What is the 2021 NCLS?

A five-yearly nationwide survey of churches

What Is 2021 NCLS 01

The National Church Life Survey (NCLS) is a five-yearly co-operative venture across all churches in Australia.

It is the largest survey of its type in the world. It draws together the voices and aspirations of all Australian church attenders as they speak not only to each other, but to Australian society as a whole and to an international community.

What the Survey involves

Around 350,000 attenders in thousands of churches across more than 20 Christian denominations have taken part in previous National Church Life Surveys in 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016.

The NCLS Research team who conduct the survey is an ecumenical body that aims to help churches connect with the wider community. The survey results provide a credible evidence-base for churches to strengthen their vitality, develop effective leadership and inform their ministry and mission, in the Australian context.

How it works

Churches that participate in the survey receive practical easy-to-use resources to get the most out of their survey results and take some action steps, as they plan for the future. Regional and Denominational leaders are also equipped with overview results, for strategic and pastoral planning. Attender attitudes to various church and social issues are also canvassed, with results published in research publications.



2021 NCLS research plan and methodology

The 2021 National Church Life Survey (2021 NCLS) project has two broad goals: resourcing churches and research. First, it will inform research-based resources for reflection and planning by local churches, regional and denominational leaders. Second, the resulting datasets will be used for various research programs and projects.