Associate Professor Ruth Powell

Associate Professor Ruth Powell

Honorary Professor

Associate Professor Ruth Powell is Director of NCLS Research, a research centre that focuses on church vitality and community spirituality and wellbeing. Ruth has worked with NCLS Research since 1991 and became Director in 2007. She also holds a position as Associate Professor at Australian Catholic University (ACU).

Major projects for NCLS Research include the five-yearly National Church Life Survey, which commenced in 1991 and forms the basis of one of the largest, most comprehensive databases on church life of its kind in the world. The 2016 NCLS included more than a quarter of a million church attenders from 3000 local churches representing most Australian Christian denominations, from Catholic, Anglican, Uniting, other Protestant and Pentecostal faith traditions.  

As well as conducting research projects on both church and community life, NCLS Research provides resources to every local church that participates as well as local and wider church leadership. These are aimed to assist churches identify and build on their strengths. 

Ruth’s own primary interests lie in assisting churches to reflect on their interaction with the wider Australian community. As well as church health, and tracking changes in church life over time, she has worked on differences between age cohorts, and potential generational influences over time.


Field of Research

  • 1699 Other Studies in Human Society
  • 2102 Curatorial and Related Studies
  • 2103 Historical Studies
  • 2204 Religion and Religious Studies