Welcome to the Website of
the International Association for Children's Spirituality

The International Association for Children's Spirituality seeks to promote and support research and practice in relation to children's spirituality within education and wider contexts of children's care and wellbeing.

The Association understands spirituality broadly and inclusively as having relation to the religious and beyond the religious. We encourage holistic approaches to children's spirituality and personal development across a variety of disciplines, professions, organisations and communities.

Our methods of working are based on a set of values and aims which can be read here.

The International Journal of Children's Spirituality is the official journal of the Association and the IACS supports the annual International Conferences on Children's Spirituality.

Read more about the Association...

IACS Conference 2016

The 15th International Conference on Children's Spirituality - Spirituality and the whole child: interdisciplinary approaches, hosted by Dr Kate Adams, took place at Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln, from Tuesday 26 July – Friday 29 July 2016.

Over seventy participants from thirteen countries explored children's spirituality from a range of perspectives. The conference provided a forum for those engaged in education, social work, health care, counselling, psychology, chaplaincy, practical theology, the arts, humanities and anthropology amongst others to share their latest research and practice. The conference explored the ways in which spirituality is conceived in and across cultures, and how more connections between different disciplines could be made to advance understanding of this important element of children's lives.

International keynote speakers included :

  • John (Jack) Miller, University of Toronto, Canada
    Equinox Holistic Alternative School: an integrated approach to learning
  • Joyce Ann Mercer, PhD., LCSW, Professor of Practical Theology and Pastoral Care, Yale Divinity School, USA
    Restorative Spirituality: hope for traumatized children
  • Jacqueline Watson, PhD., Visiting Fellow, University of Exeter and University of East Anglia, UK
    Every Child Still Matters: interdisciplinary approaches to the spirituality of the child

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UK day event 2014

Nurturing children's spirituality in schools: challenges and opportunities.....

On Saturday 4th October, IACS hosted a day event for UK members and other professionals interested in children's and young people's spirituality. 35 delegates attended the event, held at Woodbrooke Study centre in Birmingham. The event was well received and it provided a great opportunity for networking and learning together. A selection of photos can be found in the member's area.

A personal reflection on the day can be read here.

Previous conferences

The 14th International Conference on Children's Spirituality

Date added:17th July 2014

The 14th International Conference on Children's Spirituality was held in Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela between 7th and 11th of July 2014. The theme was: 'Our children need peace: the role of the arts, ecology and social networks in children's spirituality'. A small number of scholars and practitioners (including a number of children) took part in a week of papers, workshops and discussion on topics of spirituality, digital culture and the arts.

The 13th International Conference on Children's Spirituality

Date added: 25th July 2012

For the sake of Children: hidden forms of power in caring for children's spirituality.

This conference was held in Leuven, Belgium between 10th and 13th July 2013. It was hosted by Professor Annemie Dillen and explored the complex relation between care and issues of power in situations where children's spirituality is at stake.

The 12th International Conference on Children's Spirituality

Date added: 13th October 2011

This conference was held at East Anglia University in Norwich, U.K. between 1st and 5th July 2012. The theme was 'Spirituality and Physicality: Crossing Thresholds' and was inspired by the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Photographs, videos and slideshow presentations from the conference are now available from the member's area.

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The 11th International Conference on Children's Spirituality

Date added: 6th September 2011

The Politics of Children's Spirituality

The 11th International conference on Children's Spirituality was held between 1st and 5th August in Richmond, Virginia, USA.

Photos and videos from the conference are now available from the member's area.

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At the AGM, the constitution was ratified and a copy can be found in the members area.

It was also proposed and agreed that the association should now be known as the 'International Association for Children's Spirituality' and any correspondence from now on will bear this name.

The 10th International Conference on Children's Spirituality

Date added: 5th August 2010

This conference took place at the The Hong Kong Institute of Education (Tai Po Campus) between 19th -23rd July 2010.The theme was “Spirituality and Resilience.”

Conference information as well as photo albums and and a short media clip of events are available in the member's area.

