Special Issue "Social Entrepreneurship from a Christian Perspective"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Humanities/Philosophies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Steven Rundle
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Crowell School of Business, Biola University, La Mirada, CA 90639, USA
Interests: international economics and business; corporate social responsibility and social entrepreneurship; business as mission; international development
Dr. Min-Dong (Paul) Lee
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Business and Economics, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL 60187, USA
Interests: corporate social responsibility and sustainable enterprise; institutional logics theory; compassion in the workplace; business as mission; faith and business ethics; servant leadership

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Social entrepreneurship is now widely recognized to be a legitimate field of study, one that includes its own degree programs, conferences, think tanks, and scholarly journals. The surge of academic interest in this subject mirrors the explosive increase in the number of practicing social entrepreneurs around the world. Among those practitioners are many devout people of faith who see their entrepreneurship as a tangible expression of their faith, in which case the labels “faith-based social entrepreneurship”, “business as mission”, or “redemptive entrepreneurship” are sometimes used instead (Roundy, Taylor, and Evans 2015; Alderson 2012; Griebel, Park, and Neubert 2014; Rundle 2012; Johnson 2009). As noted by Tracey et al. (2014), religion can play a prominent role in shaping the motivations, decisions, and behaviors of its adherents. However, academia has traditionally segmented the study of faith and entrepreneurship (Smith et al. 2019). That segmentation has created large gaps in our understanding, especially as it relates to the intersection of faith and entrepreneurship. The aim of this Special Issue is to begin filling some of those gaps. We welcome submissions from all relevant disciplines. The primary religious orientation of the special issue will be on Christian perspectives (Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, Orthodox, etc.). However, papers that shed light on the similarities and differences between other religious perspectives are also encouraged, as well as those reflecting non-Western perspectives.

Themes covered include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Theological Perspectives on Social Entrepreneurship. For example, is social entrepreneurship consistent with a biblical worldview? Put differently, is it possible for Christians to advocate social entrepreneurship without implicitly diminishing the status of “regular” business people?
  1. Faith-Based Social Entrepreneurship Theory and Evidence. For example, how does an entrepreneur’s faith affect the way they conceptualize their individual and organizational identity? How does faith influence the way one handles conflicts between different institutional logics? How is spiritual impact being defined and measured?
  1. The Priorities of Faith-Based Social Entrepreneurship. For example, does faith shape an entrepreneur’s choice of social issue (e.g., human trafficking, renewable energy, prison-to-work)? Do Protestants tend to focus on different problems than, say, Catholics?
  1. Faith-Inspired Innovations in Social Finance. Given the recent explosion of interest among Christians in using private capital to promote social and spiritual change, what are the most significant developments or gaps in this arena? Does faith influence the way social enterprises are governed or capitalized?
  1. Ethics of Faith-Based Social Entrepreneurship. For example, how do an entrepreneur’s religious beliefs promote or constrain certain market-oriented behaviors? How do faith-driven entrepreneurs handle bribery or other forms of corruption?
  1. Inspiring and Equipping a New Generation of Christian Entrepreneur. What is being done to create a robust, faith-infused entrepreneurship ecosystem, such as training programs, incubators, accelerators, impact funds, and so on?

If you are interested in submitting a paper for consideration in this Special Issue, please email Dr. Steve Rundle ([email protected]) with the title, a short abstract (100–200 words), and an estimate for when the paper will be ready for review. Full papers are due by May 31, 2021.


  1. Alderson, Keanon J. 2012. “At the Crossroads: Social and Faith-Based Entrepreneurship.” Thunderbird International Business Review 54 (1): 111–116. https://doi.org/10.1002/tie.21443.
  2. Griebel, Jenna M., Jerry Z. Park, and Mitchell J. Neubert. 2014. “Faith and Work: An Exploratory Study of Religious Entrepreneurs.” Religions 5 (3): 780–800. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel5030780.
  3. Johnson, C. Neal. 2009. Business as Mission: A Comprehensive Guide to Theory and Practice. Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Academic.
  4. Roundy, Philip, Valerie Taylor, and Randy Evans. 2015. “Founded by Faith: Social Entrepreneurship as a Bridge between Religion and Work.” SSRN Scholarly Paper ID 2738511. Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network. https://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=2738511.
  5. Rundle, Steven L. 2012. “‘Business as Mission’ Hybrids: A Review and Research Agenda.” Journal of Biblical Integration in Business 15 (1). https://cbfa-jbib.org/index.php/jbib/article/view/172.
  6. Smith, Brett R., Michael J. Conger, Jeffery S. McMullen, and Mitchell J. Neubert. 2019. “Why Believe? The Promise of Research on the Role of Religion in Entrepreneurial Action.” Journal of Business Venturing Insights 11 (June): e00119. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbvi.2019.e00119.
  7. Tracey, Paul, Nelson Phillips, and Michael Lounsbury. 2014. “Taking Religion Seriously in the Study of Organizations.” In Religion and Organization Theory, 3–21. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Dr. Steven Rundle
Dr. Min-Dong (Paul) Lee
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • faith-based social entrepreneurship;
  • religion and social entrepreneurship;
  • faith and business;
  • redemptive entrepreneurship;
  • business as mission;
  • theology of business;
  • theology of social entrepreneurship;
  • faith and globalization.

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Enriching Social Entrepreneurship from the Perspective of Catholic Social Teaching
Religions 2021, 12(3), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030173 - 09 Mar 2021
Viewed by 384
In this paper, we propose that unreflective use of the term social entrepreneurship may perpetuate the idea that “entrepreneurship” is largely a financial and private reality and that this view of entrepreneurship will eventually trivialize or perhaps undermine the important benefits and the [...] Read more.
In this paper, we propose that unreflective use of the term social entrepreneurship may perpetuate the idea that “entrepreneurship” is largely a financial and private reality and that this view of entrepreneurship will eventually trivialize or perhaps undermine the important benefits and the real intentions behind the social entrepreneurship movement. We believe that Catholic Social Teaching can shed important light on this dilemma by emphasizing three specific strategies inherent to entrepreneurship when assessing the moral contribution of the firm. As a result, we argue for the principles of good goods, good work and good wealth as an alternative framework for all good entrepreneurial venture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Entrepreneurship from a Christian Perspective)
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