Martin Rutte Collection on Spirituality in the Workplace Now Open to Researchers

Martin Rutte, whose collection of professional records and materials is now available in Special Collections.
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Martin Rutte, whose collection of professional records and materials is now available in Special Collections.

The University of Arkansas Libraries Special Collections is pleased to announce the opening of the Martin Rutte Spirituality in the Workplace Materials (MC 1958). 

This unique collection documents the spirituality in the workplace movement during a formative period from the late 1980s to 2012.  Martin Rutte has been committed to this movement since 1987, and Special Collections is pleased to have his collection of professional records and materials, which will provide scholars and researchers access to primary sources during this watershed period in spirituality at work.

“Historians will want to understand this period of a spiritual reawakening … the University of Arkansas is fortunate to have access to archival data from one of the prime movers within the business sector,” said Andre´ L. Delbecq, the J. Thomas and Kathleen L. McCarthy University Professor at Santa Clara University.

Rutte, president of the management consulting firm Livelihood in Santa Fe, New Mexico, helped launch this renewal of spirituality in the workplace in the late 1980s, and his singular collection of materials documents the global evolution of the movement through correspondence, conference brochures, media coverage, and other items.

Rutte co-founded the Centre for Spirituality and the Workplace at St. Mary's University in Halifax, Canada in 2004 and served as Chairman of the Board. Rutte is described by many leaders in the field as one of the leading catalysts in the spirituality and the workplace movement.

“Martin Rutte was one of the leading activists helping to popularize and generate interest in spirituality and work,” said David W. Miller, author of God at Work: The History and Promise of the Faith at Work Movement and director of the Princeton University Faith & Work Initiative. “He generously shared his perspectives and access to his files when I was researching the historical trajectory and current forms of the movement. Other scholars will no doubt find his collection beneficial, as well.”  

While these materials will be of interest to researchers from a wide variety of disciplines, and those particularly interested in the spirituality in the workplace movement, the collection also supports the mission and research needs of Walton College of Business’s Tyson Center for Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace, established by a grant from Tyson Foods, Inc. and the Tyson Family Foundation with matching funds from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation.

The field of faith and spirituality in the workplace is a relatively new area of study and practice in management and in the field of religion. There are a small number of universities that have academic centers that focus on faith at work or on spirituality in the workplace. The Tyson Center is the first center to bring together both parallel fields of faith at work and spirituality in the workplace, and this collection will augment the research being done there.

“Whilst still in its developmental phase, the subfield of management known as 'spirituality at the workplace' is no longer in its infancy. Tracing its beginnings is both of great historical importance and of much scholarly interest…Martin Rutte is a pioneer of this subfield and his collection will become a site of pilgrimage to scholars of the workplace spirituality movement,” said Dr. Yochanan Altman, the founding editor of the Journal of Management, Spirituality & Religion and Senior Professor in Management, at the Kedge Business School, in Bordeaux.

Judi Neal, founding director of the Tyson Center for Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace and chairman and CEO of Edgewalkers International, said, “The Martin Rutte Spirituality in the Workplace Materials Collection is a wonderful legacy of a real pioneer, and it will be of great value to students and researchers in the years to come.” 

Interested researchers are encouraged to visit the collection's finding aid on the Special Collections website. Researchers may also contact the department at 479-575-8444 or to make arrangements to view the materials.


Tim Nutt, head, Special Collections
University Libraries

Kalli Vimr, public relations coordinator
University Libraries


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