Annual Conference 2022

Tuesday 22nd March Oxford.

Our annual conference is back! It will be held on Tuesday 22nd March at the Oxford Mathematical Institute.

The event brings together RS and Philosophy teachers with stakeholders and colleagues from leading Universities to start a national debate about The Future of Religious Studies in the UK. It is by invitation only and free of charge.

Join us at Oxford University to:

  • Discuss the future of RS as ‘Religion and Worldviews’
  • Explore the possibilities of blended learning,
  • Train with your exam board on Summer Exam provision
  • Meet members of the Oxford Philosophy, Theology and Study of Religion Faculties
  • Train for ISEB with with Michael WIlcockson and Natasha Fenwick.

Conference Programme



Imam Monawar Hussain, MBE DL FRSA High Sheriff of Oxfordshire

9:15 – 11:00

1. Intellectual Foundations : The Future of Religious Studies as ‘Religion and World Views’

Dr Kathryn Wright, Professor Trevor Cooling, Professor Liam Gearon, Professor Tom Greggs

BREAK 11:00 – 11:30


11:30 – 12:15

2. Blended Learning as the Future of Religious Studies

Julie Arliss & Andrew Capone

12:20 – 13:30

Either: 3a. The Future of Religious Studies Examinations: Summer grading, contingency plans etc..

AQA OCR Eduqas Edexcel

Or: 3b. Prep School Training session

Michael Wilcockson

LUNCH 13:30 – 14:30



14:30 – 14:45

4. A Glance into the Future

Professor Alister McGrath

14:45 – 15:30

5. War and Military Ethics

Professor Niger Biggar 

15:30 – 16:00

Either: 6a. Meet the Oxford Philosophy/Theology/Study of Religion Faculty

ISRSA Networking opportunity

Or: 6b. Prep School Training Session

Natasha Fenwick



All ISRSA members welcome

Speaker Profiles

Imam Monawar Hussain

Imam Monawar Hussain

MBE DL FRSA High Sheriff of Oxfordshire

Imam Monawar Hussain founded The Oxford Foundation – a charity that promotes religious and racial harmony through educational and arts-based activities. This is a unique programme that confronts violent extremist ideology and it has been used to train religious education teachers in the UK. He is a leading entrepreneur with degrees from Universities of Oxford (B.Th Hons.) and London (M.A.) in Theology and Abrahamic Religions, respectively.
Dr. Kathryn Wright

Dr. Kathryn Wright

Dr Kathryn Wright is Chief Executive of the Culham St Gabriel Trust, and is responsible for leading the strategic vision and planning of the trust, developing good connections with outside organisations, designing CSTG’s work with and for teachers, and reporting regularly to our trustees. Kathryn’s research focusses on the role of research and policy in curriculum development and teachers’ professional development in Religious Education.
Professor Trevor Cooling

Professor Trevor Cooling

Professor Trevor Cooling is Professor of Christian Education at the National Institute for Christian Research, Canterbury Christ Church University UK and an internationally respected speaker on Christian education. He has an educational background as a secondary school teacher, where he started his career as a biology teacher before moving into Religious Studies.
Dr. Liam Francis Gearon

Dr. Liam Francis Gearon

Dr Liam Francis Gearon (BA, Hons, MA, MPhil, Cert He, PhD, FHEA, FRSA) is Associate Professor in the Department of Education, Senior Research Fellow at Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford, Conjoint Professor at Newcastle University, Australia, and Visiting Professor at the Irish Centre for Catholic Studies, MIC, Limerick, Ireland.
Founder-Director of the Philosophy, Religion, Education Research Group, Liam is a specialist in the interdisciplinary study of religion in education, and has led the teaching of religious education at Oxford for a decade.
Michael Wilcockson

Michael Wilcockson

Michael Wilcockson studied Theology at Balliol College, Oxford and has spent most of his professional life in leading RS departments including Aldenham School, The Leyss and Eton College and The Perse. He is a Farmington Scholar at Harris Manchester College, and was a visiting scholar at Pembroke College, Cambridge. He is the test Coordinator for A Level Religious Studies for a large examination board, chief setter for Common Entrance Religious Studies for ISEB and the author of many popular textbooks. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors.
Natasha Fenwick

Natasha Fenwick

Natasha Fenwick is Head of Humanities at St. Anthony’s School for Boys at Alpha Plus Group Ltd, in London. She was previously Teacher of Religious Studies, Head of Careers and Academic Enrichment at Mill Hill School after starting her teaching career with City of London School for Girls. She is a graduate of the University of Cambridge and completed her MSc with the University of Oxford in higher order thinking skills within GCSE Religious Studies and co-produced enrichment strategies within Religious Studies.

