The Revd Canon Professor Leslie J Francis PhD DLitt ScD DD FBPsS PGCE
Professor of Religions and Education
Director, Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit
Leslie J Francis is Professor of Religions and Education within the Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, and Honorary Distinguished Canon at Manchester Cathedral. Since October 2012, he has been Director of WRERU, following the retirement of Professor Robert Jackson from full-time work at Warwick. He obtained his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1976. His published works have been recognised by three higher doctorates: ScD from Cambridge in 1997, DD from Oxford in 2001 and DLitt from University of Wales, Bangor in 2007.
His research in religious education has been shaped by creative links with practical and empirical theology and with the individual differences approach to psychology.
Leslie J Francis’ current research initiatives include:
- investigating young people's attitudes toward religious diversity.
- investigating the spiritual influence of Christian ethos secondary education.
- Cathedral Studies, with projects on cathedral congregations, cathedral visitors, and cathedral education programmes.
assessing the antecedents, consequences and correlates of individual differences in attitudes towards religion during childhood, adolescence and adulthood, within Christian, Hindu, Islamic and Jewish traditions.
assessing the role of personality in religious development and expression, drawing on personality theories proposed by Eysenck, Cattell, and Jung, as well as the Big Five Factor model.
assessing work-related psychological health and professional burnout among religious educators.
assessing learning styles in religious and theological education.
- assessing the distinctiveness of church schools and faith-based schools within both the state-maintained and independent sectors of education.
- monitoring changes within the Christian churches across a variety of denominations.
Leslie J Francis currently serves as:
co-editor of Archive for the Psychology of Religion
associate editor of Journal of Beliefs and Values
senior editor of Rural Theology.
He also serves on the editorial boards of the following journals:
- International Journal for the Psychology of Religion
Journal of Christian Education
Journal of Empirical Theology
Journal of Research on Christian Education
Mental Health, Religion and Culture
Psychology of Religion and Spirituality
Leslie J Francis currently serves as co-editor for three series of books:
Learning Church: Theology for Discipleship and Ministry, SCM Press
Explorations in Practical, Pastoral and Empirical Theology, Ashgate
Religion, Education and Values, Peter Lang.
Leslie J Francis currently serves as:
Vice President of the International Seminar on Religious Education and Values
Chair of the Rural Theology Association
Chair of the Alistair Hardy Trust.
He is also a member of:
- American Psychological Association
- Association for the Sociology of Religion
- British Educational Research Association
- British Psychological Society (Fellow from 1988)
- British Sociological Association (Sociology of Religion Study Group)
- College of Teachers (Fellow from 1994)
- International Academy of Practical Theology
- International Association for the Psychology of Religion
- Network for Psychological Type and Christian Faith (Co-convenor since 2002)
- Network for the Study of Implicit Religion (Trustee since 2002)
- Religious Research Association
- Social Research Association
- Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.
Books edited 2015 and 2016:
Francis, L. J. (Ed.) (2015). Anglican cathedrals in modern life: The science of cathedral studies. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978 1 137 55301 0.
Parker, S. G., Freathy, R., & Francis, L. J. (Eds.) (2015). History, Remembrance and Religious Education. Oxford: Peter Lang. ISBN 978 3 0343 1720 7.
Astley, J., & Francis, L. J. (Eds.) (2016). Diversity and intersectionality: Studies in religion, education and values. Oxford: Peter Lang. ISBN 978 30343 2252 2.
Robbins, M., & Francis, L. J. (Eds.) (2016). The empirical science of religious education. London: Routledge. ISBN 978 1 138 92985 2.
Chapters in books 2016:
Francis, L. J. (2016). Affiliation, practice, belief, attitude, and orientation. In S. Hunt (Ed.) The Brill Handbook of Christianity: Movements, institutions, and allegiances (pp. 203-222). Leiden: Brill. ISBN 978 9004 26539 4.
Francis, L. J., Byrne, G., Sweetman, B., & Penny, G. (2016). Growing up female and Catholic in the Republic of Ireland and in Scotland: The intersectionality of religious identity, religious saliency, and nationality. In J. Astley & L. J. Francis (Eds.), Diversity and intersectionality: Studies in religion, education and values (pp. 67-99). Oxford: Peter Lang. ISBN 978 30343 2252 2.
Francis, L. J., Powell, R., & Village, A. (2016). Psychological temperament and religious orientation: An empirical enquiry among Australian church leaders. In P. Hughes (Ed.), Charting the faith of Australians: Thirty years in the Christian Research Association (pp. 111-117). Nunawading, Victoria: Christian Research Association. ISBN 97818 7522 3848.
