This unit will focus on Christian discipleship through the vocation of marriage, family, and the single life. Building on prior studies in fundamental moral theology, particularly on the Church’s anthropological and theological understandings of the human person, the unit will focus on their implications for marriage and human relationships in the Catholic Church’s official teachings and theological traditions. Of particular importance is the study of the Church’s pastoral responses on matters relating to marriage, family, and sexual behaviour. The issues to be studied in this unit include the challenges of living the marital sacrament in a fast-changing contemporary environment; the place of children in marriage; the use of new reproductive technologies; pastoral care for the divorced and remarried; the LGBTIQA+ community and their place in the faith community; other topics could include the relationship of marriage to celibacy and the single life; pornography and cybersex.

Unit code: DT3340Y

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: Moral Theology

Delivery Mode: Blended

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes


Identify and explain the anthropological and theological principles that underpin the Catholic Church’s understanding of human sexuality, marriage, family, and human relationships.


Articulately evaluate the Catholic Church’s teachings on marriage, family, the single life, and issues relating to the LGBTIQA+ community.


Critically assess the Church's perspectives on issues related to the use of New Reproductive Technologies, and to articulate sound pastoral responses to the moral questions they raise.


Critically evaluate contemporary debates and experiences on issues relating to identity (including sexual identity) and relationships that raise new moral questions which challenge traditional understandings of human sexuality, marriage, and interpersonal relationships.


Analyse complex issues relating to the married, the divorced/remarried, and the LGBITQA+ community in the Church

Unit sequence

18 credit points in fundamental moral theology or ethics


synchronous and asynchronous lectures, and synchronous tutorials, discussions and debates.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Pope John-Paul II, Familiaris Consortio 1981
  • Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia 2016
  • Copeland, M. Shawn. Enfleshing Freedom: Body, Race, and Being. 2nd Edition. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2023.
  • Curran, Charles E. and Richard A. McCormick, eds. Dialogue About Catholic Sexual Teaching: Readings in Moral Theology, No. 8. New York: Paulist Press, 1993.
  • Curran, Charles E. and Julie Hanlon Rubio, eds. Marriage: Readings in Moral Theology, No. 15. New York: Paulist Press, 2009.
  • King, Jason, and Julie Hanlon Rubio, Eds. Sex, Love and Families: Catholic Perspectives. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2020.
  • Mercedes, Anna. Interrupting a Gendered Violence Church. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2022.
  • New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference Aroha and Diversity in Catholic Schools (October 2022).
  • Rubio, Julie Hanlon. A Christian Theology of Marriage and Family. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2003.
  • Martin, James. Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion and Sensitivity. Revised Edition., New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2018


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Variant 1

Tutorial Paper/Seminar Paper - Tutorial Paper 2000 40.0
Essay - Major Essay 3000 60.0

Variant 2

Essay - Research Essay Proposal 500 10.0
Essay - Research Essay 4500 90.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 27 Jun, 2023

Unit record last updated: 2023-06-27 15:07:24 +1000