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Theology of Business: Pinchback brings passion & purpose to new role

by Paige Steele

Rebekah Pinchback, registrar and marketing adjunct professor at Rochester University for 14 years, was selected from a competitive pool in Fall 2021 to serve as the new director of RU’s School of Business, the largest division on campus with 226 students.

While serving as registrar, Pinchback might have seemed mostly hidden away in the registrar’s office, but she was an integral part of the university’s everyday academic operations.

Now, she said she is excited to start shaping the School of Business for the future. Currently, the school has six majors: accounting, information systems, management, nonprofit management, sports management and strategic leadership.

The school is launching six new majors in the fall: esports and gaming administration, digital marketing, financial planning, human resource management, public administration and health care management. Pinchback said the school is also adding three business clubs, and it has submitted an application for a master’s degree in sport leadership, which will be the business school’s first master’s degree upon approval.

In the fall, the business school will also be moving to the Rochester Church of Christ building recently purchased by the university. Pinchback explained that she hopes to create a tighter knit community within the department as the classrooms and offices for the faculty will all be in one place, allowing for more genuine connections between professors and students.

“We’re on a major trajectory of growth, and I’m excited and passionate to lead this great group of faculty and students as we move into the future. We are working hard to build a new brand for the School of Business,” Pinchback said.

Theology of Business

The business world of the past is one of men in black suits, cut-throat competition, and a laser focus on dollar signs, but Pinchback envisions something different for today’s business world and for Rochester University.

Pinchback wants to set students up for success by helping them see the business world through a new lens — a lens of theology. “​​Work should be meaningful and contribute to human flourishing,” she said.

In 2019, Pinchback began working on her doctorate in business administration at Anderson University in Indiana. “I love this doctoral program. It’s been transformative in every way,” she said. In this program, Pinchback was introduced to the idea of the theology of business.

Now she is leading the School of Business in developing its own vision of that. “I want students to see how business and ministry work together academically and professionally,” Pinchback said. “This generation pushes back and shakes things that need to be shaken. They are hungry to do work that matters, which is an exciting opportunity for the future of business. Our faculty are on the front line of helping students cultivate a passion for justice and service within our business discipline. It feels special and important.”

Faith & Family

For Pinchback, her faith is a major part of who she is and has always been a driving force for her decisions.

For 20 years, Pinchback has been married to her husband, Ben, and during this time, they have adopted five children. Their oldest son was adopted domestically, and the youngest four started out as foster children that the couple then adopted. The youngest three are biological siblings.

“God stirs your heart and it’s just not possible to say no,” she said.

The couple have spoken to other couples and even at conferences for those interested in adoption. For Pinchback, her children are at her core; they’re her drive for everything she does.

She said the RU community is also part of her family, and she is passionate to lead the School of Business. “I know I can bring heart and energy to this position. I know I can help us grow.”

In addition to growth, Pinchback wants to help RU students achieve their potential and move confidently into their future roles as leaders in their communities. “I want students to realize their work has meaning. Helping them realize that is my ministry,” she said.

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