Sam M. Walton College of Business

Spirituality Class Debuts in Walton

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Clinical Assistant Professor Denise Breaux Soignet is teaching a new class entitled Faith, Spirituality and the Workplace this fall semester on behalf of the Tyson Center for Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace at the Sam M. Walton College of Business. The class will focus on exploring how the faith of an individual plays out in the workplace, and the impact having individuals of different faiths has on an organization.

“One of the primary aims of establishing the Tyson Center was to create an environment where students could freely and honestly discuss issues related to how an individual’s faith can be expressed in and impact life in their workplace,” said John Tyson, chairman for Tyson Foods. “I am glad that this course is now being offered as it will be an important step toward achieving that goal.”

Consistent with the Tyson Center’s strategic initiative of developing curriculum and educational resources on faith and spirituality in the workplace, the class (MGMT 4103) will challenge students to develop an understanding of multiple faith and spiritual perspectives while examining the roles those perspectives play in organizational culture and workplace productivity. Students will engage in peer-interactive activities and research projects throughout the semester.

“Thanks to the generosity of John H. Tyson, the Tyson Center for Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace is a real gem and provides the Sam M. Walton College of Business a tremendous opportunity to provide unique value to our students, industry, the academy and society,” said Matthew A. Waller, Walton College dean. “We want to encourage students to think about faith-in-the-workplace issues and help them to have productive, respectful and successful careers in a workplace with diverse faiths. This course is a key part of our approach to accomplish this objective.”

Vikas Anand, chair, Department of Management [photo by Russell Cothren]
Vikas Anand, chair, Department of Management
[photo by Russell Cothren]
The class will also provide students with a foundational knowledge of various faith traditions and forms of spirituality, including non-theist perspectives. Breaux Soignet will point to the growing body of academic work on faith and spirituality, as well as the different ways modern organizations are approaching these in the workplace. Students will have the opportunity to engage with multiple religious, spiritual and business leaders developing faith-friendly workplaces.

“The modern workplace has individuals from different faiths working together and it is important that they can be comfortable with their faith and those of others,” said Vikas Anand, director of the Tyson Center for Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace and chair of the Department of Management. “In fact, businesses have to navigate faith-related issues even in their external actions – for instance meat producers often have to ensure that their products are processed in a way that is consistent with faith-based sensitivities of their consumers. We are excited that we can offer this course as part of our curriculum.”

For more information, review the course syllabus for undergraduate students or visit the Walton College Department of Management.