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The International Journal of Children's Spirituality

The IJCS The IJCS is the journal of the IACS. Aiming to provide an international and multi-cultural forum for those involved in research and the development of children's and young people's spirituality the journal considers what is meant by 'spirituality' and its relevance for schooling and society.

Please see our journal page for more information

Join the International Association for Children's Spirituality

Membership of the International Association for Children's Spirituality costs only £50 per year and runs from 1st January. Benefits include:

  • Hard copies of the International Journal of Children's Spirituality (4 per year) - this alone normally costs more than membership of the Association
  • On-line access to all previous editions of the Journal
  • The opportunity to post information about your work, research, publications and consultancies.

An online-only membership option is also available at the cost of £25 or equivalent. This option allows access to the member's area including the online journal and digital copies of past issues.

If you wish to join please visit our membership page.

Non-IACS forthcoming events

The Centre for Contextual Ministry (University of Pretoria) and HospiVision presents: 2nd Biennial Conference on Spirituality and Healthcare: Wholeness in Healthcare.

Cape Town: 19-21 October 2016
Pretoria: 24-26 October 2016

Conference Announcement
Call for Papers

The Fourth International Conference of the British Association for the Study of Spirituality (BASS) is announced. It will take place in Manchester, U.K. on 23rd to 26th May 2016. To access the flyer click here.


Marian de Souza has now stepped down as Chair of the Association. Kate Adams (UK) and Karen Marie-Yust (USA) have been voted in as co-chairs. The main benefit of this will be international coverage and collaboration, in this case between USA and UK.

It was also proposed and voted on that the role of communications secretary and web manager be merged into one role, to avoid overlap. All communications and website questions should be addressed to kate.posey@gmail.com.

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At the 2014 AGM members voted that the secretary role would be divided three ways.
For membership issues please contact Ruth Wills; for Website and Facebook issues contact Katie Posey and for communication matters, contact Karen- Marie Yust.
All contact details can be found in 'Contact us.'

The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) have always had a deep interest and engagement with education, drawing on their fundamental testimony that all have 'that of God' within them and therefore all children should be of equal value in education. Now, in conjunction with the University of Birmingham, Woodbrooke Study Centre is offering research degrees in this area of education, Quaker Values in Education. This research pathway is suitable for those interested in Quaker values in education: truth, justice, equality, simplicity, care, peace and sustainability and how these are, or can be, enacted in educational practices. Possible research methods include:

  • action research to develop their own teaching or other educational roles
  • ethnography to illuminate existing practice
  • curriculum study and design to identify embedding values in learning and knowledge

For further information about part-time and full-time routes, fees, etc. please go to https://www.woodbrooke.org.uk/pages/research-degrees.html


If you would like a link to your site from here please contact kate.posey@gmail.com.

Engaging with us

We now have an online presence in two areas: Facebook and Twitter.

If you are active on Facebook, please check out our page and 'like' it. The page is: https://www.facebook.com/associationforchildrensspirituality.

Our Twitter page is: https://twitter.com/ChildSpirit1. Our handle is ChildSpirit1! Feel free to tweet us and say hello.

Survey on Background, Beliefs and Spiritual Well-Being

Dr. John Fisher has asked that members and others interested in spiritual well-being take part in an online survey. The survey is designed to investigate the construct of his Spiritual Health And Life-Orientation Measure among people of varying backgrounds and beliefs. Participants must be aged 18 or over. The usefulness of this method for research in spiritual well-being will also be investigated. The project is part of John’s third doctorate in this area, within which he has been working for nearly 20 years.

To take part, follow the link below:

Poems and quotes

This page features poems or short quotes, written either by children or about experiences related to children's spirituality. If you have any that are suitable to share, please send them to kate.posey@gmail.com.

Members' area

The member's area is a secure space in which members can suggest discussion topics, share ideas and invite others to participate in projects concerning children's spirituality. Photographs and PowerPoint presentations of past conferences as well as all newsletters are available here, and the online journal is accessed through this area.