This unit considers the links between pastoral care and communal expressions of ritual and meaning making. Students will examine life changes and critical experiences, considering how ritual and liturgy become processes of communal care and meaning making both within the church and in engagement with the wider community

Unit code: DP9703W

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

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.


Develop rituals for use outside of the church community


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

Unit sequence



Lectures, tutorials, online forum

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 (%)

500 word reflection journal

500 5.0

500 word reflection journal

500 5.0

500 word reflection journal

500 5.0

500 word reflection journal

500 5.0

500 word reflection journal

500 5.0

3500 word essay

3500 50.0
Tutorial Paper/Seminar Paper

2000 word tutorial paper

2000 25.0

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

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:49 +1000