Our Mission and Guiding Principles


Engaging and supporting the Church’s mission through pastoral research



To place and support pastoral research at the heart of the Church’s life and mission as a resource to inform planning, responding to the “signs of the times” in the Australian context. In carrying out its responsibilities, the National Centre for Pastoral Research is inspired by Gospel values and guided by the principles of Catholic pastoral theology.

The work of the Office is overseen by the Australian Catholic Council for Pastoral Research of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.



  1. Planning and undertaking pastoral research to support the mission of the Church
  2. Working with Church leaders and the wider Catholic community to bring research findings effectively into pastoral practice
  3. Ensuring engagement of the research findings within the life of the Church through effective communication strategies



  • Ecclesial: within and for the communion and mission of the Church
  • Collegial: working together to enhance pastoral practice
  • Prophetic: through our research serving the needs of the Church with discernment and courage
  • Excellent: committed to the highest standards in research, practice and engagement



“In pastoral care, sufficient use should be made, not only of theological principles, but also of the findings of secular sciences, especially psychology and sociology: in this way, the faithful will be brought to a purer and more mature living of the faith” (Gaudium et Spes, n.62)

“It is especially necessary for us to direct our thoughts to the future which lies before us. This is a task I wish to invite all the local churches to undertake … Now is the time for each local Church to assess its fervour and find fresh enthusiasm for its spiritual and pastoral responsibilities” (Novo Millennio Ineunte, n.3).