Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Teachers' faith, identity processes and resilience: a qualitative approach.

Phillips, Rita



Teachers are at risk to suffer from burnout and adverse mental health as a result of work-related stress and conflicts. The development of teacher resilience depends upon a complex interaction between extraneous factors (i.e. administrative and social support), and, intrinsic factors (i.e. personal values). Although it is known that personal faith plays a crucial in the development of resilience in different contexts (i.e. emotional exhaustion, illness), it remains questionable whether there is a possible relationship between teacher resilience and personal faith. The present project addresses this gap in knowledge by investigating narrative accounts of teachers’ individual experiences with resilience in relation to their personal faith. The Thematic Analysis of two group interviews with 16 teachers indicates that the teachers’ personal faith provided religiously motivated narrative frameworks that facilitated the interpretation of one’s experiences. By resonating with basic constituents of identity construction (i.e. meaning, distinctiveness, self-esteem), the religious interpretation of conflicts shielded the teachers’ identity from threat in times of distress. In conclusion, the present study’s exploratory results suggest that personal faith may improve teacher resilience. Future, large-scale studies may provide further evidence to reconsider the role of religious education in teacher training as important factor in the development of teacher-resilience.


PHILLIPS, R. 2021. Teachers' faith, identity processes and resilience: a qualitative approach. British journal of religious education [online], 43(3), pages 310-319. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 17, 2021
Online Publication Date Feb 26, 2021
Publication Date Sep 30, 2021
Deposit Date Feb 26, 2021
Publicly Available Date Aug 27, 2022
Journal British journal of religious education
Print ISSN 0141-6200
Electronic ISSN 1740-7931
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 43
Issue 3
Pages 310-319
Keywords Christianity; Faith; Identity processes; Identity threat; Resilience; Primary schools
Public URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations