Brian Blank

I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, in a culture where everyone attended church, so I often found myself drawn in by the people around me. I attended a large church, Canterbury United Methodist Church, where everyone seemed so much more fun and exciting than I thought my own life was. I have always been an achiever, so I was especially drawn in by the possibility of attaining a goal: my third grade Sunday School teachers, Mark and Lissa Tyson, encouraged Sunday school attendance by taking the class to White Water (a water park in Atlanta, Georgia) at the end of the year, if we had attended enough days over the course of the year. I am not sure if I missed a week that whole year, because the excitement from seeing a gold start on the board was too much to forego. That habit stuck, and I became a regular in our youth group and continued to learn more about Christ over the next decade. I went on mission trips with the church and other organizations, and I even pledged a fraternity that was focused on Christ when I got to college. Fortunately, these experiences put wonderful people around me to help point me toward Christ. In fact, they drew me toward relational ministry for Christ’s sake through Young Life College, where I learned how to model my life after Christ and was reminded that I was saved by Christ for a specific purpose. Through Young Life, I was introduced to a staff person who spent a lot of time with me: Mike McEvoy invested in me as a person and disciple of Christ, showing me what healthy relationships with the people around me could look like. Even though I thought I was just working out and having fun with this cool guy that had played football in college at first, I slowly learned that our time together was of infinite value for me and those with whom I was in relationship, not just now but eternally. As I continue to learn more about Jesus and how his disciples were fearful when he died to save the world, I find that a similar fear has been prominent in my own life: I have always been afraid of being inadequate and falling short. However, I am glad that my mistakes do not define me, but my Father loves me and made me in His image to be exactly the person I am becoming. He loves me so much that He even sacrificed His Son to forgive me for my shortcomings and offer community and perfect relationship, which provides purpose for my own life by allowing me to participate in His bigger story! As a husband and father of two young daughters (ages one and two), I am still learning about what this new season of life holds and figuring out how to put Christ at the center of not only my life but of our entire family. Now, I try to remember Francis Chan’s words: “our greatest fear should not be of failure… but of succeeding at something in life that does not really matter.”

My Life

Favorite Quote

"Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less." - Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

Friends describe me

Nerdy Hufflepuff

My hobbies

Soccer, Running and Playing Games with my Family

Fantasy dinner guests

George Washington, Muhammad Ali, Alan Greenspan, Nick Foles, Henry Paulson, Jackie Robinson, Alexander Hamilton

Best advice I ever received

Look into doctoral programs

My undergrad alma mater

University of Alabama

My worst subject in school

English

In college I drove

2002 Mitsubishi Lancer

If I weren't a professor, I would

Hopefully be retired, but I may consider an alternate career as a management consultant

Favorite books

Bible, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Mere Christianity and other C. S. Lewis books, Sports and Parenting Books

Favorite movies

Remember the Titans

Favorite city

London

Favorite coffee

None: Coffee can ruin perfectly good milk or even ice cream!

Nobody knows I

Survived a collision between my plane and another when I was in college

Current Research

I study the role executive incentives can have on firm finances, among other corporate finance decisions