross O'Brien

Dr. O'Brien

Why do you teach at DBU?

First and foremost, I teach at DBU in answer to God's invitation, His call. A student once asked me how I define success and I believe God provided a quick response – obedience. We are successful only when we obey the God who created us, who designed us with certain skills, abilities and interests, and then placed us in a world rich with potential to apply those giftings. We should obey God simply because He is God Almighty. But what we learn through this obedience is that our greatest joy, meaning and fulfillment happens as a result of living into his design.

How do you integrate faith into your classes?

I strive to integrate my faith naturally into all areas of life. The classroom is no different. I love that many faculty begin their classes with a devotional. However, I typically don't follow this practice. I strive to integrate my testimony and God's Word in the context of the lectures, discussions and activities taking place in the class session. Sometimes I share what God is teaching me not related to the context of the class, but more often I try to bring the two together. For example, when we discuss the purpose of business in general and entrepreneurship in particular, we talk about how business can promote flourishing economically as well as spiritually. When we discuss the stresses involved in starting a business, it's a perfect time to talk about how we can lean on God for wisdom, encouragement, direction and perseverance.

How do you mentor students at DBU?

I'm so thankful for DBU's focus on mentoring, both formally and informally. Most of the opportunities I've had to mentor students have been through the relationships that have developed naturally. I've had students approach me about mentoring them, and where possible I've sought to honor those requests. Sometimes that looks like going for a run together, talking about life and faith as we run. Other times the mentoring relationship involves weekly meetings to discuss issues the student is dealing with. As an advisor, I strive to mentor students regarding their future vocations. We've also been blessed to develop a mentoring program between business students and member of a Christian business network called C12.

What is your goal for your students at DBU?

My heart's desire for our students is that they experience the richness of a deep and abiding love relationship with God. If they can develop this while at DBU it can be a source of guidance in every area of their lives. Beyond this, I want students to grow and mature, to identify how God has uniquely gifted them (Psalm 139:13-14) and created good work for them to do (Ephesians 2:10). With these as a foundation, it will be exciting to see how God blesses and uses them to impact the world!

Our alumni should advance in their careers, taking positions of authority and responsibility that match their capability and integrity. These are relevant metrics of success which all universities measure. However, a follower of Jesus measures success with metrics beyond this limited understanding. When we see how God is working in the marketplaces of the world, blessing people, families, communities and nations through business, we should see DBU alumni from our College of Business right in the middle of that work, serving faithfully and capably to foster flourishing, in all its forms - economic, social, relational and spiritual.

Dr. Ross O'Brien's Office Tour

About Business as Mission

The mission of the Center for Business as Mission at Dallas Baptist University is to educate and equip current and future business leaders to restore lives through effective engagement in the business marketplaces. This is accomplished by integrating God’s biblical call to mission with His vocational call to business.

About College of Business

DBU’s College of Business exists to prepare students for Christian mission and professional success in today’s dynamic context of global business. The goals of our high-quality, distinctive business programs are to strengthen skills in strategic management, finance, research, marketing, and other areas with a commitment to the integration of Biblical faith and the development of ethical Christian leaders who glorify God and serve others through their business calling.

Written by Dr. Michael Whiting

Dr. Michael Whiting is the Director of Written Content in University Communications at Dallas Baptist University.