University of Malta

Prof. Adrian M. Gellel
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After graduating in education Adrian Gellel pursued his studies in Catechetics and Youth Ministry at the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome. In May 2005 he was awarded the doctorate with Summa cum Laude after successfully defending the thesis, Adapting Religious Education to Individual Students’ requirements: A means of being faithful to the Pedagogy of God in the classroom. The Salesian University honoured him with the University’s Medal. In these past years he has published and researched on a wide range of subjects especially in the fields of Children’s Spirituality, and Religious Education. His academic interests have led him to organise the International Conference on Children’s Spirituality, to be nominated as a Theological Advisor to The Center of Spiritual Development in Childhood and Adolescents, Minnesota, USA, and to be accepted as an associate member of the International Seminar on Religious Education and Values (ISREV).

Adrian is also actively involved in ministry within the Maltese Archdiocese. He was member of various diocesan bodies and contributed in the local Synod. He also served as the National Co-ordinator for Religious Education in School for the Catholic Church in Malta. At Present he is a Board member of the Pastoral Formation Institute.

Dr Adrian M. Gellel


  • GELLEL Adrian, Adapting Religious Education to Individual Requirements. A means of being faithful to the Pedagogy of God in the classroom, Malta: Foundation for Theological Studies 2007.

Edited Journals

  • International Journal of Children’s Spirituality. Special Issue: Valuing the language of intergenerational wisdom in the spiritual education of children, 12/1 (2007).

Chapters in Books

    • GELLEL, A.M. & SULTANA, M, (in press). Aspects of Feminine Spirituality in the Maltese Village Festa, in R. GOTHÒNI (Ed.), Experience: North
      and South
      , Oxford, Peter Lang.
    • GELLEL, A.M. (in press), Responding to the challenges of globalization through an education anchored in Christian Anthropology in M.T. BUCHANAN (Ed.), Effective Leadership for Religious Schools: What Leaders Should Know, London, Continuum.
    • GELLEL, A.M. (in press). The Spiritual life of Maltese adolescents attending Catholic Schools, in T. VAN DER ZEE & T. LOVAT (Eds.), New Perspectives on Religious and Spiritual Education, Münster, Waxmann.
    • GELLEL Adrian, An Inter-Religious basis for a Denominational Religious Education. A Paradox?, in Kathleen ENGEBRETSON, Marian DE SOUZA, Gloria DURKA, Lian GEARON (eds), International Handbook of Inter-Religious Education, Netherlands: Springer 2010, pp. 441-456.
    • GELLEL Adrian, Teachers as key players in Value Education. Implication for their formation, in Terry LOVAT & Ron TOOMEY (eds), Handbook of Values Education as Student Wellbeing, Netherlands: Springer 2010. pp. 163-178.
    • GELLEL Adrian, Malta: accentuated similarities between catechists and religious educators, in Hans-Georg ZIEBERTZ & Ulrick RIEGEL    (eds), How Teacherts in Europe Teach Religion, An Internationmal Empirical Study, Berlin: Lit Verlag 2009. pp. 125-135.
    • GELLEL Adrian and SULTANA Mark, Leaping from Non Secular to Post Secular. A Study of the Maltese Scenario in Hans-Georg ZIEBERTZ and Ulrich RIEGEL (eds), Europe as a postsecular Society. Reflections on Religion and Societal Cohesion, Berlin: Lit Verlag 2008. pp. 111-126.
    • GELLEL Adrian, Adapting to the Requirements of the individual in the R.E. Classroom, in Marian DE SOUZA, Kathleen ENGEBRETSON, Gloria DURKA, Robert JACKSON, and Andrew MCGRADY (eds), International Handbook of the Religious, Spiritual and Moral Dimensions of Education, Netherlands: Springer 2006. pp. 1093-1109.
    • GELLEL Adrian, Saintly Children: Roman Catholicism and the nurture of children, in Karen-Marie YUST, Aostre N. JOHNSON, Sandy EISENBERG SASSO, and Eugene C. ROEHLKEPARTAIN (eds), Nurturing Child and Adolescent Spirituality: Religious Perspectives on Spirituality in Childhood and Adolescence, USA: Rowman & Littlefield, 2006. pp. 83-94.

    Journal Articles

    • GELLEL, A.M., The Impact of cultural religious values upon pre-service teachers perceptions of their role as educators in Catholic religious schools, in Journal of Beliefs and values, 32 (2011) 3, 317-327. DOI: 10.1080/13617672.2011.627688
    • GELLEL, A.M, Adaptive Religious Education at the service of inventiveness: A scientific way of being creative and effective in Religious Education. The Person and the Challenges, in he Journal of Theology, Education Canon Law and Social Studies Inspired by Pope John Paul II, 1(2011) 1, 99-111.
    • GELLEL Adrian,  Nurturing Spirituality through Symbol Literacy in Religious Education, in Journal of Religious Education, 58 (2010) 3. pp. 44-51.
    • GELLEL A.M., Trobbija fl-edukazzjoni spiritwali tat-tfal, in Tereża, Rivista enċikolpedika  ta’ Spiritwalità 7 (2010) 4, 251-263.
    • GELLEL, A.M. & SULTANA, M., A language for the Catholic Church in Malta, in Melita Theologica 59(2008) 2, 21-36.
    • FRENDO A.J., preface and conclusion by GELLEL, A.M. (2007). ‘Come and
      See’: an existential Approach to received Wisdom
      , in International Journal of Children’s Spirituality, 12(2007) 1, 9-16. DOI: 10.1080/13644360701270848
    • GELLEL Adrian, Valuing the language of intergenerational wisdom in the spiritual education of children, in International Journal of Children’s Spirituality. 12/1 (2007). pp. 1-3. DOI: 10.1080/13644360701265863
    • GELLEL Adrian, The Individualised Pedagogy of Christ, in Melita Theologica 52 (2001) 1,  51-66.
    • GELLEL Adrian,  Dmirijietna lejn il-ħtiġijiet Spiritwali tat-Tfal, in Knisja 2000 45 (1998) 11.


