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MA Religions, Society and Education (Christian Education) (X3R3)

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About the Course

This course will develop your ability to engage, apply and develop a range of research and methodological approaches to your own professional practice and provide opportunities for your own professional development and reflection. Emphasis is placed on providing you with the opportunity to engage with a range of dynamic and challenging concepts and methods and to apply these to your professional experience and contexts. The first part of the programme has therefore been designed to enable you to explore a range of research methods relevant to your particular area of professional expertise in Religions, Society and Education (Christian Education). You will apply, develop and then extend your own professional practice and academic skills, culminating in the submission of an extended study in the form of a 20,000-word dissertation.

This programme draws on current staff research and teaching expertise as well as both academic and professional relationships developed by staff in the Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit (WRERU) within CES.

Suitable for

The MA in Religions, Society, and Education (Christian Education) is designed for the continuing educational development of people involved in Christian Education, including priests, ministers, pastors, and those engaged in lay ministries within the Church, as well as teachers and managers within church-related and Christian schools.

The emphasis of the programme on developing research-based reflective practitioners is suitable for candidates who are progressing into or within senior leadership positions within various churches and faith-related contexts and may also be suitable for some who are new to ministry.

Course aims and benefits

  • To provide opportunities for advanced and sustained levels of reflection on professional practice in the field of Christian Education.
  • To enable candidates to explore, develop and apply, at an advanced level, a range of research-related methodological approaches to the study of and reflection on professional practice in the area of Christian Education.
  • To provide opportunities for candidates to acquire advanced knowledge and understanding of the background literature and critical approaches to research in the area of Christian Education and professional practice.
  • To ensure that candidates develop and can demonstrate, at an appropriately advanced level, the range of transferable, personal and generic skills required for a taught Master’s programme, critical thinking and reflection on professional practice.
  • To enable candidates to make an independent contribution to the advancement of professional knowledge and practice in the field of Christian Education.
  • To prepare candidates for independent level 8 research-based and practice-orientated enquiry within a field-related research degree programme (such as EdD, PhD and MPhil).

Course structure

The distinctive pedagogical approach of the course is grounded within a facilitated research-based Learning Community that nurtures academic, personal, and professional formation within an intentional environment. The research-based Learning Community meets each term for a two-day seminar within a church-related environment. Within this facilitated research-based Learning Community at M-level you will work alongside doctoral candidates, post-doctoral participants, and university faculty.

The emphasis within these seminars is on full candidate participation, guided learning and independent research-based enquiry that enhances professional reflective practice. You will concentrate on research problems or questions emerging from your own professional practice and experience. Within the first part of the MA, you will be encouraged to engage with at least two modules that employ empirical research techniques to investigate issues relevant to your own specific research problems or questions.

You will select at least two optional core 30-credit modules and up to two option 30-credit modules drawn from following choice, followed by a dissertation.

Optional core modules (select at least two)

  • Ethnographic Studies in Religions, Society and Education
  • Interview Studies in Religions, Society and Education
  • Qualitative Studies in Religions, Society and Education
  • Quantitative Studies in Religions, Society and Education
  • Questionnaire Studies in Religions, Society and Education

Option modules (select up to two)

  • Historical Studies in Religions, Society and Education
  • Philosophical Studies in Religions, Society and Education
  • Psychological Studies in Religions, Society and Education
  • Sociological Studies in Religions, Society and Education
  • Textual (Biblical) Studies in Religions, Society and Education
  • Theological Studies in Religions, Society and Education

The module descriptions below have a specific Christian Education focus, and more information is provided in the course handbook. These modules are indicative of the modules run in the Centre for Education Studies and all the modules are usually available throughout the year. You will be sent a full module choice handbook ahead of the academic year which (alongside discussion with the course leader) will help you tailor your module selections to support your own individual professional and learning pathway through the programme.

Ethnographic Studies in Religions, Society and Education. This module aims to enable you to understand and evaluate the use of ethnographic research methods in the study of Religions, Society and Education (Christian Edication). You will learn the principles of ethnographic techniques and critically analyse the use of ethnographic methods in relation to a selected context(s) and in particular research projects.

Interview Studies in Religions, Society and Education. This module aims to enable you to understand and evaluate the use of interview research methods in the study of Religions, Society and Education (Christian Education). You will learn the principles of interview techniques and critically analyse the use of interview methods in relation to a selected context(s) and in particular research projects.

Qualitative Studies in Religions, Society and Education. This module aims to enable you to understand and evaluate the use of qualitative research methods in the study of Religions, Society and Education (Christian Education). You will learn the principles of qualitative techniques and critically analyse the use of qualitative methods in relation to a selected context(s) and in particular research projects.

Quantitative Studies in Religions, Society and Education. This module aims to enable you to understand and evaluate the use of quantitative research methods in the study of Religions, Society and Education (Christian Education). You will learn the principles of quantitative techniques and critically analyse the use of quantitative methods in relation to a selected context(s) and in particular research projects.

Questionnaire Studies in Religions, Society and Education. This module aims to enable you to understand and evaluate the use of questionnaire research methods in the study of Religions, Society and Education (Christian Education). You will learn the principles of questionnaire techniques and critically analyse the use of questionnaire methods in relation to a selected context(s) and in particular research projects.

