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Dear God...
“The ocean is like God and raindrops are the religion. When they fall into the ocean they become one.”
Zoya Ahmed and Nurun Uddin

TRS UK
Making Links with Universities

Founded more than twenty years ago, Theology and Religious Studies-UK (TRS-UK) is an organisation that supports academics and teachers of Theology and Religious Studies working in institutes of higher education.
 
Acting without any institutional affiliation, TRS-UK seeks to support and articulate issues of policy and definition that affect both departments and individuals without exclusions of tradition or religious faith.
 
The membership of TRS-UK is comprised of university departments and learned societies, seeking to engender discussion and monitor the progress of the best interests of TRS and its membership across the UK.

The Making Links with Universities project involves a collaboration between TRS-UK and the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education (NATRE).

The aim of the project is to foster networks between Higher Education Theology and Religious Studies departments and their local Religious Education (RE) teachers by providing access to up-to-date information not only about degree programmes in Theology and Religious Studies, but also about the activities and support university departments offer to schools.

To achieve this aim, the project will be:

1. Creating a webpage ‘directory of contacts’ of Theology and Religious Studies departments and experts across the UK, hosted on NATRE’s website. The website can be found here

2. Liaising with Theology and Religious Studies departments to share their contact information with the webpage.

3. Monitoring the short-term impacts and engagements between the TRS departments who have given their contact information and their local schools, to assess the project.
 

 
 
TRS_Logo_Full

Funding from Westhill Endowment will be used to pay for a web developer to create the webpage on the NATRE website. The webpage will feature an online proforma that can be used to TRS departments to input their information. This information will then be automatically included on the webpage ‘directory of contacts’.

The Making Links project comes at a significant time, starting in the context of the British Academy report on falling numbers of Theology and Religious Studies undergraduates. Facilitating networks between scholars and teachers will encourage school engagement initiatives that bring Theology and Religious Studies research into RE classrooms. Such collaborations promise to raise the profile of the discipline amongst school pupils, giving them first-hand experience of the fascinating and diverse array of research going on in their local departments, and potentially lead to interest in further study.

In addition, providing schools with better access to the expertise and cutting-edge research in Theology and Religious Studies departments could also improve RE provision nationwide. Improving relationships with teachers is likely to create opportunities for subject knowledge enhancement training, ensuring teachers are up to date with the current theories and debates. Such support will be especially vital should RE’s curricula change to meet the recommendations made by the Commission on Religious Education report (CoRE 2018), with its inclusion of ‘worldviews’. Therefore, it is hoped that the Making Links with Universities Project will lead to the creation of an incredibly important resource on the landscape of Theology and Religious Studies and RE provision in the UK.
 


For more Information:
 
Website:
https://trs.ac.uk/
Twitter:
@uk_trs
Facebook:
TRS UK: Theology and Religious Studies UK
Email:
vincem@cardiff.ac.uk  /  c.benoit@aston.ac.uk