    • GELLEL Adrian et al., Religious Education in Malta. Reflections by the Catholic Community, unpublished report prepared by the Secretariat for Catechesis. Consultation document Malta 2008.
    • GELLEL Adrian et al., Spiritual formation in Catholic Schools. A report presented to the Kunsill tas-Superjuri Maġġuri Reliġjużi. unpublished report 2007.
    • GELLEL Adrian, Report on the Religion Examination Papers for Admission into Junior Lyceums and Church School, in Grace GRIMA et al. (eds), Transition from Primary to Secondary Schools. A Review, Malta: Ministry of Education, Culture  and Sports 2008. pp.309-348.

    Pastoral and Didactic Material

    • POLIDANO, D.,  GATT, K., GELLEL, A., GERADA, V., & MICALLEF, S., (2011). L-Avventura ta’ Ħajti. Ktieb tar-Reliġjon għall-ewwel sena tal-iskola sekondarja, Malta: Segretarjat għall-Katekeżi, 2011.
    • GELLEL Adrian, L-Edukazzjoni fit-Tagħlim ta’ Papa Benedittu XVI, f’ SCERRI Hector (ed.), Skemi bi tħejjija għaż-żjara ta’ Papa f’Malta, Malta: Kummissjoni Teoloġika Djoċesana 2010. pp. 39-42.
    • GELLEL Adrian (ed.), L-avventura tal-grazzja ta' Alla f'Malta. Mixja b'riflessjonijiet bibliċi fil-postijiet fejn skont it-tradizzjoni terraq San Pawl, Malta: Pastoral Formation Institute 2009.
    • GELLEL Adrian, Raġel u Mara għamilhom. Test għat-tagħlim tar-Reliġjon, Unit 6, Malta 2003.
    • GELLEL Adrian, Il-Ħbieb, Test għat-tagħlim tar-Reliġjon, Unit 5, Malta 2002.


    Book Reviews

    • GELLEL, A.M., Review of the book Values, virtues and violence: education and the public understanding of morality, by G. HAYDON, in International Journal of Children’s Spirituality, 9 (2004) 1, 108-110.
    • GELLEL, A.M., Review of books Religious diversity and education – Nordic perspectives edited by G. SKEIE and Religious education in a world of religious diversity  edited by W.J.A. MEIJER, S. MIEDEMA & A. LANSER VAN DERVELDE, in International Journal of Children’s Spirituality, 16 (2011) 2, 187-194. DOI: 10.1080/1364436X.2011.580994

    Papers Read  

    • GELLEL Adrian & SULTANA Mark,  Aspects of Feminine Spirituality in Maltese Popular Religion, a paper presented at the Religious Experience: North South, An International Symposium organised by the Department of World Cultures at the University of Helsinki, Finland 7-8 October 2010.
    • GELLEL Adrian, Spiritual Life of Maltese Adolescents attending Catholic Schools, a paper presented at the New Perspectives in Religious and Spiritual Education organised by EARLI SIG19, Religious and Spiritual Education, at the University of Malta, Malta 26-28 August 2010.
    • GELLEL Adrian and SULTANA Mark, A language for the Catholic Church in Malta, a paper presented to a dialogue forum between the Church authorities and invited representatives of Society, Malta November 2007.
    • GELLEL Adrian, Doing Theology through the Affective Dimension, a paper presented at the Theological Encounters, Faculty of Theology, Malta February 2006.
    • GELLEL Adrian, Can Cognitive Style predict Scholastic Performance? A study of 13 year olds, in Interactive Multiple Perspective on Effective Learning Environment. 11th Biennial Conference, Nicosia, Cyprus: a conference organised by the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction 2005.
    • GELLEL Adrian, Respecting the environment. A Christian Perspective, in Caring for Future Generations: An inter-religious Educational Agenda. Malta: a conference orgainsed jointly by the Future Generations Programme and UNESCO 2000.

    Organisation of Conferences

    • August 2010: Convener and organiser of the 2nd International Conference EARLI SIG19 Religious and Spiritual Education Conference.
    • July 2005: Convener and organiser of 6th International Conference of Children Spirituality, held under the auspices of Children Worldviews Project hosted by the Faculty of Theology


    • Theological Advisor to The Center of Spiritual Development in Childhood and Adolescents, Minnesota, USA - 2006-2009.

    International Consulting Editor

    • The Person and the Challenges: The Journal of Theology, Education Canon
    • Law and Social Studies Inspired by Pope John Paul II - 2011 - to date.  
    • Australian Journal of Religious Education - 2008 - to date.
    • International Journal of Children’s Spirituality - 2007  - to date.
      Educational Research Reviev - 2007 - 2010

    Closing Date Dissertation Proposals
    Deadline to present dissertation proposals for next Faculty Board is Wednesday 29th November 2017 at 1700hrs

    Augustinian Institute Academic Year 2017-18

     Click here for more information


    Dissertation Logbook
    The Dissertation Logbook can be found here.

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    Note to Contributors of Melita Theologica
      A set of guidelines for Contributions to Melita Theologica has been published.

    Last Updated: 17 February 2015

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