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About the International Association for Children's Spirituality

The International Association for Children’s Spirituality (IACS) was launched at the 7th International Conference on Children’s Spirituality, in 2006, following the success of the International Journal of Children’s Spirituality and the conferences themselves.

The work of the IACS is developed through an executive committee with 5 officers. The Chair is Karen-Marie Yust (USA). Ruth Wills (UK) is the membership secretary and treasurer and Katie Posey (U.S.A) is the web and communications manager. Sturla Sagberg (Norway), Adrian Gellel (Malta), Nestor Briceno (Venezuela), Elsa Lau (Hong Kong), and Elaine Champagne (Canada) work alongside Jackie Watson and Tony Eaude (UK) and Kate Adams (UK) as the wider exec.
Dr Marian de Souza, our previous chairperson, is active in research and teaching in the field of children’s and young people’s spirituality as well as having a significant publication output. She has also been the editor of a number of international publications. Her document ‘A concept of human spirituality‘ reflects her own research and thinking in the area of Children’s and Young People’s Spirituality and provides a starting point for further discussion. She invites members to respond by sending reflections on their own view of spirituality to Katie Posey, the association communications secretary.

The IACS symbol shows two figures with their arms reaching out to greet each other.


  • To promote research and practice in relation to children’s spirituality.
  • To promote effective communication and the distribution of information between those involved in the development of research and practice which focuses on children’s spirituality.
  • To promote children’s spirituality as an important educational focus within wider contexts.


The Association seeks to:

  • Bring together researchers and practitioners who are focusing on this area of educational thinking.
  • Promote the development of theory around children’s spirituality.
  • Encourage, support and connect research and practice.
  • Raise awareness of the need for attention to be given to children’s voices, experiences and relationships.
  • Encourage holistic approaches to children’s spirituality and personal development.
  • Develop policy and practice across disciplines, professions, organisations and communities.


Membership of the Association costs £50 per annum, payable in January each year through to December. Through the membership section of its website, the Association aims to provide members with ongoing correspondence and interactive information between conferences which is supplementary to the research published in the journal.

An online-only option is available for £25 which provides access to the journal digitally.

Membership of the Association includes hard copies of the International Journal of Children’s Spirituality and electronic access to past issues of the Journal through the membership section of the IACS website.

To find out more and become a member, please visit our membership page.

The IACS website

The Association website is managed by Taylor and Francis. Members are encouraged to submit information and material for the website to Katie Posey on, for instance:

  • Conferences and events.
  • Professional posts and research studentships advertised.
  • Projects and research in progress.
  • Consultancies and publications.
  • Practitioner reflections and examples of good practice.