Public and Contextual Theology Scholarship - AGRTP

The Centre for Public and Contextual Theology (PACT) is dedicated to high quality research outcomes in public and contextual theology and has a history of collaborative research by scholars of many religions. A founding member of the Global Network for Public Theology and the Global Network for Christian-Muslim Studies, PACT is committed to becoming the lead centre in the Asia-Pacific region for research at the interface of theology and public issues.

PACT's research agenda is that of public and contextually informed engagement with issues of national and global significance from a theological perspective. Australian or New Zealand citizens or Australian permanent resident are encouraged to apply for URC-PACT scholarships, which are generally for full-time study towards higher degrees by research. The three strategic research areas for 2017-2020 are listed below:

  • Eligibility

    These scholarships are highly competitive, and only applicants who meet the following eligibility criteria will be considered:

    • Commencing a CSU HDR program, or currently enrolled
    • Enrolling/enrolled as a full-time student, or in exceptional circumstances, granted CSU approval for a part-time scholarship in line with the CSU policy on AGRTP Scholarships.
    • Undertaking research relevant to the key research objectives of PACT.

    URC-PACT scholarships will not be available to those who:

    • Are enrolled concurrently in any other program, unless it is essential to the success of the HDR, or exceptional circumstances exist and are approved
    • Are receiving another Commonwealth-funded postgraduate research scholarship

    CSU will rank scholarship applicants according to a specified criteria (see Scholarship Application Guide for further details).

  • Award value

    The scholarship provides the following benefits:

    Stipend: This scholarship is valued at $27,596 per annum, payable in fortnightly instalments.

    Tuition Fees: Fee exemption for a period equivalent to three years (six sessions) for PhD/Research Doctorate OR two years (four sessions) for Research Masters at full-time study.

    Operating Funds: Scholarship recipients are allocated an allowance per session of enrolment to assist with the reimbursement of costs associated with the candidate's research.

    Relocation Allowance: Scholarship recipients may be eligible to receive a relocation allowance for the cost of relocating themselves, their spouse, and dependants to a CSU campus, to a maximum of AUD $5,000.

  • Scholarship duration

    URC-PACT scholarships are normally tenable for three years for Research Doctorate studies, and two years for Research Masters studies subject to satisfactory progress.

    An extension of up to six (6) months may be granted for Research Doctorate candidates, where the candidate is making satisfactory progress and the grounds for the extension relate to the study and are beyond the control of the candidate.

    Scholarship candidates are entitled to 20 paid annual leave working days per year, 10 paid sick leave days per year and may be eligible for up to 12 weeks paid maternity leave with the duration of the scholarship.

Application closing date

Applications for the 2019 domestic scholarship round have closed.

Christian-Muslim Relations

Given PACT's close relationship with the Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation (CISAC), CSU is one of the few universities in Australia able to draw Christian and Muslim theologians together under the auspices of one Centre to produce collaborative research output. Building on that rare potential, PACT encourages research focusing, for example, on the history of relations between Christians and Muslims, theoretical frameworks for interreligious encounter, Islamophobia, religious radicalisation in both religious traditions and refugee policy.

Religious Social Services

The social service activities of the Salvation Army, Anglican, Catholic and Uniting Church, and now also Muslim social service agencies, receive substantial government funding. These agencies are already a large sector of the social service economy in Australia and are expanding with the implementation of the NDIS. They represent a significant public connection between religion and government in Australian society. PACT seeks to become a hub for research and consultancy with the aged care, family support and allied health agencies of the churches and other religious institutions.

Religion, Ethics and Climate Change

Effective action on climate change requires government leadership resourced by quality research and social policy. It also calls for leadership from scholars of religion and ethics. A reconsideration of how economists, ethicists and particularly the religions have conceived of humanity's relationship to the planet is critical. PACT has developed the Climate Change and Hope: Religion and Ethics in the Anthropocene project, to be undertaken in collaboration with the CSU Faculty of Arts & Education, and eminent scientists, ethicists and theological scholars. The principal participants in the project are committed to supporting research that addresses the profound transformation of humanity's relationship with the natural world over the last 50 years, and the future of that relationship.

Further information about PaCT is available at

URC-PACT are awarded to postgraduate researchers with exceptional promise whose research area is relevant to the key research objectives of PACT. Further information regarding the Australian Government's Research Training Program is available on the Department of Education and Training website.