This unit will present three theoretical frameworks within which to consider pastoral practice in its day to day experience: psychological, anthropological and theological. The psychological framework focuses upon human development, motivation, and the influence of the unconscious. The anthropological (philosophical) frame of reference assists students to understand ways of knowing and responding, with particular reference to imagination, freedom and growth. Theological reflection draws on the sources of personal presuppositions and action, culture and faith tradition. The aim of the unit is for students to explore notions of the self, articulate the assumptions upon which they engage in pastoral ministry and to encourage them to take responsibility for their pastoral practice.

Unit code: DP2001C

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: Pastoral Theology and Ministry Studies

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Describe and Integrate the conceptual frameworks offered together with their research and experience into their own pastoral assumptions and ministry.


Illustrate through personal and theological reflection upon their practice a deepening awareness of their relational/pastoral strengths and growth points.


Demonstrate a familiarity with foundational social science texts and concepts.


Articulate an understanding of intra-personal and inter-personal dynamics at work in themselves, between ministry team members and those in pastoral need.


Demonstrate basic helping skills and attitudes necessary to carry out theologically reflective and responsible pastoral care and leadership.

Unit sequence

BS1001C, BS1002C, CT1000C and CT1001C or equivalent are recommended prerequisites. While not a prerequisite, some pastoral experience would advantageous to the student.


Lectures and seminars

Indicative Bibliography

  • American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th ed. Washington: American Psychiatric Association, 2013.
  • Augsberger, D. Pastoral Counselling across Cultures. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1986.
  • Carr, Walter. A Handbook of Pastoral Studies: Learning and Practicing Christian Ministry. London: SPCK, 1997.
  • ———. The Desiring Self: Rooting Pastoral Counselling and Spiritual Direction in Self-Transcendence. New York: Paulist Press, 1998.
  • Cooper-White, Pamela. Shared Wisdom: Use of the Self in Pastoral Care and Counselling. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2006.
  • Doehring, Carrie. The Practice of Pastoral Care: A Postmodern Approach. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004.
  • May, Gerald G. Addiction and Grace. San Francisco: Harper, 1988.
  • Rulla, L uigi M. Anthropology of the Christian Vocation. Vol 2 of Existential Confirmation. Rome, Gregorian University Press, 1989.
  • Sperry, Len. Transforming Self and Community: Revisioning Pastoral Counselling and Spiritual Direction. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2002.
  • Swinton, John. Spirituality and Mental Health Care: Rediscovering a Forgotten Dimension. London, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2001.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

2,500 word essay

2500 50.0
Written Examination

1 hour written examination

0 25.0
Seminar or Tutorial

1,000 word seminar paper

1000 25.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 25 Jul, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:50 +1000