Dr Ian Jones

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Job Title

Director, St Peter’s Saltley Trust




0121 427 6800






I am currently Director of St Peter’s Saltley Trust, a Christian charity working across the West Midlands region to fund, support and initiate projects in three main areas:

  1. Christian discipleship and theological education 
  2. The Churches’ contribution to further education (particularly around spiritual development and religious literacy) 
  3. Religious education in schools. 

Prior to that, I was Research Associate at the Lincoln Theological Institute for the Study of Religion and Society, first in Sheffield and then at the University of Manchester, where I also did some teaching in church history and the sociology of religion. Outside the Trust I currently lead a church youth group, play in a local brass band, volunteer for a community land trust and enjoy days out with my family.


PhD in Theology


University of Birmingham

MA in History


University of York

BA in History


University of York

Roles and responsibilities

I have twice taught on an earlier version of the Queen’s Foundation’s unit on the history of Christianity (2010 and 2012)

At the University of Manchester I taught a Year 3 module on Religion, Culture and Society in England, 1750-2000; co-taught a year 2 module on the Sociology of Religion, and was a tutor for the Year 1 core course for Religion and Theology students. I also contributed to sessions on oral history research methods for the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures postgraduate research training programme.

At the University of Sheffield I was a contributor to a Year 2 course on The Study of Contemporary Religion, and to the Year 1 core course for history students, ‘Paths from Antiquity to Modernity’.

As a doctoral student at the University of Birmingham I contributed to a Year 2/3 undergraduate comparative history course on Religion, Culture and Society; to a Year 1 Introduction to the History of Christianity module for the Theology Dept, a Year 1 New Approaches to Modern History core course for history undergraduates, and a School of Continuing Studies evening course on the history of Christianity in post-war Britain.

My background is in the Church of England, although my family and I are currently part of a non-denominational community church near where we live. 

Research interests and supervision

My research interests range fairly widely over the history and contemporary practice of Christianity, particularly in England. 

History of Christianity

My academic training is as a church historian, with my PhD (and subsequent book) on the history of local church life and generational change in post-war Birmingham, which drew heavily on oral history.  I’m also particularly interested in the recent history of church music (particularly its intersection with popular culture), on which I’ve co-written with Peter Webster.  I’ve also written on Christian responses to political and social issues in the modern period.  My current main historical interest is in conceptions of Christian discipleship (and its equivalents, e.g., ‘holy living’, ‘the Christian life’, etc.) through history.  Put simply, what have Christians at different times, and in different places, understood the practice of the Christian life to involve?  This started out as a small sabbatical project a couple of years ago and is threatening to turn into a lifetime’s work!

I also have a related interest in ‘historical intelligence’ as a tool for contemporary Christian discipleship, and as part of that, how we teach church history within local church settings in ways which are accessible to non-specialists.  Amongst other things I’m developing a set of church history card games…. If you want to trial them, let me know!

Applied Church-Facing Social Research

I’m passionately concerned with the way social research can inform practice – this stems from delving into the personal papers of the pioneer social investigator Seebohm Rowntree whilst a postgraduate student, and then (following my PhD) being engaged in a sociological study of Anglican attitudes to women’s ordination as priests ten years on from those historic first ordinations in 2004.  Currently my work at St Peter’s Saltley Trust offers a wide range of opportunities to write and disseminate the results of educational projects we’re involved in.  I love writing collaboratively, and have co-published on projects with various foci including interfaith education, ministerial formation, and training for emerging missional leaders.  At Saltley Trust we’re currently extremely interested in what helps people grow as Christian disciples. 

I have supervised successful research projects at undergraduate and master's level.  I am particularly interested in supervising research in the following areas:

  • The social/cultural history and sociology of Christianity in modern Britain (especially 20th Century to present)
  • The development of Christian discipleship, particularly with/through local churches, in contemporary and historical contexts 

Through St Peter’s Saltley Trust’s work with further education colleges I have a growing interest in religious literacy in contemporary society – what it is, and how it happens.


