Schooling Matters webinar: Watch now

Church attenders' perceptions about Australian schooling


Our webinar on 25th October 2023 presented the latest findings and reflections on how Christian church attenders view Australian schooling. Does schooling matter to churchgoers? What influences choice of schools? What are their experiences and views on spirituality in learning and education?   


Webinar presentations now available for viewing


View the presentation by Dr Ruth Powell:


View the presentation by Dr Darren Iselin:

About the webinar

This webinar presented the latest findings on the views of Christian church attenders on Australian schooling. It explored how schooling matters to church attenders, what influences attenders’ choice of schools, the impact of school on their own lives, and their views of engaging with spirituality and faith in learning and education. It also included a discussion of the implications for teachers and school leaders.

Based on findings from the 2021-22 National Church Life Survey across more than 20 denominations, it provides the most comprehensive picture of church attender attitudes in Australia.  


You will discover:

  1. A brief history of religious schools in Australia

  2. What factors matter most to church attenders in choosing a school

  3. The impact of secondary school on church attenders

  4. Attenders' views on the importance of engagement with spirituality in government schools



Speakers for this webinar were Ruth Powell, Director of NCLS Research and Dr Darren Iselin, Director of Research and Innovation, Christian Schools Australia. Dr Ruth Powell presented research findings on based on the 2021 NCLS followed by Dr Darren Iselin who provided his reflections on the implications of these findings for teachers and school leaders.


Dr Ruth Powell is Director of NCLS Research. Ruth has worked with NCLS Research since 1991 and became Director in 2007. She also holds a position as Associate Professor and Research Fellow, Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Charles Sturt University.  Ruth has a heart to empower churches, schools, faith based agencies and other community leaders through world-leading research projects—including NCLS Research’s flagship program, the National Church Life Survey (NCLS). An excellent communicator, Ruth has a talent for drawing out relevant, accessible insights from the vast reservoir of complex data available in the NCLS.

Dr Darren Iselin is Director of Research and Innovation, Christian Schools Australia. Darren has over 25 years of leadership experience within Christian education, in Australian and international contexts, and has served in a diverse range of CEO, principal, and executive leadership roles and responsibilities in both K–12 schooling, and higher education sectors. He has completed extensive formal study including doctoral work through the University of Queensland. 

This webinar is brought to you by:



Data Sources:

2021 National Church Life Survey

Related Articles

Student Spiritual Life Survey

A survey to understand the spiritual beliefs, attitudes and practices of your students and the impact of your school