At Alphacrucis University College, we are making real-world impact in the local, national and international spheres, motivated from a uniquely Christian worldview. Alphacrucis University College is undergirded by a philosophical commitment to seeing communities transform from the ground up. With research foci in Theology, Business and Education Arts and Social Science disciplines, the University College is uniquely situated in its pursuit of excellence in the area of Christian Leadership, and its application to various public and private organisational spheres. As such, with its strong focus on the applied relevance of its research areas and a commitment to its institutional ethos, community engagement and real-world impact are central features of the University College’s Research program.
The Korean Department of Alphacrucis University College recently hosted an international mission and church planting conference run by the Korean Society of Mission Studies (KSOMS). The KSOMS is an ecumenical professional association based at Mokowan University which brings together over 230 academics and missionaries and is presided over by its President, Dr Dong-Gyu Choi from Seoul Theological University.
This joint conference drew together approximately 120 people including scholars, Sydney-based Korean pastors and Christian leaders, lay people, and Alphacrucis alumni and students, including higher degree candidates. The theme of the conference centred on the various issues shaping Post-Modern Christian mission and included the following conference papers;
Session 1: 2:00pm -3.30 pm
Presider: Dr Oh-Hun Kwon, Mokwon University
Dr Chil-Sung Kim, “A study on the First Korean missionaries,” Mokwon University
Dr Ki-Tae Song, “An analysis of leadership styles of Korean diaspora pastoral leaders in Sydney,” Alphacrucis University College
Rev Sung-Tae Kim, “Ministry to Aboriginals and a suggestion to Korean Church’s engagement in the ministry.”
Session 2: 4:00pm – 6:00 pm
Presider: Oh-Young Kwon, Alphacrucis University College
Dr Eun-Soo Kim, “Tendency and preview of post-modern mission,” Chun Joo University
Seung-Kyu Lee, “A study on the possibility of Agency Theology,” King’s College, London
Sng-Rack Joo, “Sociological implications of Fresh expressions of church as a model of missional church: a qualitative study of entrepreneurial church planting,” Seoul Theological University
This international conference was a great success and provided a wonderful setting for critical academic collaboration between scholars, mission agency executives and students. The AC Korean Department looks forward to ongoing engagement with high quality international conferences and academic bodies such as KSOMS as it seeks to advance its scholarly engagement with Korean diaspora studies and the historical, social and theological dimensions of the Korean Church, both in Australia and abroad.
SPOTLIGHT ON GRANTS
In 2017, the Australian Research Theology Foundation Inc. provided funding for “Dreaming and Spirit-filled Christianity: Intersections of Pentecostal/Charismatic and Australian Spirituality.” This project explores intersections between Spirituality of the Dreaming and Pentecostal/Charismatic Christianity from the perspective of Aboriginal Australian Pentecostals. As such, it elevates the diverse perspectives of Aboriginal pastors and leaders, seeking to reveal ways in which their Christian faith and Indigenous spiritualties are navigated.
Central to the project is elevating the voices of Christian Aboriginal leaders, thus, the project is grounded on a qualitative methodology that brings together the written work of Christian Aboriginals as well as narratives constructed from interviews with Aboriginal pastors and leaders. Project leaders have coordinated with The Grasstree Gathering, a national, non-denominational event that brings together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian leaders from across Australia.
The project facilitates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in research, not merely as subjects but as researchers and writers. Additionally, while the project predominantly focuses on Aboriginal Pentecostal voices, it maintains a broad scope for the incorporation of other denominational voices within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait community.
This project advances research in the study of the intersection between two religious traditions that are of primary importance in Australia’s public life, while amplifying Aboriginal voices which are too often marginalised in theological academic discourse. Furthermore, the project has the flavour of an interreligious dialogue with the key difference being that the subject of the spiritual experiences in question represents both traditions. As a theoretical project, it is properly categorised as research into basic theology, but it has an applied relevance, since the intersections identified can inform liturgical practices. The works collated will be published in the Australasian Pentecostal Studies Supplementary series.
