This unit introduces students to the foundational skills of critical thinking and writing for use in the study of theology and related disciplines. It is designed to equip the student in the evaluation and construction of theological ideas through the appropriation of the principles of logic and reasoning. The skills developed will include the analysis and construction of sound arguments, identifying and avoiding logical fallacies, writing with clarity, and distinguishing between weak sense and strong sense critical thinking.

Unit code: AP8722B

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Philosophy

Proposing College: Eva Burrows College

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Learning outcomes


Describe the function of logic and argument in theological discourse


Identify and construct deductively valid conclusions


Apply higher level critical thinking skills to theological research and essay writing


Show advanced skills in the construction and evaluation of arguments


Communicate competing theological ideas in discourse designed for public consumption


Lectures, discussion, forum engagement, videos, reading

Indicative Bibliography

  • Anderson, Jonathan and Millicent Poole. Assignment and Thesis Writing. 4th ed. Brisbane: Wiley and Sons Australia, Ltd., 2001.
  • Bowell, Tracey and Gary Kemp. Critical Thinking: A Concise Guide. 4th ed. London: Routledge, 2015.
  • Brown, Scott G. A Guide to Writing Academic Essays in Religious Studies. London: Continuum,2008.
  • Browne, M. Neal and Stuart M. Keeley. Asking the Right Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking. 11th ed. United States: Pearson, 2014. (recommended for purchase)
  • Chaffee, John. Thinking Critically. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 2011.
  • Chaffee, John, Christine McMahon and Barbara Stout. Critical Thinking, Thoughtful Writing. 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 2014.
  • Core, Deborah. The Seminary Student Writes. St Louis, MO: Chalice Press, 2000.
  • Halpern, Diane F. Thought and Knowledge: An Introduction to Critical Thinking. 5th rev. ed. Hove, United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis Ltd, 2013.
  • Paul, Richard and Linda Elder. Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Personal and Professional Life. Pearson FT Press, 2013.
  • Thomson, Anne. Critical Reasoning: A Practical Introduction, 3rd ed. New York, NY: Routledge, 2009.
  • Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers. 8th ed. Revised by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory Colomb, Joseph M. Williams. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013.
  • Virkler, Henry. A Christian’s Guide to Critical Thinking. Salem, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2006.
  • Vyhmeister, Nancy Jean. Your Guide to Writing Quality Research Papers for Students of Religion. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2014.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

3,000 word essay

3000 50.0

1,200 word primary source analysis

1200 20.0

600 word exercise

600 10.0

600 word exercise

600 10.0

600 word exercise

600 10.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 7 Sep, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:49 +1000