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Abstract

Campus churches, situated on school grounds, are growing in number within Christian education systems in Australia. In this relationship, the school partners with the campus church in providing a community of faith. This case study investigated senior students’ perceptions of the factors positively influencing their faith development at two K–12 Christian schools with campus churches. A review of the literature pointed to a strong connection between adolescent faith development and social context, but noted research gaps in the area of the school-church nexus. Data were gathered from senior students, school staff and campus church members, employing an emergent mixed-method approach, through the use of a questionnaire, focus group interviews and unstructured staff interviews. The data, when analysed, revealed that faith development for senior students is more likely to occur when six key factors are taken into consideration in the planning and implementation of faith-based activities and programs, namely: Perceptions about spirituality, influence of the school’s special character, relevant content, social context, emphasis on discipling through involvement, and positive relationships with school / church personnel.

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