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Current Research

 

An overview of research currently in progress at the Centre, including calls for evidence and opportunities for participation.

 

THEOLOGICAL REFLECTIONS RESEARCH: CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS

 

Are you a former student on a youth ministry course at St Mellitus, Ridley College or St John's Nottingham? Then we need YOU!

We are currently recruiting 8-10 participants for a focus group being held at Youthscape HQ (in Luton) on Monday 2nd March, 11am-1pm. We pay up to £20 in travel expenses, and will provide lunch as a small thank you for your time!

The focus group will be an important part of our research project on theological reflection in youth ministry. We want to know whether or not you apply theological reflection in your everyday youth ministry practice, and if not, what else you find helpful in connecting faith and life.

The findings from the research will be hugely informative for the participating colleges in how they shape their youth ministry curriculum going forward, and also for our wider understanding of how youth ministers think theologically about their work.

We would LOVE to hear from you. As you can no doubt imagine, there are not many people who fit the description for this particular research call... so if you do, please consider being involved! For more details, to say hi, or to get involved, please email Phoebe.

Thank you!

 

WE DO GOD: CHRISTIAN PRACTICE AND ‘SPIRITUAL EXPERIMENTS’

Commenced: September 2018
Planned publication:
Spring 2020

 

Young people are more usually expected or invited to take part in Christian practices after they identify as Christian: whether that’s prayer, service, reading scripture or hospitality. But some communities, churches and projects turn this around, and actively make spaces for young people to participate in these practices regardless of where they are on a spiritual journey. We are interviewing youth workers and other leaders who are inviting young people ‘to try out’ Christianity, about their experience - in order to understand this better. We hope that this exploratory study will stimulate further conversation and research about the role and value of Christian practice within mission.

 

FAITH SENSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS AND SEX EDUCATION

Commenced: June 2019
Planned publication:
Autumn 2020

 

As well as directing the Centre, Lucie Shuker is a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Bedfordshire. In that capacity she is spending some time working for the International Centre: researching child sexual exploitation, violence and trafficking. The project involves reviewing existing research, conducting a survey and running some focus groups with young Muslims and Christians, to explore their experiences and perspectives on talking about sex and relationships in school. The work is commissioned by Faiths Against Child Sexual Exploitation, a coalition of Muslims and Christians in Luton. Research Assistant Gry Apeland is supporting the project, and the findings will inform the development of Youthscape’s own work on SRE.

 

SUSTAINING THEOLOGICAL REFLECTION IN YOUTH MINISTRY

Commencing: October 2019
Planned publication:
Autumn 2020

 

The Centre for Research is excited to be partnering with St Mellitus College to conduct a small-scale research project into the factors that enable or hinder the practice of theological reflection beyond a youth work/ministry degree. Theological reflection can be very powerful for shaping youth ministry practice and is part of a number of undergraduate ministry courses. However, it is not clear whether or how the practice survives amidst the pressures of life and ministry. The research will explore how reflection is experienced, framed and practised within the day-to-day work of youth ministry in Anglican churches, via a survey and focus groups. The project is funded by Durham University under the Common Awards Seedcorn Grant programme.

 

THE ST ALBANS YOUTH MINISTRY RESEARCH PROJECT

Commencing: November 2019
Planned publication:
Summer 2020

 

The Centre for Research has been commissioned to undertake research that supports the development and renewal of the church’s work with young people in the Diocese of St Albans. We are conducting a survey and running focus groups with clergy and youth workers, to understand how churches engage with young people, to learn from one another, and to identify opportunities and barriers for youth ministry. The findings will inform the development of a strategy.

 

RELIGION, FAITH AND SPIRITUALITY IN JNC YOUTH WORK PROGRAMMES

Commenced: March 2019
Planned publication:
TBC

 

We are working with Dr Naomi Thompson (Goldsmiths University) to survey leaders of JNC-validated courses about where religion, faith and spirituality feature in youth work training programmes. The initial survey explores the topics that are covered, the ways they are covered and course leaders’ perceptions of the role of religion in their courses.

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