Francis, L. J., & Robbins, M. (2016). Attitudes toward human rights and religiosity among adolescents in England and Wales: Replicating and extending a study in Turkey. In H.-G. Ziebertz & E. H. Ballin (Eds.), Freedom of religion in the twenty-first century: A human rights perspective on the relationship between politics and religion (pp. 105-129). Leiden: Brill. ISBN 978 9004 296 77 0.
Francis, L. J., & Robbins, M. (2016). Introducing the empirical science of religious education. In M. Robbins & L. J. Francis (Eds.), The empirical science of religious education (pp. xviii -xxxii). London: Routledge. ISBN 978 1 138 92985 2.
Francis, L. J., Robbins, M., & McKenna, M. (2016). Women’s socio-economic rights and religion among Christian, Islamic, and non-religiously affiliated students in England and Wales. Collected edition. In H.-G. Ziebertz & E. H. Ballin (Eds.), Freedom of religion in the twenty-first century: A human rights perspective on the relationship between politics and religion (pp. 239-256). Leiden: Brill. ISBN 978 9004 296 770.
Journal articles 2016:
Astley, J., & Francis, L. J. (2016). Introducing the Astley-Francis Theology of Religions Index (AFTRI): Construct validity among 13- to 15-year-old students. Journal of Beliefs and Values, 37, 29-39. ISSN 1361 7672.
Francis, L. J. (2016). New directions in clergy psychological profiling: Connections with church growth? Theology, 119, 91-98. ISSN 0040 517X.
Francis, L. J. (2016). Theology and psychology in dialogue: An individual differences approach. Modern Believing, 57, 57-61. ISSN 1353 1425.
Francis, L. J., & ap Siôn, T. (2016). Empirical theology and biblical hermeneutics: Exploring lessons for discipleship from the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24: 13-35). Journal of Empirical Theology, 29, 24-44. ISSN 0922 2936.
Francis, L. J., & ap Siôn, T. (2016). Jesus, psychological type and conflict: A study in biblical hermeneutics applying the reader perspective and SIFT approach to Mark 11: 11-21. HTS Theological Studies, 72(4), 1-9. ISSN 0259 9422.
Francis, L. J., Astley, J., & Parker, S. (2016). Who studies religion at Advanced level: Why and to what effect? Journal of Beliefs and Values, 37, 334-346. ISSN 1361 7672.
Francis, L. J., & Crea, G. (2016). The relationship between priestly motivational styles and personal wellbeing in ministry: Exploring the connection between religious orientation and purpose in life among Catholic priests serving in Italy. Review of Religious Research, 58, 219-228. ISSN 0034 673X.
Francis, L. J., & Crea, G. (2016). Comparing the psychological type profile of churchgoers and non-churchgoers in Italy. Comprehensive Psychology, 5, 1-11. ISSN 2165 2228.
Francis, L. J., Fawcett, B., Robbins, M., & Stairs, D. (2016). The New Indices of Religious Orientation Revised (NIROR): A study among Canadian adolescents attending a Baptist youth mission and service event. Religions, 7, 56, 1-10. ISSN 2077 1444.
Francis, L. J., Fawcett, B., Linkletter, J., Robbins, M., & Stairs, D. (2016). Psychological type profile of Canadian Baptist youth leaders: Implications for Christian Education. International Journal of Christianity and Education, 20, 220-233. ISSN 2056 9971.
Francis, L. J., Jones, S. H., & Peddle, G. (2016).The psychological temperament of Anglican clergy in the rural Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador. Rural Theology, 14, 44-52. ISSN 1470 4994.
Francis, L. J., Kamble, S. V., & Robbins, M. (2016). The internal consistency reliability and construct validity of the Santosh-Francis Scale of Attitude toward Hinduism among students in India. Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 19, 476-483. ISSN 1367 4676.
Francis, L. J., Laycock, P., & Penny, G. (2016). Distinguishing between spirituality and religion: Accessing the worldview correlates of 13- to 15-year-old students. Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, 27, 43-67. ISSN 1046 5237.
Francis, L. J., & Lewis, C. A. (2016).Internal consistency reliability and construct validity of the Astley-Francis Scale of Attitude toward Theistic Faith among religiously unaffiliated Christian and Muslim youth in the UK. Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 19, 484-492. ISSN 1367 4676.
Francis, L. J., & Penny, G. (2016). Implicit religion and psychological wellbeing: A study among adolescents without formal religious affiliation or practice. Implicit Religion, 19, 61-78. ISSN 1463 9955.
