Work has begun on the latest excitement research project at the Centre.
Adult Religious Education and Faith Development (AREFD) is a three-year post-doctoral research project conducted by the Mater Dei Centre for Catholic Education (MDCCE) at the Institute of Education, Dublin City University. It is funded by the Presentation Sisters North East Province. The research team is Dr. Gareth Byrne (Principal Investigator) and Dr. Bernadette Sweetman (Post-doctoral Researcher).
As a project of the MDDCE, the work will be guided by the framework provided by Share the Good News: National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland. The aim of the project is to explore, and develop, models of adult religious education and faith development in Ireland. While mainly based in the Catholic context, the research team will endeavour to learn from models in other Christian denominations and faith traditions. The outcomes of the project will aim to benefit those seeking to develop adult religious education and faith development in a range of faith communities and traditions in Ireland.
The first year of the project focuses on an extensive investigation of the existing literature and models of best practice in adult religious education and faith development, both in Catholic and other sectors in Ireland, as well as international examples that could apply to the Irish context. Following a needs analysis and the identification of interested parties, subsequent work will focus on the development, implementation and evaluation of a range of pilot projects in adult religious education and faith development in Ireland.
This unique and substantial initiative will seek to address the often overlooked, and under-resourced, area of adult religious education and faith development in Ireland. The project will contribute at personal and faith community levels for adults wishing to explore opportunities for formal, informal and lifelong religious education and faith development. At an academic level, where empirical research is relatively scant in adult religious education and faith development in the Irish context, this project will be a significant contribution.