Tom Greggs

Tom Greggs

Tom Greggs holds the Marischal Chair of Divinity (the oldest separated Divinity chair established in 1616) at the University, and is a founding co-director of the Aberdeen Centre for Protestant Theology. He also currently serves as Head of Divinity at Aberdeen. He previously held a chair in Historical and Doctrinal Theology, and until 2011, when he joined the University of Aberdeen, was Professor of Systematic Theology at the University of Chester. He has also taught at the University of Cambridge. In 2019, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, has been a visiting research fellow at St John’s College, Durham, and College of Arts and Sciences International Visiting Scholar and Visiting Professor in Religion at the University of Virginia.

Professor McGrath

Professor McGrath

Professor McGrath holds the Andreos Idreos Professorship in Science and Religion in the Faculty of Theology and Religion, and is a fellow of Harris Manchester College at the University of Oxford, and is Professor of Divinity at Gresham College. He was previously Professor of Theology, Ministry, and Education at King’s College London and Head of the Centre for Theology, Religion and Culture, Professor of Historical Theology at the University of Oxford, and was principal of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, until 2005.

He holds an Oxford DPhil for his research in Molecular Biology and a DD from Oxford University’s Faculty of Theology for his work in Historical and Systematic Theology. A former atheist, he has established a reputation as one of the leading apologists for Christianity.

Andrew Capone

Andrew Capone

Andrew Capone has been an examiner for OCR and Edexcel and leads a very successful department at St Simon Stock School. He is an inspirational teacher, passionate about RS and determined to develop the full potential of every student both in the classroom and under the pressure of examinations. Andrew is author of a number of popular teaching packs and revision guides for A level, and is a highly valued member of the EthIQa team.
Professor Nigel Biggar

Professor Nigel Biggar

CBE, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology, Christ Church, University of Oxford.

Professor Biggar is a widely published outstanding academic of international repute. An expert in his field he has kindly agreed to talk with us about the ethics of war in the light of Ukraine.

His research interests include the ethics rights; just war reasoning; the principle of double effect and the ethics of killing; the concept of proportionality. Publications include In Defence of War, Proportionality : Lessons from the Somme, Christian Just War Reasoning.
We know that all our students are actively engaged with the military action in Ukraine and that once again our subject is at the centre of the curriculum. By reinforcing the importance of understanding our own tradition we anticipate that teachers will feel more confident fielding questions and building intelligent discussion about the events currently unfolding, with this timely input.

Julie Arliss

Julie Arliss

Julie Arliss is a Highly Accomplished teacher and author. She is a well-known international educator working closely with teachers to bring the best resources to schools. She is an international educator of gifted students with a gift for making the complex simple, and the simple complex. She is committed to the provision of world-class extension activities for these students, to extend their reach well beyond the curriculum to new areas of knowledge. She is on the examining team for Cambridge International Examinations, and founder of Academy Learning. She is on the CPD team for one of the leading UK examination boards and continues to be at the forefront of the development of blended learning for A Level Philosophy, Religion and Ethics.


Terms and Conditions

  • This event is by invitation only.
  • Free attendance is a benefit for members of ISRSA
  • ISRSA members are automatically invited and should reserve a seat using the ISRSA members tab on the booking form.
  • Due to the importance of including all relevant teachers into the morning discussion members may invite two guests from the maintained sector. Please include the names of guests when requested
  • Invited guests with a morning-only pass should register using the General Admission tab and include the name of their ISRSA host as requested.
  • If you teach RS in an Independent School and are not a member of ISRSA you need to become a member to be eligible for a free place. The cost of membership is £115. Non-members of ISRSA may attend this event if they meet the standard fee of £240 in advance of the event.
  • If you teach RS in the maintained sector we would really like you to come along. You may attend the morning sessions as our guest. Please contact us if you need an invitation. You may attend all day free of charge if you join ISRSA (£115) or if you meet the standard fee (£240).