Give Light Impact: Getting Product to People Through Supply Chain Research

May 22, 2024

As a leading supply chain scholar and a Christian, Hannah Stolze loves demonstrating to people that the supply chain actually plays a bigger role in the Bible than they might imagine.

“The first five books of the Bible are inventory books. In Genesis 50, The Pharaoh had a dream to build a large warehouse, which Joseph interpreted and it saved the world when there was a huge famine in Egypt,” Stolze explains. “In Proverbs 31, it’s the opus of the entrepreneurial female, running a textile supply chain.

“From the very beginning of the biblical story, we have this picture of God caring about how we get product to people because we need food, we need clothing we need shelter.”

That picture has further motivated Stolze’s work in the supply chain, which began when she served in the U.S. Army and has grown with her move to higher education into a nationally recognized research portfolio.

Stolze joined the Baylor faculty last Fall as the inaugural William E. Crenshaw Endowed Chair in Supply Chain Management in the Department of Management in the Hankamer School of Business. The position was among the 46 endowed chairs and professorships created during the Give Light philanthropic campaign which have attracted leading scholars to the University.

Before coming to Baylor, Stolze served in a joint faculty appointment at Wheaton College and Lipscomb University. In research, she has partnered with the Department of Defense and private organizations like Frito Lay, BNSF Railway and more. Her academic awards and recognition include a teaching fellowship to Indonesia through the U.S. Fulbright Program in 2020, and she’s the author of the book Wisdom-Based Business: Applying Biblical Principles and Evidence-Based Research for a Purposeful and Profitable Business, published by Zondervan in 2021.

“The chance to come to Baylor, and to come for this specific position was an awesome opportunity,” Stolze says. “Endowed chairs in general are created to give faculty the opportunity to focus on thought leadership and carving out spaces at Baylor where we're forward-thinking about how can we lead in our fields from an ethical business perspective, and then uniquely from Baylor with a Christian worldview. So, there's a lot of alignment between thinking about how do we use best practices to meet people's needs in ways that are meaningful and dignifying.”

At Baylor, Stolze continues research and scholarship with her students, colleagues and international research partners to focus on “transformative supply chain management.” While the sustainable food chain focuses on “people-profit-planet,” a transformative supply chain strategy incorporates four additional outcome variables: the physical health of people within the supply chain, spiritual wellbeing, emotional wellbeing and political impacts—a perfect fit at a Christian research university that seeks to address global challenges and serve neighbors close to home and around the world.

“I’m really excited to be here at Baylor: about the colleagues that I get to work with on research and the work that hopefully will impact industry in the future, but also the space to have the chance to open students' eyes to the potential witness that they can have and the potential impact that they can have if they pause and think about the choices and the opportunities that they have ahead of them in terms of global well-being and human flourishing globally.”

The William E. Crenshaw Endowed Chair in Supply Chain Management is one of 46 endowed chairs and professorships established during Give Light to have a lasting impact as they attract top scholars from around the nation and perpetuate long-lasting research and scholarship to meet the needs of the ages to come.