Who We Are

The Cardus Story

Cardus is an independent Christian think tank with main offices located in Hamilton (Ontario) and Ottawa (Canada), with intellectual hubs located across North America. Cardus emerged from a desire to translate the richness of the Christian faith tradition into the public square for the common good. Reimagined in 2000 as “Cardus,” the team—Michael Van Pelt, Ray Pennings, and a dynamic group of experts—have spent over twenty years studying the institutions, communities, beliefs, leaders, and intricacies of civil society that collectively compose the social architecture of our common life.

Determined to live together well in difference and enlarge public conversation on key policy issues, Cardus works to produce independent research, contribute measured public commentary, and convene projects and initiatives across North America. Cardus retains a commitment to producing scholarship, dialogue, and partnership that enables and enlarges human flourishing, together. Cardus’ stated mission is the renewal of North American social architecture.  Cardus’ work relies upon applying high quality, rigorous Judeo-Christian social thought to “enrich and challenge public debate through research, events and publications for the common good”.

Who We Are

Our Story

Cardus is an independent Christian think tank with main offices located in Hamilton (Ontario) and Ottawa (Canada), with intellectual hubs located across North America. Cardus emerged from a desire to translate the richness of the Christian faith tradition into the public square for the common good. Reimagined in 2000 as “Cardus,” the team—Michael Van Pelt, Ray Pennings, and a dynamic group of experts—have spent over twenty years studying the institutions, communities, beliefs, leaders, and intricacies of civil society that collectively compose the social architecture of our common life.

Determined to live together well in difference and enlarge public conversation on key policy issues, Cardus works to produce independent research, contribute measured public commentary, and convene projects and initiatives across North America. Cardus retains a commitment to producing scholarship, dialogue, and partnership that enables and enlarges human flourishing, together. Cardus’ stated mission is the renewal of North American social architecture.  Cardus’ work relies upon applying high quality, rigorous Judeo-Christian social thought to “enrich and challenge public debate through research, events and publications for the common good”.

CES Australian Project

Educating for the Common Good

Recognising the importance, influence and impact of the Cardus Education Survey in education public policy debates in North America, a consortium of Australian Christian School Associations collaborated in 2019 to implement the survey in Australia, leading to the formation of the CES Australia Project. Whilst the project is overseen and licensed through Cardus and their appointed lead Researcher Associate professor Albert Cheng, the Australian implementation of the CES has been entirely funded and coordinated by a consortium project team of 6 Christian School Associations: Adventist Schools Australia (ASA), Associated Christian Schools (ACS), Australian Association of Christian Schools (AACS), Christian Education National (CEN), Christian Schools Australia (CSA) and Swan Christian Education Association (SCEA).

Project Team Members

CES Australia Project Team Consortium
Assistant Professor Albert Cheng
Cardus Education Survey Australia Lead Researcher

Albert Cheng is an assistant professor in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas where he teaches courses on the history and philosophy of education as well as education policy. Known for his research on character formation, school choice, faith-based schooling, and homeschooling, he serves on the editorial board for the International Journal of Christianity and Education.

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He is also a research affiliate with Charassein: The Character Assessment Initiative at the University of Arkansas and the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University. Dr. Cheng has a PhD in education policy from the University of Arkansas and a master’s degree in education from Biola University. He worked as a public high school math teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area after completing a mathematics degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

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Dr. Daryl Murdoch
National Director

Dr Daryl Murdoch has a rich heritage in Christian education. He commenced his teaching and school leadership career in Seventh-day Adventist education as a sole charge principal/teacher in 1977. He served as a primary and secondary school principal of schools in NSW,

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SA nineteen years prior to accepting the role of director of Adventist education in New Zealand.

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The Seventh-day Adventist school system has become the largest Protestant education system in world employing over 84,000 teachers and currently educating over 1.6 million students world-wide.

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Spread across Australia today, Adventist education serves the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church by providing genuine Christian education across 48 school campuses to almost 14,000 students.

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Dr. Lynne Doneley
Executive Director/Principal Research Officer of Associated Christian Schools

Lynne has been the Executive Officer of Associated Christian Schools since 2010. Prior to taking up this role she was Executive Officer of the Queensland branch of Christian Schools Australia. Lynne was Principal of Genesis Christian College for eleven years, has taught in state and

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private schools as well as Christian independent schools in Queensland and interstate. Lynne is a member of three Christian school boards, a Director of Independent Schools Queensland, and Chair of the ISQ Education Committee. Lynne has been the Board Chair of Gulf Christian College a majority indigenous school located in Normanton, for ten years. Lynne has a Doctor of Education, which focussed on the policies and processes of governing boards in Christian Schools during principal succession and recruitment. She also has a Master of Educational Administration, Master of Education, a Graduate Diploma in Education Studies, and is a member of the Australian College of Educators, Institute of Managers and Leaders and the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a member of ICSEI and an Associate Member of AHISA.

