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Bernadette Flanagan has led the development of academic studies in contemporary spiritualities in Ireland for the past twenty years. Within this emerging field of studies she has given particular attention to the research methodologies and methods that best suit the distinctive fields of enquiry which projects are currently investigating. She has been recognised by her peers for her leadership in developing studies of spirituality in society and the professions and was elected as President of the international Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality. She has shared her expertise in spirituality studies with new generations of scholars through the MA in Applied Spirituality which she co-designed in 2001.

CoFounder / Chair : Spirituality in Society and the Professions Research Group (SpirSoP)

Bernadette has consolidated the research expertise of staff who deliver the MA in Applied Spirituality by creating a Research Group with Drs Paul Clogher & Padraic Hurley. This research group is making linkages with nursing researchers @ WIT and  international colleagues in the field of spiritual care, a dimension of healthcare that is receiving greater attention post-COVID. Pilgrimage is a second field of special interest within the Research Group, because of the rich possibilites for development in the South East. New approaches to sustainable development are also being explored by linking to the international Inner Development Goals network and Spiritual Capital initiatives


Bernadette Flanagan has taught a great variety of modules across the MA in Applied Spirituality curriculum. Currently she has a special interest in presenting the diverse ways in which spirituality is being investigated and practiced in contemporary professions. This teaching is informed by the extensive research conducted with Prof Laszlo Zsolnai to produce the co-edited Routledge International Handbook of Spirituality in Society and the Professions (2019)


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy, Dublin

01 Sep 200431 Jul 2008

Award Date: 23 Oct 1998

Masters Degree, Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy, Dublin

05 Oct 200004 Jun 2002

Award Date: 28 Oct 1992


31 Oct 200115 Sep 2003

Award Date: 21 Oct 1983

External positions

November 2021, Christian Spirituality Unit of the American Academy of Religion

01 Nov 202131 Oct 2024


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