A season of saving

Biola's investment society emphasizes importance of stewardship

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The word “investment” may spark excitement in the minds of some individuals while igniting anxiety in others. However, regardless of your major or familiarity with stocks, the Crowell School of Business Investment Society strives to enhance the knowledge of investments as well as investments’ significance in the lives of Christians.

The Crowell School of Business Investment Society, also known as CSBIS or BIS, resulted from the meetings of Biola students who were interested in finance, investing and stocks. Senior and current President Galen Haws and Biola graduate Adam Derentz decided to take these informal investment meetings to the next level by officially founding the Crowell School of Business Investment Society in January 2006. Derentz, who graduated from Biola in May of 2007, was a business major. Haws, a marketing major, will graduate next spring.

According to its web site www.csbis.com, the Crowell School of Business Investment Society’s mission is to “provide a forum for discussion and education of the many financial investment possibilities found in stocks and bonds.” By emphasizing virtual stock exchanges and real cash accounts, the Crowell School of Business Investment Society provides fundamental hands-on experience for its members.

“The virtual exchange teaches students how to invest and make an account, as well as the basics of stock exchange,” Haws said. “The idea behind the real cash account is to teach people the benefit of investing as a group, to make smarter decisions as more people think of investment goals.”

In addition to introducing the concepts of investing and opening accounts, the Crowell School of Business Investment Society unites Biola students and faculty who are interested in the fields of finance, business or marketing. In 2006, five to 10 members showed up consistently to the weekly meeting. This year, with the addition of several freshmen, 15-20 members regularly attend meetings, which are held every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in room 202 of the Crowell School of Business Building.

Members range from individuals who have previous experience in stocks and finance to those who are brand new to the stock market and have never invested before. Nevertheless, the Crowell School of Business Investment Society strives to expand the knowledge and experiences of all its members.

“The main purpose of the society is to create awareness of finance and investing,” Haws said. “It’s definitely a learning experience.”

In terms of projects and upcoming activities, the Crowell School of Business Investment Society is currently working on inviting speakers to come to their weekly meetings to talk to the society, as well as creating a Business Chapel. Last year, a Business Chapel featuring speaker Michael Estrada, the financial advisor with Merril Lynch, proved to be a “good and new experience,” according to Haws. While plans concerning speakers for upcoming meetings and the Business Chapel are being discussed, fundraising packets and increasing donations are ongoing projects.

In addition to growing in investment accounts and introducing the concept of stocks, the Crowell School of Business Investment Society hopes to increase in membership. If you are interested in joining the Crowell School of Business Investment Society, you could contact Galen Haws (President) through BUBBS. If you are interested in making a donation or learning more about the Crowell School of Business Investment Society, you can visit its web site.

Whether you are a business major or journalism major, the concept of investing is important for every Christian to understand because investing is holding a portion of a particular company. According to Haws, when an individual invests in a company, he supports the company’s causes and goals; it is critical to know if the company makes money in an ethical way.

Christians should also be aware of investing as a way to serve God.

“Can you do more with a little or a lot?” Haws asked. “It’s important for Christians to invest, to make the money that God has given them go further.”