SIG 19 - Religious and Spiritual Education


Elina Kuusisto

University of Helsinki, Finland

Laura Hirsto

University of Eastern Finland, Finland

Alexander Unser

University of Wuerzburg, Germany

Mission statement


Religious and spiritual education is an interdisciplinary field of research into education, learning, development, and socialization at various levels at schools, universities, families, or communities with respect to religion and spirituality. Religion and spirituality are closely related fields of interest. Spirituality can be perceived as an ability to transcend to something (someone) which is greater than the self, and religion as a set of practices for establishing relationship to a transcendent reality, for the sake of obtaining human good or avoiding harm.
The Religious and Spiritual Education SIG brings together researchers from various backgrounds as theology, religious studies, psychology, pedagogy, educational studies, and philosophy. The SIG 19 is advocating empirical research that includes cognitive, social and emotional components. 

The SIG 19 will focus on the following topics and themes:


  • schools, families and communities as contexts for religious and spiritual learning and instruction
  • constraints and affordances for religious and spiritual development in schools, families and communities
  • educational and formation goals and practices of schools with respect to values, beliefs and worldviews
  • religious and spiritual socialization within families and communities
  • new ways of understanding religion and spirituality as educational fields


People who are interested in contributing to the next newsletter should contact the Newsletter Co-Editors Eva Leven ( and Nasibeh Hedayati (


SIG 19 Biennial Conference 2018

Worldviews in creating meaning and purpose for learning
June 11-13, 2018
University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland

SIG 19 Biennial Conference 2016

Experiencing Religion and Religious Experience in Religious Education
21st - 23rd of September, 2016
University of Siegen, Germany