Mr Stephen Reid

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

Research Coordinator

Stephen is the contact for all contract research, speaking engagements and other enquiries and works on a part-time basis, usually one or two days per week. He has been a researcher with the Christian Research Association since 2007. During that time he has also worked concurrently with the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference National Centre for Pastoral Research, where is a Senior Researcher. Stephen holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Social Research and a Bachelor of Theology, and is currently a Doctor of Ministry candidate at Alphacrusis College, investigating the effectiveness of sports chaplaincy in Australia. Stephen is married with three high school aged children and lives in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

Mr Ashley Manly

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018


Ashley works behind the scenes entering book sales and subscriptions, keeping the accounts balanced, keeping membership data up to date and forwarding emails to the appropriate CRA personnel. Ashley has worked at keeping the gears turning in small businesses both overseas in a third world country and in Australia.

Introduction To Our Cra Approved Researchers

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

At its 2017 Annual General Meeting, the Board of the Christian Research Association agreed on a proposal to appoint Approved Researchers to assist the CRA to undertake contract research as appropriate. The Approved Researchers will also contribute regularly to Pointers.

The following provides a very brief summary of four of CRA’s Approved Researchers.

Rev Dr Philip Hughes

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

Philip has spent most of his life in research on the spiritual and religious dimensions of culture and their expression in both religious organisations and schools. For 31 years, he was the senior research officer of the Christian Research Association. He also worked for 11 years at Edith Cowan University, and is an honorary Research Fellow with the University of Divinity and the Catholic Pastoral Research Office. He is now the chief supervisor for post-graduate research at Harvest Bible College. For 30 years, he has served on school councils, and for 10 years chaired the Council of Kingswood College, a Uniting Church school in Box Hill. Philip has written more than 60 books and hundreds of articles. He is ordained as a minister of religion within the Uniting Church in Australia, and had 16 years pastoral experience in three churches: inner city, rural town, and suburban.

Dr Wilma Gallet

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

Wilma worked in the public service for many years before being asked by The Salvation Army to establish E-Plus, the Army’s employment services, and became its founding CEO. Since that time, she has worked extensively with other welfare agencies in the various denominations. Wilma has served on a range of government committees and forums, including both the National Council of Drugs and Welfare Reform Consultative Forum. Her PhD from Melbourne University investigated church-administered welfare and government.

Dr Bob Dixon

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

Bob retired as Foundation Director of the Pastoral Research Office of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (now the ACBC National Centre for Pastoral Research) in 2016, after 21 years in the role. He is an Honorary Professor of Australian Catholic University and an Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Divinity. Bob holds degrees in science, education and theology, and a PhD in sociology. He has authored and co-authored numerous publications about the demography of the Australian Catholic population, aspects of Catholic belief and practice, and Catholic parishes.

Dr Ruth Webber

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

Ruth is an Honorary Professor at Australian Catholic University (ACU) and holds honorary appointments at the University of Divinity, the ACBC National Centre for Pastoral Research and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ruth has degrees in sociology, psychology and education, and from 2004 until 2013 was the director of ACU’s Quality of Life and Social Justice Research Centre, conducting research in areas related to social justice, such as intellectual disability, social engagement, youth spirituality, sexual assault and natural disasters. Since formally retiring in 2014, she has undertaken private research for several non-profit welfare agencies.

Cra Presentations

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Through 2011, CRA staff made a number of presentations. Some were at national and international conferences. Others were at staff professional development days. Some were to small groups of leaders or students. The presentations in 2011 included the following:

The Effectiveness of Chaplaincy. This presentation drew on the national study of chaplaincy in government schools was given to students preparing themselves to be chaplains at Whitley College, Melbourne.

Understanding Youth Spirituality – presentation to staff at Catholic Regional College, Melton.

Pastoral Planning in Rural Settings – presentation to a Conference on Pastoral Planning regarding possibilities of leadership in rural churches.

Spirituality and Work – a workshop held at Glen Waverley Uniting Church exploring work as a calling and as a source of meaning.

Young People’s Worlds of Meaning and Implications for Catholic Educators – a presentation at the National Catholic Education Convention in Adelaide, September 2011.

The National Spirit – presentation to directors of the Seventh-day Adventist Church on general religious and spiritual trends in Australia.

Commodification of Religion: World Trends – presentation at the 6th Lausanne Researchers’ International Conference in Brazil, April 2011. A study of how religion is increasingly viewed around the world from the perspective of a consumer.

Trends in Family Life – presentation at the 6th Lausanne Researchers’ International Conference in Brazil, April 2011. The presentation explored the changes occurring in the composition of family households, and the contributions that churches make in influencing the shape of family life.

Commodification of Religion and Religious Tolerance – presentation at the conference of the International Society for the Sociology of Religion, Aix-en-Provence, France, June 2011. The paper argued that the commodification of religion, in some circumstances, is leading to more tolerant views of religion.

The staff of the Christian Research Association are available to speak at conferences, staff development days, and for other other occasions.  Topics in which they bring specialised knowledge include:

  • World Trends in Spirituality and Religion
  • Australian Religion and Spirituality
  • Australian Cultural Trends
  • Youth Spirituality and Religious Faith
  • Rural Church Life – Forms of Organisation and Leadership
  • Church Vitality and Mission
  • Religious Education in Schools
  • Chaplaincy
  • Changing Patterns of Family Life
  • Values and Religion
  • Welfare and Religious Faith
  • Wellbeing, Religion and Spirituality
  • Educating for Wellbeing
  • Holistic Education

If you are interested in a presentation from a staff member of the Christian Research Association, contact Dr Philip Hughes ( or phone (03) 8819 0123.