This unit examines the theological, developmental and methodological resources for contextual children and families ministries across the spectrum of Australian church based, community based and para-church expressions. Addressing the theology, spirituality and sociology of the child in relation to family, church, faith, culture, technology, history and philosophical discourse, the unit develops critical skills for evaluating and designing robust, contextual processes for discipleship, pastoral care, safe practice, mission and leadership with children and their families.

Unit code: DA1015S

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 1

Unit discipline: Mission and Ministry

Proposing College: Stirling College

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Learning outcomes


Outline major frameworks of child theology, theologies of child, child spirituality and theology for children in religious education.


Articulate the interaction between child development, theology, social discourse and learning paradigms.


Describe ecclesiological, missional, religious education and discipleship structures and evaluate the place of child within these.


Articulate best practice procedures regarding protective behaviours to safeguard the welfare of children, practitioners and the community.


Articulate different methodologies in ministry with children and their families.


lectures, field observations, tutorials

Indicative Bibliography

  • Barna, George. Transforming children into spiritual champions. Ventura: Regal, 2003.
  • Beckwith, Ivy. Postmodern children’s ministry: ministry to children in the 21st century. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004. (recommended for purchase (depending on availability)
  • Buckland, Ron. Perspectives on children and the Gospel: excellence in Ministry with children and their families. West Gosford, NSW: Scripture Union, 2001. (recommended for purchase (depending on availability)
  • Bunge, MJ. The Child in Christian Thought. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001.
  • Cupit, G. Children and Spirituality. Central Coast Business Centre, N.S.W. : Scripture Union Australia, 2005. (recommended for purchase (depending on availability)
  • Hay, David & Nye, Rebecca, The Spirit of the Child. London: Fount, 1998.
  • Kociumbas, J. Australian Childhood; A History. St Leonards, N.S.W : Allen & Unwin, 1997.
  • Medved, Michael and Dianne. Saving Childhood: Protecting Our Children from the National Assault on Innocence. Zondervan, 1998.
  • Mercer, Joyce. Welcoming children: a practical theology of childhood. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2005.
  • Stonehouse, C. Joining Children on the Spiritual Journey. Grand Rapids: Baker,1998.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Book Review

Theology of Child literature review (1000 words)

1000 25.0

‘World of the Child’ Observation Journal Reflections (2 x 500 words)

1000 25.0
Multiple Choice Quizzes or Tests

20 question short-answer quiz on duty of care issues and safe practice (500 words) (must pass)

500 10.0

Core Issues Essay (1500 words)

1500 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 19 Oct, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2019-05-28 15:16:00 +1000