The Career Direct® Guidance System was developed out of a need for a comprehensive, biblically-based assessment that would help people better understand their unique gifts and find the career or educational path that best matches their God-given strengths and abilities.
Larry Burkett, renowned Christian financial author and speaker, noted that, "During the years I was counseling families on their finances, I frequently observed people in career fields that didn't match their talents and abilities. It concerned me that so many people were not aware of their strengths and, therefore, were not being good stewards of their talents. I began to hope that someone would develop a program that would help people understand their vocational bent and show them how to make the right career decisions. In 1989 I began working on this task."
Christian Financial Concepts, the organization Larry founded in 1976, assembled a highly qualified team to develop a biblically based yet psychometrically sound career assessment. The team, initially known as Career Pathways, investigated other assessment tools on the market and found that virtually none of them reflected a biblical worldview. They also found that most were not comprehensive, covering only one or two of the four areas that their research indicated were essential to making sound career decisions: personality, interests, skills, and values.
Initially, the team used a combination of well-known assessments along with "feedback counselors" to provide career guidance while developing their own assessment. In 1995, Christian Financial Concepts debuted the Career Pathways® Assessment, which was made up of the CPPI (Career Pathways Personality Inventory) and the ISVI (Interests, Skills, Values Inventory). In 1996, Career Pathways changed its name to Life Pathways to better reflect the whole-life nature of all of its assessment and career resources.
A revised version of the paper test, now renamed the Career Direct Assessment, was published in 1997. Since its creation, over 80,000 individuals have benefited from the biblical perspective that undergirds all of the Career Direct Guidance System materials.
An extensive analysis of data from several thousand Career Direct users was used to refine and revise the factors and scoring that were incorporated into the 1999 CD-ROM version of Career Direct. This greatly enhanced product allowed the user to install, complete, score, and print the assessment on a home computer. Instead of waiting for two weeks, people could now see their results in just a few minutes!
In September of 2000, Christian Financial Concepts and Crown Ministries merged to become Crown Financial Ministries. During the transition following the merger, the ministry focused strictly on refining and consolidating its core financial mission and materials.
In March 2002, there was renewed interest in career ministry and in transitioning Career Direct from a CD-ROM assessment to an Internet-based application. A number of former Life Pathways staff were assembled to redesign Career Direct as a truly interactive online experience. This vision became a reality with the 2006 online release of Career Direct.