This unit provides a theoretical framework (lifecycle, developmental, and end-of-life) for the challenges of ageing, dementia and end-of-life experience. Psychosocial and cultural study of ageing within Australian society will complement broader theories on dementia, palliative care and spiritual care. Students will have the opportunity for theological, ethical and spiritual reflection on the meaning of ageing and the tasks of compassion and companioning as spiritual care. Students will learn about the elements of spirituality that are common to the later stages of life and will apply the critical and reflective methods of pastoral theology to the task of articulating an informed and reflective practice of spiritual care to those who are ageing and to those on the palliative journey.

Unit code: DP3070S (Approved)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: Pastoral Theology and Ministry Studies

Proposing College: Stirling Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Describe and illustrate a spiritual care response to the philosophical and theological challenges to personhood of dementia and end-of-life experience in a palliative setting.


Draw upon Scripture and theology to develop a theology of ageing and illustrate this in the context of spiritual care practice that addresses the meaning attached to growing old by contemporary society through culture, the arts, and the media.


Critically reflect upon current research in dementia and end-of-life studies to develop a pastoral and spiritual care rationale for care within a multi-disciplinary context.


Describe, reflect theologically on, and critically examine the socio-political implications of the ways in which ageing, disability and chronic illness affect our understanding of wellbeing.

Unit sequence

Three foundational units


Lectures and seminars


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

2,500 word essay

2500 50.0
Case Study

2,500 word case study

2500 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 31 Dec, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2019-06-17 15:13:42 +1000