Teaching Social Entrepreneurship in Christian Higher Education Business Schools
AbstractSocial entrepreneurship (SE) is a growing field of study in U.S. higher education and a lack of academic research dedicated to the field creates challenges for educators. Inclusion in Christian higher education business program curricula provides an opportunity for Christian colleges and universities to prepare students to become social entrepreneurs and equip students to become leaders in this important and evolving field. In this paper, the authors, who have been teaching SE at the masters level for two years, include reflections and recommendations for program development. A unified understanding of what defines an individual as a social entrepreneur or an organization as a social entrepreneurship (SE) has yet to be conclusively determined by practitioners or researchers. Further research related to the social entrepreneurial process itself is warranted (Barendsen & Gardner, 2004; 2006). This gap provides Christian educators an opportunity to develop a Christian framework under an overarching construct of Business as Ministry designed to reach budding social entrepreneurs and advance SE both academically and in the field. This article provides a recommended path for advancing social entrepreneurship as a dedicated field of study within Christian higher education. Topics include a review of the field within this context, reflections of our experience with this new type of student, a theology of SE discussion, curriculum suggestions, and recommendations. Pedagogical examples are incorporated throughout the article rather than in one section.