Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Philosophy


Joseph Butler


Christian entrepreneur, formative life experiences, spiritual formation, discipleship, workplace spirituality, Great Commission


Business | Christianity


While Christian entrepreneurs have a diverse range of life experiences and perspectives, there is often an unawareness of the vital role they play in supporting the church, workplace, and community in discipleship. This phenomenological qualitative study was conducted to explore the formative life experiences (positive and negative) that shape Christian entrepreneurs’ ability to promote discipleship in the church, workplace, and community. The grounding theory underlying this study was servant leadership, which was used to understand if the church’s growth, necessary to fulfill God’s Great Commission, can be aided by Christian entrepreneurs willing to serve. Through in-depth interviews with Christian entrepreneurs across various fields, this study was conducted to inform Christian entrepreneurs and church leaders about whether their formative experiences can help bridge the discipleship gap between churches, communities, and workplaces to fulfill the Great Commission. Eight Christian entrepreneurs participated in screening questionnaires and interviews to explore whether they believe their formative life experiences have equipped them to aid and support the local church, community, and workplace in disciple-making strategies. Based on their formative experiences, Christian entrepreneurs have an innate desire to serve their churches, workplaces, and communities. However, few tools exist to teach them how to collaborate with churches to advance the gospel and educate their communities. Participants’’ in-depth responses to the research questions illuminated their perspectives and allowed further investigation into how to support Christian entrepreneurs in discipleship more effectively.