Religious entrepreneurship: Missional pioneering in Christian Churches in the West


Course Objective

The student is able to:
1. Reproduce recent theories of secularization and religious market with
a view to entrepreneurship.
2. Study recent data and theoretical insights into missional pioneering
in the West.
3. Create a research design, based on recent theory, which will be used
in his/her own fieldwork in Amsterdam.
4. Participate in ethnographic fieldwork in Amsterdam, using a quick
ethnography protocol.
5. Present a well-written paper on a relevant topic in relation to
missional entrepreneurship in a Western context.

Course Content

Rapid changes of the religious scene in the more secularized areas of
the West have triggered a number of responses among Christian
organizations. One of the most influential responses is the
entrepreneurial strategy of setting up new churches, pionieer projects
or mission projects with a view to create new connections between the
Christian tradition and secularized audiences or new immigrant groups.
In this course the practice of religious (Christian) entrepreneurship is
studied from the perspective of leadership. Ample attention will be paid
to recent studies into entrepreneurial leadership in the context of
Christian mission to the West (resilience, personality, etc.).
Dimensions of leadership such as 'sense-making' will be discussed and
used in field research in Amsterdam. Students will also be involved in
ongoing research into organized Christianity in Western cities,
especially Amsterdam.

Teaching Methods

Classroom teaching, fieldwork, and tutorials

Method of Assessment

Portfolio, containing:
1. Reading reports of relevant literature.
2. Research design based on recent theories.
3. Fieldwork report.
4. Paper.


1. Stefan Paas, Church Planting in the Secular West: Learning from the
European Experience, Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, 2016
2. Michael Moynagh, Church in Life: Innovation, Mission and
Ecclesiology, SCM Press: London, 2017
3. Robert Doornenbal, Crossroads, Eburon: Delft, 2012 (available
4. Michael Volland, The Minister as Entrepreneur: Leading and growing
the Church in an age of rapid change, SPCK: London, 2015
5. Texts and articles that will be made available through Canvas.

1. Dwight Zscheile, The Agile Church: Spirit-Led Innovation in an
Uncertain Age, Harrisburg: Morehouse, 2014
2. Alan J. Roxburgh, Missional: Joining God in the Neighborhood, Baker:
Grand Rapids, 2011
3. John Walker, Testing Fresh Expressions: Identity and Transformation,
Aldershot: Ashgate, 2014
4. Hannah Steele, New world, new church? The theology of the emerging
church movement, London: SCM Press, 2017
5. Christopher James, Church Planting in Post-Christian Soil, Oxford
University Press: Oxford, 2018

Target Audience

This course is available for all Master students who have an interest in
issues of missional Christian entrepreneurship.

Explanation Canvas

Communication and documents will be made available through Canvas.

Recommended background knowledge

Some knowledge of Christian theology, especially in the field of
missiology and ecclesiology, is recommended.

General Information

Course Code G_RMRE07
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 500
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Religion and Theology
Course Coordinator prof. dr. S. Paas
Examiner prof. dr. S. Paas
Teaching Staff

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar
Target audiences

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