Religious Education in an Archdiocesan Ecumenical School
Religious Education in an ecumenical school is a partnership of family, school and the sponsoring
local church communities. The ecumenical school setting has as its purpose the provision of a
Christian education for its students.
In all schools and colleges of the Archdiocese of Brisbane, Religious Education is understood to consist
of two distinct but complementary dimensions, which Gabriel Moran (1991) describes as “teaching
people religion and teaching people to be religious in a particular way” (p.256).
The first dimension, most commonly referred to as the classroom learning and teaching of religion,
is focused on Religious Education as an educational activity. It utilises a range of quality learning
and teaching processes and resources to meet the diverse needs and capacities of learners from the
various Christian religious denominations. The second dimension, faith formation, is reflected in
the religious life of the school with its particular ecumenical focus and in the family and local faith
Schools develop policies and practices relating to the teaching of religion and the religious life of
the school in collaboration with each of the participating churches, keeping in mind ecumenical
The time allocation for the classroom religion program in an ecumenical school is the same as for
all Archdiocesan schools: a minimum of 2.5 hours per week of religion teaching is provided in both
primary and secondary schools from P-12. This equates to 92 - 100 hours per year, based on 37 - 40
available teaching weeks per year.
In the classroom learning and teaching of religion in an ecumenical school, the starting point is the
Religion Curriculum P-12. While emphasis is given to content that the participating churches hold in
common, the particularities of each denomination need to be respected. In a true ecumenical spirit,
the differences between denominations will also be acknowledged. It is important for students to
have the opportunity to experience and to understand, at an age-appropriate level, the characteristic
emphases and practices of each of the Christian denominations and the relationships between the
various Christian Churches.
The religious life of an ecumenical school provides opportunities for members of the school
community to grow in Christian faith through prayer, worship, a Christian environment, community,
formation, outreach, and social action and justice. This dimension of Religious Education outwardly
demonstrates the ecumenical nature of the school. Four focus areas constitute the religious life of
an ecumenical school: Religious Identity and Culture; Prayer and Worship; Evangelisation and Faith
Formation; and Social Action and Justice.