Meet the Dean: Dr. Bryce Bernard at the Corban University School of Business
For Bryce Bernard, Ph.D, Corban University represents more than just a job, it represents a way of life. After attending as a student, Dr. Bernard returned in 1987 to begin what is, to date, a 24-year career with the Christian university. During his tenure, he has served in a number of capacities including Dean of Art and Sciences, Vice President for Academics and Dean of the School of Business. Today, this professor of business instructs students in the MBA Program on subjects such as accounting and nonprofit management.
In addition to its academic excellence, Dr. Bernard was drawn to the school's deep commitment to graduating students who not only have the skills to find success in the professional world but the faith to sustain them as well. As a father, Dr. Bernard has seen all three of his children follow in his footsteps as students at Corban University.
Dr. Bernard shares what made Corban University the right business school for him and his children and why it may be right for students seeking a rigorous, yet rewarding, MBA program.
Q: Can you start by telling us a little about your educational background?
A: I earned my associate degree at Judson Baptist College in Oregon before moving on to Corban University to complete my undergraduate work. After that, I attended the MBA program at Oregon State University. Once I received my master's degree, I attended Nova Southeastern University where I earned a Ph.D. In addition to being a faculty member at Corban University, I am a certified public accountant in the state of Oregon.
Q: What drew you to Corban University?
A: I came back to Corban 24 years ago because I wanted to be part of building a uniquely Christian university. As a person of faith, I strongly believe that we are all called to a higher purpose, and I know that Corban business graduates make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ. As a student, Corban faculty had a great influence on my life and career. I wanted to share that same experience with others. Being a part of the great tradition that is Corban has been a blessing for me.
Q: How does the Corban MBA program differ from other MBA programs?
A: There are three distinctions that I believe set Corban University apart from other MBA programs.
First is our emphasis on biblical learning. The lessons of the Bible are just as relevant today as they were thousands of years ago. We challenge students to think "biblically" and consider biblical principles when using common business models and frameworks for making business decisions. Biblical integration is intentional throughout our program.
Next, our program is practical. Our courses involve case studies and projects that translate easily into the real-world work environment. Our goal is that rather than teaching vague concepts, our students get a practical education that lets them put into practice tomorrow what they learned today.
Finally, the MBA program at Corban University is flexible. Our program is online and allows students to progress through the program at a pace that works around their busy professional and personal lives. All courses are five weeks in length allowing students to enroll in up to three courses in a semester. The program can be completed in four semesters.
Q: Overall, what is your view of the trend toward online learning vs. campus learning?
A: Online learning is a great vehicle for busy professionals who want or need to pursue advanced degrees. I have been involved in online program development at Corban since the early 90s. Every year more students are able to study at Corban, and be a part of our uniquely Christian university, regardless of where they reside.
Q: What should business school students expect from an online program?
A: Students should expect more than a correspondence program or a video version of a traditional classroom. Students should expect to be involved in engaging conversations with other students and with faculty. The exciting part of our program is that students from all over the world participate in our classes, and students learn from each other, in real time, as they interact over the material together. They share business practices, cultural issues and biblical perspectives in their online discussions and projects.
Q: What is Corban University looking for when considering applicants for its MBA program?
A: We are looking primarily for mid-career professionals who want or need additional business training and education. Interactions with other students and faculty are greatly enhanced when students bring to class a basic understanding of business practices in their organization.
Q: How does the current economy change things for those looking for a career in business?
A: Business principles are used in every career field so the skills learned in an MBA program can be transferred across industries. During these tough economic times, it is crucial that professionals in all sectors pursue educational opportunities that increase their mobility and expand their understanding of business. I believe an MBA degree is a smart investment that can reap rewards, even in a difficult job market.
Q: What advice would you give to someone returning to the classroom after being in the workforce for a few years?
A: Take advantage of the opportunities afforded to you while in a program. There is a wealth of knowledge to be shared from faculty and fellow students. Don't jump into a program with the intention of just getting through it.
Q: What is your favorite part of your job?
A: By far, I love having the opportunity to help students learn and grow. The Corban University MBA program gives me the chance to interact with students across the globe and challenge them to be their very best in both their professional and spiritual lives.
For more than two decades, Bryce Bernard has been instructing and guiding students at Corban University. The business school benefits from his extensive experience and knowledge. Private companies and CPA firms recognize the value of Corban graduates, and many return to the school year after year to recruit new employees.