Stephen Bretsen, J.D.

William Volkman Professor of Business and Law, Associate Professor of Business and Law, Department Chair, Pre-Law Advisor
On Faculty since 2003

Office: Memorial Student Center 315
Phone: (630)752-5899


J. D., University of Colorado, 1986

B.A., Government, College of William and Mary, 1983

About Stephen Bretsen

Prior to accepting a position at Wheaton College, Steve was an in-house attorney and a director-level corporate development executive for several publicly traded companies. His activities focused on mergers and acquisitions, domestic and cross-border commercial transactions, venture capital equity investments, corporate law, and antitrust law. Steve is using his professional experience to teach business and courses from a Christian perspective.

Steve is married and has two daughters. His wife, Cindy, is a full-time homemaker. Steve is active in his church, recently serving as treasurer, an elder on his church's governing board, in the choir, and as a teacher for an adult Sunday school class. Steve enjoys running, cross-country skiing, hiking, camping, and bicycling

Courses Taught

  • B/EC 452 Business Law
  • B/EC 493 Business Strategy and Analysis
  • PS 271 Introduction to Law
  • PS 381 Constitutional Law

Membership in Professional Societies

  • Academy of Legal Studies in Business
  • Midwest Academy of Legal Studies in Business (President, 2011-2012)
  • Christian Business Faculty Association
  • Christian Legal Society
  • Evangelical Political Scholars Association
  • Licensed Attorney in the State of Colorado


  • 2007-2008 Wheaton College Junior Faculty Achievement Award


Current research interests include water law, business as mission, and Christianity and the corporation.

Papers Published and/or Presented

Bretsen, Stephen N. and Peter J. Hill, "Water Rights and the Anticommons," in Aquanomics, eds. Randy Simmons and B. Delworth Gardner (Oakland, CA: Independent Institute, 2011) (forthcoming).

Bretsen, Stephen N., "In Competition with Godless Hoards: Are Some Strategic Approaches More Appropriate for a Faithful Business?," The Journal of Biblical Integration in Business, 13 (2011): 110-127.

Bretsen, Stephen N., “Rainwater Harvesting Under Colorado’s Prior Appropriation Doctrine: Property Rights and Takings,” Fordham Environmental Law Review, 22, no. 2 (Spring 2011): 159-232. 

Bretsen, Stephen N. and Peter J. Hill, "Water Markets as a Tragedy of the Anticommons," William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review, 33, no. 3 (2009: 723-783).

Bretsen, Stephen N., "The Creation, the Kingdom of God, and a Theory of the Faithful Corporation," Christian Scholar's Review, 38, no. 1 (Fall 2008): 115-54.

Bretsen, Stephen N. and Peter J. Hill, "Irrigation Institutions in the American West," UCLA Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, 25, no. 2 (2006/2007): 283-331.

Bretsen, Stephen N., "The Faithful Buisness as a Publicly Traded Corporation - Testing the Outer Limits of Corporate Law," The Journal of Bilblical Integration in Business, 1, no. 1 (Fall 2006): 42-80.

Bretsen, Stephen N., "Bringing the Appellate Court to the Classroom," Christian Business Academy Review, 1, no. 1 (Spring 2006): 57-63.

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