The Theology of Work


Check out Garden City Project’s LIVE Conference which will feature William Messenger and the Theology of Work Project. The LIVE Conference will equip thousands of culture creators around the world to make the kind of culture Jesus desires: one that’s more loving, that makes peace, that reciprocates kindness, that controls itself, and lives out joy.  Learn more how you can join the movement.

What is the Theology of Work Project?

The Theology of Work Project is an independent, international organization dedicated to researching, writing, and distributing materials with a biblical perspective on non-church workplaces. We collaborate with other faith and work organizations, universities, and seminaries to help equip workplace Christians for meaningful and fruitful work of every kind. We affirm the historic/orthodox Christian faith as represented, for example, in the Nicene Creed and Lausanne Covenant, and the primary source and final and guiding authority for our theology of work is the Bible.

The Theology of Work Bible Commentary explores the question: What does the Bible say about work? Faith and work as acts of worship are examined book by book through the Bible. This robust commentary on the Bible and work is available for free online. It is also available in print through our bookstore, and as a download on Logos Bible Software. Readers can expect to find thoughtful insight from bible scholars and workplace Christians, supplemented with videos and business case studies.

The Theology of Work Project also produces comprehensive articles on key topics related to a worship-filled life of faith and work, such as callingfinancerest, or truth and deception.  These vetted works of scholarship are available for free online, or as printed bible studies.

Our resources are meant to be theologically rigorous and genuinely practical. One  distinctive aspect of this goal is our process. We put every TOW biblical article and TOW topical article through an extensive process of development, review and revision. Each article must pass muster by a minimum of 15-20 expert reviewers from around the world, including final approval by the Theology of Work Project Steering Committee. Every article is reviewed by scholars from the biblical, theological and professional fields; pastors; faith-and-work ministry leaders; and workplace Christians from a variety of professions. Another distinctive aspect of our work is that the commentary covers the entire Bible. As far as we can tell, this has never been done before in a work-focused commentary.

We also produce devotional reading plans on topics such as callingconflictambition and failure, which can be completed through YouVersion.

In 2016, The High Calling became a production of the Theology of Work Project in partnership with the H. E. Butt Family Foundation. It features a range of stories that help people think deeply about how their faith relates to a worship-driven life with both their work and the culture they live in, and it hosts the daily devotional “Life for Leaders” by Mark Roberts.

What are the audiences for the Theology of Work Project?

The Theology of Work Project speaks to three audiences: Workplace ChristiansPastors, and Scholars/Students.

Workplace Christians face tough questions about faith and work, such as “Should I look for a new job?” or “What if I hate my job?” Workplace Christians include people in every kind of work, including business, government, education, health-care, non-profit organizations, or at home. Workplace Christians may be paid for their work, or like parents and volunteers, they may not. Some are retired or unemployed. All Christians are called to live a life of worshipful faith in whatever work they do. The Theology of Work Project aims to produce materials to help Workplace Christians do just that.

Pastors should be concerned about the answer to the question: What does the Bible say about work? Churches that equip members on questions of vocation reap dividends in the flourishing of their congregations.  Thus, pastors use materials produced by The Theology of Work Project to prepare sermons and talks, lead small groups and Bible studies, counsel church members on questions regarding the worship-driven application of work and calling, and find out what other churches are doing on faith-work integration.  

Students and Scholars use The Theology of Work Bible Commentary to enrich biblical exegesis and to explore how God’s truth applies to work – one of humanity’s most time-consuming activities. The commentary represents the work of 138 respected scholars, pastors, executives and workers from 16 countries, thoroughly examining what the Bible says about faith and work.

The history of the Theology of Work Project

In 2006, an ad hoc committee in Boston organized the TOW Project, led by co-chairs Haddon Robinson and Tom Phillips. Letters to 150 leaders with an interest in worship-driven faith and work led to 132 replies with nominations for an international Steering Committee.

A year later, a Steering Committee selected from nominations from 5 countries officially launched the project and began work on the TOW Bible Commentary and related topical articles.  Sven years later, in 2014, the TOW Bible Commentary was completed with 138 contributors, editors and reviewers from 23 countries on 5 continents.

Our website was launched in 2009: it contains the entire commentary, freely available online, plus many additional resource. By 2015 it was the highest-traffic faith and work website in the world.  The commentary is also available in print through our bookstore, and as a download on Logos Bible Software.

In 2010, the first TOW Steering Committee meeting outside the US was held (in Hong Kong).  Five years later we launched our first translation of the website, into Korean.  Italian and Chinese pilots began in 2016.  

That same year, we began to create YouVersion reading plans. Users completed over 323,000 YouVersion TOW plans in 2016 and two of our plans were among YouVersion’s most completed plans of the year.  In 2016, The High Calling also became a production of the Theology of Work Project in partnership with the H. E. Butt Family Foundation.

How you can get involved