This unit introduces learners to the theological foundations, empirical frameworks, and pedagogical perspectives of the Enhancing Catholic School Identity (ECSI) approach to the mission of church schools. A survey of relevant demographic and cultural trends in Australia will help to identify key factors affecting the transmission of religious identification and personal faith formation. In this context, the key insights of Vatican II’s theology of revelation, faith, and the person in relation to God and others will be explored. The ECSI data-gathering instruments will be explained and evaluated as useful tools for Catholic communities seeking to respond strategically to the challenges of faith formation in today's context. We will examine the hermeneutical pedagogies and learning encounters called for by the revelatory dialogue with humanity initiated by God in and through the church in its missional agencies, and most clearly manifested in the person and ministry of Jesus Christ. (This unit may be offered in online mode. Cross-listed with CT9011C).

Unit code: DR9011C

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Religious Education

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Describe the current Australian cultural and demographic context and discuss its implications for the transmission of religious faith and the tasks of evangelisation.


Articulate and assess various options open to Catholic schools and communities to enhance and strengthen their institutional identity in the contemporary Australian context.


Accurately read and effectively interpret data produced through the ECSI survey instruments used by schools and parishes


Communicate through independently researched academic writing a sound understanding of the theological and pedagogical underpinnings of the ECSI approach to religious identification and faith formation.

Unit sequence

Foundational studies equivalent to BS8602C and CT8605C or equivalent


Learners will engage with lecture input, directed reading activities, facilitated peer discussion, electronic resources and formative feedback, in synchronous or asynchronous settings, to achieve the learning outcomes.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Bevans, Stephen B. An Introduction to Theology in a Global Perspective. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2011.
  • D'Orsa, Jim, and Therese eds, New Ways of Living the Gospel: Spiritual Traditions in Catholic Education. Mulgrave: Garratt, 2015.
  • Dumais, Marcel. After Emmaus: Biblical Models for the New Evangelization. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2014.
  • Hughes, Philip, ed. Charting the Faith of Australians: Thirty Years in the Christian Research Association. Nunawading: Christian Research Association, 2016.
  • Lombaerts, Herman and Didier Pollefeyt, eds. Hermeneutics and Religious Education. Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniesium 180. Leuven: Peeters, 2004.
  • National Catholic Education Commission. Religious Education in Australian Catholic Schools. National Catholic Education Commission, 2017. Available at
  • 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. Berlin: LIT Verlag, 2019.
  • Sharkey, Paul. Educators Guide to Catholic Identity. Mulgrave: Vaughan, 2015.
  • Walker, David and John Redden, Understanding and Interpreting the Enhancing Catholic School Identity (ECSIP) Report of Your School. East Melbourne: Catholic Education Commission of Victoria, 2014. (Available via ARK).


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

1500-word report on pre-reading

1500 20.0

2500-word (directed reflective practice)

2500 30.0
Essay 3500 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 22 Jul, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:50 +1000