This unit provides a framework for pastoral theology and ministry to older people within an ageing and longevity context. Biblical and theological perspectives on ageing are explored as well as the faith journey. Methods and benefits of spiritual assessment will be explored and contextualised for a diverse generational and cultural demographic. Students will have opportunity to reflect on the challenges, risks and ongoing potential within longer living and the relevance of life review.

Unit code: DP9315B

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Pastoral Theology and Ministry Studies

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Eva Burrows College

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Learning outcomes


Research and discuss the diverse context of ageing in Australia


Investigate the challenges and risks in ageing and how life review is relevant.


Critically analyse theological perspectives on ageing.


Review spiritual needs in ageing and apply different methods of assessment and planning.


Integrate understanding of potential for ongoing achievement as well as opportunity for faith development with longer living..


Develop a strategy for the place and role of the older person in their faith community.

Unit sequence

Pre-requisite 24 points in DP or equivalent practical experience.


Lectures, discussions, practical exercises, videos, online forums

Indicative Bibliography

  • = set texts recommended for reading No set text

Cahalan, K.A. and B.J. Miller-McLemore. Calling All Years Good: Chritian Vocatio throughout Life's Seasons, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Michigan, 2017.

Carlson, D. Engaging in Ministry with Older Adults, Alban Institute, USA, 1997.

Coleman, P.G. and A. O’Hanlon. Ageing and Development, Hodder Headline Group, London, 2004.

Coleman, P.G. Belief and Ageing: Spiritual Pathways in Later Life, The Policy Press, University of Bristol, 2011.

Hauerwas, S, C. Stoneking, K. Meador and D. Cloutier. Growing old in Christ, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Michigan, 2003.

Houston, J.M. and M. Parker. A Vision for the Aging Church, Intervarsity Press, Illinoi, USA, 2011.

Kimble, M.A., S.H. McFadden, J.W. Ellor and J.J. Seeber (eds). Aging, spirituality and religion: A handbook, Augsburg Fortress, Minneapolis, 1995.

Koepke, D.R. The Essential Spirit, Providing Wholistic Services to and with Older Adults, Wipf and Stock Publishers, Eugene, USA, 2016.

MacKinlay, E.B. The Spiritual Dimension of Ageing, (2nd Edition), Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London, 2017.

Roberto, J. The Seasons of Adult faith formation, Lifelong Faith Publications, Naugatuck, 2015.

Swinton, J. and R. Payne. Living Well & Dying Faithfully, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, USA, 2009.

Waters, E.B. and J. Goodman. Empowering Older Adults: Practical Strategies for Counselors, Jossey-Bass In., Publishers, California, 1990.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Case Study - Case Study 3000 40.0
Essay - Essay 2000 30.0
Essay - Integrative Essay 2000 30.0

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

Unit record last updated: 2022-10-10 13:44:59 +1100