The Author

The Author

Dr. J. Thomas Whetstone (M.S., M.Div., Th.M., Ph.D.) is exceptionally qualified to integrate leadership, ethics, and spirituality. As an internationally-recognized scholar on virtue ethics in business, he has experience working in corporate management, church ministries, university teaching and administration, and leadership of civic organizations. Married with one son, he devotes his time to family, volunteer leadership, and working out, while writing on business ethics, leadership, and the history of the American Revolution.

The author sees education as a life-long endeavor. After graduating magna cum laude from Washington & Lee University (B.S.) where he was Phi Beta Kappa and a Distinguished Military Graduate, he earned the M.S. in Management (MBA equivalent) at the Sloan School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a summer intern for the Federal Reserve System in Washington, DC, and wrote his thesis on the check collection process for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. He worked for two Fortune 500 diversified natural gas corporations, rising from corporate planner to a senior level position as director, planning and strategic analysis.

Having been converted to evangelical Christianity, after eleven productive years in corporate management he sensed a call to biblical and theological studies. He enrolled at Reformed Theological Seminary, placing first in his class as a Master of Divinity student and also completing a Master of Theology. He also met and married his life partner, Nancy. His M.Th. thesis addressed the role of Calvin’s work ethic in the modern workplace.

After a church internship and extensive experience in preaching, he responded to a call to teach at Belhaven College. Primarily teaching business management, he found the materials available for his business ethics course to be unsatisfactory, especially for the Christian in business. He saw this to be a significant problem for future Christian leaders, especially given the pervasive decline in morality in our overall society.

As a result, he decided to pursue doctoral studies in management ethics at Oxford University in England. His supervisor, British scholar Professor Chris Cowton, insisted that his research meet world-class standards of scholarship. Whetstone’s doctoral thesis involved theoretical and empirical exploration of what qualities are most needed by excellent organizational leaders. His subsequent academic articles are ranked highly among International authors in the area of virtue ethics and character development in business.

After teaching at two smaller institutions, he was recruited to direct the Organizational Leadership and Management Department, Regent University School of Undergraduate Studies. He redeveloped the curriculum and approaches focused on enhancing the program’s academic rigor, integration of faith and learning, ethics, and leadership character development. While spending most of his time on administration, he also developed and taught courses, including ones in ethics and in moral character development. He continued his research and writing of more than 40 articles, books, and chapters on business ethics, moral character development, virtue ethics, management, and leadership. Upon retirement from the faculty, he decided to culminate his career and educational experiences by writing Leadership Ethics & Spirituality.

His sense of calling, and the book’s purpose, is to help guide spiritually-aware students and practicing leaders as they seek to grow as good leaders—of their organizations and throughout society.

J. Thomas Whetstone