This unit offers an introduction to the understanding of family life. Insights from the Social Sciences will be informed and critiqued by cultural and theological themes. The different phases of married life and the characteristics of each phase of the life cycle will be explored. Specific focus issues in the pastoral care of families and family ministry will be addressed. The course will outline the factors that contribute to family wellbeing and review those factors that challenge spiritual health and family integrity. Christian and Scriptural teaching on the family will be integrated with these theories. An important focus will be the role of the family in providing a sacred space of ‘safe holding’ that encourages and nurtures the spiritual formation of children in faith.

Unit Code: DP1615A

Points: 18.0

Unit Level: Undergraduate Level 1

Unit Discipline: Pastoral Theology and Ministry Studies

Delivery Mode: Intensive

Proposing College: St Athanasius College

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Learning Outcomes


Articulate an understanding of the intra-familial dynamics from a pastoral, spiritual and theological Christian perspective


Identify and describe the different family stages and illustrate the dynamics involved in each


Identify the roles and complementary tasks of family members, and through case study reflection describe how the family can nurture the Christian formation of children.


Describe and theologically reflect upon the cultural, sociological, spiritual and developmental challenges presented to families and develop appropriate pastoral responses within their own context.

Unit sequence

Prohibited combinations: Only one of DP1610A, DP1615A, DP2610A, or DP2615A may be taken


Lectures, group discussion


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)

Assignment 1 (500 Words)

1500 15.0

Assignment 2 (1500 Words)

1500 35.0
Written Examination

Written test (2 hours)

0 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 1 Nov, 2017

Unit Record last updated: 2019-06-11 16:08:45 +1000