St James’ Institute

Exploring Faith, Religion, and Society in Sydney’s CBD

 St James’ Institute fosters rational, informed discussions of religion. The Institute is based in Sydney and hosts workshops, lectures, and book discussion groups featuring leading historians, poets, religion writers, judges, and theologians.

St James’ Institute is an inclusive educational organisation. We support people from many paths — those seeking God, those questioning faith, and those who simply wish to be better informed.

St James’ Institute is deeply engaged in interreligious dialogue. We are Christians who celebrate human diversity. We face difference in an open and friendly atmosphere. Many of our seminars feature multiple points of view.

St James’ Institute Director

Dr Aaron Ghiloni (BA, MA, PhD, GradCert) is a religious studies scholar. He lectures in religion at the University of Queensland, where he is a Senior Honorary Research Fellow.

Dr Ghiloni is the author of John Dewey among the Theologians (2012) and Islam as Education (2019), and the editor of World Religions and their Missions (2015, 2022). He is Associate Editor of Religious Education.

Aaron is concurrently a Research Fellow at the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology and previously taught theology at Australian Catholic University.


The Institute was established in 2007, arising out of a spirituality centre that was founded in 1989.

The Institute is affiliated with St James’ Church, King Street. St James’ Church has a longstanding commitment to education. Australia’s first divinity school, St James’ College, was established by Bishop William Broughton and Rev’d Robert Allwood (Rector of St James and Vice Chancellor of the University of Sydney) in 1845 at the same location the Institute meets today. The Church also established St James’ Grammar School in 1839 and the St James’ Ethics Centre in 1989.

Image: Hyde Park: The Old Days of Merry Cricket Club Matches, c. 1870/Thomas H Lewis, courtesy of Dixson Galleries, State Library of New South Wales