Photo provided by Todd Kostjuk
Recently, Masters University added a faculty member to the administration staff. Over Christmas break, they hired Todd Kostjuk as the Chief Financial Officer of TMU.
Kostjuk has been at Master’s for almost four years as a professor in the business department.
“I’ve had Kostjuk as my major advisor, taken one of his classes, and now his office is right down the hall from mine,” said Zo Holland, a business major who works for the Office of Career Services in Rutherford Hall. “He’s not only a great financial advisor, but he’s also great in leadership. I was so glad to hear he’s our new CFO because I know he’s going to do a great job. I have a lot of respect for him.”
Kostjuk will continue to be a professor at Master’s, but his new position includes having financial and administrative oversight at Master’s. According to Kostjuk, he is ensuring that the school is stewarding their income and glorifying the Lord with finances. Kostjuk added that he loves working with students and will continue to have one or two classes that he’s dedicated to teaching in future semesters.
“I just love being with the students and teaching them,” Kostjuk said.“That’s something that, you know, a nice paycheck in the corporate world just can’t give you the satisfaction of, when you’re helping somebody out.”
He began his financial career at a Big 4 accounting firm. There are four major professional service networks in the world that provide financial and legal services, and they are commonly referred to as the “Big 4.” He got his CPA license in California, and he would go on to work in a corporate financial role looking at the financial health and risk management of a corporation.
“We would look at how we could make things more efficient, more profitable, and those are the things I really love,” Kostjuk said. “It’s like, ‘How do you solve challenges? How do we make things better going forward?’ And you can kind of see your work, you can say, ‘Hey, I had a part in that. That’s really neat.‘”
The business professor attended Master’s for his bachelor’s degree and pulled many pranks at the school, including getting a five-gallon bucket of water with five or six guys and pouring it on a young lady while she was asleep in her dorm room.
“I love kind of roasting students and that’s a joy, in an appropriate way,” Kostjuk said. “I love having fun in the classroom because I think humor and fun just breaks barriers down. It gets people to communicate and feel like you’re connecting with them.”
The new CFO has attended Placerita Bible Church since 2005, where he currently serves as an elder, working with finances and the youth group. Kostjuk is fairly competitive, as most of his students who’ve played ping-pong with him already know. He enjoys sports and anything outdoors, including, hiking, tennis, football, baseball, mountain biking, and backpacking.
“I’ve had the privilege to serve with him on the youth staff at PBC ever since coming to Master’s,” Niko Cummings, a business major and fellow youth staff leader at Placerita Bible Church, said. “It was a blessing to see my professor pour into students in class and then do the same later that day in youth group. I could always count on Kostjuk to give his best.”
Kostjuk and his wife Ashley have three children. Kostjuk said his son Gavin just started driving, which helps out his prayer life. Kostjuk also said he’s a big softie around his daughter.
The Kostjuk’s have certainly faced trials in their lives, including the loss of a child.
“We had a daughter that passed away when she was one, so she’s in heaven,” Kostjuk said. “It’s just a good reminder that life is short, and keep your eyes on things above and on Jesus, because it’s going to be over quick. But we have the hope of heaven and seeing her again.”
He advises students to maximize their time at Master’s and to do well in academics. He quoted Spurgeon, “Work as if it all depended on you and pray as if it all depended on the Lord.”
“Get involved in your local church. Go there and serve,” Kostjuk said, offering advice to current TMU students. “You’re going to mess up, and that’s a big part in your experience here at the Master’s University. So be humble. Be a servant. Just be vulnerable and go serve in the church and do those things.”