Henrietta Grönlund
  • PL 4 (Vuorikatu 3)



  • PL 4 (Vuorikatu 3)




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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 research on prosocial behavior, civil society, 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.

Professor 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.

Professor Grönlund’s recent projects include 'Covid-19 at the margins of the welfare state' (2021-2023, funded by European Social Fund), 'Community resilience and its segregation in the neighborhoods of Helsinki' (2020-2022, funded by the Ministry of the Environment), '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.

In her teaching of Urban Theology, Professor 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.

Professor 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 (Church and social studies) and University Researcher (Church and social studies) 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, Professor 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). She is a popular lecturer and expert in different organizations and the media, especially in relation to questions of urban religion, civil society, and philanthropy.

Education/Academic qualification

Theology, Doctor of Theology, University of Helsinki

Award Date: 10 Sep 2012

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.