Photo of Henrietta Grönlund
  • PL 4 (Vuorikatu 3)



  • PL 4 (Vuorikatu 3)




Research output per year

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Personal profile

Curriculum vitae

Henrietta Grönlund is Professor of Urban Theology, in the University of Helsinki since 2019. She has specialized in questions of civic engagement, civil society organizations, and welfare, and especially the role of religion and values in relation to these themes. For example, her internationally awarded dissertation (2012) focused on values, religion, and identity work in young adults' volunteering. 

Grönlund has conducted empirical research on these themes in several national and international research projects. Her current research interests include the ways in which religion, both in its organized and lived forms, manifests in urban contexts and interacts with urbanity, especially in relation to questions of inequality and wellbeing.

In her teaching of Urban Theology, Grönlund stresses community based, experiential, and ethnographic approaches. She has especially developed service-learning in Finnish and European higher education, for example, in the European Observatory of Service-Learning in Higher Education. The pedagogical approach combines community engagement and reflection with theoretical contents and promotes learning from working on a real world problem.

Grönlund’s recent projects include 'Urban poverty today (2017-2019, funded by Jane and Aatos Erkko foundation), and an international EU Erasmus+ project 'Europe Engage’ (2015-2017), which developed service learning in 12 European universities.

Grönlund holds the title of Docent in Church and social studies at University of Helsinki, and is affiliated with Helsinki Inequality Initiative (INEQ), Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies (URBARIA), and Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS), in addition to the Faculty of Theology. She has previously held the positions of University Lecturer (Urban Theology), Postdoctoral Researcher and University Researcher at the Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki during 2012-2019. She has also worked as Visiting Researcher at Boston University, Sociology Department.

In addition to her academic career, 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 and working methods related to urban loneliness, volunteerism, and cross-sectoral cooperation (between cities, non-profits, and businesses).

Grönlund holds several positions of trust and expert memberships in different nonprofit organizations and the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland, she is also an elected member of the University Collegium of University of Helsinki. Grönlund is a popular lecturer and expert in the media especially in relation to questions of urban religion, civic engagement, and philanthropy.

Education/Academic qualification

Theology, Doctor of Theology, University of Helsinki

Fields of Science

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

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


Matalan kynnyksen kohtaamispaikkojen sijainti ja saatavuus Helsingin kaupunginosissa

Seppälä, T., Grönlund, H. & Kemppainen, T., 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Janus : sosiaalipolitiikan ja sosiaalityön tutkimuksen aikakauslehti.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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

Grönlund, H., Dec 2019, On the Legacy of Protestant Lutheranism in Finland: Societal Perspectives. Sinnemäki, K., Portman, A., Tilli, J. & Nelson, R. H. (eds.). Helsinki: Suomalaisen kirjallisuuden seura, p. 237-253 17 p. (Studia Fennica Historica; no. 25).

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

Open Access

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

Grönlund, H. & Falk, H., Dec 2019, In : Diaconia. The Journal for the Study of Christian Social Practice . 10, 1, p. 7-26 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access
Open Access

Kaupunkiliftaus: Uudelleen ajattelun mahdollisuuksia yliopisto-opetuksen ja etnografian kentillä

Jäntti, L. & Grönlund, H., 31 Dec 2019, In : Terra. 131, 4 , p. 247-253 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientific

Open Access


Kaupunkilainen köyhyys tänään

Grönlund, H. & Seppälä, T.


Project: Research project

Europe Engage

Grönlund, H., Nortomaa, A., Spännäri, J., Pessi, A. B., Opazo, H., Aramburuzabala, P. & McIlrath, L.


Project: Other project

Church in Today's European Society

Helander, E., Lehtinen, S., Grönlund, H., Kallunki, V., Pessi, A. B., Zrinscak, S. & Pöyhönen, P.


Project: Research project


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 Inkeri 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


Yhteiskunnan mekanismit ja reformaation jäljet

Henrietta Grönlund (Speaker)
9 Mar 2020

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Participation in the time of individualism

Henrietta Grönlund (Invited speaker)
24 Jan 2020

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Associations (Journal)

Henrietta Grönlund (Reviewer)

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Kaupunkiteologia: Arvopohjainen, pro-sosiaalinen toiminta kaupunkien mahdollisuutena

Henrietta Grönlund (Invited speaker)
27 Feb 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Kaupunkitutkimuksen päivät 2019

Henrietta Grönlund (Speaker: Chair)
25 Apr 2019

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

Press / Media

Yhteiskunta pysähtyisi ilman vapaaehtoisia

Henrietta Grönlund


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Press / Media

Syvä perustarve

Henrietta Grönlund


1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

Vapaaehtoistoiminnan päivä

Henrietta Grönlund


1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media