By Alec Smith



For the majority of young adults and college students, the leap from the classroom to the marketplace is one of uncertainty. Most discover that they are unprepared. Our modern higher education system’s format consists mainly of lectures, papers, and classrooms.

However, current job seekers land in a much different environment. Most professions today demand the ability to identify problems, research effective solutions and implement successful strategies. Projects are assigned, and employees are expected to complete most of it on their own.

If navigating this transition into the workplace wasn’t hard enough, there’s a significant number of young new workers who are trying to incorporate their faith into their profession. For the majority of us who have a relationship with Jesus, we’ve read and been taught the importance of being salt and light, in every aspect of our lives, including our jobs.

However, for many, this rarely extends beyond simply acting like a Christian and being nice. If you have wanted to work with your faith in the forefront, you might assume that your only options are to be a missionary or a minister in a church. For centuries, there was a line of demarcation between ministry and the marketplace. You could either impact lives by working as part of a church staff or work a “normal” job and superimpose your faith.

I’ve served the community of Conyers for the past four years as a leader with AWAKE Communities, and AWAKE Coffee Co. During this time, I’ve witnessed the convergence of being in ministry and serving in the marketplace.  I’ve led a team that wants to see those lines disappear. We, the leaders of AWAKE, have spent months praying and developing a school to do just that. This Fall, we are launching the AWAKE School of Marketplace Leadership that will train, and equip people, to take their faith into the marketplace.

We believe that there’s a place in our businesses and organizations for biblical principles and faith. Work-based learning and experience is the focus of the school with an emphasis on allowing students to have a chance to learn how to become a person of influence in the marketplace first hand.

This three-year program will offer opportunities to train in customer service, hospitality, education, manufacturing, news media, graphic design, web development, marketing, visual art, and music. Students will experience life in a community, inspire one another, challenge one another, and change the world. We believe that by giving students the chance to learn to be a person of faith and influence in their professions, we will see our community thrive because our businesses do.

We are still accepting applications for the upcoming Fall session! For more information, please visit or come by the coffee shop, AWAKE Coffee Co at 862 N Main Street NW in Olde Town Conyers.