Researchers in Religious education - from all parts of the world

This is a new and, as we hope, a growing  website, open for contributions of all who are involved in Religious Education research.

Welcome to present yourself and your research, your special interests and profile in the RE field. We hope this page will be a way to get important information for collegaues in the academy but also for teacher and learners in the schools and religious communities.

For more information - send a mail to:

See also: Christian Educators of the 20th Century 

With permission from the project RPI can present the following:

The “Christian Educators of the 20th Century” project, funded by the Lilly Endowment, provides information on influential Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox Christian/religious education leaders of the 20th century and make it available to people all over the world for research and as a reference work. More information and the link.

List of Educators:

01.Miedema, Siebren

02. Ilisko, Dzintra

03. Pirner, Manfred L

04. Stern. Julian

05. Jackson, Robert

06. Buchardt, Mette

07. McQuillan, Paul

08. de Souza, Marian

09. Barnes, L Philip

10. Härenstam, Kjell

11. Everist, Norma Cook

12. Roebben, Hubertus (Bert)

13. ter Avest, K. H. Ina

14. Francis, Leslie J.

15. Schweitzer, Friedrich

16. Hess, Mary E.

17. Boys, Mary C.

18. Groome, Thomas H.

19. Niemelä, Kati

20. Larsson, Rune

21. Heimbrock, Hans-GĂźnter

22. Wright, Andrew

23. Berryman, Jerome

24. SchrĂśder, Bernd

25. Schihalejev, Olga

26. Thanissaro, Pra Nicholas

27. Meyer, Karlo

28. Zieberts, H-G

29. Parker, Stephen

30. Sagberg, Sturla

31. Conroy, James

32. BrĂĽten, Oddrun

33. English, Leona

34. Simmonds, Shan Robyn

35. Buchanan, Michael 

36. Vermeer, Paul

37. Lawson, Kevin

38. du Preez, Petro

39. Birkedal, Erling 

40. Jaacov Katz

41. Ole Kolbjørn Kjørven

42. Peter Schreiner

Prof.dr. Siebren Miedema

Full Professor in Educational Foundations
Faculty of Psychology and Education
Department of Theory and Research in Education,
VU University Amsterdam &
Full Professor in Religious Education
Faculty of Theology, VU University Amsterdam

Special interests/keywords:

Children and young people and the process of personhood; philosophy of education; the identity of the school as well as the professional and personal identity of the teachers; religious citizenship education; paradigmatic approaches in theory and research; RE in the public; pneumatological religious/world view education

Associate professor Dzintra IliĹĄko

Associate professor at Daugavpils University, Faculty of Education and Management, Latvia.

Special interests/keywords:

Religious diversity and dialogue; analysis of models and approaches towards RE in Latvia and drawing a holistic picture of further developments of RE in public schools in Latvia; Multicultural education Multicultural education; The role of women in RE.

Prof. dr. Manfred L. Pirner

Professor and holder of the Chair of Religious Education at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany.

Special interests/keywords:

The Media Culture Approach to RE;

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLI;

The role of RE at religious schools and its relationship to other school subjects

Professor Julian Stern

Professor Julian Stern, Dean of Education & Theology, York St John University, Lord Mayor’s Walk, York YO31 7EX, United Kingdom

Special interests/keywords:

Education and religion

Spiritual development

Teaching Religious Education

Schools and universities as learning communities


Computing in education

Professor Robert Jackson

Professor Robert Jackson PhD, DLitt, AcSS
Professor of Education and Director, Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, Institute of Education University of Warwick Coventry CV4 7AL, UK

Special interests/keywords:

Theory on Religious Education

Teaching about religions and beliefs

Religions, education, dialogue, conflict

Children, Schools and Families

RE through Contextual Approaches

Inter-Religious and Inter-Cultural Education

Religious Education in Europe

Assistant Professor, PhD Mette Buchardt

University of Copenhagen, Division of Educational Theory,
Department of Media, Cognition and Communication

Special interests/keywords:

Research in Religious Education in the Educational system:

Curriculum History and Curriculum Sociology of Religious Education.

