Leading the Integration of Faith and Entrepreneurship (L.I.F.E.) Research Lab

 Dr. Jim Friedman working with students at Cintrifuse
Student writing on sticky note on classroom wall
 Students listening to Dr. Tim Holcomb lecture
 Sticky notes covering David Eyman's office walls
 Executive talking to participants and other executives at Startup Pitch Competition

L.I.F.E. (Leading the Integration of Faith and Entrepreneurship) was established at Miami University in 2018, led by the John W. Altman Institute for Entrepreneurship’s Center for Social Entrepreneurship. The goal is to provide practically relevant, academically rigorous knowledge at the intersection of faith and entrepreneurship. It includes the L.I.F.E Research Lab, the L.I.F.E. Research Conference, the L.I.F.E. academic course, and the L.I.F.E. student group.

L.I.F.E. is open to all faiths and interfaith examinations and fits seamlessly into the Institute’s passion for interdisciplinary, practice-based entrepreneurship education. Considering 80% of the world’s population claims a religious affiliation, we recognized a need and opportunity to understand how and why religious beliefs may influence entrepreneurship. A growing movement of entrepreneurs and investors are integrating their faith with their ventures as evidenced by an emerging ecosystem of faith-based accelerators, entrepreneurs, and investors. Now, universities are beginning to complement this movement including Princeton University’s Faith and Work Initiative. L.I.F.E. represents one of the first efforts in higher education to advance the intersection of faith and entrepreneurship.

“Perhaps the biggest lesson that I learned in this course is that no matter what type of work I go into, it will always be more than work for me so I really need the guardrails of my faith to build into how I work and why I work.” Bennett Clark, ‘23

“ESP 490 has been the most impactful and life-applicable course I have taken at Miami University. The discussions, diverse beliefs and course content of ESP 490 cultivated real change within myself and I guarantee it cultivated real change in many other students.” Jack Beerman, ‘22

“It’s been unique, and particularly sharpening, to experience this class in such a unique environment of people across such a large spectrum of beliefs. This class provides such a unique opportunity to discuss significant and deep aspects of life and faith, and the purpose of the class is the discussion of these topics. However, it’s with a diverse group of people and perspectives” Mary Culp, ‘21

“Looking into my post-grad life and beginning my career, I am certain that I will be implementing much of what we have learned throughout this course, and frequently referring back to the resources we have been provided each week…Practically every topic we have discussed over this semester is something that I fully intend to implement into my post-grad life” Julia Dodd, ‘21

“This class was the only one I’ve ever taken at Miami where I felt like I could bring my whole self inside the Farmer room.” Claire Dougherty, ‘21

“Even if I don’t associate with any type of faith, I learned that a lot of people actually do have strong affiliations and that it is important to respect as I enter a professional environment.” Nick Cinseruli, ‘22

“After taking this course, I have been able to have new understandings and become exposed to unthought-of perspectives on the integration of faith and work.” Kelsi Moore, ‘22