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National Institute for Christian Education Research

The aim of the National Institute for Christian Education Research (NICER) is derived from the foundation missions of the Church of England and Canterbury Christ Church University.

The aim of the Institute is to support and conduct research and development in order to strengthen the work of Christians in education together with the mission of church schools, colleges and universities.

In particular the Institute will enter into collaboration and partnership with other institutions and bodies that have similar goals, particularly other faith-based higher education institutions and centres.

See "DOWNLOAD" on the right of this page for a PDF of the inaugural lecture "Is God Redundant in the Classroom?" by Professor Trevor Cooling, and click here to see a recording of this lecture on YouTube|.

You can also download a PDF of our Introductory Booklet and also a PDF of the Address by the Right Reverend John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford at the December 2011 launch of NICER (the Reverend speaks for the Church of England on Education).  


International Conference:

Foundations: Underpinning Christian Education

11-13 July 2014
Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, UK

Sponsored by the National Institute for Christian Education Research (Canterbury, UK) and the National Centre for Christian Education (Liverpool, UK)

Click here to download a brochure|

Click here to go to the online booking form|

This conference is designed to advance the work of those with a scholarly interest in, or involved in graduate level work in, Christian Education. Its aim is to bring together participants from a variety of traditions for stimulation, mutual encouragement and fellowship as well as to exercise the intellectual muscles. The conference will be a mixture of plenary presentations and seminar papers.

Plenary speakers already agreed:

     Professor James Conroy, University of Glasgow
     Professor Mike Higton, University of Durham,

Those wishing to submit papers to present at the conference should send an abstract of up to 300 words to| by April 1st 2014.



"Christian Understandings of Pedgagogy" International Symposium held 4th July 2013 - Listen to the speakers »|


Watch Professor Trevor Cooling being interviewed about Christian school education at the Chelmsford Diocese Church School Leaders' conference, April 2013.|



A unique national research project to investigate the impact of a distinctively Christian ethos on pupils’ learning has been launched by the National Institute for Christian Education Research (NICER) at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Professor Trevor Cooling, Director of NICER at Canterbury Christ Church University, said: “This will be the only piece of national research to investigate the impact of secondary schools systematically implementing a distinctively Christian ethos in their approaches to teaching and learning. The Church brands its schools as distinctively Christian but research-wise we need to know the impact this has on students, schools and the classroom.

“The research will entail intensive work with up to five secondary schools from various locations around the UK which are sponsored by Christian organisations, including the Church of England.

“By working with staff on developing their understanding of the distinctively Christian ethos of their school and at how it might influence their approach to learning and teaching, we'll then be able to assess the impact it has on staff, students and parents."

The overall aim is to generate evidence that assesses the impact of the Christian approach to teaching and learning developed by Transforming Lives, a previous three-year research-based development project into a Christian approach to teaching different subjects. A training toolkit for teachers and student teachers will also be created.

Download a PDF of the information booklet for schools wishing to participate|, and also a Word file of the schools application form.|




In conjunction with Calvin College in the United States and the Anglican Diocese of Sydney,NICER has been working on a new website providing help and information on a Christian ethos in the classroom.  Click here for a link to the website:  |