Ken Bates

Associate Professor Emeritus of Business


  • M.B.A., Loyola College (1980)
  • B.S., Houghton College (1971)

Courses Taught

  • Principles of Management
  • Business Strategy and Policy (senior capstone)
  • Leadership Development
  • Organizational Development
  • Human Resource Management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Free Enterprise & Value Creation – Houghton Student Enterprises
  • Personal Finance

Professional Memberships/Associations

  • Christian Business Faculty Association
  • Houghton Development Group
  • The RVER Group
  • Willard J. Houghton Foundation
  • Genesee Rapids – board of directors
  • Society for Human Resource Management
  • Buffalo-Niagara Human Resource Association
  • American Red Cross – Allegany County board chair
  • Southern Tier Youth for Christ board of directors
  • Academy of Management

Professional Experience/Achievements

Professor Bates has taught at Houghton since 1989. He joined the faculty after a 17-year career in management, serving as an association executive in a Washington, DC based trade association, and before that in a management capacity for a not-for-profit, charitable organization, Metro-Maryland Youth for Christ.

He has been actively involved in the Christian Business Faculty Association and served as chair of its board. In addition to his volunteer involvement in the organizations listed above, he has served on various college committees at Houghton, including the Strategic Management Advisory Council, the Academic Affairs Council, the Teaching & Learning Technology Roundtable, The P.A.C.E. Academic Committee and the Financial Affairs Council. Most recently he chaired the college’s Online Task Force and the business department.

In 1994 he co-founded the Houghton Development Group, which built and now operates The Inn at Houghton Creek.

He’s a recipient of Houghton’s Excellence in Teaching Award and both the Barnabas Award and the Chewning Award from the Christian Business Faculty Association.

Professor Bates is a member of the local Houghton Wesleyan Church and is an elder in the Presbyterian Church of America. He and his wife, Barbara (Robbins ’72), are parents to two grown children and five grandchildren.

Teaching Philosophy

As an unintentional, mid-career transplant into academia from the business world, my approach to teaching began as a three-legged stool of bringing real-world thinking, Biblical principles, and problem solving to the classroom.  That has simply continued for 28 years.

While I’m still doing some occasional teaching, my focus is now redirected to:

  • Being a catalyst/advisor in strategically moving business education into the future (including Houghton’s MBA program);
  • Consulting with the kind of managers/leaders who want to do good, build health, and improve performance through servant leadership; and
  • Investing further in our family.

Scholarship interests

The integration of Biblical principles in business; small business development; strategic management consulting; and leadership.


  • Fundamentals of Management, online course creation, 2016
  • Organizational Development, participant and instructor manual for adult-degree completion course, 2015
  • Mission & Goals, Leadership & Governance, Administration,Chapter 4 of the 2015 self-study for Houghton College’s Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • “Human Flourishing,” chapel presentation: Excellence in Teaching awardApril 2014
  • “The Monk’s Bread Case” – student case study and instructor’s manual. Presented at the Christian Business Faculty Association annual conference in Bourbonnais, IL, October 2013 and at the Southeast Case Research Association, February 2013 [chosen as the best case of the conference]
  • “Online Task Force Report: Recommendations” (for Houghton College), November 2009
  • “The Gown Buys the Town” – paper presentation to the National Association of College and University Business Officers annual conference in Milwaukee, WI, 2004
  • Human Resources Management, participant and instructor manual for adult-degree completion course.
  • Christian Business Faculty Association annual conferences, 1989-2017

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