Classroom research.

Didactics of Religion/Subjectmatter Didactics.

Action Research.

Dr Paul McQuillan

Coordinator of Research, Brisbane Catholic Education, and more at:

Brisbane Catholic Education Centre 243 Gladstone Rd, Dutton Park, GPO Box 1201, Brisbane Q 4001

Special interests/keywords:

Religious experience of young people;

Youth ministry and ministry to young people;

Values, attitudes and beliefs of students, parents and staff in catholic schools;

Practitioner in Logotherapy (Viktor Frankl), family and relationship counselling in Brisbane.

Dr Marian de Souza

Senior Lecturer

Editor, Journal of Religious Education

School of Religious Education

Australian Catholic University

1200 Mair St, Ballarat 3350

Special interests/keywords:

spirituality of young people -­­ implications for learing;

the complementarity of the cognitive, affective and spiritual dimensions of learning;

using the arts to teach across the curriculum;

values-based education

interspiritual education and the transmission of religious and spiritual cultures of ethnic communities in secular and pluralist societies.

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Prof. Dr. L. Philip Barnes

Centre for Theology, Religion and Culture,

Department of Education and Professional Studies,

King’s College London, University of London,

Franklin Wilkins Building,Waterloo Road,
London SE1 9NH.

Special interests/keywords:

Modernity and RE

Pluralism and RE

RE in Northern Ireland

Empirical Studies in Religion

Professor Kjell Härenstam

Professor emeritus in Pedagogy of Religious Education

Karlstad University


Special interests/keywords:

Teacher Training for RE in the School
Develop understanding of non-christian religions
Textbook research

Prof.Dr. Norma Cook Everist

Senior Distinguished Professor of Church Administration and Educational Ministry, Wartburg Theological Seminary.

Educational Ministry
Church Administration
Ministry in Daily Life

Church Conflict

Hubertus (Bert) Roebben

professor of religious education at the Institute of Catholic Theology of Technische Universität Dortmund (Germany).

Special interests/keywords:

Religious education, moral education, youth cultures and theology,
youth ministry,
congregational studies,
practical theology

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Prof. Dr. K. H. (Ina) ter Avest

Professor in ‘Education and Philosophy of Life’, University of Applied Sciences INHolland

Senior lecturer Pedagogics of Religion, VU University Amsterdam

Special interests/keywords:

Psychology of religion, (religious) identity development (of individuals and of institutes of education), multi-voiced identity in a post-modern world, religious communication

Professor Leslie J. Francis

Warwick Religions and Education
Research Unit

Institute of Education, University of
Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK

1 Religious education

2 Psychology of religion

3 Empirical Theology

Professor Friedrich Schweitzer

Professor of Religious Education &
Practical Theology

TĂźbingen University,
Liebermeisterstr. 12,
72070 TĂźbingen, Germany

Special interests/keywords:

education and religion: general education and religion; religion in kindergartens; moral education

religious education: research on teaching religion

confirmation work (national and international study)

history of religious education

international comparative studies.
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Associate professor Mary E. Hess

Associate professor of Educational Leadership

Luther Seminary, 2481 Como Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
011- 651-641-3232

Special interests/keywords:

media education, cultural studies, religious education, theological education, critical multiculturalism, interfaith and intercultural studies, distributed learning, digital technologies, digital storytelling

Professor Mary C. Boys

Mary C. Boys, Skinner and McAlpin Professor of Practical Theology

Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York

Union Theological Seminary, 3041 Broadway at Reinhold Niebuhr Place, New York, NY 10027-5707 212-280-1367

Three emphases run through my work:

The relationship of biblical scholarship with religious and theological education

The teaching of theology and the educational dimensions of interreligious dialogue

The relationship between Judaism and Christianity

Keywords to characterize your research profile

Jewish-Christian Relations

History of Christian education in North America

Interpretation and Teaching of Bible

Professor Thomas Groome

Professor of Theology and Religious Education at Boston College. Chair of the Department of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry at Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry.

