We have already decided that religious and faith-based organizations are voluntary organizations of particular types, so we shall first of all study them as organizations, secondly as voluntary organizations, and thirdly as organizations in categories of their own. In this short chapter we shall study one or two of the consequences of these decisions and then go on to decide what methods we should employ. We shall find ourselves using a variety of types of theory, and this is as we should expect. The study of religious and faith-based organizations and of their management is the study of a field: it is not itself a discipline; and the study of a field can, and should, employ the methods developed in a variety of disciplines. The social sciences in general and the study of organizations in particular will be the disciplines which will furnish the theory that we shall employ, and later on we shall create our own theories for use within our new field, theories which might be found to have wider usage in the social sciences and in the study of organizations. What we shall not be doing is seeking theories and methods from within the

religious traditions to which religious organizations relate. As we discussed in our introductory chapter, universities and theological colleges have tended not to study religious organizations as organizations. They might be studied as ideal organizations related to theological conceptual structures, but this is not to study them empirically as organizations (though to study the valuestructures which help to inform how religious organizations function is an important element in any study of such organizations). There is no reason why connections shouldn’t be made between a theology of organizations and empirical study of religious organizations which makes use of theories from other disciplines (and such connections would be particularly interesting in relation to Islam): but to my knowledge this has not been done in any systematic fashion, and it remains an item on the agenda for future work. Whilst Roberts (2002) and Chia (1996) raise questions about how terminology from other disciplines might be applied and about the practice of the study of management of organizations, neither they nor anyone else make positive suggestions as to whether particular methods might be suitable for the study of religious and faith-based organizations because they are religious or faithbased. This gives us another item for our agenda for future work. But however long the agenda for future work, our task in this book is to

study religious and faith-based organizations using the tools available to us, because that is the practical task which will enable people working for religious

and faith-based organizations to manage them in ways appropriate to those organizations’ characteristics.