Gordon Launches New Master of Science in Financial Analysis

In light of the Global Financial Crisis nearly a decade ago, an outcry persists for ethical leadership in the business and finance world. This reality led Gordon’s leadership to ask an important question about how Gordon might make a deeper connection with the financial community in Boston—given that Gordon’s strategic situation near Boston makes it a prime location for developing a generation of technically proficient and civically minded leaders in the finance sector.

Four and a half years later, the answer to such a question became manifest in the creation of Gordon’s Master of Science in Financial Analysis program (MSFA), which launched last night with a celebratory dinner for its inaugural cohort, and its first class.

Around the dinner table were members of the cohort and faculty from the program, as well as President Michael Lindsay, Provost Janel Curry and Dean of Academic Initiatives and Global Education Jewerl Maxwell. The program’s executive director, Alexander Lowry, presided over the evening.

Alexander Lowry, executive director for the Master of Science in Financial Analysis program, welcomes new graduate finance students in the Lion’s Den.

Lowry became the program’s executive director in September of 2017, and has spent the last three and a half months fleshing out the inner-workings of the program in accordance with its vision:

“Our goal,” explained Lowry, “is to combine rigorous academic grit and robust spiritual formation in a preeminent, holistic program that equips students with essential business and analytical skills, such as preparing them for the CFA exam, within a framework of Christian values.”

The cohort moved from dinner to their first class, Christian Leadership and Business Ethics, which is taught by Professor in the Practice of Finance Gordon Hall ’81. The class features texts such as The Enron Collapse by Gregory Jenkins and Every Good Endeavor by Timothy Keller.

Professor in the Practice of Finance Gordon Hall ’81 teaches the first graduate finance class at Gordon.

“This [program] offers our students a real foundation for ethics and integrity,” said Hall, before emphasizing the importance of drawing Christian scripture into dialogue with secular business ethics.

When asked what drew her to the program, cohort member Cassia Shoaf ’18 said, “This will definitely distinguish me from a group of other individuals applying for the same position.”

Like Cassia, undergraduate students can begin working towards an advanced degree as early as the spring semester of their senior year as a part of Gordon Plus, which also includes graduate leadershipgraduate education and graduate music.

Maxwell hopes that especially young undergraduates—whether inside or external to the Gordon community—come to see Gordon Plus as a way to make the most of an early graduation.

“We’ve been delighted by the strong response from sister Christian colleges about this unique program,” added Lowry discussing recent recruitment efforts. He also cited significant interest in the program among Gordon alumni. “We’re experiencing growing numbers of alums opening doors for internships, referring prospective students and offering to mentor.”

Moving forward, Lowry sees a bright future for Gordon’s commitment to developing leaders in the financial sector post-graduation.

Applications for both the full-time and part-time cohorts launching in August 2018 are now open.

With the aim of involving Gordon alumni and Christian finance professionals, Gordon is establishing the Finance and Faith Forum—a community of Christians in finance—which is hosting its first event on March 21 at LogMeIn headquarters in Boston. For more information about the MSFA and the Faith and Finance Forum, email graduatefinance@gordon.edu.