In 2017, Alphacrucis University College and Chaplaincy Australia received two research grants from ACC NSW State Executive to develop culturally sensitive and pedagogically appropriate chaplaincy training materials for Australian Indigenous leaders. These materials were subsequently used in a three-day ministry chaplaincy Upgrade course which was undertaken by seven experienced Aboriginal pastoral leaders training to become Chaplains. Furthermore, Chaplaincy Australia offered scholarships to these Aboriginal leaders to undertake their training. As a result of the generosity from ACC NSW and the partnership between AC and Chaplaincy Australia, these Chaplains can now reach out to individuals in Indigenous communities who are out of reach of the Church. To read more about Indigenous Chaplaincy, please click here.
In 2018, Alphacrucis University College was awarded funding for a project titled, Postgraduate Training for the Next Generation of Christian Non-for-Profit Leaders. The grant funds awarded will engage an external organisation to work collaboratively with the Dean of Business and other AC staff to establish a Non-for-Profit leadership stream within our existing Master of Leadership program. The university college is uniquely positioned in that it provides both Christian theological and business/leadership training at a degree-level. This project addresses further needs specifically within the Christian NFP sector by training up Christian leaders who are equipped with both leadership and theological expertise, and therefore able to manage complex NFP organisations. It is anticipated that the project will make a long-term contribution to the quality of Christian leadership in the sector.
FROM OUR RESEARCH CENTRES
The Centre for the Future of Schooling is leading the way in terms of embedding research cultures into school practice. A critical element of its Hub delivery design is the incorporation of research at all levels, from Work-based Learning at VET level, to research-based units in Initial Teacher Education (BEd Primary and Secondary, MTeach Primary and Secondary) and Continuing Professional Development courses (MEd, MEdLead). At the core of this process are the research groups based on cluster-based Higher Degree by Research (HDR) programs, in which campus-based groups of teacher-researchers, under the supervision of a tertiary supervisor, pursue research programs aligned to each Hub’s strategic goals. At the time of writing, students in AC Hubs are pursuing sector-leading research programs on areas as various as: character formation in schools; intrinsic/ extrinsic motivational regimes for GenZ; parent involvement in school governance; new campus strategies; mission drift in ethos-driven cultures; student well-being metrics; and inclusiveness cultures among teachers. In addition, CFS is empowering school-based research cultures through participation in linkage grant applications. In October 2018, for instance, AISNSW announced that an AC/ SPCC DALE partnership was successful in its bid for $100,000 to carry out the project “Not just ‘cherry-picking aspiration’: Implementing CPS for students with special needs.”
The Australasian Pentecostal Studies Centre has been instrumental in elevating and shaping current and future scholarship in the area of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianities. It comprises the largest collection of Australasian Pentecostal and Charismatic materials in the southern hemisphere. Over several years, the APSC has attracted funding from the National Library of Australia which has been absorbed into heritage collection training workshops for AC staff and members of external heritage collections, as well as significance and preservation assessments of the APSC materials. In her 2015 Significance Assessment, Dr Roslyn Russell claimed that “the APSC is of considerable historical significance for its capacity to trace the development of Pentecostal spirituality in Australia from the revivals and street meetings of the early twentieth century to massive churches such as Hillsong.”
In 2017, the APSC established a partnership with the Religion and Society Research Cluster within the School of Social Sciences and Psychology at Western Sydney University to jointly convene the Pentecostal Charismatic Christianities in Oceania Annual Symposium. Uniquely, the symposium elicits cross-disciplinary dialogue between historical and anthropological approaches to Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianities Studies, from both secular and Christian worldviews. As such, the APSC has made considerable developments in the emerging field of Pentecostal and Charismatic studies. If you would like to know more about the Australasian Pentecostal Studies Centre, its collection and activities please visit the APSC website.
A recent addition to AC’s Research Centres, CLASS has been promoting faculty development and reflection on better learning practices. In addition to supporting ongoing series such as the Research Colloquia and Research Roundtable lectures, professional development for faculty were held in each of AC’s campuses to train faculty specifically in the areas off online learning and teaching in diverse classrooms to support the Office of Digital Learning’s efforts to revolutionise AC’s online learning experience. CLASS has also been focused on equipping women faculty, through the Women Faculty Lunch series which is designed to address topics that are of particular relevance to women in academia.