This article serves as an introduction to a collection of articles that explores emancipatory methodologies for doing theology and research with children. We focus on both the agency and the participation of children as an ethics and children’s rights imperative as well as the potential impact and outcomes of theology and research that focus on children. The article emphasises that such research should be preceded by an epistemological shift that recognises the validity of local, experiential and different knowledges while insisting on participatory approaches in generating and constructing knowledge. It emphasises a rights-based approach and provides guidelines for ethical and collaborative research with children, moving beyond the paralysis of an ethics conundrum. The life and work of Janet Prest Talbot, who embodies commitment to children’s rights, children’s participation, child justice and God’s joy over children forms a backdrop of and inspiration for this article.