In 1998, three men had a vision to take the principles of Christian business leadership outside the box. Now 20 years later, Dr. Rick Lytle, Tim Johnston and Mike Weingart’s vision has evolved into a reality that has allowed more than 2,000 students and 250 business leaders to take part in a mountaintop experience.
Chelsea Oguagha, senior missions major from Houston, said Leadership Summit is for students in all walks of life.
“Regardless of what field you are studying, Leadership Summit is for you,” Oguagha said. “It is an amazing opportunity to gain fresh and meaningful insight into yourself and the world while considering and actively pursuing your purpose in God’s kingdom. If I tried to put into words how extraordinarily amazing Summit is, I would be selling it short.”
Leadership Summit is a January short course that invites students, faculty, staff and business professionals to Buena Vista, Colorado, at Frontier Ranch for the last 15 years. Throughout the course students discuss topics like leadership development, ethics in the workplace, and engaging the culture.
In teaching these skills, the College of Business Administration brings guest speakers to the mountain. This year included Carlos Sepulveda, former CEO and President of Interstate Batteries, Dr. Kent and Amber Brantly, John Aden, former executive vice president of Walmart’s sales innovations, Wendy Davidson, President of Kellogg U.S. Specialty Channels and many others. Each of the speakers share their greatest successes, but also their worst failures and take part in conversations with students in small groups, at mealtimes or even one on one.
Mason McFarland, senior marketing major from Abilene, attended Summit for the second time this year. This time he opted to audit the class, which allows students who don’t need the three-hour credit to experience the speakers and teachings. McFarland said it was the emphasis on external things outside the business world that impacted him.
“Leadership Summit has been one of the best ACU experiences I have had,” McFarland said. “Initially, I assumed I would receive teaching about leadership in the business world, but it is far more than that. The emphasis on family, work and community is amazing, and it is impossible to leave the experience without being changed.”
Although some aspects of Leadership Summit have changed since 1998, business leaders continue to come from all over the world to share experiences and principles with ACU, but the profound impact remains the same.