This unit is designed to examine the heritage, theology and polity of the Uniting Church in Australia by a) Exploring the genesis of the Uniting Church in Australia, the struggles in moving towards union and subsequent challenges and the nature of its beliefs and structures b) Examining the theology, distinctive characteristics and declared mission of the Uniting Church in Australia c) Studying the “Basis of Union” document, with a view to ascertaining its theological position vis-à-vis other Christian denominations in Australia, identifying the range of its missional activities, its place in the ecumenical movement its interpretation of the relationship between gospel and justice and the order of its various ministries.

Unit code: CH3742Z

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: Church History

Proposing College: Uniting College for Leadership and Theology

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Learning outcomes


Describe the origins, nature and purpose of the Uniting Church in Australia.


Analyse the ecumenical movement as a practical expression of God’s act of reconciliation in Christ which understands union as an essential part of the gospel.


Understand the theology, distinctive characteristics and in particular central place of mission, sufficiently as to participate in mission, ministry and governance of the Uniting Church in an informed way.


Analyse and utilise the Basis of Union as a foundational and navigating document for mission and ministry.

Unit sequence

A Level 3 unit in undergraduate theology and ministry awards


UCLT uses primary and secondary sources considered through different lenses to identify and explore the challenges of the unit material for the contemporary world. Students are engaged in a range of comparative, analytical and reflective practices to identify the original meanings of the text in their contexts and to interpret them hermeneutically.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Dicker, Gordon. "The Reformed Heritage of the Uniting Church." Uniting Church Studies 9, no. 2 (2003): 11-23.
  • ——— Manifesto for Renewal: The Shaping of a New Church. 2nd Edition. Unley, SA: MediaCom Education Inc, 2016.
  • JCCU. The Church: Its Nature, Function and Ordering. The 2nd Report of the Joint Commission on Church Union 1963. Melbourne: Uniting Church Press, 1984.
  • ——— The Faith of the Church. The 1st Report of the Joint Commission on Church Union, 1959. Melbourne: JBCE, 1978.
  • McCaughey, J Davis. "Church Union in Australia." The Ecumenical Review 17 (1965): 38-53.
  • ——— Commentary on the Basis of Union. Melbourne: Uniting Church Press, 1980.
  • ——— The Basis of Union: A Commentary by J.Davis McCaughey. First Published 1971. Introduced and Edited by Andrew Dutney. Sydney: The Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia, 2016.
  • Owen, Michael. Back to Basics: Studies on the Basis of Union of the Uniting Church, Melbourne: JBCE, 1996.
  • ——— Disturbing Much Disturbing Many: Theology Provoked by the Basis of Union. Northcote, Vic.: Uniting Academic Press, 2016.
  • Young, Norman. "Wesleyan Heritage and the Uniting Church." Uniting Church Studies 8, no. 2 (2002): 57-64.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Summative Reflection

Daily reflections during intensive

500 10.0

Analysis of union

2000 40.0

Theology and Polity

2500 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 26 Oct, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-10-27 18:44:31 +1100