Dr. Nicholas Pearce
CEO of the Vocati Group, Professor at NU's Kellogg School of Management, Pastor at Apostolic Church of God

A scholar, speaker, entrepreneur, and pastor, Dr. Nicholas Pearce is an award-winning professor at Northwestern’s University Kellogg School of Management, the founder and chief executive officer of The Vocati Group, a boutique global executive advisory firm, and assistant pastor of Chicago’s historic, 12,000-member Apostolic Church of God. He is also the author of The Purpose Path: A Guide to Pursuing Your Authentic Life’s Work. A globally-recognized expert on values-driven leadership, Dr. Pearce has served as a trusted adviser, executive coach, and keynote speaker for corporations, social impact organizations, communities of faith, and governments on six continents.


Dr. Pearce is deeply committed to giving back to his community, serving as a trustee of the Field Foundation, Chicago Children’s Museum, McCormick Theological Seminary, and Seminary Co-Op Bookstores. He has been a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow since 2015 and has also been named Kellogg’s MSMS Professor of the Year, a Galbraith Scholar by Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, a Public Voices Faculty Fellow by The OpEd Project, and one of Chicago’s 40 Game Changers (under 40) by WVON/Ariel Investments. He has also been honored by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Mustard Seed Foundation, National Black MBA Association, and Union League Club of Chicago, among other notable institutions. His thought leadership has been featured in global media including The AtlanticBloomberg BusinessweekChicago Sun-TimesChicago Tribune, CNBC, CNN, Crain’s Chicago Business, Discovery Channel, Fast CompanyForbesFortuneHarvard Business ReviewHuffington PostLos Angeles Times, MSNBC, National GeographicNew York TimesNewsweek, NPR, SlateTimeU.S. News & World Report, Univision, UrbanFaith.com, and Washington Post.


Dr. Pearce holds the Ph.D. in Management & Organizations from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and the S.B. in Chemical Engineering & Management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with a concentration in Religious Studies earned in conjunction with Harvard Divinity School. A Chicago native, Dr. Pearce currently resides in his hometown with his family.
Download Bio
The Purpose PathA Guide to Pursuing Your Authentic Life's Work
St. Martin's Essentials
St. Martin's Press

Inspiring, thought-provoking, and practical, The Purpose Path is an essential book for anyone who seeks the clarity and courage to advance their authentic life's work every day.

Inspired LeadershipLeaders are expected to be constant sources of inspiration, motivation, and vision for their teams, organizations, and beyond – in short, leadership is hard, often draining work. But the hard work of leadership is made even tougher when the leader is struggling with his/her own personal purpose for leading. In this keynote, leaders will be invited to deeply explore their vision, values, and vocation as the fuel for inspired leadership. This introspective, challenging, and energizing talk has been described by audiences around the world as "a welcome oasis for the leader’s journey."
The Purpose PathMany of the world's most successful companies ― Apple, Disney, Google ― are not simply profit-driven, but purpose-driven. They let the reason for which they were created drive what they do every day. But what about us ― how do we define our purpose, the why behind the work we do? How can we find the inspiration to pursue more than just a paycheck and ultimately fulfill our authentic life's work? How can organizations leverage the power of purpose to drive impact? This thought-provoking keynote inspires audiences of all ages to courageously embark upon the journey of aligning their daily work with their life's work - to connect their soul with their role. This talk is also available in a "fireside chat" format.
Leadership Labs (Leadership Development Workshops)Dr. Pearce offers half-day and full-day workshops that integrate cutting-edge insights from the social & behavioral sciences with proven practical strategies to create transformative light-bulb moments for leaders and teams in corporations, social impact organizations, and governments. From annual conferences to leadership retreats, to year-long talent development programs, Dr. Pearce partners with organizations around the world to invest in developing the leadership capacity of their people. These sessions draw extensively on Dr. Pearce's award-winning courses at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
The Purpose Path: Sermon SeriesLiving in purpose is a matter of being faithful and obedient to one's God-given calling, no matter the cost. Built upon selected biblical texts, Dr. Pearce has developed a sermon series entitled The Purpose Path, including messages on the lives and callings of scriptural heroes including Jesus, David, Elijah, Moses, Joshua, Jonah, Paul, and Peter. Offered as a month-long series or for an individual worship service, Dr. Pearce delivers 25-45-minute sermons for churches, chapel services, and conferences around the world.

