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Consultancy from the International Association for Children's Spirituality: Dr. Sturla Sagberg

This space provides brief details of practitioners and academics working in a variety of situations within the realm of Children’s Spirituality. All are available for consultancy and can be contacted through this website.

Dr. Sturla Sagberg

Dr. Sturla Sagberg has been involved in spiritual and religious education in church and public education since 1978 on many levels, as army chaplain, parish pastor, bible college teacher and principal, college lecturer and, from 2002, professor of religious education with emphasis on early childhood. He became doctor of theology in 2001 with a thesis entitled Authenticity and wonder: the place of Christianity in Norwegian kindergartens in an ethical perspective (written in Norwegian). He teaches at Queen Maud University College of Early Childhood Education in Trondheim, Norway. Since August 2017 he is professor emeritus. He is also involved in education within Church of Norway (Lutheran).

Sturla Sagberg’s interests have developed along changes in society from Christian education in the 80’s towards the ethics of religious education in an increasingly multi-religious and multi-cultural society in the last two decades, where Christian theology still has a lot to offer. This development requires, however, insight into both cultural and existential aspects of faith traditions and awareness of how teachers’ own attitudes affect their teaching. He sees spirituality as a key concept to understand religion and worldviews in terms of general aspects of being human, as well as expressed in religious cultures that invite people to existential encounters. His thinking is reflected in several books, like Lærer og menneske. Å være ekte i møte med religiøs tro (Teacher and human being. Being authentic in religious faith, 2006), Religion, verdier og danning. Barns møte med de store spørsmål i livet (Religion, values and formation. Children and the big questions in life, 2012), both written in Norwegian. His latest book is Holistic Religious Education – is it possible? The complex web of religion, spirituality and morality (Münster and New York: Waxmann, 2015).

He has written many articles in the English language, of which the following may be mentioned: Children’s Faith – a Matter of Morality? In F. Schweitzer, A. Edelbrock & A. Biesinger (Eds.), Wieviele Götter sind im Himmel? Religiöse Differenzwahrnehmungen im Kindesalter. Münster: Waxmann; Children as spiritual subjects and the significance of educational environments. In F. Kraft, H. Roose & G. Büttner (Eds.), Symmetrical communication? Philosophy and Theology in Classrooms across Europe (pp. 113-132). Rehburg-Loccum: Religionspädagogisches Institut Loccum; Education and nurture revisited in the light of spirituality. In T. van der Zee & T. J. Lovat (Eds.), New Perspectives on Religious and Spiritual Education (pp. 197-214). Münster / New York / München / Berlin: Waxmann. He has several articles in International Journal of Children’s Spirituality, as well as many publications for faith education within the Lutheran church (in Norwegian).

Sagberg has in later years taken part in both academic conferences and in training sessions for educators in church, school and kindergarten. His most recent project is a book project with the working title “One person can make a difference” based on studies on altruism and love and children’s natural moral capacitiesthat may come close to these values – under favourable circumstances. He believes education is mainly about creating such circumstances, a perspective that is too often overshadowed by other tasks within educational institutions. He welcomes works, ideas and possible cooperation about that issue and in general about the ethics of education and spirituality: sturlasag@gmail.com.