Established through the ARCS (Action Research Church and Society) project in 2006-2010 at Heythrop College, University of London, in collaboration with the Oxford Centre for Ecclesiology and Practical Theology, Ripon College Cuddesdon, the methodology of theological action research was established to help faith-based organisations and church groups adopt an approach to research which would help bring about definite and practical changes within that their agency or community.
In particular TAR aims to assist these organisations in defining and seeking new ways of taking up their mission amidst a rapidly changing and increasingly secular, post-modern and post-Christian society. In addition, theological action research makes a particular contribution to academic theology, especially ecclesiology, in enabling the voices of theology ‘on the ground’ to become active parts of the theological discourse.
Recently, these theological research methods have been used in large scale projects, including work with leaders of Catholic schools across England and Wales in the Visions for Educational Leadership Project. Most recently a project has been undertaken by the charity Catholic Marriage Care in collaboration with Roehampton University and funded by the Plater Trust.
A complete list of organisations with which we have worked can be found here [link]. Ongoing and completed projects in the UK and internationally be carried out by others, and known to us can be found here [link].