Our Stories

The Business Leader Is a Preacher

For Ravyn Miller, ministry and global marketing can go hand in hand

Ravyn Miller
Director U.S. Marketing, Medtronic

Vanderbilt Master of Divinity 2009
Vanderbilt MBA 2009

Ravyn Miller manages a dual career. On one side, she’s a global marketing executive for a leading maker of medical devices. On the other, she’s an ordained minister who teaches Bible studies, occasionally preaches on Sunday and sometimes officiates at weddings (her first, in fact, was for an Owen classmate).

Before she came to Vanderbilt, Ravyn went back and forth between her professional interests. She began as a sales rep for a device company. In order to transition into marketing, a colleague told her, she needed an MBA. “After I extinguished the fire from my brain,” she recalls, “I politely responded with, ‘Maybe I will look into it.’”

She did — but not until she was enrolled in the Divinity School at Vanderbilt, where she learned of a dual Masters program with Owen. That’s where she found her balance. “As much as I loved ministry, I also loved business concepts,” Ravyn says. “I felt like part of my life’s mission was to bridge the gap between professionals who lead with their hearts versus those who lead with their heads.”

Ravyn feels called to both the business and religious worlds because she wants to promote ethical leadership in corporations—reinforced by a strong sense that business can positively affect the lives of people. “I want to de-mystify the idea that one field is mutually exclusive from the other,” she says.

In 2016, she was named to a planning committee for the Minnesota Department of Health’s statewide health care initiative. It’s another example of how Ravyn views her career as “bi-vocational.” And she credits Vanderbilt with preparing her for it. Thanks to Owen, she says, “I am ready to take on the world."



Fun Fact: Ravyn describes herself as a “brunch enthusiast.” She has established two chapters, in Minnesota and Washington, D.C., of what she calls the Brunch Crew.

“I felt like part of my life’s mission was to bridge the gap between professionals who lead with their hearts versus those who lead with their heads.”