Browse our learning and professional development opportunities available as part of the Enhancing Catholic School Identity (ECSI) Project.

Religious Education 2 (undergraduate only)

If you are an undergraduate student studying Religious Education 2 (ADRE 102 or EDRE 102), you will have an opportunity to participate in the ECSI Project through a web module designed and created by Katholieke Universiteit (KU) Leuven, in collaboration with ACU, through the Victorian Bishops’ Research Grant.

The module is distinctive because it offers not just access to the surveys, but also further resources to enhance your understanding of the theological foundations of this important development in Catholic education.

As a graduate applying for employment within a Catholic school, you will be able to show their completion of an ECSI portfolio.

Explore more undergraduate theology 


ECSI for Beginners

A fully online professional learning module designed by ACU and KU Leuven, specifically for practising Catholic school teachers, staff and education leaders. It provides you with an opportunity to undertake the ESCI surveys, helps you understand them, and guides you in interpreting your data.

The module is ideal if you are seeking an introduction to ECSI, or professional accreditation hours1. You can undertake the module at your own pace, over the course of a term or a semester, and your online learning will be supported by preparatory and debriefing sessions with ACU theologians.

Completing ECSI for Beginners is equivalent to one third of the academic requirements for THCT605: Enhancing Catholic Identity: Introducing the Leuven Project.

1 50 accreditation hours are subject to the approval of your Catholic education office.

Expressions of interest

Associate Professor Robyn Horner
School of Theology
Email Robyn Horner
Phone: (03) 9953 3130

Ready to sign up for ECSI for Beginners? Fill out our form

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Enhancing Catholic Identity: Introducing the Leuven Project

Developed by ACU and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in conjunction with Catholic education partners, THCT605: Enhancing Catholic Identity: Introducing the Leuven Project explores contemporary theology in the area of Catholic school identity. It focuses on the theology, methodology and pedagogy of the ECSI Project.

This unit can be undertaken as part of the Master of Theological Studies (MTS) and Master of Professional Studies in Theology (MPST) degrees at ACU, or as a professional learning activity.

2020 offerings

This unit will be offered in the following locations in 2020

  • SA: Adelaide, 8 – 10 July and 7 – 8 August

Download information flyer

  • VIC: Ballarat, June 29 – July 3

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  • QLD: Brisbane October 12 – 16

Download information flyer

Learning outcomes

Explain the theological foundations of the ECSI project and the hermeneutic-communicative model.

Demonstrate an understanding of the theoretical framework for the ECSI instruments.

Interpret data generated by the ECSI instruments accurately and with insight with respect to personal areas for growth.


  • Views of the contemporary situation: detraditionalisation and pluralisation
  • Theology and tradition
  • The nature and purposes of the Catholic School
  • The hermeneutic-communicative model
  • Undertaking the ECSI survey
  • Theoretical and methodological frameworks for the ECSI instruments
  • Interpreting the ECSI survey results
  • Conditions for authentic dialogue
  • Theology as recontextualisation
  • Enhancing Catholic School Identity: What do I do now?


This unit is offered in a blended mode over three phases.

1. Preparatory phase

Participants will complete an online module and preliminary reading prior to attending the residential intensive.

The completed material is not graded and is not accessible to teaching staff, however, it will form part of your preparation for assessment in the unit.

2. Intensive residential phase

Participants engage in seminars and activities designed to enhance and deepen their engagement with the resources.

During this phase, participants will develop skills to interpret the data generated by the ECSI instruments, and the ability to communicate their understanding in ways that support Catholic schools, educational systems, and communities in enhancing their Catholic identity.

3. Consolidation phase

Participants reflect critically on the personal challenges and implications of ECSI. A webinar will support participants in the completion of the final assessment task.


All assessment items relate to real-world situations and opportunities.

Task one

Participants are asked to:

  • describe the theological background, aims and purposes of the ECSI Project
  • define the project’s key terms
  • analyse data from the three ECSI scales
  • discuss some of the challenges posed by the ECSI Project in the contemporary context
  • where possible, participants are given the opportunity to work with their own school or diocesan data.
Task two

Participants are asked to:

  • reflect on their personal Catholic identity in light of the aims and purposes of the ECSI Project
  • identify ways in which their understanding of, and identification with, Catholic identity has changed as a result of their learning in the unit
  • reflect critically on the personal and professional implications and challenges of ECSI.

Participation options

If you’re wishing to undertake this unit, you may do so via one of the following modes:

Completing the unit for credit
  • Course admission and enrolment: This unit constitutes 10 credit points and is part of the 160-point Master of Theological Studies and the 120-point Master of Professional Studies in Theology. Upon completion of this unit, you’ll have the opportunity to undertake a second, more advanced unit on the ECSI Project.
  • Credit towards another masters course: If you’re enrolled in another ACU program – such as the Master of Religious Education or Master of Educational Leadership – you should approach your Course Coordinator to apply for credit into those courses.
  • Individual unit enrolment: You may enrol in an individual unit and complete the assessment, but do not enrol in a course at this time. You may seek to credit the unit to a relevant course in which you enrol in the next few years.
Completing the unit for general interest and professional learning
  • Audit: You are welcome to audit the unit and will not be required to complete the assessment. Please note, however, that preference will be given to applicants seeking academic credit for the unit; the assessment tasks are designed to ensure that participants are able to read and interpret the ECSI surveys with confidence.

“I found the presentations by lecturers and guided discussion fantastic. They gave me greater insight into theological background, teachings and understandings into Catholic education in a contemporary world.”

2018 unit participant

Recontextualisation: The Challenge for Authentic Transformation

THCT606: Recontextualisation: The Challenge for Authentic Transformation is designed by ACU theologians in collaboration with Professor Didier Pollefeyt (KU Leuven), and offers you the opportunity to deepen your engagement with the ECSI Project. It is suitable for those who have completed Enhancing Catholic Identity: Introducing the Leuven Project.

This unit can be undertaken as part of the Master of Theological Studies (MTS) and Master of Professional Studies in Theology (MPST) degree at ACU, or as a professional learning activity.

Unit THCT606, will be offered on the ACU Rome campus September 27 – October 9, 2020 (Date to be confirmed)

For more information about this study tour download the brochure

Study Tour Levy – All students

Study Tour Levy - Audit Students Only

Further information

Reach out to one of our staff if you have any questions related to the learning opportunities of the Enhancing Catholic School Identity Project.

Contact us 

Please contact Dr Christiaan Jacobs-Vandegeer if you would like more information about any of our learning opportunities related to the ECSI Project.

Dr Christiaan Jacobs-Vandegeer
Director of Stakeholder Relations
Email Dr Christiaan Jacobs-Vandegeer
Phone: 03 9953 3553


Funding and support
Please contact your local Catholic education office for specific questions about support and funding for enrolment.

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