About the Research

In 2018, the Association of Christian Schools international (ACSI) sought to explore the following questions: How do Christian schools flourish? What elements of school culture contribute to flourishing, and do some elements matter more than others? Is there a roadmap to school flourishing that can be validated by empirical research in Christian schools? The outcome of their rigorous investigations and testing within over 65 schools and 15000 participants was the development of this exciting new survey research tool—the Flourishing School Culture Instrument (FSCI).

Project Overview

The survey clusters a range of validated constructs into five domains of flourishing: Purpose; Relationships; Teaching and Learning; Expertise and Resources; and Well-Being. These domains provide a compelling and comprehensive picture of the areas in which Christian schools can focus their efforts and resources in order to promote a flourishing school culture and community.

Flourishing Schools FSCI Australia Pilot

In late 2020, a number of CSA member schools across Australia were selected for a pilot of the Flourishing Schools Culture Instrument. Seven Australian Christian schools, from diverse locations and states across the country, were recruited by CSA to participate in an Australian pilot of the FSCI. Qualitative follow-up surveys enabled Australian school leaders to provide feedback on the usefulness of FSCI insights in real-time. The qualitative data was positive and showed that leaders are already using FSCI results in their school improvement plans and overall strategic planning. For each of the seven schools participating in the Australia pilot, the FSCI identified a set of five top strength areas and five major areas for growth (based on each school’s individual construct scores). This information is valuable not only for the participating schools themselves, but also for the Christian school sector, as it provides a snapshot of the key strengths and areas for improvement for a sample of schools in CSA membership. The resulting research is groundbreaking both in terms of its scope and findings and provides the basis for the first-ever empirically validated model of flourishing in Christian schools.

Hear from Dr. Lynn Swaner, where she provides an overview and synthesis of the Flourishing Schools Culture Model Australia Pilot, the instrument and the five key domain areas, presented by Dr. Lynn Swaner of ACSI.

Watch the Presentation

The FSCI Australia Pilot report provides an overview of the instrument design and data analysis, the FSCM, the 2021 Australia pilot results, and understanding how the FSCI can be used in leading school-level change. 

Download the FSCI Australia Pilot

Other Project Resources

A range of resources within the Flourishing Schools Research are available:

  • An Overview of the Flourishing Schools Research
  • Flourishing Schools Research Fact Sheet
  • FSCI Leadership Report, 2021
  • FSCI Research Report, 2019

An Overview of Flourishing Schools Research

Overview: This document provides an overview of ACSI's Flourishing Schools Research by Dr Lynn Swaner & Matthew H. Lee and the use of the FSCI - Flourishing Schools Culture Instrument. It was an article originally published in "Research in Brief" Fall 2020. Volume 2. Issue 1.

Download the Overview

Fact Sheet: This fact sheet provides an overview of ACSI's Flourishing Schools research and also includes an outline of the Flourishing School Culture Model.

Download the Fact Sheet


FSCI Reports

Leadership for Flourishing Schools: From Research to Practice (2021): ACSI has continued to conduct analysis of the FSCI (Flourishing Schools Culture Instrument) data, as well as collect additional qualitative data on leaders’ use of FSCI insights at their schools. This report unpacks leadership constructs that are linked to school flourishing, as well as shares additional findings from ongoing research on how school leaders can develop their own practices that lead to flourishing-related outcomes for their schools.

Download the 2021 Report

Flourishing Schools: Research on Christian School Culture and Community (2019): This report provides detailed information about instrument design and fielding, as well as unpacks FSCI findings and the FSCM model for Christian educators which, when taken together, provide measurable signposts on a roadmap toward flourishing Christian schools. 

Download the 2019 Report

Learn about other CSA Research Projects

Research Projects