Date of Submission



This study offers a response to the question facing the Australian Anglican Church about how the mission of Anglican schools is aligned with the mission of the whole Church. The study explores two Anglican school principals' faith formation leadership, as they engage in this mission. Fundamental to understanding the context of this study is awareness of Anglicanism's broad variety of expression balanced with unity through Scripture, Reason and Tradition. In spite of differences, the Anglican Church seeks the 'Via Media', the middle way, held together in a dynamic tension of debate. Anglican school principals lead faith formation in this context of diversity, which leads to the purpose of this study: to explore two Australian Anglican school principals' perceptions of their role and capability as school leaders of faith formation within the Anglican Church's mission. The three questions guiding this study relate to the ways in which the principals understand their role, their capability for the role, and the ways in which the Anglican Church has equipped them to be faith formation leaders in their schools. Various Anglican sources note that these questions have been on the Anglican Church's agenda for several decades. A recent report on the governance relationship between an Australian Anglican Diocese and its schools noted lack of Anglican identity and role definition of schools' mission in the Church as significant issues (Nicholson, 2007), and this appears to be the case in faith formation leadership also. Underpinning this study are assumptions that the nurturing of the Christian faith in the Anglican tradition is a core task of Anglican schools as agents of Anglican mission, and that the principal of an Anglican school plays a key role in leading faith formation by authentic personal Christian witness. In this study, Anglican school faith formation leadership has been explored in cultural and symbolic dimensions of leadership.;Catholic and Lutheran schools' faith formation leadership practices are reviewed to inform the study. This exploratory, qualitative study has an orientation of social constructionism, seeking two purposively sampled Australian Anglican school principals? perceptions from an open research stance. A theoretical framework of symbolic interactionsism has valued the participants' context. A phenomenological research methodology has used data gathering methods of interview, survey questionnaire, observation and documentary analysis. The study indicates that areas for further study include the shared faith formation leadership roles of principals and school chaplains; the fostering of a culture of research about Anglican school faith leadership; the provision of professional mentoring for principals; the relationship of principals to the Anglican Church; and provision by the Anglican Church of guiding statements and training to equip principals for their faith leadership roles.


School of Education

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


195 pages

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Faculty of Education