Strengths of the NCLS

Benefits of participation

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What makes the National Church Life Survey so beneficial?

Thousands of churches in over 20 denominations across Australia take part in the National Church Life Survey (NCLS).

The NCLS is the largest, longest-running study into church life of its type in the world.

Such credible and practical research is trusted by leaders and consultants across faith traditions and geographic contexts. The survey is based on the belief that every church benefits from taking time to reflect and review. Having an opportunity to listen to all the voices in a congregation can help church leaders to discover the strengths, hopes, discernments and personal commitment of their attenders.

A credible evidence base equips local churches and denominational leaders to hold more informed discussions and make better choices, in collaboration with each other. They can use their results to move forward together.

Here are some of the key features that are strengths of the NCLS. They are why thousands of churches across more than 20 denominations trust the NCLS to equip their church leadership for the future.


The Survey is a resource that has effectively helped churches of every type and denomination across Australia, honed over 25 years, to suit changing ministry needs.


It is Australian based. NCLS research and resource materials are based on the Australian context. Other countries are using and applauding our research as it gains world renown.


Each church receives a customised Profile of results, in a resource pack, helping them use their unique strengths to build for the future.


Regional and Denominational leaders are equipped with overview information about their churches to inform their pastoral and strategic leadership.


Across the geographical, cultural and social diversity of our nation, each church’s perspective forms part of the overall profile of the Australian church.


This is the largest collection of data on church life in the world including over 20 denominations, thousands of local churches and hundreds of thousands of attenders, ensuring reliable and academically rigorous research.


Trends and patterns are discerned about church life and Australian Christian practices. The depth and breadth of the research agenda produces authoritative and thorough findings.


New initiatives and innovations are identified: describing what is happening all over the country in worship, mission, advocacy, welfare, education and social activities.


The research informs the wider community in Australia. Results help tell the story of church life that goes beyond myths and stereotypes.


The Church around the world, as well as international researchers, learn from the experiences of Australian churches. Acting locally can help our learning globally.