Intimacy is the capacity to commit oneself to particular individuals in relationships that last over time, even though those relationships may call for significant sacrifice, compromise and ethical strength. The commitment begins with oneself. Knowing oneself makes it possible to be in an intimate relationship without taking over or losing self to the other. Intimacy, or deep friendship, is knowing another and allowing oneself to be known. This applies within marriage, the celibate vocation and the single life. Intimacy with one’s self, is a prerequisite for intimacy with God and with the other.

This unit aims to help students explore what psychosexual maturity means and how sexuality, intimacy and spirituality relate in the human person. The unit requires a reflective element in which the student grows in his or her psychosexual awareness.

Unit code: DS9209J (Approved)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Spirituality

Proposing College: Jesuit College of Spirituality

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Learning outcomes


Demonstrate a working knowledge of psychosexual maturity and how that concept applies to them


Identify historical and contemporary Christian perspectives for understanding sexuality, intimacy and spirituality


Analyse the intersections between sexuality, intimacy and spirituality


Evaluate the implications of sexuality, intimacy and spirituality on personal identity and functioning


Integrate fundamental principles and practices relating to sexuality, intimacy and spirituality within their own ministry context.

Unit sequence

Prohibited combinations: Old code: DS9126F


Lectures, seminars, tutorials, facilitated interaction in small groups

Indicative Bibliography

  • Au, W. and N. Cannon, Urgings of the Heart: A Spirituality of Integration, New York, NY: Paulist Press, 1995.
  • Balswick, Judith K, and Jack O Balswick. Authentic Human Sexuality. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2013.
  • Brennan, Dan. Sacred Unions, Sacred Passions: Engaging in the Mystery of Friendship Between Men and Women. Elgin, IL.: Faith Dance, 2010.
  • Berry, Carmen Renee. The Unauthorised Guide to Sex and the Church. Nashville, TN.: Thomas Nelson, 2005.
  • Dawn, Mava. Sexual Character: Beyond Technique to Intimacy. Grand Rapids, MI.: Eerdmans, 1993.
  • Chittester, J. Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2005.
  • Cotter, Jim. Pleasure, Pain and Passion: Some Perspective on Sexuality and Spirituality. Sheffield, UK: Cairns Publication, 2003.
  • Dowrick, S. Intimacy and Solitude: Balancing Closeness and Independence, New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 1991.
  • Ferder, F. and J. Heagle, Your Sexual Self: Pathway to Authentic Intimacy, Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 1992.
  • Hirsch, Debra. Redeeming Sex. Downers Grove, IL.: IVP, 2015.
  • Kurtz, E. and K. Ketcham, The Spirituality of Imperfection, New York, NY: Bantam Books, 1991.
  • McClone, K., “Male Intimacy: Men’s Longing for Intimacy and Connection”, Touchstone, Vol. 17 No. 2, Winter 2001, reprinted in Human Development, Spring 2002.
  • Paris, Jenell Williams. The End Of Sexual Identity. Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Books, 2011.
  • Smith, Tom. Raw Spirituality. Downers Grove, IL.: IVP, 2014.
  • West, Christopher. Theology Of The Body For Beginners. West Chester, PA.: Ascension Press, 2009.
  • Whitehead, Evelyn and James Whitehead, Wisdom of the Body: Making Sense of our Sexuality, New York, NY: Crossroad Publishing Company, 2001.
  • Winner, Lauren. Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity. Grand Rapids, MI.: Brazos, 2005.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Integrative essay (7000 words)

7000 100.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 30 Sep, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2019-11-01 09:44:17 +1100