This unit of study will begin by exploring the general nature of loss and grief by examining the most common loss and grief events in human experience, critically examining the various theoretical approaches. This unit will also explore some of the more obscure loss and grief situations: such as family breakdown, unemployment, relocation and migration, war and seeking asylum, abuse and discrimination, chronic illness, and suicide. Finally, it will explore a number of pastoral strategies which may be useful in assisting a person experiencing loss and grief. This will include an exploration of ethical boundaries and collaborative pastoral approaches.

Unit Code: DP3004Y

Points: 18.0

Unit Level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit Discipline: Pastoral Theology and Ministry Studies

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning Outcomes


Articulate a clear understanding of the theory that has developed around the experience of loss and grief through a critical reading of current literature.


Articulate an understanding of the experience of loss and grief, in all its complexity, in a variety of life situations.


Evaluate the various theoretical and pastoral approaches to the experience of loss and grief, assessing their value to the ecclesial environment of pastoral ministry.


Define and illustrate the specific role and ethical boundaries of a therapeutic relationship and how that may manifest itself within the ecclesial pastoral environment.


Describe and illustrate the pastoral, theological and spiritual contribution and limitations of such a relationship and outline an essential collaborative role with specialist professional services or in a multi-disciplinary setting.

Unit sequence

DP1001Y Foundations for Pastoral Practice


Lectures, seminars, tutorials,


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)

Description of and reflection on a personal loss and/or grief situation 1000 words

1000 20.0

Weekly reflection on assigned reading tasks 250 words p/w over 10 weeks –2500 words

2500 40.0

Theory and Practice Essay focussing on analysing the theory within a particular subcultural loss and grief experience 2500 words

2500 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 31 Dec, 2015

Unit Record last updated: 2019-06-14 14:01:53 +1000