Historical Studies in Religions, Society and Education. This module aims to enable you to understand and evaluate the use of historical research methods in the study of Religions, Society and Education (Christian Education). You will learn the principles of historical techniques and critically analyse the use of historical methods in relation to a selected context(s) and in particular research projects.

Philosophical Studies in Religions, Society and Education. This module aims to enable you to understand and evaluate the use of philosophical research methods in the study of Religions, Society and Education (Christian Education). You will learn the principles of philosophical techniques and critically analyse the use of philosophical methods in relation to a selected context(s) and in particular research projects.

Psychological Studies in Religions, Society and Education. This module aims to enable you to understand and evaluate the use of psychological research methods in the study of Religions, Society and Education (Christian Education). You will learn the principles of applied psychological techniques and critically analyse the use of psychological methods in relation to a selected context(s) and in particular research projects.

Theological Studies in Religions, Society and Education. This module aims to enable you to understand and evaluate the use of theological research methods in the study of Religions, Society and Education (Christian Education). You will learn the principles of theological techniques and critically analyse the use of theological methods in relation to a selected context(s) and in particular research projects.

Questionnaire Studies in Religions, Society and Education. This module aims to enable you to understand and evaluate the use of questionnaire research methods in the study of Religions, Society and Education (Christian Education). You will learn the principles of questionnaire techniques and critically analyse the use of questionnaire methods in relation to a selected context(s) and in particular research projects.

Sociological Studies in Religions, Society and Education. This module aims to enable you to understand and evaluate the use of sociological research methods in the study of Religions, Society and Education (Christian Education). You will learn the principles of applied sociological techniques and critically analyse the use of sociological methods in relation to a selected context(s) and in particular research projects.

Textual (Biblical) Studies in Religions, Society and Education. This module aims to enable you to understand and evaluate the use of textual studies research methods in the study of Religions, Society and Education (Christian Education). You will learn the principles of applied textual studies techniques and critically analyse the use of textual studies methods in relation to a selected context(s) and in particular research projects.

Dissertation in Religions, Society and Education. This dissertation builds on the research skills developed through the chosen options taken during Part 1. The dissertation is designed to hone research skills and to resource capacity for independent study.

Method of delivery

The research-based Learning Community meets for a two-day seminar each term (three times a year). Within this Learning Community candidates enrolled on the MA for Religions, Society and Education (Christian Education) work alongside those enrolled on the EdD and PhD programmes as well as post-doctoral researchers. Prior to formal enrolment on the MA you are invited to join the two-day seminar in order to experience our unique Learning Community. (Please contact the Course Leader if you are interested in this.)

Once enrolled on the MA, candidates are assigned an academic tutor who oversees their trajectory through the programme and who ensures on-going supervision of their work between the three yearly meetings of the research-based Learning Community.

Following the two-day seminar of the research-based Learning Community held in St Michael’s House at Coventry Cathedral in January 2017, Bishop David Walker said:

“Earlier this week, I spent two days with the research-based Learning Community in Coventry. Along with me were around thirty men and women engaged in the programme of study. We discussed the challenges faced by vicars who have multiple churches in their care. We looked at how an Adventist pastor might conduct a survey to explore the contrasting pastoral expectations of two congregations whose majority memberships were drawn from different continents. We explored the subject of the spiritual pain experienced in the context of a hospice, and how a chaplain might respond. We helped a member think about a project to explore whether and how it might be possible to ordain someone with learning disabilities. We looked at the link between ethos and spirituality in schools. And we launched a book about the experiences of young people being educated for life in religiously diverse societies.”

Special interest groups

The MA in Religions, Society and Religion (Christian Education) has been designed in conversation with a range of partners who help to promote special interest groups within the research-based Learning Community.

Coventry Cathedral promotes cathedral studies and reconciliation ministry.

The Arthur Ranks Centre promotes rural ministry.

The Alister Hardy Trust promotes religious and spiritual experience.

Course team

The Revd Canon Professor Leslie J Francis (MA Religions, Society and Education Programme Leader and Facilitator), The Revd Dr Tania ap Sion (Christian Education Pathway Leader and Facilitator), The Revd Professor Jeff Astley (Facilitator), The Revd Canon Dr Randolph Ellis (Facilitator), Dr David Lankshear (Facilitator), The Rt Revd Dr David Walker (Facilitator).

The course team is supported by other facilitators, including: The Revd Canon Jeremy Martineau OBE (Facilitator), The Revd Dr Christine Brewster (Facilitator).

Got a Question? Email our course leaders
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The Revd Canon Professor Leslie J Francis

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The Revd Dr Tania ap Sion

Key Facts

Course duration

- 2-5 years part-time

Study programme

- At least two optional core modules

- Up to two optional modules

- Dissertation

Assessment

- 4 assignments of 5,000 words each (or equivalent)
- Dissertation of 20,000 words

Entry requirements

Find information on our entry requirements

“This programme encourages lay and ordained Christians from many denominations to investigate the contexts of their places of ministry, to apply the best academic resources to that study, and to become better vicars, school teachers, readers and bishops.”
The Rt Revd Dr David Walker
Bishop of Manchester