This unit considers the links between pastoral care and the expressions of ritual and meaning making with faith communities, particularly within the evangelical churches. Students will examine life changes and critical experiences and the experience of liminality in such transitions. They will consider how ritual and liturgy can become processes of pastoral and communal care which offer opportunity for meaning-making both within the church and in engagement with the wider community.

Unit code: DP3703W

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: Pastoral Theology and Ministry Studies

Proposing College: Whitley College

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Learning outcomes


Identify life-cycle transitions and disruptions common in contemporary Australian society


Evaluate the theological themes that shape pastoral responses to these experiences


Develop theological and practical responses to these experiences, particularly with regard to the pastoral and communal experiences of infant dedications, weddings, funerals, baptism and communion.


Examine the pastoral rituals of the church within the context of the wider Australian community.

Unit sequence

Foundation unit in Field D is a pre-requisite


Lectures, tutorials Online forums

Indicative Bibliography

  • Anderson, Herbert and Edward Foley. Mighty stories, dangerous rituals. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998
  • Bradshaw, Paul F and Lawrence A Hoffman. Life cycles in Jewish and Christian worship. University of Notre Dame Press, 1996
  • Colwell, John E. Promise and presence: An exploration of sacramental theology. Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2005
  • Dayringer, R. Life Cycle: Psychological and theological perceptions. New York: Routledge, 2012
  • Doka, Kenneth J and John D Morgan (eds).Death and spirituality. New York: Baywood, 1993
  • Driver, Tom F. The magic of ritual. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1991
  • Earey, M. Worship that cares: An introduction to pastoral liturgy. London: SCM Press, 2012
  • Kelly, Ewan. Meaningful Funerals: Meeting the Theological and Pastoral Challenge in a Postmodern era. London: Mowbray 2008
  • Lefebvre, Solange & Ross, Susan (ed) Stages of Life and Christian Experience (Concilium 2007/5), London: SCM. 2007
  • Pembroke, Neil. Pastoral care in worship: Liturgy and psychology in dialogue. London: T&T Clark, 2010
  • Willimon, William H. Worship as pastoral care. Nashville: Abingdon, 1993


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Reflection journal 400 words

400 5.0
Tutorial Paper/Seminar Paper

Tutorial paper 1500 words

1500 25.0

2500 word essay

2500 50.0

Reflection journal 400 words

400 5.0

Reflection journal 400 words

400 5.0

Reflection journal 400 words

400 5.0

Reflection journal 400 words

400 5.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 27 Sep, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2021-09-27 17:03:09 +1000