This unit engages students in theological reflection on the ministry of chaplaincy and provision of spiritual care in public places. Students will critically examine the biblical, theological and pastoral bases for chaplaincy, and reflect on the relationship between pastoral and spiritual care within the variety of contexts in which chaplaincy ministry can be expressed. Study in this unit will encourage critical reflection and evaluation of a range of methodologies and methods to negotiate the identity and practice of spiritual care outside of the church.

Unit code: DA9044L

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Mission and Ministry

Proposing College: Australian Lutheran College

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Learning outcomes


Articulate and defend a biblical and theological basis for chaplaincy ministry


Critique the challenges of ministering in diverse cultural and social contexts


Critically evaluate the legitimacy and place of spiritual care in public places


Critically reflect through a theological lens on the ministry of chaplaincy from both a theoretical and personal perspective


Develop strategies for spiritual and pastoral care in public chaplaincy contexts

Unit sequence

Course relationship: A level 9 unit in postgraduate theology, ministry, and education courses


This unit is underpinned by teaching practices and strategies which encourage student engagement and participation in a variety of learning tasks and opportunities which foster deep learning.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Caperon, John. A Christian theology of chaplaincy. Philadelphia, PA: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017.
  • Dinham, Adam, Robert Furbey, and Vivian Lowndes, eds. Faith in the Public Realm: Controversies, Policies, and Practices. Bristol, UK: Bristol University Press, 2009.
  • Lutz, Stephen. College ministry in a post-Christian culture. Kansas City, MO: Nazarene Publishing House, 2011.
  • O'Malley SDB, David. School ethos and chaplaincy: a handbook. Bolton, UK: Don Bosco Publications, 2019.
  • Norman, James O'Higgins, ed. Education matters: readings in pastoral care for school chaplains, guidance counsellors and teachers. Dublin: Veritas Publications, 2015.
  • Pohlmann, David. School chaplaincy: an introduction. Preston, Vic: Mosaic Press, 2013.
  • Roberts, Stephen. Professional spiritual & pastoral care: a practical clergy and chaplain's handbook. Woodstock, Vt.: SkyLight Paths Pub, 2012.
  • Swift, Christopher. Hospital chaplaincy in the twenty-first century: the crisis of spiritual care on the NHS. 2nd ed. Explorations in Practical, Pastoral and Empirical Theology. Farnham: Ashgate, 2014.
  • Swift, Christopher, Mark Cobb, and Andrew Todd, eds. A handbook of chaplaincy studies: understanding spiritual care in public places. London: Routledge, 2016.
  • Threlfall-Holmes, Miranda, and Mark Newitt, eds. Being a chaplain. London: SPCK, 2011.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Reflection on assigned readings

2000 25.0

Ministry context analysis

2000 25.0

Spiritual and pastoral care in a chaplaincy context

4000 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 9 Oct, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2020-10-09 11:39:19 +1100