stories | News

Meraki Honors Program Welcomes Inaugural Class

May 28, 2019 | Amanda Milone

Pictured left to right: Ralissa DeJong, Noelle Hale, Andrew Hall, Grant Veurink, Andrew Bitner, and Professor Michael Hrynuik

The King’s College is pleased to welcome top college students from across the country to participate in the Meraki Honors Program in Finance, a summer internship and class-for-credit opportunity housed under the Business and Finance Program at King’s.

Members of the first inaugural class were selected for their academic excellence, leadership skills, clear interest in pursuing finance in New York City, and commitment to their Christian faith. This year’s students include Andrew Bitner from Cedarville University, Ralissa DeJong from Charleston Southern University, Andrew Hall from Baylor University, Grant Veurink from Gordon College, and Noelle Hale from The King’s College.

Over the next 10 weeks, these students will attend a Faith and Finance class taught by Michael Hrynuik, director of the Meraki Honors Program and adjunct professor of finance and economics at The King’s College. The course emphasizes the program’s theme of integrating Christianity with the business of money, and each lecture explores a different discipline in finance, including private equity, wealth management, and investment banking. Each class period will also feature a guest speaker, a leading professional in the field who will share how biblical principles are applicable in the everyday operations of financial institutions.

Students will have an opportunity to observe and practice these disciplines in a professional setting, spending 30 hours per week in paid internships at leading firms in New York City, in which they were placed via video call interviews before their arrival.

The Meraki Program derives its name from a Greek word used to describe work done wholeheartedly, with creativity and attention, which faithful work in the field of finance requires. “Finance is a very high profile field filled with potential for abuse and unethical behavior. Every time there is an economic turndown, it is the bankers or the finance people who are vilified,” Hrynuik says. But he believes The King’s College is uniquely positioned to change the paradigm of the Wall Street embezzler. Through the integration of faith and finance, the Meraki Program exposes students to conflicts of conscience, work, and ambition. It equips them to answer tough questions, especially, Is it possible for people to have a successful, lengthy career on Wall Street while living in a way that honors Christ?

Hrynuik believes it is. Here in the financial capital of the world, he says, “The Meraki Program gives top Christian students a head-start pursuing their finance career in New York City and a blueprint for pursuing work in a Christ-like way.”