School of Theology and Ministry, Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Ave., Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 Office Phone: 617 552 8449

Boston College: www.bc.edustm

Special interests/keywords:

The theory and

practice of religious education

(more: www.bc.edustm )

Adjunct professor Kati Niemelä

Kati Niemelä, ThD, MEd,
Senior Researcher /Church Research Institute, Tampere, Finland
Adjunct Professor / University of Helsinki,

Kati Niemelä, Church Research Institute, P.O. Box 239, 33101 Tampere, Finland

email. kati.niemela [at]

Special interests/keywords:

Many areas of practical theology, religious education and sociology of religion; youth and religious change, religiosity; relation to the Church, to work and career orientation among Church employees and students in the field, Church membership and resignation from the Church, Church confirmation work and religious development and identity. Most research has been empirical, using both qualitative and quantitative research methods.
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Associate professor Rune Larsson

Associate professor emiritus in Practical Theology and Religious Education Faculty of Theology and Religious Science, University of Lund and director of RPI, Association for RE in church and school in Sweden. Private adress: Rune Larsson, Furugatan, 234 41 Lomma, Sweden, Phone: +46-40-411364, E-mail:;; Website:

Special interests/keywords

 Theory and history of RE in religious communities and public schools.
School oriented Religious education in Sweden.
Church oriented teaching and learning, in history and today – mainly 2000- and ongoing.

Professor Hans-GĂźnter Heimbrock

Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main,  Fachbereich Evangelische Theologie

GrĂźneburgplatz ,  60629 Frankfurt am Main

Telefon +49 (0)69-798 33359


Special interests/keywords:

Contextual approach to RE;

RE in a European Perspective;

Life world based RE.

Professor Andrew Wright

Professor of Religious and Theological Education, King’s College London



Special interests/keywords:

¡ Religious Education

¡ Theological Education

¡ Critical Realism

¡ Hermeneutics

¡ Epistemology

¡ Ontology

¡ Spirituality.

Director Dr Jerome Berryman

Senior Fellow at the Center for the Theology of Childhood in Houston, Texas

5455 Landmark Place #807

Greenwood Village, CO 80111

Special interests/keywords:

Jerome W. Berryman has spent close to forty years creating a methodology, constructed of pedagogy and supported by a theology, known the world over as Godly Play.

Professor Bernd SchrĂśder

Chair for Practical Theology, 

specialized in Religious Education
Faculty of Theology - Georg-August-University GĂśttingen

Special interests/keywords:

Comparative RE (with special emphasis on Jewish and Muslim education)

Historical and systematic approaches to RE

Experiencing Religion at school

Links between RE and Practical Theology

Dr. Olga Schihalejev

Senior lecturer (docent in Religious education at University of Tartu, on cooperation with The Centre of Excellence in Cultural Theory (CECT).

Faculty of Theology, University of Tartu.

 Ăœlikooli 18-310, Tartu, Estonia

Special interests/keywords:

Research on Estonian young people in a secular context, their attitudes to religion and religious diversity. RE didactics, teachers strategies and bibliography, values education; contextuality of young people´s attitudes in relation to religion.

Doctoral researcher: Phra Nicholas Thanassaro

Doctoral Researcher: Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit

Institute of Education

University of Warwick

Coventry CV4 7AL

Special interests/keywords:

Buddhism, Adolescence, Individual differences, values; Quantitative study of young Buddhists´ re. and educ.

Currently researching the religiousity and identity of temple-goingBuddhist teenagers in the UK – antecedents and nature of Buddhist identity and the consequences of Buddhist religiousity for lifestyle, commitment and personality in teenagers.

