National Centre for Religious Studies


NCRS is responsible for Religious Education curricula and resources at primary and secondary school levels, and provides an early childhood curriculum.

We also produce the faith formation programme for adults, Ngā Parirau-Wings, and teacher formation programmes including “Having Life to the Full” (a Catholic course in Human Sexuality founded on Jn 10:10).

Our team

Led by Colin MacLeod, our team is blessed by the wisdom and experience of full-time or part time curriculum and resource developers: Laurel Lanner, Sam Steele,  Kate McHeyzer, and Lyn Smith.

What we do

  • Catholic Religious Education curricula and resources for Aotearoa
  • Work at national and diocesan level
  • Human sexuality education support
  • Adult faith formation programmes
  • Pray, share, celebrate and live our faith

Where to find us

Catholic Centre
Level 4, 300 Rattray Street
Private Bag 1941
Dunedin 9054
Phone: 04 8198386

“Faith Journey” is a collection of engaging resources designed to support whānau in developing knowledge and making connections with God, and each other, in a home setting.

Faith Alive is the home of the key resource developed to support the teaching of the Primary School Religious Education curriculum in Catholic Schools in Aotearoa New Zealand.

FaithCentral is a Religious Education resource website for students and teachers of Catholic Secondary Schools and Colleges in Aotearoa – New Zealand

A New RE Curriculum: Tō Tātou Whakapono Our Faith

The new Religious Education Curriculum for Catholic primary and secondary schools in Aotearoa has been approved by the NZ Bishops, and NCRS is working hard to develop resources to support its implementation. Due to the impact of Covid and our desire to have as much support as possible in place – including a new web-site –  schools are encouraged to engage with the document in 2022/23 but there is no expectation that it be adopted until 2024. RE advisers and NCRS will be in touch along this shared journey. (As requested, here are icons for planning.) Thanks to everyone who has played a part so far.

As always, we welcome feedback.

Key documents:

To Tātou Whakapono Our Faith – Curriculum Document

To Tātou Whakapono Our Faith – Roll Out Timeline

Draft Learning Intentions (scaffolding AOs for teachers and rangatahi) – Learning Intentions

Tō Tātou Whakapono Our Faith Website:

As new resources are completed and proofed we are adding them to the emerging RE website for whānau and teachers. The site is very much in a ‘construction phase’ as much of the content is yet to be written. But, watch this space as it develops into THE area for RE support. (A log-in and password are required for the ‘learning packs’ because teachers have asked that they have control of the access for children in their classes. This can be gained through your diocesan RE Advisor.)

Introduction videos:

Tō Tātou Whakapono Our Faith - Background

Tō Tātou Whakapono Our Faith - Introduction

Tō Tātou Whakapono Our Faith - Junior Primary Sneak Peek

Tō Tātou Whakapono Our Faith - Junior Secondary Sneak Peek

Extra support videos:

In association with NZCEO, Te Kupenga (NCRS) is providing PLD on the Te Rama Aroha Cross Themes (four done so far):
Grace, Holiness, Wisdom, Justice, Prayer.


New Generic Resources for Schools:

Additional Resources

Religious Education Bridging Documents – for Primary and Secondary

DRS Handbooks – For Primary and Secondary

NZpray2day – A kiwi prayer App available for Android and Apple devices

BoT Prayer Companion – A Prayer Resource for Boards of Trustees

Encountering the Divine – Aotearoa NZ stories of experiencing God

Aotearoa Catholic – Our YouTube Channel

FaithCentral – provides “open” school and parish thematic resources for the old Understanding Faith secondary RE programme. (No longer maintained)

Gender Complexity in Catholic Schools (Since this document, the NZ Bishops released Aroha and Diversity in Oct. 2022 for Catholic schools.)

He Mea Hanga Mīharo ki tō te Atua ĀhuaWonderfully Made in God’s Image: A revised Framing Document for human sexuality education in Aotearoa Catholic schools. (Oct. 2021) A Sexuality Resource Grid Package supports planning. (Also supported by the NZCBC 2023 document on the consistent ethic of life.)

Teacher Certification Handbook (forms in MSWord, course hours allocation)

Catholic Education Professional Standards (NZCEO)

Catholic Early Childhood Religious Education – Curriculum Statement

Sharing the Gospel Today – the New Zealand Catechetical Directory

Communication with Schools

Te Kupenga - Catholic Leadership Institute

Enrolment for Certificate and Diploma Programmes is on-going.
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