CCRS Twenty Five Years On: One Size Fits All?

Ros Stuart-Buttle, Peter Flew

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


The Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies (CCRS) is a course in adult theological education across England & Wales which has been in existence since 1991-92. It is open to any person wishing to deepen their formal knowledge of the Catholic faith and has included teachers and others working in church schools as well as parish catechists and lay pastoral ministers seeking a theological foundation for their role. Other adults have taken the CCRS for personal reasons or spiritual formation. The CCRS has thus been both vehicle and benchmark for adult theological formation since the early 1990s. This Report is the result of a two-phase research project set up in light of the twenty-fifth anniversary since the course began and in recognition of changing religious, cultural, political and educational contexts. The research project undertook a systematic exploration of the CCRS among course participants, providers and stakeholders and gathered a wealth of quantitative and qualitative data. Core research questions asked about the role and purpose of the CCRS, the nature and scope of adult theological learning, the reasons why people want to study, the impact the course has made, and the new directions or initiatives needed for continuation in the future. Research findings give clear affirmation and high regard for the role and value of the CCRS and provide sound evidence of the continuing demand for adult theological literacy. They show that the CCRS makes a considerable impact in terms of providing opportunities for personal, spiritual and professional growth. At the same time, however, there are concerns and questions about what sort of theological learning and curriculum is needed and how best to enable adult learning with clear theological purpose and practical relevance for today. The Report concludes by summarising the main themes that arise from the research project and by making a series of recommendations to the CCRS awarding body, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales Board of Religious Studies.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationUK
PublisherMatthew James Publishing
Commissioning bodyBoard of Religious Studies
Number of pages106
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • CCRS Catholic Schools

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