Faculty of Education and Arts

sessional staff template

Position: Hon Senior Research Fellow

Location: Mt Helen Campus, Room N6

Phone: 0438 395 915

Fax: 5327 9717

Email: j.fisher@ballarat.edu.au


  • EdD
  • PhD
  • MEd
  • MSc
  • BSc(Hons)


John has over 45 years experience in teaching from primary to tertiary levels and research in science, education psychology and health. John guided the establishment of three Christian schools and helped others to grow. He was principal for 14 years and lectured in pre-service and in-service teacher education for 18 years. He is a qualified pastor, who has pursued his passionate interest in spiritual health and well-being for nearly 20 years. John’s spiritual well-being measures are used in many countries in education, health, counselling, business, psychological and welfare projects

Areas of expertise

Spiritual health and well-being, research methods (quantitative and grounded theory), science education, establishing schools

Research interests

Spiritual health and well-being as aspects of quality of life, school effectiveness


Doctoral students investigating spiritual well-being in a variety of school systems in Hong Kong (Hong Kong Institute of Education)

DMin student investigating the emotional and theological responses of ministers to challenging events (Australian College of Theology)



Fisher, J.W. (2010) Spiritual health: Its nature and place in the school curriculum. Melbourne: Melbourne University Custom Book Centre. ISBN/APN: 9 781921 775000

Fisher, J.W. (2010) Reaching the heart: Assessing and nurturing spiritual well-being via education. Melbourne: Melbourne University Custom Book Centre. ISBN/APN: 9 781921 775024.

Book chapters

Fisher, J.W. (2012) Connectedness: At the heart of resiliency and spiritual well-being. In C.A. Stark & D.C. Bonner (Eds.), Handbook on Spirituality: Belief Systems, Societal Impact and Roles in Coping (pp. 265-277). New York: Nova Science Publishers Inc.

Fisher, J.W. (2010) Reflections on publications relating to spirituality in Australian education. In M. de Souza & J. Rimes (Eds.), Meaning and connectedness: Australian perspectives on education and spirituality (pp.105-126). Mawson ACT: Australian College of Educators.

Gomez, R., Gomez, A. & Fisher, J.W. (2009). Comparing the psychometric properties of the common items in the short and abbreviated versions of the Junior Eysenck Personality Questionnaires: A means and covariance structures analysis approach.  In L. B. Palcroft & M. V. Lopez (Eds.), Personality Assessment: New Research (pp. 171-186). New York: Nova Sciences Publishers, Inc.

Also in E. Delgadillo & D. Arroyo (Eds), Encyclopedia of Personality Research (2 Volume Set). New York: Nova Science Publishers (currently being formatted).

Fisher, J.W. (2009) Understanding and assessing spiritual health. In, M. deSouza, L.J. Francis, D.G. Scott & J. O’H. Norman (Eds.) International handbook of education for spirituality, care and well-being (pp. 69-88). Netherlands: Springer.

Refereed journal articles

(selected references over the last 10 years)

Fisher, J.W. (2012) Spirituality and Religious Education in the National Curriculum – A Response to Duncan Reid. Religious Education Journal of Australia, 28(1): 3-8.

Fisher, J. (2011) The Four Domains Model: Connecting spirituality, health and well-being. Religions, 2: 17-28.

Fisher, J. (2010) Development and application of a spiritual well-being questionnaire called SHALOM. Religions, 1: 105-121.

Fisher, J.W. (2010) Investigating the importance of relating with God for school students’ spiritual well-being. Journal of Beliefs and Values, 31(3): 325-334.

Fisher, J.W. (2009) Getting the balance: Assessing spirituality and well-being among children and youth. International Journal of Children’s Spirituality, 14(3):273-288.

Fisher, J.W. (2009) The impact of environment on spiritual well-being in school. Journal of Religious Education., 57(1): 25-37.

Fisher, J.W. (2009) Investigating Australian education students’ views about spiritual well-being as compared with teachers in schools. International Journal of Children's Spirituality, 14(2):151-167.

Fisher, J.W., Barnes, L.P. & Marks, G. (2009) Pre-service teachers’ spiritual well-being across time and faiths: Implications for religious education. Religious Education Journal of Australia, 25(2):10-16.

Fisher, J.W. (2008) Nurturing students’ spiritual well-being: Caring for the whole child. Journal of Christian Education, 51(1): 7-20.

Fisher, J.W. (2008) Impacting teachers’ and students’ spiritual well-being. Journal of Beliefs & Values, 29(3):252-261.

Fisher, J.W. & Brumley, D.J. (2008) Nurses’ and carers’ spiritual well-being in the workplace. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 25(4):49-57.

Fisher, J.W. (2007) It’s time to wake up and stem the decline in spiritual well-being in Victorian schools. International Journal of Children's Spirituality, 12(2):165-177.

Fisher, J.W. (2006) Using secondary students' views about influences on their spiritual well being to inform pastoral care. International Journal of Children's Spirituality, 11(3):347-356.

Fisher, John (2004) Feeling Good, Living Life: A spiritual health measure for young children. Journal of Beliefs & Values, 25(3): 307-315.

Fisher, J.W. (2003) Christian students' views on terrorism and religion: An Australian study. Journal of Christian Education, 46(2): 45-56.

Gomez, R. & Fisher, J.W. (2003) Domains of spiritual well-being and development and validation of the Spiritual Well-Being Questionnaire. Personality and Individual Differences 35(8): 1975-1991.

Refereed conference proceedings

Fisher, J.W. (2002) Enhancing university students' spiritual well-being. In J. Ryan & P. Baird (Eds), Research for a better community: Proceedings of the University of Ballarat second annual research conference, 8 September 2000, (pp. 58-61). Ballarat: University of Ballarat, Research and Graduate Studies Office.

Fisher, J.W. & Sellers, E.T. (2000) Quality of life in the workplace: spirituality, meaning and purpose. Refereed paper in the Proceedings of the 3rd Annual Conference on Spirituality, Leadership and Management, University of Ballarat, 1-4 December, pp. 14-19.

Fisher, J. W. (1999) Developing a spiritual health and life-orientation measure for secondary school students. In J. Ryan, V. Wittwer & P. Baird (Eds), Research with a regional/rural focus: Proceedings of the University of Ballarat inaugural annual research conference, 15 October, 1999 (pp. 57-63). Ballarat: University of Ballarat, Research and Graduate Studies Office.

Seminar presentations

(over the last 10 years)
27 presentations in health (1 keynote); 26 in education (including 5 keynotes)


2008 Member, International Association for Children’s Spirituality
1999 Member of the International Seminar on Religious Education & Values
1991-04 Member of the Australian Curriculum Studies Association
1987-05 Member of the Australian College of Educators
2008 Member of Editorial Advisory Committee Religious Education Journal of Australia
2001 Member Editorial Board of the Journal of Spirituality, Leadership and Management
Associate Editor of the International Journal of Children’s Spirituality