25 November 2010: Australian Catholic University (ACU) has launched a new partnership with ecumenical Church research group, NCLS Research.
NCLS Research comprises of the Uniting Church NSW/ACT Board of Mission, Anglicare Sydney, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, and now ACU.
Best known for its five‐yearly National Church Life Surveys, NCLS Research has interests in developing healthy churches, growing sustainable leaders, and connecting churches and their communities to enhance the spirituality and well‐being of individuals.
NCLS Research Director Dr Ruth Powell said the group is a world leader in studies of congregational life.
“NCLS Research has developed strong and positive collaboration across Australian churches for over 20 years and we are very pleased to work with ACU to expand the development of this important research,” she said.
“NCLS Research strengths include a focus on practical application for churches as well as unique and extensive datasets. We hope that this new relationship will benefit researchers at ACU and NCLS Research as well as extend the value and effectiveness of our combined impact on the community.
Professor Thomas Martin, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) at ACU, said the new partnership was one of the most important ecumenical research collaborations ever achieved in Australia.
“Both organisations are driven not just by similar commitments but by the shared goals of social justice, spirituality, quality of life and the dignity of humankind,” he said. “It brings together ACU, a university with extensive research infrastructure and multiple sources of research funding, and NCLS Research, an established world leader in the gathering, storage and management of copious research data relating to church and the community.
“This data is of unique value because it documents everything from changing attitudes and behaviours of the community over two decades, to social, religious and moral issues.
“Working together, ACU and NCLS Research is an ecumenical research powerhouse that provides stakeholders, regulators and politicians with strong evidence‐based argument to drive the policy changes essential for the well‐being of the community.”
The 2011 National Church Life Survey will be held next year, and will involve thousands of local churches in around 20 denominations.
[L-R] ACU Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven, NCLS Research Director Dr Ruth Powell, Tina Rendell, Executive Director of the Board of Mission, and Professor Thomas Martin, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) at ACU.