Professor Karlo Meyer

Fachrichtung 3.2: Evangelische Theologie

Universität des Saarlandes

Campus, Gebäude A4 2

66123 SaarbrĂźcken

Special interests/keywords:

Hermeneutic questions of teaching about “world religions”

Teaching “Sunday service” in confirmation classes (quantitative methods, qualitative methods e.g. grounded theory)

Methods: Grounded Theory (Strauss/Corbin), quantitative methods (factor analysis, regression analysis), reconstructive method (Bohnsack), comparison of school books

Prof. Dr. Dr. Hans-Georg Ziebertz

Full Professor of Practical Theology / Religious Education

WĂźrzburg (Germany)


Special interests/keywords:

Empirical research in the field of religious practice

International Youth Research

Religion and Human Rights

Religion and modern Pluralism

Intercultural and interreligious Studies, esp. Islam/Christianity

Religious education

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Dr Stephen Parker

Senior Lecturer and Head of Postgraduate Studies in Education

University of Worcester, England, WR2 6AJ.

Contact; Address; University of Worcester, Henwick Road, Worcester, WR2 6AJ

Telephone; ) 0044 90542165



Special interests/keywords:

Religious edu., history of education, historical methodology, history of education, history of religion in the twentieth century, media history, religious studies.

The interface between religion, education and society, especially the religious history of education, religious education and RE teaching, secularization, and religion in the broadcast media. I am engaged in funded research into the effects of studying Religious Studies upon the values and worldviews of young people living amidst diversity. 

Professor, dr. theol. Sturla Sagberg

Professor in Religious Education

Queen Maud University College,
Thoning Owesens gt. 18, N-7044 Trondheim, Norway.
Phone: +47 73805293.

Special interests/keywords:

Ethics in education, children’s spirituality, church education

1) Ethics, both in terms of philosophy, theology and education;
2) religious education in general, especially concerning small children, applying an ethical outlook;
3) church education and the relationship between church education and religious education.
In all these I have been led into discussions of the relationship between religious faith, religious culture and the meaning of spirituality.

Professor James C Conroy PhD, AcSS

Professor of Religious and Philosophical Education and Dean for European Strategy and Engagement, University of Glasgow.

St. Andrew’s Building, University of Glasgow, 11 Eldon Street, Glasgow, G3 6NH, 01413307375;



Special interests/keywords:

Philosophy; policy; ethnography; religion and education; Hannah Arendt

Actor Network Theory; religious schooling; religious literacy, religion and education; liberalism, the state and religion; the politics of religion and education; higher education, pluralism, moral education, leadership and religious schooling, hospitality in faith based schools, religion and sectarianism in education.

Assistant professor Oddrun M. H. BrĂĽten

Oddrun M. H. Brüten, PhD, assistant professor in religious education (RE) in Sør-Trøndelag University College, Faculty of Teacher and interpreter education.

Sør-Trøndelag University College, 7004 Trondheim, Norway,


Special interests/keywords:

Religious studies, Teacher Education, comparative studies in religious education, empirical school research

Comparative and international studies in religious education, empirical school research in religious education, religious studies 

Professor Leona M. English

Professor of adult education at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. Contact; Address; Telephone; e-mail; Website

120 Xavier Hall

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS, Canada, B2G 2W5

Tel (866) 203 1086 or (902) 867-2459

Special interests/keywords:

Poststructuralism, spirituality, adult learning, gender, history

Spirituality of adult education, gender and learning, and critical theory

One of my primary academic goals is to explore the intersections between adult education and religion, and to heal the divisions that exist between them. I see the social sciences, especially sociology, as helpful in understanding the conflicts that exist and as a way of informing our theory and practice of adult religious education.

