Photo of Henrietta Grönlund
  • PL 4 (Vuorikatu 3)



  • PL 4 (Vuorikatu 3)



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Personal profile

Curriculum vitae

Henrietta Grönlund is a sociologist of religion, who has specialized in questions of civic engagement, civil society organizations, and welfare, and especially the role of meaning systems and values in relation to these themes. For example, her internationally awarded dissertation (2012) focused on values and identity work in young adults' volunteering. 

Dr. Grönlund has conducted empirical research on these themes in several national and international reseach projects. Her current research interests include the legacy of Lutheranism in Finns' moral frameworks of care, new forms of civic engagement, and the roles of religion and civil society orgainzations in urban cohesion and welfare. 

Dr. Grönlund holds the position of University Lecturer of Urban Theology at the University of Helsinki. In this position she directs a new project, which aims in understanding religion in urban contexts through community based and inter-disciplinary approaches to learning and research.

She is Project leader of the research project 'Urban poverty today (2017-2019, funded by Jane and Aatos Erkko foundation), and of the Finnish sub project of an international EU Erasmus+ project 'Europe Engage (2015-2017), which develops service learning in 12 European universities.

Dr. Grönlund also holds the title of Docent in Church and social studies at University of Helsinki. She has previously held the positions of Postdoctoral Researcher and University Researcher at the University of Helsinki during 2012-2015. She has also worked as Visiting Researcher at Boston University, Sociology Department. In addition to her academic career, Dr. Grönlund has from 2007 until 2016 worked in the Finnish non-profit sector as Director of Civic Engagement, Director of Research and Development, and Education Officer. In these positions she has developed and directed a range of projects, working methods, and trainings related to volunteering, peer support, and research.

Dr. Grönlund has held several positions of trust and expert memberships in various nonprofit organizations and the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland, and she is a popular lecturer and expert in these networks as well as media, especially in relation to her expertise on volunteering, philanthropy and urban theology. She is currently (2018-2021) also an elected member of the University Collegium of University of Helsinki. 

Education/Academic qualification

Theology, Doctor of Theology, University of Helsinki


  • 614 Theology
  • Urban theology
  • Sociology of religion
  • Church and social studies
  • Philanthropic studies

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.

Publications 2005 2020

Between Lutheran Legacy and Economy as Religion: The Contested Roles of Philanthropy in Finland Today

Grönlund, H., 2019, (Accepted/In press) On the Legacy of Protestant Lutheranism in Finland: Societal Perspectives. Sinnemäki, K., Portman, A., Tilli, J. & Nelson, R. H. (eds.). Finnish Literature Society, (Studia Fennica Historica).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Does it Make a Difference? The Effects of Volunteering from the Viewpoint of Recipients: A Literature Review

Grönlund, H. & Falk, H., 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Diaconia. The Journal for the Study of Christian Social Practice .

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Service Learning, Civic Competencies and Working Life Skills

Nortomaa, A. I. & Grönlund, H., 2019, Embedding Service-Learning in European Higher Education: Developing a Culture of Civic Engagement. Aramburuzabala, P., McIlrath, L. & Opazo, H. (eds.). Abingdon: Routledge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Projects 2003 2019


Docent of the year / Vuoden dosentti

Henrietta Grönlund (Recipient), 28 Mar 2017

Prize: Prizes and awards

Emerging scholar award

Henrietta Grönlund (Recipient), 2007

Prize: Prizes and awards

European Commission Erasmus+ Programme Success Story Award for the project Europe Engage

Henrietta Grönlund (Recipient), Aura Nortomaa (Recipient), Jenni Anna-Liisa Spännäri (Recipient), Anne Birgitta Pessi (Recipient) & Anne Hopia (Recipient), 2018

Prize: Prizes and awards

Helsinki Challenge 2017 semifinalist

Henrietta Grönlund (Recipient), 18 Jan 2017

Prize: Prizes and awards

Activities 2005 2019

Kaupunkiteologia: Arvopohjainen, pro-sosiaalinen toiminta kaupunkien mahdollisuutena

Henrietta Grönlund (Invited speaker)
27 Feb 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Kansalaistoiminta ja hyvän tekeminen

Henrietta Grönlund (Speaker)
6 Feb 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Sosiologipäivät 2019

Henrietta Grönlund (Chair)
28 Mar 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Kaupunkitutkimuksen päivät 2019

Henrietta Grönlund (Attendee)
25 Apr 201926 Apr 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Kaupunkiteologia - mitä se on?

Henrietta Grönlund (Speaker)
6 Feb 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk