About Compass

Compass Foundation is a division of Christian Schools Australia, focussing on serving students across the broader Christian schools sector.

Compass hosts places of intensive formation where God’s vision for life is explored. The mantra of Compass is simple, but profoundly important in the work of formation: 

Know the Gospel;  Know Culture;  Translate

More than teaching Christian worldview, Compass seeks to create environments that encourage a maturing embodiment of the gospel of the Kingdom. Environments where we might ‘be transformed by the renewing of our minds’. This renewing demands that we interrogate the stories which are at work in our prevailing culture and also in our hearts. These heart-stories come to us in the form of culture, relationships and experience, and while not always explicit, it is in these stories that we find identity, purpose, passion, reason, love and desire.

Compass believes the Bible is this kind of story. It is a story that engages the deepest questions of life: 

  • Who am I?
  • Why am I here?
  • What am I supposed to do?
  • How am I to live?

Our Team

Compass is led by Mark Ryan, who has a background in both education and theology, and has worked with Christian schools for more than 20 years. 

Mark Ryan

Mark Ryan
Executive Officer, Christian Schools Australia

Mark Ryan has been part of the CSA team since 2019 in the role of Executive Officer, SA. Mark has previous experience in leadership roles at Temple Christian College and, with degrees in both education and theology, held pastoral roles in a number of churches. Mark serves as a Director on the Board of Compass and with such an excellent grasp of biblical literacy, worldview and its application to culture, learning and vocation, is well-placed to lead CSA's national portfolio of, Christian Formation./p>


Mark is supported by a passionate and experienced teaching faculty that generously give up their time to contribute to Compass conferences. Our teaching faculty includes: 

Teaching Faculty

Dr Graham Stanton
Lecturer, Ridley College

Graham is a Lecturer in Practical Theology at Ridley College, Melbourne, and the coordinator of the Ridley Centre for Children's and Youth Ministry. He has recently completed doctoral research exploring the dynamics of Bible Engagement for the spiritual formation of teenagers in a culture of expressive individualism. Graham lives in Melbourne with his wife and three teenage children. Graham enjoys long distance running in order to compensate for his hobby of enjoying cooking good food or eating good food that other people have cooked. Apart from Jesus, his personal heroes include Bruce Springsteen and Leslie Knope.

Sophie Gerrie
Lecturer, Tabor College

Sophie is currently lecturing in Biblical and Practical Theology at Tabor, is an Associate Pastor at Richmond Baptist and is the Coordinator of the Baptist Churches of SA Leadership Internship. She has previously completed a Bachelor of Social Science with a focus on youth work and a Master of Divinity. She has been working in the church and Christian NGO space for the last 10 years in the areas of children, youth, young adults and justice. She loves learning new ideas and skills, reading non-fiction, listening to podcasts, collecting indoor plants and drinking coffee.

Jeff Nagle
Director, Heritage Leaders; Coast Community Church

Jeff heads up a leader-formation consultancy, Heritage Leaders and is also co-founder of anti-slavery law firm, Fair Supply. Prior to this, Jeff served as CEO of the Compass Foundation from 2017 to 2019. Jeff has worked for more than 15 years in the international development sector, serving as Chief Operating Officer with Compassion Australia and Chief Executive of International Justice Mission Australia and currently serves as Chairman of MAF Australia. Prior to this Jeff held a series of operational management, strategy and project roles with Telstra. Jeff's area of interest is the formation of leaders and teams in difficult contexts, specifically, how our prevailing narratives form the substrate of self-leadership. Jeff has qualifications in visual arts and media, education and business, and is currently completing a Masters Degree in Global Leadership through Fuller Seminary. Jeff lives on the NSW Central Coast with wife, Shelley, two teenage children and a Bernese Mountain Dog. He still thinks he's a surfer.

Travis Johnson
Founder, Access the Story

Trav is a husband to Pixi, and a Dad to four great boys – he likes green curry, a good game of football, and listening to David Bowie. He is passionate about seeing people experience God and become life-long followers of Jesus. Since 2008 he has had a particular focus on facilitating opportunities for people to discover God for themselves through the Bible story. After 12 years as a pastor in WA, Qld, and SA, then 5 as a missionary with Youth Ministries Australia, Trav founded the organisation AccessTheStory in 2014 as an initiative to see story-formed discipleship spread throughout Australia and beyond. Since then, AccessTheStory has enjoyed providing group story experiences and equipping for leaders across four states in Australia, and has begun supporting some mission activity in the Philippines. Trav leads AccessTheStory from a small chapel under the shadow of the bank of Happy Valley Reservoir.

Matt Stackhouse
Heritage Leaders; St. Phillips Christian College

Raised in Canada and the US, Matthew has worked in Education, Business and Professional Development Training and Facilitation since settling in Australia nearly 20 years ago. An HSC Teacher, accredited PD facilitator and Department Head, he has trained and developed school leaders and educators to work effectively with their teams. As a College Chaplain and Missions Coordinator he has lead teams of students to Manila, Darwin and Nepal and has served on the Board of Directors for Transform the Nations and New Hope International. Matthew holds undergraduate degrees in Business Management and Theology and a Master’s in Education. He is currently pursuing a PhD in the Wellbeing of Leaders and Educators at the University of Newcastle. Married to his wife Natalie for over 20 years, they have three spirited girls who keep them on their toes. Aside from the ocean and being with his family, he is most passionate about Jesus and leading people to him. .

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Compass Student Leaders' Conference

Inspiration for Yr 12 students to think deeply about the big questions of life

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Compass exists to assist in the formation of student leaders. Please get in touch if we can assist you in this important work

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Know the Gospel, Know Culture; Translate

Student Leaders' Conference