This unit will explore how art has been and remains an integral part of the evangelising and catechising mission of the Church. Through art, the unit will explore essential themes of Catholic theology and scripture, such as: the Trinity, Jesus Christ, Mary, the saints, heaven and hell, the Church, the sacraments, sin and evil, suffering and death, virtues and vices, mission and service.

Participants will explore skills and techniques of ‘visual literacy’ through the examination of the elements of art: colour, line, medium, mood, gesture, framing, lighting and symbols. Students will then be invited to unpack the theological and spiritual elements portrayed through art and compare them with the current teachings of the Catholic Church. In each session, students will explore the pedagogical and catechetical application of the arts for their ministry and mission.

Unit Code: DS9303C

Points: 24.0

Unit Level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit Discipline: Spirituality

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning Outcomes


Interpret the principles and the basis of ‘visual literacy’ in an educational and ministerial setting


Explain and establish the elements of ‘visual literacy’: colour, line, medium, mood, gesture, framing, lighting and symbols


Identify the style of the artworks painting in their historical context and background


Articulate the theological and spiritual elements of the artwork within its own historical context


Compare and critique the theology and spirituality of particular artworks in the context of past and present Catholic theology


Substantiate the pedagogical and catechetical application of the arts in a theological framework.


Design and undertake a defined research topic relating to the content of this unit in a scholarly, consistent and self-directed manner

Unit sequence

BS8600C and CT8600C or equivalent


Tutorials, discussions


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)
Oral Presentation

15-minute presentation on one of the themes of the course

0 20.0

1500-word essay comparing two artworks on the same theme by two different artists

1500 20.0

4500-word essay on a theme relevant to their ministry

4500 60.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 10 Sep, 2019

Unit Record last updated: 2019-11-11 14:15:43 +1100