Grace College Online alumnus Jim Banks was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2016. Banks represents Indiana’s third district which is the Northeast corner of the state. He previously served in the Indiana State Senate and is an Afghanistan war veteran. Jim Banks decided to pursue his masters in business administration degree when he joined the military. “I was pursuing my commission as a U.S. Navy Reserve officer, and it is highly recommended for military service members on this track to obtain a master’s degree,” Banks said.
“Having a masters in business administration degree is a great asset when seeking advancement in the military, as it is in civilian life.”
Banks first heard about the Grace College online business administration masters program through a recruitment mailer. “As I researched my options, it was clear Grace had the best, most affordable online masters degree program which fit my education needs,” he said. “The online business administration masters program best aligned with my busy lifestyle as a state senator with a young family. The only way I was going to be able to obtain my MBA was through an online program.”
Banks credits his educational experience at Grace College Online for helping him with his political and military career. “I have always had conservative instincts, but pursuing my masters in business administration degree at Grace provided me with a well-rounded education with a strong scriptural foundation,” he said. “I was able to grasp a worldview and defend my political positions as a state senator, which I believe is a unique quality of the online business administration masters degree. Also the business component of my MBA was essential as a U.S. Navy logistics officer while handling billions of dollars of requests for equipment for the Afghan National Army government and police.”
As a result of his military leadership in Afghanistan during Operations Enduring Freedom and Freedom’s Sentinel, Banks received the Defense Meritorious Service Medal. In order to serve in Afghanistan, Banks took a leave of absence from September 2014 to May 2015. His wife, Amanda Banks, was elected by prescient committee officials to serve as interim senator while Banks served in Afghanistan. Politics brought the couple together when both volunteered for a congressional campaign in 2000.
The time spent at Grace has helped Banks advance in his career in public service. During the 117th Congress, Banks served as Chairman of the Republican Study Committee – the largest caucus of conservative legislators in Congress. He currently serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the U.S. and the Chinese Communist Party.
“Throughout my time studying at Grace, I gained so much more than just an affordable degree,” Banks said. “My online degree from Grace has given me the knowledge and understanding to defend my political positions and beliefs as a Christian and a conservative.”