Inspiring Leaders Series Welcomed J.C. Huizenga

February 25, 2016

During the most recent Inspiring Leaders lecture series J.C. Huizenga, addressed Kuyper students, faculty, and staff on the subject of godly business practices. . . 

Deeply involved in many areas of leadership in the Grand Rapids community, Huizenga leads the Huizenga Group which include a diverse group of companies that provide products and services for the world's leading automotive, pharmaceutical, military goods, medical device, consumer goods and office furniture manufacturers. In addition, Huizenga has a deep and passionate commitment to philanthropy. One of Huizenga’s most notable achievement is the founding of National Heritage Academies— charter schools serving 55,000 students in 81 schools across the country—as well as a high school network, PrepNet, serving 2,000 students in five high schools.

The self-described “son of a prayerful mother and the son of a garbage man,” Huizenga turned his humble roots into opportunity.  He explained the practical ways that humble principles rooted in God’s truth play into his own business practices. He also mentioned the influence in his life of world renowned economist and Nobel Prize winner in Economic Sciences, Milton Friedman, and Larry Burkett, a prolific evangelical Christian author, and a pioneer of radio financial counseling from a biblical perspective.

But the ultimate principle and hero in J. C. Huizenga’s life is Jesus Christ.  Because of this, Huizenga said that he operates his businesses and his multiple other projects on the principles of choice and human dignity.  These central ideals came, as he explained to his listeners, from an “understanding that God my Creator values me, and He values you so highly that He gave us two amazing things: He gave us immortality, and He gave us the right to choose whether we would spend that immortality with Him or apart from Him. . . .that choice is part of who you are as defined by your Creator.” 

Huizenga’s belief in the God-given dignity of choice and immortality led to the founding of National Heritage Academies which offers an educational choice and opportunity to children in America who might not otherwise have that opportunity due to factors beyond their control.  With his accomplishments, deep community involvement, and commitment to Christ-centered business leadership, J. C. Huizenga offered inspiration to the Kuyper College community by echoing Abraham Kuyper’s famous proclamation that “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”