Religious Education

Studying humanity

Religion and education

Religious Education studies the theory and practice of religious education. It is on the interface of two phenomena – religion and education. The basis for Religious Education is both on the research on practical theology in church education and research that aims to renew religious education in schools.

Religious Education research focuses on:

  • education related to religion and beliefs;
  • teaching and learning organised by society in schools and kindergartens, for example; and
  • religion and value education provided in churches and religious communities or homes.

In addition, the formation of religiousness, spirituality, world view and values is an object of interest for Religious Education.

Introduction to the studies

The objective of Religious Education studies is to learn about the theory and practice of religious education. The academic subject can be studied as a minor subject as part of a bachelor’s degree or as a major subject either as part of a bachelor’s or a master’s degree. In addition, the bachelor’s studies in theology contain a course on Religious Education that is common for everyone. A student who is studying to become a class teacher can also complete a bachelor and a master’s thesis on a topic related to Religious Education.

In addition, education related to the contents of Religious Education is offered as part of the studies in the School of Applied Educational Science and Teacher Education.

You can find information on Religious Education courses in WebOodi.

Religious Education research

Religious Education research is closely connected to education, psychology, sociology and the social sciences. Religious Education research is extensive, both in terms of its contents and its methods. The research prefers empirical qualitative and quantitative materials and starting points that bring the two together.

The main focus areas of Religious Education research at the University of Eastern Finland are the following:

  1. Dialogue and education
  2. Religion and learning
  3. The role of teachers, education and religious education

The research on the main focus areas takes place in actual, i.e., authentic educational situations

The field of dialogue and education examines, for example, a religious and view-oriented dialogue at school, confirmation class, homes, classrooms and other learning environments as well as other questions related to the diversity of points of view.

Within the topics of religion and learning, research can be targeted at, for example, the manifestation of spirituality in practical education situations and the personal relevance of religious education, i.e., its significance.

The role of teachers, education and religious education covers the various professional processes of religious educators and topics related to expertise.

Postgraduate studies are connected to one or several primary areas of focus. Research material for them as well is collected from practical education situations. In principle, postgraduate studies are completed in English and in the form of articles.

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