This unit examines foundational issues concerning the nature, purpose, context and practice of religious education in the Catholic Christian tradition. The focus is on Catholic schooling in Australia and is informed by church documents, clarification of current terminology used in regard to religious education, and an explanation of the sources of revelation. Participants are introduced to the history of Catholic schooling in Australia and to the work of contemporary theorists of religious education. While emphasising the importance of Catholic identity and the roles of prayer, ritual, liturgy and social justice in the maintenance of that identity, there is also an exploration of the possibilities of enrichment through interfaith dialogue.

Unit code: DR8663Y

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Religious Education

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

Show when this unit is running

Learning outcomes


Articulate an understanding of the nuances of meaning in the term “religious education” and of the critical role played by context in the delivery of religious education


Identify and explain the roles of Scripture, Tradition and experience in the processes of religious education


Demonstrate knowledge of the social, political and religious context that gave rise to Catholic schools and of their evolution to the present


Recognise, explain and assess the possibilities of some contemporary approaches to “religious education”


Identify the roles of prayer, ritual, liturgy and social justice in the maintenance of Catholic identity and mission and the possibilities of enrichment through interfaith dialogue


Critically reflect on personal and professional learning from this unit

Unit sequence

Prerequisite: 1st year of GCTRE


Lecture, discussion, audiovisual materials

Indicative Bibliography

  • Archdiocesan Texts: Melbourne: Coming to Know, Worship and Love, Horizons of Hope, Encounter pedagogy Ballarat*.: Awakenings:
  • Benjamin, Anne, and Dan Riley, eds.* Catholic Schools: Hope in Uncertain Times*. Mulgrave: Garratt Publishing, 2008.
  • D’Orsa, Jim and Therese. A Mission to the Heart of Young People: Catholic Curriculum. Mulgrave: Vaughan Publishing, 2012.
  • Green, Michael. Now with Enthusiasm: Charism, God’s Mission and Catholic Schools Today. BBI – The Australian Institute of Theological Education Mission and Education
    Series. Mulgrave: Vaughan Publishing, 2018.
  • Groome, Thomas H. Christian Religious Education: Sharing Our Vision and Story. Blackburn: Dove Communications, 1980.
  • ———----. Will there be Faith? A New Vision for Educating and Growing Disciples. New York: Harper One, 2011.
  • _____. Faith for the Heart: A “Catholic” Spirituality. New York / Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2019.
  • Maher, Anthony, and Bob Hanley. Educating Hearts: Seven Characteristics of a Good School. Strathfield: St Pauls, 2013.
  • Pollefeyt, Didier, and Jan Bouwens. Identity in Dialogue: Assessing and enhancing Catholic school identity. Research methodology and research results in Catholic schools in Victoria, Australia. Zürich: LIT VERLAG GmbH & Co. KG Wien, 2014.
  • Ryan, Maurice. A Common Search: The History and Forms of Religious Education in Catholic Schools. Hamilton: Lumino Press, 2007.
  • Taylor, Tony. Class Wars: Money, Schools and Power in Modern Australia. Melbourne: Monash University Publishing, 2018.
  • Timeline of Catholic Education….


Type Description Word count Weight (%)


2000 45.0


2000 45.0

Reflection paper on personal and professional learning from the unit

500 10.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 27 Aug, 2021

Unit record last updated: 2021-08-27 14:47:48 +1000