A Vision Inspired by God: Meet Christian Arnold, Master Planner

A Vision Inspired by God: Introducing Christian Arnold

By Laura Johnson, Contributing Writer


“I had a vision from God. It felt like I was the pencil that translated it to paper. Over the blending of all these different ideas, this picture appeared in my mind, of what this could be, and we captured it and put it on paper. We don’t take credit for it. It was certainly inspiration from God.” –Christian Arnold

Christian Arnold’s business, Clockwork, is in repositioning real estate and architecture. They work on a wide variety of commercial projects but are especially interested in community development projects, taking historic structures or small towns and creating a business model of how they can be renovated and restored, infusing entrepreneurism into their history.

Before the Moody Center was called the Moody Center, a mutual friend introduced Arnold to Emmitt Mitchell, president of Moody Center. Michell explained they had a property out in Northfield and were not sure what to do with it. That was in 2013. And so, Arnold visited out of curiosity and fell in love with the Northfield property. He felt so moved and inspired that he couldn’t stop thinking about it. As the Moody Center searched for an educational partner to occupy the core campus, Clockwork started brainstorming on what could be, packing it all together in a Northfield Development Plan. They met with Mitchell, told him their story and where the inspiration came from. Christian Arnold and Clockwork felt compelled to continue the vision that Moody started.

Arnold’s lens on the Moody Center has been very focused on Northfield. His initial feeling when he visited the Northfield campus was that it was a “sacred place.” He spent the entire day walking around the campus, reflecting and enjoying the natural and built beauty and imagining all the people that had come before. So, Arnold felt in some ways that he wanted to assist the Moody Center in being a good steward of this historic property. He wanted to create an inviting and serene place for worship and recreation. He envisions a place where guests feel welcome no matter their cultural or socio-economic background and is hopeful that the vision given to him by God will return the Northfield property to the glory days of the late 1800’s. The development embarked upon by the Moody Center will help to re-establish Northfield as an epicenter for ministry innovation and a place for people to grow closer to God.

Arnold’s goal is to make it so that visitors and residents experience and grow closer to God, in many different ways, when visiting the Moody Center at Northfield. Such an experience may come through music and ministry, community development or being around inspiring people. Others may find inspiration from nature, being outdoors or being exposed to God’s creation. The goal is to create different ways for people to experience God.


A Passion for Building Communities

Arnold’s background in architecture and real estate extends more than 20 years and includes projects throughout North America ranging from community building and historic renovations to mixed-use commercial projects for companies like AMC, Garmin, Google and Tesla.

Arnold’s entrepreneurial spirit and calm leadership allow him to effectively assemble and guide teams of experts that add measurable value to each project. His diverse background in industrial design, fabrication, construction and real estate development allows him to see solutions where others only see problems.

Before founding Clockwork Architecture + Branding Agency, Arnold was a design director in the Boston office for the largest architectural firm in the country. Throughout his career, he has managed the design and construction of more than $3.8 billion in commercial real estate.

His passion for building communities extends beyond real estate and includes a number of local and national nonprofit organizations, including: National MS Society, DIFFA, Muscular Dystrophy Association, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, The Humane Society of Greater Kansas City, River Market Community Improvement District, Boys and Girls Clubs, KVC, Halo Foundation, the National Christian Foundation, Moody Center and Saint Therese.