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The Associated Christian Schools of Australia (ACS) was founded by a group of Principals of Christian Schools who strongly desired to be loosely coupled together as peers engaged in similar roles.

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We wanted to meet together to talk and share, but without any sense of control from a central body, or any requirement for all members to think in the same way about various issues –not only educational issues, but issues of faith as well. We also wanted to create opportunities for our staff and Boards to be able to do the same. In fact, our independence and essential differences are what makes this association of Christian Schools unique.

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Erik Hofsink
Principal of Emmaus Christian School in Canberra

Erik Hofsink is Principal of Emmaus Christian School in Canberra and before that was principal of Launceston Christian School in Tasmania. His experience as a Christian school principal started in South Africa and since 2004 continued in Australia. Alongside his role as principal

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of Christian schools for over 20 years, he served as part-time Public Advocate of the Australian Association of Christian Schools until recently. He previously fulfilled roles in Principal’s Associations and Australian Heads of Independent Schools. He is currently an Executive Member of the Association of Independent Schools in the ACT. Erik has been married to Emmie for 31 years and they have three married children of whom one lives in Christchurch NZ and the other two in Canberra.

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The Australian Association of Christian Schools (AACS) provides a voice for Christian education. It represents independent Christian schools in the national political space and represents over 43,000 students and 120

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schools in each State and Territory, as well as their families, school staff and Boards.

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Dr. Chris Prior
Principal of the National Institute for Christian Education

Dr Chris Prior is Principal of the National Institute for Christian Education, the tertiary training arm of Christian Education National (CEN). Before moving into tertiary education, Chris’ Christian schooling experience included serving as the Principal of Bayside

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Christian College (2014-2018) and Mountain District Christian School (2008-2013). Chris is married to Ellen and they have three children.

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Christian Education National is an association of school associations committed to providing biblically grounded, culturally engaging, academically rigorous Christian education. Our members are defined

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by strong partnerships between home, church, and school to promote a transformative and biblically authentic approach to education that; celebrates the lordship of Christ over all of life; positions the gospel rather than cultural forces as the primary shaper of how we think and live, and affirms the role of parents as having responsibility to ensure their children are educated within this understanding.

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Dr. Darren Iselin
Director of Research and Innovation with Christian Schools Australia (CSA)

Darren has extensive leadership experience within Christian education in both Australian and international contexts and has served in a wide range of CEO/executive, principal and senior leadership roles within both K-12 schooling and higher education sectors. He is currently

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Director of Research and Innovation with Christian Schools Australia (CSA) and the Coordinator for the Cardus Education Survey Australia Project.

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Christian Schools Australia (CSA) is a national and globally affiliated schools association (ACSI) providing support for the delivery of Christ-centred educational excellence within Christian Schools.

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Established in 2002, CSA is committed to advancing the Kingdom of God by providing a wide range of services, resources and assistance to schools, and wider school communities. CSA supports and serves member schools directly and through their extensive professional networks and a voice for Christian schools, advocating for their needs in the public square..

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Dr. Graeme Cross
Chief Executive Officer of the Swan Cristian Education Association (SCEA)

Graeme currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Swan Cristian Education Association (SCEA), which is a network of seven schools located in the Perth metropolitan area. Immediately prior to taking up this role, he served as the Academic Dean at Vose Seminary

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and Executive Officer (WA) with Christian Schools Australia. He has also worked as a leadership consultant, lecturer/tutor with Edith Cowan University and Morling College, and has served as a senior school leader in both public and non-government schools, including 13 years as a principal. Graeme has an active interest in research. His PhD studies explored the social and civic implications of religious schooling in an Australian context and received the 2014 ECU Research Award. Some of the key themes emerging from his research have been published in the International Journal of Christianity and Education.

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Established in 1982, Swan Christian Education Association (SCEA) began as a single primary school in Midland to serve the needs of Christian families who wanted to see Christian education grow and thrive in Western

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Australia. Nearly forty years later, SCEA has a staff off more than 500 Christians serving at seven schools ranging from Alkimos to the north of Perth right down to Bedfordale in Perth’s southern suburbs. Over 3,500 students belong to SCEA schools in Middle Swan, Kalamunda, Beechboro, Mundaring, Ellenbrook, Southern Hills and Northshore.

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