MBA grad uses her degree to serve the church

On any given day, Trevecca alumna Jodi Whiston Chadwell can be found speaking with local pastors, emailing a bishop about a nationwide project, or tackling several other jobs for the General Council on Finance and Administration for the United Methodist Church. Chadwell, who earned her master’s in business administration through Trevecca’s School of Graduate and Continuing Studies in 2011, serves as the chief officer of shared services and ministry evaluation.

“In a for-profit setting, this would be the equivalent of a vice president role,” Chadwell said. “I view my work for the UMC as a ministry. In my role, I am able to support ministries across the United Methodist denomination.”

According to Chadwell, her team works to provide Christian service to The United Methodist Church by creating innovative solutions, resources, and partnerships that support the mission of the church.

“As with most nonprofits, I wear many hats— project manager, ministry supporter, problem-solver, staff manager, program coordinator,” said Chadwell.

Chadwell was promoted to this position in May of 2016. She began working at GCFA in 2014. With an undergraduate degree in hotel administration from Cornell University, Chadwell had spent several years working in the hospitality industry.

When she decided to pursue a graduate degree, Chadwell wanted a Christian university that offered small class sizes and evening classes. Trevecca fit the bill.

“It was important to me to be able to work during the day in order to afford my graduate degree,” Chadwell said. “Trevecca offered a great program that was affordable as well.”

Studying business and leadership within a Christian context has been very rewarding, Chadwell says.

“Trevecca’s MBA program allowed me to learn alongside individuals from a variety of industries,” she said. “Because I had been in the workforce for a few years and remained employed during my time at Trevecca, I was able to apply what I was learning in the classroom to real-world experiences, giving me the opportunity to translate the theory into practice.”

By Hannah Pollok
Media contact: Mandy Crow,, 615-248-1695