Yale Center for Faith and Culture awarded $1.875 million grant to study spiritual capital

The John Templeton Foundation has awarded the Yale Center for Faith and Culture a $1.875 million, three-year grant to fund a project aimed at researching and promoting the empirical study of spiritual capital

MallochLeading the study will be Miroslav Volf, director of the Center, and Theodore Roosevelt Malloch, a research scholar in business ethics at Yale Divinity School.  Malloch brings to the study a wealth of conceptual ideas developed in his book Spiritual Enterprise: Doing Virtuous Business, which offers a rich anecdotal assessment of the positive effects of spirituality on entrepreneurship and the management of enterprises.

“Dr. Malloch argues that entrepreneurs’ authentic spirituality should be given amplified expression in their business activities,” observed Volf, “and that, when given expression, societies, economies and companies will prosper and contribute to the common good.”

Said Volf, “Dr. Malloch relates the concept of spiritual capital to the widely studied concepts of human and social capital which he argues are based, to a large extent, on the existence of good faith, trust, stewardship, a sense of purpose, and other moral characteristics that are generated and sustained by the piety, solidarity, and hope that come from religious faith.”

Malloch, who holds a Ph.D. in international political economy from the University of Toronto, is chairman and chief executive officer of The Roosevelt Group, a strategic management and thought leadership company. He is a member of the Templeton Foundation’s Board of Advisors and has served on many other boards, including the Executive Board of the World Economic Forum, the University of Toronto’s International Governing Council, the Board of Trustees of Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, and the Yale Divinity School Board of Advisors.

On a functional level, Volf said, Malloch’s goal is to raise the idea of spiritual capital from the realm of theory to the level of practice at both professional business/management schools and firms across every industry.

Harold Attridge, the Rev. Henry L. Slack Dean of Yale Divinity School, said, “The Center for Faith And Culture at Yale Divinity School has long had a strong interest in the ways in which religious commitments can affect business practices. This new research project, funded by the Templeton Foundation and ably led by Miroslav Volf and Ted Malloch, promises to make an original contribution to the field. YDS is pleased to be the venue for this effort.”  

VolfFindings of the study will be disseminated through a series of 24 major case studies involving a wide range of faith traditions from around the globe.  In addition, plans call for creation of a comprehensive website that will serve as a resource on spiritual capital; a series of conferences hosted by the Center, including two colloquia for executives and leading academics; publication of numerous articles on spiritual capital; creation of a research network; and production of a PBS documentary film on spiritual capital.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Malloch to the Yale Center for Faith and Culture” Volf said, “and we look forward to the various initiatives that will result from his work, including a new cross-listed course with the School of Management.”

The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for research relating to what scientists and philosophers call the Big Questions. It supports work at the world's top universities in such fields as theoretical physics, cosmology, evolutionary biology, cognitive science, and social science relating to love, forgiveness, creativity, purpose, and the nature and origin of religious belief. It also seeks to stimulate new thinking about wealth creation in the developing world, character education in schools and universities, and programs for cultivating the talents of gifted children.

The Foundation, based in West Conshohocken, PA identifies its core funding areas as: science and the big questions; character development; freedom and free enterprise; exceptional cognitive talent and genius; and genetics.

Among the programs operated out of Yale Divinity School’s Center for Faith and Culture are the Faith & Globalization Initiative, which explores issues of faith in a globalized world; the Reconciliation Program, which promotes reconciliation between Christians and Muslims; and the God and Human Flourishing Project, aimed at exploring authentic human flourishing in the context of the search for global common good.