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: DP9004Y

Points: 24.0

Unit Level: Postgraduate Elective

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.


Critically 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 illustrate and critically evaluate 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.


Develop and present a synthesis position on appropriate pastoral intervention strategies for a selected complex loss and grief situation.

Unit sequence

DP 8001Y Foundations for Pastoral Practice


Lectures, seminars, tutorials


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)

Theory and Practice Essay (3000 words)

3000 50.0

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

1000 20.0

Weekly reflection on assigned reading tasks (200 words p/w over 10 weeks – 2000 words)

2000 30.0

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

Unit Record last updated: 2019-06-21 08:35:31 +1000