Servant Leadership

Servant leadership is the prevailing leadership theory in churches and nonprofits, and it is growing in popularity in for-profit corporations. However, it falls short in both theology and practice because it does not account for zeal. In the best-selling book Good to Great, Jim Collins describes level 5 leaders as ones who have an “absolute, burning, compulsive, ambition… that is not about them.” As a Christian leader, you should be a humble servant – but you also must have zeal for the cause.

For more information, check out this 45-minute video of Dr. Wilbur Reid, program director of the MBA program,  presenting these ideas:

Capstone Projects

The culmination of the Johnson University MBA program is the Capstone project. In this final seven-week course, students engage with real organizations to develop business plans or they develop their own entrepreneurial dreams into a business plan.

This process has been a tremendous win/win/win process for students, clients, and Johnson. The students get the opportunity to work on meaningful projects with real clients that have a positive impact on the lives of others. The clients are often nonprofit organizations that receive valuable insights in a business plan that they might not have time, expertise, or funds to complete themselves. Several of the students have been invited to join the boards of nonprofits that they worked with on their Capstone projects. Johnson University is able to demonstrate to accreditation bodies that our students learned what they were supposed to learn in our MBA program.

Josh and Kelly's Capstone

Josh and Kelly partnered on a project for a church organization in eastern Europe. A family in the U.S. pledged $1 million to construct a retreat center, but a condition of the gift was a business plan to confirm that it would be a sustainable investment. The director in eastern Europe said: “This business plan is a tool we could probably not afford to do financially, and it definitely is a ‘win’ for us… I also think their recommendations regarding volunteers, internships, marketing, and diversifying the kind of services/events we offer are very helpful.” Upon the presentation of the business plan, the family released the funds and the project is now nearing completion.

Alyssa Candelaria's Capstone

Alyssa is an accountant, so a business plan to develop micro-financing for young entrepreneurs in Honduras was a natural fit. The local mission provided an education and taught a trade for kids who grew up living literally on the edge of a dump. However, they need financing to acquire the tools of the trades. Alyssa provided a business plan for setting up the financing.


Kevin Carr's Capstone

Kevin worked with a local nonprofit that provides support for special needs children by having them interact therapeutically with horses. He provided a three-year business plan for the organization to grow to provide support to substantially more children. They appreciated his work so much that they invited him to join their board!

Aaron and Stephanie's Capstone

Aaron and Stephanie partnered on a project to build a business plan to purchase and develop property for an organization that supports the Hispanic community. They researched properties for sale, examined purchase and lease rates, developed financial projections and a marketing plan, and more. After their presentation to the full board, the Executive Director said, “They did an excellent job. It’s one of the best proposals I’ve been presented. I think overall, it’s going to be very helpful for our journey towards sustainability.” Check out some of Aaron’s comments about the project!

Wes Smith's Capstone

Wes dreams of opening his own health and fitness company, so his business plan was an entrepreneurial exploration of what it would take to launch his own company. Check out some of his comments here!


Doug and Glenn's Capstone

Doug and Glenn worked with a local martial arts gym that had grown from a small mom-and-pop gym to one that had ranked members in UFC. They worked with the owners on becoming a more efficient operation and reaching the community with professional marketing. After the presentation, the owners provided the following feedback:

They were very professional and never made me personally feel like I was doing things “all wrong” when in truth I was doing some things “all wrong.” I realize now how tracking finances and computer/technology involvement are crucial to our goals. I can’t thank them enough! Doug’s ideas about how to use social media were particularly important to me as well. It gets a little overwhelming and easy to push off “until tomorrow” but his part of the presentation offered great suggestions of places to start. Also, the branding for our logos answered some questions. When it comes to getting new clothing for the gym, sometimes it is tempting to wonder if people want change/new but keeping in mind the importance of our brand will help me there! All three of us left smiling and encouraged that day!”