2017 Society of World Changers Recipient: Rich Stearns, World Vision U.S. President
Indiana Wesleyan University has chosen Richard Stearns, President and CEO of World Vision U.S. and a bestselling author, as the 2017 inductee into the IWU Society of World Changers.
“Richard Stearns, through his passion and dedication, has used his business expertise and God-given gifts to address world poverty and to bring hope in the name of Christ,” said Dr. David Wright, IWU president. “We are thrilled to honor Mr. Stearns, whose name adds great distinction to the Society of World Changers.”
Excerpts from RichStearns.com:
Rich’s Story: Rich Stearns is the president of World Vision U.S., one of the world’s largest nonprofit humanitarian organizations. In 1998, in the midst of a lucrative business career as the CEO of Lenox, Inc., he felt an unexpected, irresistible call to exchange “success” for service to those affected by poverty and injustice. Since then he has tirelessly exhorted the American church to recognize and respond to God’s heart for children and families in need.
Today, Rich is known among both Christian and secular audiences as a trustworthy voice illuminating the critical issues that affect the world’s poor, and urging those who can to make a difference. Rich is also the author of two acclaimed books — The Hole in Our Gospel and Unfinished — that address the vocation of Christ-followers to live out the whole gospel, bringing the good news to a hurting world in not only word but also deed. In his time with World Vision, Rich has traveled to more than 40 of the nearly 100 countries where World Vision works, and has a firsthand understanding of the issues that affect the poor. Driven by his passion to raise awareness of those issues, Rich has appeared on CNN, Fox, ABC, NBC, and PBS, and written pieces for the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, and other media outlets.
According to the press release from Indiana Wesleyan University;
Stearns induction will take place at the 14th annual Society of World Changers Convocation at 10 a.m., April 12, in the IWU Chapel Auditorium.
He speaks in churches regularly and in recent years has spoken at the Lausanne Conference, Willow Creek’s Global Leadership Summit, the Christian Leadership Alliance, Movement Day, Worship Together and dozens of other conferences.
The former CEO for Parker Brothers Games and Lenox, Stearns holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Following a calling from God, Stearns resigned from Lenox in 1998, leaving behind more than 25 years of experience in corporate America to become World Vision’s U.S. president. In that position, he has built a strong leadership team focused on bringing corporate best practices to the non-profit sector and inspiring a culture of outcome-focused management at all levels of the organization.
Stearns’ greatest legacy will be his leadership in calling on the Church in America to respond to some of the greatest needs of our time, most notably the HIV/AIDS pandemic and now the global refugee crisis.
Stearns and his wife, Reneé, live in Bellevue, Washington, and have supported World Vision since 1984. They have five children of their own – plus millions more around the world.
IWU established the Society of World Changers in 2003 to recognize role models who have exemplified the concept of being a world changer and whose lives can serve as an inspiration to future generations. Previous inductees include television producer and author Robert Briner, neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson, author Frank Peretti, Hobby Lobby CEO David Green, founder of Joni and Friends Joni Eareckson Tada, gospel musicians Bill and Gloria Gaither, former U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole and best-selling author and businessman John Maxwell. The most recent inductee, in 2016, was Dr. Ravi Zacharias, a renowned evangelical speaker and author.
Source: Rich’s Story | richstearns.org