Julia Ipgrave has degrees from Oxford University (MA Modern History), Warwick University (MA Religious Education, PhD) and Oxford Brookes University (PhD). The subjects of her PhD theses were the religious understanding of minority non-Muslim children in a predominantly Muslim inner city area (Warwick University, 2002) and the significance of the biblical figure of Adam to seventeenth century political thought (Oxford Brookes, 2012).
Julia has taught for 16 years in Leicester schools as class teacher and in assistant head and head teacher roles. From this experience she developed a research interest in children’s religious understanding and inter faith encounter. Research in this area led to the development of pedagogies for dialogical religious education. From 2004 to 2008 Julia was a Senior Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University engaged in Initial Teacher Education, supervision of postgraduate degrees, research and consultancy.
Julia’s present research interests include religion in education, young people’s experiences of and attitudes towards religion and inter religious dialogue and community engagement. Previous research projects include the English strand of the EC funded project Religion in Education (REDCo), 2006 - 2009; Materials Used in Schools to Teach World Religions in English Schools funded by the Department of Children, Schools and Families 2009-2010; and (with colleague Elisabeth Arweck) the qualitative strand of WRERU’s AHRC/ESRC research project Young People’s Attitudes towards Religious Diversity (2009-2012) involving studies in schools across the UK. She has also undertaken evaluation studies of a number of inter faith dialogue programmes for school pupils. Currently she is responsible for the East London strand of Religion and Dialogue in Modern Societies (ReDi) 2013-2018, a comparative study of models of interreligious engagement in six north European metropolitan areas (Hamburg, Rhein-Ruhr, Stockholm, Oslo and East London). This project is directed by Prof Wolfram Weisse of the Academy of World Religions, Hamburg University) and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Julia is a Member of the Autobiography of Intercultural Experiences working group for the Language Policy Division of the Council of Europe. She is European Correspondent for
the Institut Européen en Sciences des Religions (Sorbonne), the Christian education specialist on the Christian Muslim Forum and member of the AHRC Research Network on Collective Worship.