Business as Mission Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


First Advisor

JNK Mugambi


Anglican dioceses established by The Church Mission Society and other Western-founded Christian denominations in East Africa were envisaged to grow and become self-governing, self-propagating and self-supporting. The first two goals (to be self-governing and self-propagating) have more or less been achieved. The third goal (the pursuit of self-support) is at a critical stage, especially considering that resources, in terms of funding and personnel, are in decline. This research sought to document the factors that contribute to, or hinder, the role that lay people (business people in particular) can play in sustaining the ministry and mission of Anglican dioceses. The research methods chosen for data collection consisted of interactive fieldwork. In this, formal and informal interviews were conducted. The interviewees were selected mainly from Anglican dioceses, with their input being corroborated by Methodists, Evangelical Lutheran and Presbyterian Church leaders from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Interviews were conducted, first, with church leaders who were in office at the time when John Gatu declared a moratorium on Western missionaries in 1974. Next came interviews with leaders of the 1990s and 2000s. For each leader, a corroborative project was documented. A limited quantitative questionnaire was administered for triangulation purposes.The data were analysed to identify the themes and patterns that emerged. This phase was followed by an extensive literature review. The research methodology utilised the Praxis Cycle, developed by Cochrane, De Gruchy and Peterson (1990) in their book, In Word and Deed,which has its roots in the “see, judge, act” method of the Belgian Cardinal, Joseph Cardijn,founder of the Young Christian Workers movement. The analysis allowed me to examine the interplay between business and mission, using the seven-point Praxis Cycle, modified by JNJ Kritzinger(2008:771) to assess the spirituality of BAM and its contribution to Christian mission. Other movements of the Praxis Cycle are practical projects, theological reflection, contextual analysis, ecclesial analysis, agency and reflexivity. The literature review was analysed in terms of four primary dimensions: Business as Business (profit maximisation), Mission as Business(profit from vi philanthropy),Mission as Mission(philanthropy from profits), and Business as Mission (profit for the common good). The fourth dimension was explored as an overarching vision for churches seeking to grow towards financial sustainability. Also considered was how such sustainability could be implemented in the East African context.