Shan Robyn Simmonds 

Lecturer, North-West University (South Africa)

Contact; Address; Telephone; e-mail; Website


tel: +2718 299-4764


Address: North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa

Special interests/keywords:

Curriculum Development

Human Rights Education in Diversity

Gender Studies

Human rights education in diverse religious and cultural contexts with emphasis on gender studies and to inform curriculum development

Dr Michael T Buchanan

Senior Lecturer, Religious Education, Faculty of Education,

Editor Religious Education Journal of Australia

Australian Catholic University,

115 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy,

Victoria, AUSTRALIA 3065

Telephone: +61 3 9953 3294


Special interests/keywords:

Leadership and Religious Schools

Reflective Practice and Religious Education

Religious Values and Culture

Curriculum Change in Religious Education

Ministerial dimension of RE leadership

Spiritual dimension of RE Leadership

Student Learning in Religious Education 

Dr Paul Vermeer

Assistant professor for the empirical study of religion

Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies

Radboud University Nijmegen

Assistant professor for religious education

Institute for Teacher Training

Radboud University Nijmegen



Research interests:

1. Reflecting on the legitimacy of RE in school from a secular, pedagogical perspective

2. considering the (religious) worldviews of Dutch youths

3. studying processes of intergenerational, religious transmission in the family in order to come to a deeper understanding (one) of the causes of the ongoing process of secularization in the Netherlands. 

Professor Kevin E. Lawson 

Kevin E. Lawson serves as Director of Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs in Educational Studies at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University.  He is Professor of Christian Education and editor of the Christian Education Journal, published by Talbot School of Theology in cooperation with the Society of Professors in Christian Education (formerly North American Professors of Christian Education).

Dr. Kevin E. Lawson, Talbot School of Theology, 13800 Biola Avenue, La Mirada, CA 90638, USA

Phone: (562) 906-4598

Personal E-mail:

Journal E-mail:

Faculty Website:

Journal Website:

Special interests/keywords:

History of Christian education, Christian education, religious education, church staff research, effective teaching, children, children’s spirituality, Christian Education Journal, theological foundations, team development, evangelical.

The history of the church’s educational ministry efforts (with particular interest in the medieval period and the 20th century), children’s spirituality, theological foundations and issues in Christian education, church staff development and support, effective teaching research, and current changes in the field of Christian education.

Assist. professor Petro du Preez

Associate Professor in Curriculum Studies

Programme Leader for the Masters and Doctoral Degrees in the Faculty of Education Sciences, North-West University

School of Education, Faculty of Education Sciences, North-West University (Potchefstroom, South Africa)


Tel: +27 18 299 4737


Postal Address: Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom, 2520

Special interests/keywords:

Curriculum studies for diverse religious and cultural contexts, human rights education for social transformation, dialogical approaches to learning and teaching

Director Erling Birkedal

Project leader and Researcher at Norwegian School of Theology, Oslo.

Contact; Address; Telephone; e-mail; Website

Adress: MF, Box 5144 Majorstuen, NO-0302 Oslo. Phone: +47 22590918 / +47 92832645

Special interests/keywords

a) Religious development

b) Religious education, in school and church

c) Congregational development in folk church parishes

Professor Jacov Katz

Prof. Jaacov Katz Prof. at School of Education, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900 Israel 

Tel: 972 3 7384605
Fax: 972 3 7384029


Special interests/keywords:

Religious education and values, religiosity and spirituality among children and adults, relationship between religiosity and social attitudes 

PhD student Ole Kolbjørn Kjørven

Ole Kolbjørn Kjørven, PhD student, Religious Education

Hedmark University College, Campus Hamar, 2418 Hamar

Phone: (47) 62517739 / m: 92418038

Date of birth: August 23rd, 1969


Special interests/keywords:

Religious education teachers, teachers’ content knowledge, religious narratives

Empirical research on RE teachers. General interest in multi-cultural/religious issues

Dr Theol. Peter Schreiner

Peter Schreiner, Senior researcher and deputy director at Comenius-Institut, Protestant centre for research and development of Education, based in Muenster/Germany



Special interests/keywords:

comparative Religious Education in Europe,

intercultural and interreligious learning,

alternative approaches in education philosophy,

ecumenical learning,

religion and education,

Europeanisation of education,

commitment of Protestant Churches in education

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