Dr Ian Jones

Job TitleDirector, St Peter’s Saltley Trust
Telephone0121 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 Theology2000University of Birmingham
MA in History1995University of York
BA in History1993University of York
Roles and responsibilities
At Queen’s, I have twice taught on an earlier version of the Foundation’s history of Christianity unit (2010 and 2012) and more recently have supervised Master’s research.

Since 2017, I have also been an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Worcester’s Institute of Education, where I have contributed sessions to a year 1 module on ‘Encountering Christianity’.

Previously I have taught modules in the history of Christianity, sociology of religion and modern history at the Universities of Manchester, Sheffield and Birmingham (the latter whilst completing my doctorate).

My background is in the Church of England, although my family and I are currently part of a non-denominational community church 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!  As a small study in this area I am researching understandings of Christian formation in Anglican literature on Confirmation since the 1940s, whilst also working on a bigger project on the Christian life in historical perspective.

I 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.

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, notably our ongoing ‘What Helps Disciples Grow?’ research programme.  I love writing collaboratively, and have co-published on projects with various foci including interfaith education, ministerial formation, and training for emerging missional leaders. Currently I am working alongside Queen’s Dr Fran Porter on her research on ‘faith’ beyond the congregation.

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

  • Leslie J. Francis, Simon Foster, David W. Lankshear and Ian Jones, ‘What Helps Christians Grow? An Exploratory Study Distinguishing among Four Distinctive Pathways’, Pastoral Psychology (authors’ manuscript accepted and final version in preparation).
  • Ian Jones, ‘Why Study A-Level RS: Qualitative Perspectives from two English Midlands Sixth Forms’, Journal of Beliefs and Values 38:1 (2017), pp. 3-17. https://doi.org/10.1080/13617672.2016.1232566
  • Ian Jones, ‘Faith in the Public Square in 1941 and 1991: Two Malvern Conferences Reviewed’, Journal of Beliefs and Values 37:3 (2016), pp. 247-58. https://doi.org/10.1080/13617672.2016.1237249
  • 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.
  • Various commissioned internal reports for Anglican dioceses and for the national Church of England.

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