Alphacrucis College

Dr Jim Twelves – PhD, MEd, PGCE, BSc(Hons)

Academic Faculty
Dean of Education and Program Director, Master of Teaching (Primary)

Profile photo for Jim Twelves
Dr Jim Twelves
Dean of Education and Program Director, Master of Teaching (Primary)

Jim is a member of the Faculty of Business, and specialises in the following areas: Education, Leadership, and Research.


As the Program Director, Master of Teaching (Primary) Jim is responsible for the leadership, development and oversight of this exciting new program that was pioneered by Dr Jennie Bickmore-Brand.  Jim is currently responsible for EDU400 Professional Practice; EDU401 Foundations in Christian Teaching and Learning; EDU402 HSIE; EDU422 The Educator’s Journey; EDU501/2 Action Research and EDU503 Challenges in 21st Century Christian Education. Prior to Jim’s emigration to Australia in 1995 he was Head of Geography in Aldenham School, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom for nearly 20 years where his passion for teaching and learning were formed. Since arriving in Australia he has held Deputy and Principalship roles in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. As Board Chair in Victoria, Jim led the foundation of a new Christian primary school.  In New South Wales, as school Principal, he saw his school nearly double in enrolments over five years and in the last two years, as Director of Twelves Consulting, with a team, he developed national policy frameworks and subsequently a suite of policies for three schools in different states. As a reflection of his passion for clean and efficient administration, after two decades in the classroom, Jim returned to university and enrolled in a Graduate Diploma in Educational Administration at The University of Melbourne. He followed this with his Masters of Education, specialising in staff appraisal, the founding of new schools and marketing. Finally Jim embarked on his doctoral research; Putting them in the hands of God: A successful Australian Christian School. This unique study combined qualitative research with quantitative tools devised by the Victorian Department of Education Employment and Training for their triennial review of state schools.  The research demonstrated that successful Christian education, in the community being examined, combined consistent clear articulation of the vision, a faculty whose teaching was their calling and a vital integration of their Christian faith into every aspect of the life of the school. Follow the link to read the full text.

Research Interests

  • The Heart of the Teacher
  • Blended Learning
  • Future Education
  • Staff Appraisal and Career Development Programs
  • Models of Christian Education
  • Action and Ethnographic Research Methodologies
  • Leadership Development
  • Organisational Redesign 

Academic Qualifications


PhD (Melbourne University)
Dissertation Title Putting them in the hands of God: A successful Australian Christian School


MEd (Melbourne University)
Dissertation Title Leadership and Management in Three Exemplar Non-Government Christian Schools


PGCE (University of Sheffield - Geography & Biology)


BSc(Hons) (University College of Wales, Aberystwyth - Geography)

Selected Publications

Book — Published in 2013


Putting Them in the Hands of God: A Successful Christian School in Australia (2013). Saarbrucken, Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing.

Extract: The overarching objective of this research was to celebrate the fundamental nature of the Sandford Christian College community; a case study of a successful Christian school in Australia. It is a powerful testimony to the vision and tenacity of the founders and to their faith in Jesus Christ who inspired and called them to their life’s work in the service of generations of young people. Read more here… (external link)

Journal article — Published in 2009


The Future of Education - The Christian Teachers Journal Vol 17.4 October 2009, National Institute for Christian Education, the teaching arm of Christian Education National Ltd.   

Extract: It is a huge question and it seems it is being asked more and more these days. It’s not just, what is the future of Australian education but what is the global future of education? I can merely look through my own window and offer my own perspective here. I have consulted several great minds on this subject but this article is first and foremost a personal perspective. You can agree or agree to disagree; I merely want to provoke debate and perhaps a greater future focus in your thinking.

Journal article — Published in 2001


Some Characteristics of Successful Christian Schooling in Australia - Journal of Education and Christian Belief, Vol 5, No 1, Spring 2001.

Extract: This is a report on three case studies of successful Australian Christian Schools conducted primarily by in-depth interviewing of key leaders. The schools were selected on the recommendation of an expert panel. The study sought to describe leadership and management characteristics of these schools. Characteristics include: collaborative leadership; school boards adopting the Carver Governance Model; two schools used to have strained relations between the board and staff; enrolment policies (two closed, one open); the significant impact of committed, quality teachers on student performance; transforming the lives of students; and the implementation of their dynamic vision. Read more here… (external link)

Journal article — Published in 2001


The Leadership and Management of Three Successful Australian Christian Schools – Post Script Vol 2, No 2, April 2001, Melbourne Graduate School of Education Online Refereed Journal 

Extract: The origins of the Australian Christian schooling movement are examined followed by a brief review of outstanding leadership, the bureaucratic and collaborative styles, effective governance and successful Christian schooling. The research methodology employed was qualitative in-depth interviewing of the leadership of three case studies that were selected by a nomination process. The discussion of the findings proposed that three healthy tensions appear to be some of the keys for their success, namely, a healthy tension between the collaborative and bureaucratic styles, between taskorientation and people-orientation and between school staff and board members. Finally, the hand of God was seen as an essential ingredient for the success of these three Australian Christian schools. Read more here… (external link)

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