Staff – Philip Hughes
Rev Dr Philip Hughes reitred from the Christian Reseach Association in June 2016.
Brief Biography – Rev Dr Philip Hughes
Rev Dr Philip Hughes has been a senior research officer with the Christian Research Association since its foundation in 1985. He has postgraduate degrees in philosophy, theology and education, has undertaken many empirical studies in the areas of religion, values, and personal and communal wellbeing. For many years Philip Hughes was a research fellow at the Centre for Social Justice Research, Edith Cowan University. He is now an honorary research fellow at that university. He is also an honorary research fellow at the MCD University of Divinity.
One of the foci of his research has been the spirituality of young Australians. He was a member of the team which conducted the seminal ‘Spirit of Generation Y’ study between 2002 and 2008. He has been involved in various studies of young people in schools. In 2007, he wrote Putting Life Together: Findings from Australian Youth Spirituality Research. He conducted a large national study of chaplaincy in Australian government schools in 2009 and in 2010, a study of ‘Engaging the Bible’ with youth and youth leaders through Australia. He is currently conducting another round of surveys of students on youth spirituality.
Another focus has been the organisation and leadership in rural churches. Philip Hughes has led several projects on the rural churches in the Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran, and Uniting congregations. Several of these studies have been published as ‘occasional papers’. A brief summary of some of the research, designed to assist leaders within the rural churches has been published as Sowing and Nurturing: Challenges and Possibilities for Rural Churches.
Philip Hughes has been involved in research internationally. Since completing his doctorate with the South East Asia School of Theology, he has continued to conduct research in Thailand. Recent studies have involved surveys of Buddhist, Muslim and Christian young people. One account of those studies was published in Social Compass, Vol.55, no.3, in 2008.
For approximately 20 years, Philip Hughes has been associated with the Lausanne Researchers International Network – a network of people around the world interested in church and mission related research. For several years, he chaired the committee which runs the Network. The Network holds conferences every three years. Philip Hughes organised the conference held in Geelong in 2008 and was highly involved in the organisation of the conference in Sao Paulo in 2011. Philip Hughes also regularly presents at other international conferences such as the International Society for the Sociology of Religion.
Amongst his other responsibilities, Philip Hughes is the chair of the Council of Kingswood College, a Uniting Church school. He is secretary of the Maroondah Interfaith Network, and he is a member of the Research Committee of the MCD University of Divinity.
Philip Hughes is ordained as a minister of religion within the Uniting Church in Australia. He has had 16 years pastoral experience in three churches: inner city, rural town, and suburban.