Joe Blosser

Joe Rail 2
Joe Blosser
Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy and Executive Director of the Center for Community Engagement
  • B.S. Texas Christian University
  • M.Div. Vanderbilt University
  • Ph.D. University of Chicago

Founding Director of the HPU Bonner Leader Program

Founding Director of the HPU AmeriCorps VISTA Program

Founding Director of the Civic Responsibility and Social Innovation Degree


Areas of Specialization:

Democratic Engagement & Community-Based Research

Religion and Business Ethics

Philosophy and Ethics of Education

Theology and Economics

Ethics of Adam Smith and the Chicago School of Economics

Engaged & Project-Based Learning


Courses Taught:

Business Ethics (Service Learning)

Ethics of Education (Service Learning)

Social Ethics (Service Learning)

Religion in America (Service Learning)

Approaches to Religion (Departmental Methods Course)

Modern Christian Theology

Contemporary Christian Theology

Civic Responsibility and Social Innovation


As an undergraduate I couldn’t get enough of the crazy connections between religion and the business world: the way churches functioned like businesses and the way business became a kind of religion to people.  I am convinced that everyone needs to learn his or her own religious tradition and be competent in other people’s religions if we are to work well together in our ever more global business environment.


My dissertation, “Ethics Before God and Markets,” explores the priority of thinking about the ethical implications of our work and our faith.  I have also published articles, like “Can God or the Market Set People Free?” in the Journal of Religious Ethics and “Natural Law Economics: Reading a Theological Economics” in Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology, that take up the different approaches scholars have fashioned to the intersections of faith and economics.  I have another article under review that develops a theology of work to aid Christians struggling to keep their faith in a corporate environment.


I believe part of effective research is the ability to communicate it to others and teach it vibrantly in the classroom, so I also focus a lot of my time researching engaged pedagogies and working with faculty to create service learning courses (check out  By doing relevant service work as part of their classes, faculty help students engage the material they are trying to learn first hand.  I have an article, “Teaching Oneself as Another,” in the Journal of Cultural and Religious Theory and another article that uses Plato’s Meno as a model for service learning.  I was also awarded HPU’s most prestigious faculty grant (twice), the Thing BIG Award, to carry out the HPU Democracy USA Project (, which engages students in local, state, and national political life.


To see HPU’s Profile of Dr. Blosser, click here.