Single-Authored Monographs

  • Ian Jones, The Local Church and Generational Change in Birmingham, 1945-2000 (Royal Historical Society/Boydell and Brewer, 2012)
  • Ian Jones, Women and Priesthood in the Church of England: Ten Years On (Church House Publishing, London, 2004)

Co-Edited Collections

  • Ian Jones, Janet Wootton and Kirsty Thorpe (eds), Women and Ordination in the Christian Churches: International Perspectives (T&T Clark/Continuum, London, 2008; paperback 2012)
  • Martyn Percy and Ian Jones (eds), Fundamentalism, Church and Society (SPCK, London, 2002)

Journal articles and chapters

  • Andy Jolley and Ian Jones, ‘Formation for Mission in Urban Britain: the Birmingham Mission Apprentice Scheme’ in Journal of Adult Theological Education 13: 1 (2016), pp. 33-47    
  • Ian Jones, ‘Unemployment and the Response of the Churches: A Historical Conversation’ in Crucible: Journal of Church and Society (July-September 2012), pp. 7-20
  • Ian Jones, ‘Introduction: Daily Life and Worship’ and (Ian Jones with Peter Webster) ‘Church Music’ in ‘The Churches since 1945’ in Dee Dyas (ed.), The English Parish Church through the Centuries: daily life & spirituality, art & architecture, literature & music [DVD-Rom] (Christianity and Culture Project, University of York/St John’s Nottingham, 2010)
  • Ian Jones and Peter Hammersley, ‘Social Protest as Formation for Prophetic Ministry: An Experiment in Transformative Theological Education’, Journal of Adult Theological Education 6:2  (2009), pp. 176-193
  • Ian Jones and Ruth Tetlow, ‘Interpreting Faith to Visitors: Reflections on a Pioneering Faith Guiding Course’, Interreligious Insight 7:3 (July 2009), pp. 69-78
  • Peter Webster and Ian Jones, ‘New Music and the Evangelical Style in the Church of England, c. 1958-1991’ in Mark Smith (ed.), British Evangelical Identities vol 1 (2 vols, Paternoster Press, 2008), pp. 167-79
  • Ian Jones with Peter Webster, ‘Expressions of Authenticity: Music for Worship’ in Jane Garnett, Matthew Grimley, Alana Harris, William Whyte and Sarah Williams (eds), Redefining Christian Britain: Post-1945 Perspectives (SCM Press, London, 2007), pp. 50-62
  • Ian Jones and Peter Webster, ‘The Theological Problem of Popular Music for Worship in Contemporary Christianity’, Crucible July-September 2006, pp. 9-16
  • Ian Jones and Peter Webster, ‘Anglican “Establishment” reactions to “Pop” Church Music in England, c. 1956-1990’ in Kate Cooper and Jeremy Gregory (eds), Elite and Popular Religion: Studies in Church History 42 (2006), pp. 429-441
  • Ian Jones, ‘Earrings behind the Altar?  Anglican Expectations of the Ordination of Women as Priests’, Dutch Review of Church History  83 (2003), pp. 462-476
  • Ian Jones, ‘The Clergy, the Cold War and the Mission of the Local Church: England, c. 1945-60’ in Diane Kirby (ed.), Religion and the Cold War (Palgrave/Macmillan, London, 2003, paperback 2013), pp. 188-199
  • Ian Jones, ‘More Desperate than any other Diocese in England?  Christianity in Modern Birmingham’ in Nils G. Holm (ed.), Christianity and Islam in School Religious Education (Abo Akademis Tryckeri, Abo [Finland], 2000), pp. 137-165


  • Ian Jones, Mission Apprentices Evaluation Report: Evaluating the Impact of the Scheme and Making Recommendations for the Future (Church of England Birmingham/ St Peter’s Saltley Trust, Birmingham, 2014)
  • Ian Jones, ‘Overview of the themes from the hearings’ and ‘visions of the participants’ in David Clark (ed.), From Hearings to Happenings: Ten Public Hearings on Visions for Birmingham (Human City Institute, Birmingham, 1997), (various short contributions throughout the report)
  • Ian Jones, Brass Bands in York, 1833-1914 (University of York Borthwick Paper no. 85, York, 1995)

Various book reviews – currently a regular reviewer for the Journal of Beliefs and Values.  Also previous reviews in: Theology, Journal of Contemporary Religion, Contact, Reviews in History.