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Strengthening the work of faith-based organisations in education

Strengthening the work of faith-based organisations in education

This body of research examines and informs the relationship between religion and education in university, school, religious and adult education settings. It has led to the development of policy and guidance, as well as training delivered by, and to, religion and belief organisations. Its UK reach includes the Department for Education, Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Church of England (CofE), and the British Board of Imams and Scholars. Internationally, its reach includes Anglican diocese of Melbourne in Australia, a national training initiative of The Religious Diversity Centre of New Zealand/Aotearoa (RDC), and church leaders across Canada.

The research is based around three identifiable strands as set out below. It includes two projects led by Coventry in collaboration with other United Kingdom (UK) universities (Durham, Leicester, Canterbury Christ Church), one in collaboration with a public sector body (Advance HE); and five in collaboration with charitable organisations (RDC, CofE, The Linking Network, CoramBAAF, and Restored).

Research Strand 1: Religion and Higher Education
This strand investigates the role and impact of university chaplains in ensuring that universities treat fairly students and staff, who hold a religion or belief and help facilitate them. The project finding - that chaplains are a major resource for the CoE and for universities and have a positive impact in helping improve universities’ ‘religion and belief literacy’ and meeting the religious needs of students and staff - formed the basis of the 2019 report by Aune, Guest and Law.

Research Strand 2: Building Interfaith and Worldview Understanding
This strand examines the development of intercultural and interfaith understanding afforded by schools linking, particularly when between majority white community schools and minority-faith schools, as well as researching the relationship between education and social and legal change relating to religion and belief, discrimination and human rights. A third area of work relates to experiences and understandings of Islamophobia on campus.

Research Strand 3: Faith-Based Interventions in Family Life
This strand includes research identifying the nature and extent of domestic abuse in churchgoers and the Church’s response to domestic abuse, and an investigation into the challenges facing the care system in finding fostering and adoption placements for children from Muslim backgrounds.

Our Team

Kristin Aune, Professor in Sociology of Religion
Paul Weller, Professor
Chris Shannahan, Associate Professor in Political Theology
Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor, Assistant Professor

Find out more about our projects.

Explore our publications.

 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2023