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Stolze releases new book focusing on wisdom-based business practices

Kim Chaudoin  | 

picture of books

People around the world read the Bible for inspiration, comfort, hope, to grow closer to God and to learn more about Him among numerous other reasons. 

When Hannah Stolze reads the Bible, she reads it for those same purposes … but she also views it as a source of lessons about good business practices.    

Stolze, director of Lipscomb’s new Center for Transformative Sales & Supply Chain Leadership and associate professor of supply chain management in the College of Business,  has drawn principles from the Bible’s wisdom literature and from evidence-based research to create a framework for business that is oriented toward excellence and sustainability and has put that together in the form of her first book, Wisdom-Based Business, released on April 13 and is published by Zondervan Academic.

“At its best, business is both purposeful and profitable, dynamic and gainful, commercial and rewarding. Far from being opposites, good business and good behavior go hand-in-hand, and biblical principles can align with best practices,” says Stolze. “I believe that any Christian who works in the marketplace or is training to work in the marketplace will benefit from this book’s practical guidance on how to reflect Christian values in their corporate tasks and strategies — and on how those values can be not hindrances but keys to success.”

Cover of Wisdom Based Business cover

“At its best, business is both purposeful and profitable, dynamic and gainful, commercial and rewarding. Far from being opposites, good business and good behavior go hand-in-hand, and biblical principles can align with best practices,” says Stolze. “I believe that any Christian who works in the marketplace or is training to work in the marketplace will benefit from this book’s practical guidance on how to reflect Christian values in their corporate tasks and strategies — and on how those values can be not hindrances but keys to success.”

“What excites me about this project is that it provides hope for the good that can be done in and through business as well as illustrates how relevant the Word of God continues to be in all aspects of our lives today,” she explains. “Hopefully Wisdom-Based Business will be used as a strategy textbook. But I also wrote it so that anyone can pick it up off the bookshelf, read and apply it to their own businesses. ”

Wisdom-Based Business addresses important issues such as the virtue of profit; servant leadership; wisdom-based values, such as long-term over short-term, stakeholders and quality; beneficial outcomes of wisdom-based business, including reputation and comparative advantage; and the ultimate outcome of eternal impact.

Stolze says Wisdom-Based Business is intended for business students and working professionals alike and demonstrates how to pursue profitability to the honor and glory of God. Unique among Christian books on business, it helps readers make the right decisions in business by presenting:

  • Biblical Principles. Drawing upon the Bible's wisdom literature, each topic addressed is undergirded by insights from Scripture.
  • Evidence-Based Research. Recommendations are thoroughly grounded in the best and latest research in the field.
  • Case Studies. Each chapter demonstrates how the principles can be lived out in the real world, amid the inevitable challenges and competition all business confronts. 
The book uses the wisdom literature as the baseline, and looks at best practices in business, for example, from Solomon's courts from 1,000 years ago that align with best practices in business today. — Hannah Stolze
Hannah Stolze head shot

The book mirrors the values and virtues of Lipscomb’s College of Business, where Stolze is on faculty. The five pillars are purposeful, bold, credible, creative and servant. 

“The lessons and examples Dr. Stolze uses in Wisdom-Based Business are in perfect alignment with the values of our college as we prepare future business leaders,” said Ray Eldridge, dean of Lipscomb’s College of Business. “We strive to instill in our students the perspective of business as mission, participating in profitable business as a means of leveraging the marketplace to create sustainable solutions for the common good both locally and globally. Wisdom-Based Business should be a must-read for every student and for all who desire their business to be purposeful and profitable.”

The inspiration for Wisdom-Based Business began while Stolze was pursuing a Master of Arts in biblical studies from Wheaton College when she attended a women’s Bible study that was examining Proverbs 31, considered by some scholars as a description of the “virtuous woman.” 

“They were studying Proverbs 31, which kind of lays out a ‘job description’ of sorts for women,” she explains. “I was listening to a reading of that passage and what jumped out at me is that they were describing a business person not domestic life. There is a woman who is buying and selling in the marketplace. She has employees, customers and several products. I started wondering if it really has anything to do with women at all, but really wisdom personified and in action. It’s about an entrepreneur in the marketplace. It was just a shift for me in how I had ever read that passage before.” 

While at Wheaton, Stolze had writing assignments about the integration of faith and business. She says she wrote nearly every paper about Proverbs 31. 

picture of hands at a computer

“The book uses the wisdom literature as the baseline, and looks at best practices in business, for example, from Solomon's courts from 1,000 years ago that align with best practices in business today,” she says. “Each chapter looks at a case study of an organization that is successful, then it looks at a biblical base. Each chapter also weaves in business research.” 

Stolze has a background with experience both in higher education and industry. Prior to her appointment at Lipscomb this spring, Stolze was executive director of the Center for Faith and Innovation and associate professor of marketing and supply chain management at Wheaton College. While there, Stolze was selected as a Fulbright Scholar and carried out her grant at the Universitas Pelitas Harapan, Lippo Village, Indonesia from January to March 2020. She was assistant professor of marketing and supply chain management at Florida State University from 2012-2015. In addition, from 2016-2018, Stolze was a research affiliate at the University of Arkansas Supply Chain Excellence Center, housed in the Sam Walton School of Business, focusing on women and diversity in logistics research.

Along with her higher educational experience, Stolze also currently serves as founder and president of Wisdom-Based Business LLC, a wisdom-based business strategy audit and consultation services firm, and since 2009 has served as a marketing and supply chain research consultant for a variety of clients including the U.S. Department of Defense, BNSF Railroad and Frito-Law among others. In addition, Stolze was responsible for global purchasing relationships and managed distribution coordination for a year at JumboSack Corporation and served as a specialist in the U.S. Army from 1999 to 2005. 

Her research focus includes issues related to transformative and sustainable supply chain management, including environmental business practices, social impact of organizations on employees and society, integration of faith and ethics, and supply chain innovation. Trained as a Mandarin linguist, Stolze holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in international political economics and Chinese from Carthage College; an MBA from Lindenwood University; a Master of Arts in biblical studies from Wheaton College; and a Ph.D. in business administration - logistics from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.  

Wisdom-Based Business is available at amazon.com