Listen to Dr. Nicholas Pearce talking about Toxic Workplaces on Harvard Business Review podcast Dear HBR. Read Dr. Nicholas Pearce’s “What to Do When Your Boss Won’t Advocate for You” on Harvard Business Review Bloomberg Business Week recently featured Dr. Nicholas Pearce. Read commentary from Dr. Nicholas Pearce on CNBC The Chicago Tribune featured Dr. Nicholas Pearce. Dr. Nicholas Pearce showed his expertise in teaching leadership management skills at Northwestern University.

“When you’ve found your life’s purpose, work becomes meaningful to you. If you want to discover and live your purpose, read Nicholas Pearce’s book. Not only will it inspire you to become who you were born to be—it also will show you how.”
- Ken Blanchard, New York Times bestselling coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and Leading at a Higher Level

“If you want to figure out who you’re meant to become, honor your calling, and activate your purpose every day, you won’t want to put this book down!”
— Bishop Lambert W. Gates, Presiding Bishop, Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith

“Nicholas brings his powerful voice from the boardroom and pulpit onto the written page. Through artful storytelling and logic, he ties our work to our being, in the process reminding us that each day’s labor is indeed sacred.”
- Sally Blount, Michael L. Nemmers Professor of Strategy and former Dean, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

“Every generation needs a clarifying call to purpose, and a map to get us there. For those who want to do more than exist, The Purpose Path is required reading.”
- Dr. Charlie Dates, Senior Pastor, Progressive Baptist Church, Chicago and Affiliate Professor, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“For anyone who wants to discover why they were placed on this earth, and understand the difference between success and significance in your life, Professor Pearce’s book is a must.”
— Harry M. Jansen Kraemer, Jr., Professor of Leadership, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, former Chairman & CEO, Baxter International, Inc., and bestselling author of From Values to Action and Becoming the Best

“The Purpose Path will be a helpful resource for those asking the fundamental questions of life, identity, meaning and purpose with the aim of thriving.”
- Ed Stetzer, Billy Graham Distinguished Chair, Wheaton College

“Every person’s life and vocation matters, and we seek who we are made to be and what we are gifted to do. Step into Dr. Pearce’s rich reflection and receive the assurance and hope that we need and will find.”
— Mark Labberton, President, Fuller Theological Seminary

“Dr. Nicholas Pearce empowers us to wrestle with the essential questions that reveal our true self all the while inspiring us to act courageously as we pursue our authentic life’s work.”
— Shundrawn A. Thomas, President, Northern Trust Asset Management, and author, Discover Joy in Work

“Filled with practical help and inspiration, this is the sort of book you will highlight often and pass along to your friends, kids, workmates, or any other person who seeks a life that is integrated, influential, and free.”
— Dan Meyer, Senior Pastor, Christ Church of Oak Brook and Chairman, Fuller Seminary Board of Trustees

"Dr. Pearce absolutely blew me away with his insight and passion. I definitely want to bring him to speak in our country."
- Conference Attendee, Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit

"Dr. Pearce always delivers a powerful message - he never disappoints."
- Congregant, Apostolic Church of God - Chicago

"This was one of the most inspiring, yet practical keynotes I have ever heard. I've got some work to do, but I feel empowered to get it done."
- Executive, Ronald McDonald House Charities Global Conference

"The intersection of faith and work is important to me and Dr. Pearce just gets it! His ability to speak the language of faith and the language of business at the same time is exactly what this generation needs to hear more."
- Conference Attendee, God @ Work Conference, Park Community Church, Chicago

"Dr. Pearce is the best speaker I've ever heard and wise beyond his years! Please bring him back!"
- Executive, Whirlpool Corporation

Praise for The Purpose Path “When you’ve found your life’s purpose, work becomes meaningful to you. Suddenly you love what you do and your occupation doesn’t feel like work anymore. In fact, when you’re living and loving your true calling, you never have to work another day in your life! If you want to discover and live your purpose, read Nicholas Pearce’s book. Not only will it inspire you to become who you were born to be—it will also will show you how.”
- Ken Blanchard, New York Times bestselling coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and Leading at a Higher Level