Francis, L. J., & Penny, G. (2016). Prayer, personality and purpose in life: An empirical enquiry among adolescents in the UK. Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, 27, 192-209. ISSN 1046 5237.
Francis, L. J., & Penny, G. (2016). Christian commitment and personal wellbeing: Exploring the connection between religious affect and global happiness among young churchgoers in Australia. Journal of Research in Christian Education, 25, 222-232. ISSN 1065 6219.
Francis, L. J., & Smith, G. (2016). Introverts and extraverts reflecting on the experience of parish ministry: Conversation between training incumbents and curates. Journal of Research on Christian Education, 25, 76-85. ISSN 1065 6219.
Francis, L. J., Tekke, M., & Robbins, M. (2016). The psychometric properties of the Sahin-Francis Scale of Attitude toward Islam Revised among Sunni students in Malaysia. Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 19, 433-439. ISSN 1367 4676.
Francis, L. J., Wright, H., & Robbins, M. (2016). Temperament theory and congregation studies: Different types for different services? Practical Theology, 9, 29-45. ISSN 1756 073X.
Lumbroso, P., Fayn, K., Tiliopoulos, N., & Francis, L. J. (2016). The internal consistency reliability of the Katz-Francis Scale of Attitude toward Judaism among Australian Jews. Religions, 7, 123, 1-6. ISSN 2077 444.
Ratter, H., Francis, L. J., & Glowinkowski, G. (2016). Exploring how Anglican clergy approach rural ministry in England: Employing the Glowinkowski Predisposition Indicator. Pastoral Psychology, 65, 227-237. ISSN 0031 2789.
Smith, G., & Francis, L. J. (2016). Difficult texts: Mark 10: 46-52. Theology, 119, 200-203. ISSN 0040 571X.
Village, A. & Francis, L. J. (2016). Measuring the contribution of Roman Catholic secondary schools to students’ religious, personal and social values. Journal of Catholic Education, 19(3), 86-115. ISSN 1097 9638.
Village, A., & Francis, L. J. (2016). The development of the Francis Moral Values Scales: A study among 16- to 18-year-old students taking Religious Studies at A level in the UK. Journal of Beliefs and Values, 37, 347-356. ISSN 1361 7672.
Conferences and invited presentations 2016:
Francis, L. J. (2016, February 23-25). Researching attitudes toward religion and human rights: Quantitative approaches from social psychology and empirical theology. Invited presentation for Seminar Programme on Human Rights, Society and Multi-level Governance, University of Padua, Italy.
Francis, L. J., & Ap Siôn, T. (2016, March 10-11). Seeing how we see each other: Learning from quantitative research among young people in the UK. Invited presentation at International Conference on The Abrahamic Religions and Interreligious Relations in the Past and Present, University of Navarra, Spain.
Lewis, C. A., & Francis, L. J. (2016, March 31 - April 2). Sixth form religion in Northern Ireland 1968-2011: Revisiting the Protestant profile. The 40th Educational Studies Association of Ireland (ESAI) Annual Conference, National University of Ireland Galway, Republic of Ireland.
Francis, L. J. (2016, April 14-15). Freedom of religion and freedom of religious clothing. Invited presentation for International Conference on Religions and Human Rights, University of Padua, Italy.
Francis, L. J. (2016, April 19). Four pathways of discipleship. Invited presentation at the St Peter’s Saltley Trust Conference on ‘What helps disciples grow?’, Birmingham, England.
Francis, L. J. (2016, April 22-23). Religious diversity in the Republic of Ireland. Invited presentation for postgraduate seminar, Dublin City University.
Francis, L. J. (2016, April 26). Exploring the theological foundations for rural ministry. Invited presentation for Diocese of Chester, England.
Francis, L. J. (2016, July 31 - August 5). The distinctive values of students attending Christian ethos schools: A quantitative perspective. Paper presented at the conference of the International Seminar on Religious Education and Values, University of St Mary of the Lake, Chicago, IL, USA.
Francis, L. J. (2016, October 28-30). Religious experience and religious motivation among Catholic and Mainstream Protestant churchgoers in Australia: Drawing on theories from the psychology of religion. Paper presented at the conference of the Religious Research Association, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Francis, L. J. (2016, October 28-30). What helps Christians grow? An exploratory study distinguishing among four distinctive pathways. Paper presented at the conference of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Books for children
Leslie J Francis is co-author of the popular Teddy Horsley series of religious education books for 3-7 year olds.
He is also co-author of several books for foundation stage, key stage one and key stage two learners.
Leslie J Francis enjoys the music of J.S. Bach and has re-built an 1851 Walker organ in his home.
A full list of publications for Professor Francis is available here