Researching religious education, religious studies and theology

Liam Gearon

Using the Intute search database this section contains references to an extensive list of mainly academic, and principally university organisations and resource which extend religious education into the world of academic religious studies and theological research, providing teachers with many rich opportunities for advancing subject and professional knowledge, whether through practical classroom interest or through motivation to further masters or doctoral study within a university context.


For a good overview of some initial steps in research specific to religious education, visit:

Using Research in Religious Education to Develop Reflective Practice. A pack to support tutors new to. RE initial teacher training by Linda Rudge

Questions to consider:

  • Why is research in education important?
  • What appear to be the key questions that dominate much of research in education at the moment?
  • If you were to undertake a small scale study in your own school context, what aspect of teaching, learning and assessing in RE would you wish to investigate or explore?
  • What would be your central research question?
  • How would you find out the answer to your question?
  • What ethical issues might you need to consider before embarking on this research?
  • Reflect on what research questions or broad fields of enquiry that interest you?
  • How might you take your interest in educational research and researching religious education further? For a start you might browse the wide range of research in religious education, religious studies and theology covered the 'Intute' database in this section of the Handbook.

Further questions to consider:

What do you consider to be the relationship between religious education, religious studies, theology and philosophy?

How might the way in which you understand that relationship impact on the way you teach RE in the classroom?

Religious educaton, religious studies and theology