This unit introduces students to the ministry of the Chaplain, providing a biblical, theological and pastoral underpinning for the ministry of chaplaincy. Students will explore the relationship between pastoral and spiritual care with attention to the variety of contexts in which chaplaincy ministry can be expressed. Students will learn the art of reflecting theologically on ministry practice outside of the church. Engagement with leading practitioners in a range of settings forms a critical part of this study.

Unit code: DP3100T

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: Pastoral Theology and Ministry Studies

Proposing College: Trinity College Theological School

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Learning outcomes


Articulate a biblical and theological basis for chaplaincy ministry.


Outline and critique the challenges of ministering in diverse cultural and social contexts.


Apply principles of cultural exegesis to chaplaincy contexts.


Describe the constraints of ministering in an organisational context.


Reflect theologically on the ministry of chaplaincy both from a theoretical and a personal perspective.

Unit sequence

Students should have completed at least one unit in each of Field D and Field C


Lectures, tutorials, engagement with field specialists, group reflection

Indicative Bibliography

Anderson, R. Spiritual Caregiving as Secular Sacrament: A Practical Theology for Professional Caregivers, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2003.

Cobb, M, Christina M Puchalski, and Bruce Rumbold (eds), Oxford Textbook of Spirituality in Healthcare, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Evans, Keith, and Michael W. Langston. Essential Chaplain Skill Sets: Discovering Effective Ways to Provide Excellent Spiritual Care. Bloomington, IN: WestBow, 2017.

Graham, Elaine, Heather Walton and Francis Ward. Theological Reflection: Methods, London: SCM Press, 2005.

Lartey, E. Pastoral Theology in an Intercultural World, Peterborough: Epworth Press, 2006.

Louw, D., Ito, T. and Elsdorfer, U. Encounter in Pastoral Care and Spiritual Healing: Towards and Integrative and Intercultural Approach, Berlin: LIT Verlag, 2012.

Miller-McLemore, B. The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Practical Theology, London: Wiley/Blackwell, 2012.

Pembroke, N. Trinitarian Perspectives on Pastoral Care and Counselling, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006.

Puchalski, C. Making Healthcare Whole: Integrating Spirituality into Healthcare, W. Conschocken, PA: Templeton Press, 2010.

Paget, N and McCormack, J. The Work of the Chaplain. Valley Forge: Judson Press, 2006.

Roberts, Stephen (ed.) Professional, Spiritual and Pastoral Care: A Practical Clergy and Chaplain’s Handbook, Woodstock, Vermont: Skylight Paths Publishing, 2012.

Wenger, Etienne. Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning and Identity. Learning in Doing. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Reading report

1000 25.0
Workplace evaluation

Ministry context analysis

1500 35.0
Essay 2500 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 6 Oct, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2020-10-06 16:10:24 +1100